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My Top 5 Picks for Healthy Protein Bars – gluten free, dairy free, grain free, chemical free, guilt free

A question I frequently get from my clients is which protein bars can they have that are healthy and fit into their Lifestyle Plan.  I would always prefer that people make their own food and carry it with them but sometimes we just need convenience with our busy, on the go schedules.  With so many choices out there it’s important to know what to look for in a bar so that you are not harming your health and weight loss efforts in the process.

There are so many to choose from but honestly very few are going to fit into my guidelines of what I consider to be “real food”.  If you follow me on social media then you know that eating chemicals and “fake” foods will not help you to lose weight or meet your nutritional needs.  Most of these bars will backfire on your best attempts at weight loss and health so that’s why I’ve searched high and low to bring you only the cleanest, closest to all natural, protein bars available today.

When I was choosing the bars I took a few things into consideration.  First, they had to be made from real foods with as few ingredients as possible.  If they could be all organic that was a big plus.  The ingredients had to be free from genetically modified foods ( GMO’s), soy isolate protein and any artificial sweeteners or sugar alcohols.  They also had to be grain free, dairy free and gluten free to accomodate a vast majority of my clients that are trying to follow one of these plans.

I also looked at the macronutrient composition of each bar and made sure they had a balance of low glycemic carbohydrate, fiber, fat from healthy sources and at least 10 grams of protein from sources other then whey or soy.  All the bars I choose are low in net carbs.   I will note that there are some other really healthy bars on the market today that missed the criteria of being low glycemic.  It’s so important, especially for my menopausal women or those who are trying to shed pounds, to keep the net carbs low that these bars didn’t make this list.  To avoid the bars being too high in sugar, they could use stevia or monk fruit in the ingredient list.

Last, but not least, they had to taste good and get good reviews.

Please note that these bars are perfect for either a snack or part of a meal.  If you had to be on the go for a meal it would be easy to add a salad or something small to each of these bars to make a balanced meal.  Bars that contain too many calories and serve as a total meal replacement would not be on this list.

sunbutterNumber 1 (my top pick and clients favorite):  Julian’s Bakery Paleo/Pegan Bars

This company makes a few bars that I will talk about today.  All of their products are acceptable, clean products.  My very favorite one is the  Paleo Sunbutter Bars .  They are made from only 4 ingredients – egg whites (from Cage FREE USA Farms), organic prebiotic fiber (from tapioca), organic sunflower  seeds, and monk fruit extract.  They have 150 calories and only 1 net carbs.  High in fiber yet they don’t make you bloated.  These bars taste to me like eating a caramel candy – chewy and sweet.  My clients will tell you that these are by far the best tasting ones that Julien’s Bakery makes.  Another notable flavor would be the Paleo Chocolate Brownie.  If you like peanut butter check out this one –  Paleo Peanut Butter bars.


Some of My Favorite Things for Snacks and Bars

Number 2:  IQ Bars

This tasty bar comes in many flavors.  At 180 calories it makes a hearty snack.  With just 3 net carbs, 1 gram of sugar and 12 grams of plant-based protein this bar could be your next best friend.


kind-hickoryNumber 3: KIND Bars Nuts and Spices

The KIND Nuts and Spices bars is a decent choice for quality.  The Kind Nuts and Spices bars are also a good choice for a low glycemic snack or part of a meal but they don’t rate quite as high because they may contain dairy and natural flavoring that is not specified.   I like the  KIND Bar Nuts and Spices Caramel Almond.  


epic-barsNumber 4:  Epic Bars

These are a perfect choice for the paleo fan as well as someone who needs to add protein on the go.  These are made from humanely-treated, hormone and antibiotic-free meats like bison, turkey, pork, beef, lamb, chicken and bacon.   They come in a variety of flavors and resemble eating beef jerky.  Epic All Natural Meat Bars  are Paleo friendly, gluten free, nitrate free and low in sugar.  These bars are perfect as a protein replacement for a meal on the go where you can just add some vegetables or a salad to make a complete meal.

mini-perfect-barNumber 5:  The Perfect Bar Mini


These little gems are a great choice for a snack although they do require refrigeration.  I like the mini bars better then the large ones because they fit the requirements for a snack verses a meal.  They are not gluten or dairy free in all cases though so read the ingredient list carefully to see if this bar is right for you.

Are you looking to transform your health? Mary works with clients all over the country developing personalized nutrition and exercise plans for weight loss and health. If you’re ready to get started on your journey to health and wellness contact her today!

Visit BodyDesigns Two Week Detox Plan or BodyDesignsbyMary for more information.

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