Not all keto-approved protein bars are actually worth eating. Here's your guide to the best keto-friendly bars out there.
Keto Protein Bar Picks
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Finding the perfect keto protein bar can be tough. While there a literally hundreds of low-carb, high-fat keto bars to consider, registered dietitians suggest that not all bars are created equal. (Related: Are Protein Bars Even Healthy?)
Besides looking for a bar that's low in carbs and high in fat (so you can stay in ketosis), you also want to look for a bar that's a good source of fiber and protein, says registered dietitian Katey Davidson, M.S., R.D. "Both fiber and protein take longer to digest, which will help keep you full longer. Fiber also helps to absorb excess cholesterol, which supports heart health," she adds.
However, Davidson says it's equally important to watch out for sugar alcohols. True: They're technically acceptable on the keto diet because they don't count toward total net carbs (and they give products a sweet taste without actually using sugar), but they can also lead to cramping and digestive issues for a lot of individuals. (Especially considering the keto diet often leads to constipation too.)
A good rule of thumb: Keep the ingredient list as simple as possible. Davidson recommends focusing on plant-based fats (which are higher in monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats). These are better for heart health.
Overwhelmed already? No worries. Here, Davidson and other nutritional pros recommend the best keto protein bars according to these guidelines.
Photo: Dorling Kindersley / Getty Images
BulletProof Collagen Protein Bars
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"I'm not usually a fan of protein bars, but BulletProof Collagen Protein Bars are an exception," says registered dietitian Jillian Kubala, M.S., R.D. That's because BulletProof Collagen Protein Bars are both keto- and paleo-friendly and contain limited ingredients, she explains.
These bars are high in fat, contain no added sugars, and have only 9 grams of net carbs—obviously very important when trying to keep carbs to a minimum while following a keto diet. Plus, she suggests that the added collagen inside these bars comes from grass-fed cows and is amazing for the health of your bones, joints, and skin. (Here's more about the benefits of collagen supplements.)
RSP Protein Brownie
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Although this colorful treat may look like a total sugar bomb, nutritionist Monica Auslander Moreno, M.S., R.D., L.D.N., explains that this bar is gluten-free and contains no artificial colors or flavors, making it an exceptional alternative to protein bars and other snacks. "Each RSP Protein Brownie contains 16 grams of high-quality protein and 4 grams of fiber with only 7 grams of sugar, satisfying ketogenic parameters," says Auslander Moreno.
Many people find that their cravings are super intense on the keto diets—but these brownies are clutch for knocking out a sweet tooth without veering off course, she adds.
Perfect Keto Bars
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"These bars are another great option if you're following ketogenic diets and want something easy to eat on-the-go," says Kubala.
They're high in fat, moderate in protein, and only contain 3 grams of net carbs, since they have zero added sugar and are sweetened with Stevia. The fats in these bars also come from wholesome ingredients like organic almond butter, coconut oil, and cocoa butter—all of which provide health benefits, she adds.
Raw Rev Creamy Peanut Butter & Sea Salt Glo Bar
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"With 15 grams of protein, 11 grams of fat, and only 3 grams of net carbs, this bar is a must-try for those on a keto or low-glycemic diet," says nutritionist Tara Allen, R.N., C.H.C., C.P.T. This bar only has a handful of ingredients (such as peanut butter, coconut oil, and chia seeds), and is uniquely plant-based while being free of soy, gluten, and dairy, she explains. (P.S. Read this before trying a vegetarian or vegan keto diet.)
SlimFast Keto Meal Bars
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"The SlimFast Keto line includes some delicious keto-friendly meal bars that are gluten-free and have 7 grams of protein, 14 grams of fat, and 3 grams of net carbs from whey protein and coconut oil MCTs," says registered dietitian consultant Maryann Walsh, R.D.
Walsh says these bars have a great nutrient profile of vitamins and minerals, which means you can actually call them meal replacements (not all keto bars fall into this category).
Quest Nutrition Bars
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"Quest bars have been a longtime favorite of mine. Along with the 20 to 21 grams of protein you get in every bar, I personally love the high fiber content that's great for helping you feel full for longer," says registered dietitian Jenn Fillenworth, M.S., R.D. These bars have 4 to 6 grams of net carbs per bar, making them a good choice for keto, she adds. (Related: Don't Make These 8 Mistakes On the Keto Diet)
Primal Kitchen Macadamia Grass Fed Sea Salt Collagen Bars
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"I love knowing I have a bar that was consciously created with my same values," says certified nutritional counselor Naomi Whittel, C.N.C. It's made with almonds, macadamia nuts, cashews, pumpkin seeds, a touch of egg white, and collagen to give you a bar with a bit more protein (it contains 15 grams versus the 10 grams most others have), she adds. Try eating this bar after a workout (or even as a meal replacement), she suggests.