Beef jerky, cricket flour, and paleo protein bars like Omnibar and Epic bars are taking over the healthy snack world. Would you try one?

By Kelly Mickle
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Epic Bars

Just when we thought we'd seen it all, we discovered the newest must-have protein bars come packed with gourmet grass-fed meats and even insects-no joke.

An alternative to traditional energy sources like dairy, grain and soy protein, these bars use dehydrated animal and insect protein to create a Paleo-approved, low sugar, gluten-free way to fuel your workouts. (Try these 10 Portable High-Protein Snacks too.)

A souped-up version of convenience store meat jerky, animal-protein bars use high-quality ingredients and foodie flavors like Epic's Bison Bacon Cranberry, Omnibar's Mango Curry, Tanka's prairie-raised buffalo meat with habanero peppers and tart cranberries, and Brick's 100-percent antibiotic-free turkey with sweet potato, cranberry and pumpkin seeds.

As for insect bars, they're made with cricket flour-created by roasting insects in the oven then grounding them into a powder. Sounds gross, yet insects are eaten by as much as 80 percent of the world's population and are a nutritional superstar, according to a report from the United Nations Food and Agricultural Organization. It's also the most sustainable protein source on the planet: Insects are 20 times more efficient as a source of protein than cattle, produce 80 percent less methane, and need 6 times less feed than cattle to produce the same amount of protein, per Exo Bars. Exo Bars' bug-infused products were created by a three-Michelin-starred chef and include four flavors: Apple Cinnamon, PB&J, Blueberry Vanilla and Cacao Nut. Chapul, the original cricket bar, offers three varieties: spicy cocoa, peanut butter and chocolate, and a Thai-inspired bar made with coconut, ginger, and lime.

The trick: getting over the ick factor. (If you can't quite stomach it, try these 6 Homemade Vegan Energy Bars instead.)

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