If you have been to the grocery store lately, the protein bar section has grown into a full aisle in most stores. The selection of brands and flavors seem to be ever growing. Phoenix Men’s Health Center patients often ask us this question: what do you think is the best protein bar? Given the number of choices out there, we put together this article to help you make a better protein bar-buying decision. We recommend turning over the box (or the label) and reading the nutrition facts to look for 3 key nutrition content.

  1. Protein content

Surprisingly, some protein bars contain zero to almost no protein! The point of eating a protein bar is to sustain your hunger for a while until the next meal. It’s quick, tasty, and easy. However, eating protein bars with very little protein content defeats the purpose of satisfying your hunger. We recommend choosing protein bars with at least 10 grams of protein per bar (10 – 20 grams is a good protein content).

  1. Fiber content

More fiber the better! Consuming dietary fiber is crucial to keeping you full, healthy bowel movements, increasing good bacteria in your gut, and more. The American Dietetic Association (Dieticians) recommends consuming dietary fiber of at least 25 grams for women and 38 grams for men per day.1 Fiber content can be found within the total carbs section (fiber is nondigestible plant carbohydrates).  

  1. Sugar content

You guessed it, aim for the least amount of sugar. Your taste buds may be happy with a sugar high, but your blood sugar can spike, raising insulin levels. After consuming a food item with high sugar, your blood sugar levels plunge back down fast, making you hungry again very soon. Excess sugar can also cause inflammation within the body.

After checking for high protein, high fiber, and low sugar, you also want to make sure that the protein bar will taste pleasant. This actually depends on the fat content of the protein bar. Fat may have been getting a bad rep, but is actually crucial in terms of body’s fuel and metabolism. Not only that, fat makes foods satisfying and tasty. Look for a healthy fat content so you won’t spit it out from the taste.

Lastly, the final decision comes down to the number of ingredients. Our recommendation is to look for less number of ingredients (around 5 – 10) that are easily understandable.

We compared 3 protein bars (as pictured): KIND bars, Heart Thrive bars, and RXBAR


KIND Heart Thrive


Protein (g)


6 12
Fiber (g) 6 5


Sugar (g)

5 12 15
Fat (g) 15 1


# Ingredients

20+ 12 8
Overall Taste Tasted good with chocolate and nuts Tasted powdery and odd

Chewy and dense but pleasant chocolatey taste

The KIND bar may be a well-known brand, but because of the low protein content, will not sustain your hunger for long. The Heart Thrive bar really lacked in taste (very low fat), as well as protein content. RXBAR is the clear winner out of this comparison. It has a slightly higher sugar content, but is high in protein and fat, low in the overall number of ingredients, and tastes good.

Here is a new challenge: next time you go to the grocery store, read the nutrition labels of 3 protein bars using the method from this blog, and post on our Facebook page what you found! For more questions on eating a healthy diet and starting a healthier lifestyle, call Phoenix Men’s Health Center at 602-908-5422 or make an appointment with one of our providers.


  1. Slavin, Joanne L. “Position of the American Dietetic Association: health implications of dietary fiber.” Journal of the American Dietetic Association108.10 (2008): 1716-1731.


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