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When you are trying to stick to a healthy fitness regimen, there are a lot of factors to consider.
Besides exercise, the most important part of your regimen should be nutrition, and having the right nutritional plan in place will allow you to stay strong while you build the body you want.
In short, having a healthy diet is essential when you’re in training, as it allows you to lift, run, and exercise all you want…and a good dairy-free protein bar can help.
Thankfully, there are now plenty of vegan bars on the market. Many of these are full of protein and contain all of the other great, simple ingredients your body needs to stay strong and healthy.
However, there are also some out there that do not provide what you think they will. With this in mind, I’ve included a few tips on what to look for in a healthy protein bar and a few reviews to help you start your search.
If you think about it, being well and maintaining a healthy lifestyle has never been easier than it is right now. Eating healthily has even become more convenient, especially with the increased awareness surrounding the plant-based way of living, so there really is no excuse.
Other diets (such as paleo) are also well catered for these days too. So, no matter what your dietary needs are, you will find a decent protein bar that’ll work for you.
Why you need a vegan protein bar
When you don’t feed your body what it needs to keep going during a rigorous exercise program, you just won’t find the results that you want. That’s why it is important to look at everything you are eating and how well it will work for your body. For some, this will include protein bars. (1)
Lots of these bars use natural ingredients like fruit, seeds, nut butters, and many different protein powders, including some that are thankfully vegan-friendly. Long gone are the days when whey protein was your only option!
These redesigned bars are also a lot easier on your digestive system. Plus, they are just better for your body, especially in comparison to the bars that used a lot of synthetic ingredients in the past.
If you haven’t tried eating protein bars as a part of a weight-loss diet or as part of a regular exercise routine, they are definitely worth trying to see how they work for you and your fitness program.
Many bodybuilders and athletes use protein bars to boost their energy or as part of their overall diet plan, usually as a pre- or post-workout snack. However, utilizing the best vegan protein bars can also be an effective way to skip meals on occasion. (2)
Some are so filling they leave you feeling satisfied for several hours, so you can keep your total caloric intake down without that horrible feeling of going without.
The definition of a protein bar
So, what is a protein bar and how does it differ from a candy bar? Protein bars are smallish food bars that, unsurprisingly, contain high amounts of protein. You will find a multitude of varieties on the shelves, including different types and flavors, all of which will give you lots of options to fit in with your taste and diet.
For non-vegan bars, the protein added will generally come from milk or whey, whereas dairy-free protein bars will commonly use pea, brown rice, or soy protein. These proteins are largely added in powdered form, which allows manufacturers to pack in a whole lot of protein into one tiny little bar of goodness.
The idea behind the manufacturing of these snacks is simple – to produce a product that gives people a easy way to increase their protein intake. This is definitely a product of convenience for those that would prefer to grab a quick snack instead of making a protein-rich smoothie or cook something from scratch, but that’s okay.
After all, we all need a little help at times, right?
How good are vegan protein bars for you?
You may be wondering, are protein bars actually healthy?
Well, that largely depends on two things: the protein bar you choose and how frequently you eat them. Each brand’s nutritional value varies but, regardless of how good they seem, it’s still important to remember to eat protein bars in moderation. (3)
Obviously, you don’t want to completely replace all the food you are used to eating with them, so be sensible about your consumption. Eating one or two protein bars a day is fine, but remember they can never replace the nutritional value of a well-balanced meal over the long term.
While these bars are very high in protein, which can be helpful to the diet of bodybuilders, many do not include a lot of the other vitamins and nutrients found in whole foods.
Therefore, even the best vegan protein bars should only be used as a way to supplement your nutrient intake, and not as a main source of macro or micronutrients.
Daily protein intake
As with all your nutritional needs, it’s always important to make sure you’re getting enough protein in your diet, but do you know how much the right amount actually is? The official recommendation is 56 grams per day for a man and 46 grams per day for a woman. (4)
However, it’s important to remember these numbers can fluctuate dramatically depending on your activity level and what you want to achieve from your fitness program. Body builders, for example, will require far more protein than someone who is in training for a half-marathon.
The correct daily amount of protein is a question you’ll find hotly debated both online and off. Many people will have their own theory and a lot of misinformation has been released. There is one thing all the experts can agree on, though – the amount of protein you need depends on your exercise habits and your bodyweight.
If you are completely in the dark about who much you need, speak to someone who knows. A local nutritionist, physician, or personal trainer will all be able to give you advice, or you could even check out an online protein calculator to get a rough idea of your daily protein needs. (5)
Features of a good vegan protein bar
If you don’t feed your body what it needs to keep going during a rigorous exercise program, you just won’t find the results that you want. That’s why it’s important to look at everything you are eating and how well it will work for your body. This includes protein bars.
However, before we get on to the key components of a great dairy-free protein bar, there are a few things you can look for “at a glance” before you decide to delve further:
The ingredient list is obviously an important thing to check out. You want to make sure you are eating a high-quality protein bar instead of something packed with items you don’t want.
Make sure you check out the proteins and sweeteners in each bar and remember the fewer number of ingredients used, the better.
Is it a brand name you’ve heard of before? Make sure you read reviews and check out the manufacturer’s reputation to pick out a good brand if you aren’t familiar with it already.
Compare prices as you shop for protein bars. Your typical protein bar should run between $1 and $3 depending on the brand and the quality of the product.
Nutritionally, a dairy-free protein bar that’s less than $1 will generally not be worth a whole lot, so be prepared to spend a little more if you want the best results.
How to choose the right dairy-free protein bar
Protein bars are a great snack option since they’re inexpensive, packed with nutrition, portable, and taste great. They’re extremely popular with dieters, athletes, bodybuilders, and on-the-go people alike.
However, there are tons of protein bars on the market, and you may find it hard to choose the one that’s best for you. This is especially true when you’re looking for non-dairy protein bars or gluten-free vegan bars.
You will often find a good variety of protein bars in health food stores, gyms, or even in the local grocery store’s health food aisle, but the Internet probably provides you with greatest amount of choice. It also gives you an opportunity to check out what others think about each vegan bar too…just like you’re doing right now!
If you are unsure of where to start in your search for the best vegan protein bar, here are a few things to look for that’ll ensure you get the right one for you:
Make sure there’s enough protein…for you!
The general rule touted around is that each bar should have a minimum 20 grams of protein to make it an actual protein bar. Since protein is the name of the game, it’s obviously necessary for it to have increased protein content…but why 20 grams?
Twenty grams of protein is thought to give your muscles the burst of protein synthesis they need in order to grow stronger. Muscle protein synthesis increases with each dose up to twenty grams, but there isn’t a lot of improvement after that.
High protein levels are more satiating, but the cutoff seems to run around twenty grams.
However, there is also an argument which says that the correct amount of protein you need is actually based on more individual factors.
This makes a lot more sense than the one-size-fits-all approach, as we’re all different and have varying activity levels. Using a protein calculator will help you get a handle on your daily needs and allow you to eat accordingly.
Actually, not many protein bars actually fall into the 20 gram category anyway. The most important thing is to check the packaging and weigh up what you need against the nutritional guidelines stated.
Low carbs with enough fiber
Carbs are often made out to be a bit of a bogeyman, but they’re not necessarily bad for you. The problem is excess carbs.
Far too many of us simply don’t need the amount of carbohydrates we consume each day. This excess often results in weight gain and problems with resisting more carbs later on in the day (check out these tips to help stop unhealthy food cravings if this is something you struggle with).
Carbohydrates are quick to turn into fat, so monitoring the amount you eat should be part of your routine if you are looking to lose weight or significantly change your body shape.
That being said, carbs are also essential. They help with recovery and provide us with the fuel we need to exercise efficiently, so a balance needs to be struck and everyone’s needs are different.
For example, low-carb bars are perfect for dieters, but mid- to high-carbohydrate bars are ideal for athletes or active people who need a lot of energy for running, hiking, biking, and other high endurance activities.
Generally, a good rule of thumb to go by is finding a bar which contains less than 20 grams, providing it also has a minimum of 3 grams of fiber. Fiber, or lack of it, is probably one of the biggest health concerns we have as a nation. (6, 7)
Vegans who follow a whole food, plant-based diet will be well on their way to getting plenty of fiber in their diets, but this ratio is still worthy of your attention whenever you are shopping for a dairy-free protein bar.
Look out for sugar alcohols and artificial sweeteners
You’ll also see many of the vegan protein bars on the market have a large amount of sugar alcohols in them. These can cause gastrointestinal problems for a lot of people, so they’re definitely something that should be avoided wherever possible.
Look out for names such as isomalt, mannitol, xylitol, sorbitol, and hydrogenated starch hydrolysates.
Dairy-free protein bars may also have a lot of sugar and artificial sweeteners in them, making them more like candy than something designed to supplement a healthy lifestyle. Try and opt for a low-sugar bar whenever you can, ideally 8 grams or less.
Fat content is another important factor to consider, and a lot will depend upon when you eat your protein bars.
If you generally consume them directly after training, you’ll ideally want a low-fat option as high intakes of fat at this point isn’t considered to be a good idea.
For meal replacements or times when you haven’t been training, your protein bar can afford to have a higher rate of fat as this will help slow the rater in which the carbs in the bar are released into your bloodstream.
Naturally, you want a protein bar with good fats rather than bad, so look for ingredients like nut butters and coconut oil. Avoid trans fats and other synthetic ingredients at all costs.
When considering the best vegan protein bars, don’t confuse them with diet bars. There are some protein bars that are actually designed to give you more calories, so it’s important to know the difference if you are trying to watch your weight.
Think about it, if you’re eating a bar with 300 calories in it and you only have a daily limit of 1,400 calories, the chances are good that you won’t lose any weight on your diet. One little bar taking up over 20 per cent of your daily intake is not a good place to start when you want to shed a few pounds!
The calorie count on protein bars can vary a lot. Make sure you read the label so you know how many calories you are consuming. Again, the amounts you need will be different depending on your own individual goals.
The important thing is to be aware of what you are consuming and calculate the amount of calories you’ll need to recover sufficiently. That way, your body will be getting everything it needs, but no more.
The fewer ingredients, the better
The fewer ingredients you find, the better quality the bar generally is. If you have a ton of ingredients, say over twenty and you can’t pronounce most of them, that’s a huge red flag.
In this instance, you should definitely look for another type of vegan protein bar!
Finally, there’s taste. Now, I know, I know, you can’t possibly know what something tastes like until you try it, but it is still an important factor. After all, if a vegan protein bar ticks all of the nutritional boxes but remains inedible, it’s not a lot of good to anyone.
Taste is also largely subjective, so it may take a few tries of different bars before you find one that is flavored to your liking. However, it can help to check out a few reviews to see what others have thought of the taste before you buy, as some are frankly tasteless.
If a lot of people are saying the same thing, it’s probably worth looking elsewhere.
Other types of vegan bars
The difference may be subtle, but that’s often where the confusion lies. Here are a few of other vegan bars you may come across:
Meal replacement bars
When you don’t have time for a normal meal, meal replacement bars are perfectly fine to use as a substitute. These usually have no more than 300 calories with about 15 grams of protein and 30 grams of carbs as well as minerals and vitamins.
The important thing to remember with meal replacement bars is they should be used sparingly. If you want to lead a healthy lifestyle, chomping on these bars day in, day out, is not the way to go.
However, if you’ve rushed out of the door without a good vegan breakfast inside you, a meal replacement bar will tide you over nicely until you can grab some wholesome plant-based goodness at lunch.
Guess what these are designed to do? That’s right! Boost your energy. Who’d have thought?
Vegan energy bars will generally have a higher carb content, but they may also have stimulants such as caffeine in them too. If you need to use an energy bar, think about why you are using it.
Do you need an instant boost? Or, are you looking for a more prolonged lift throughout the day? High sugar bars will provide the former, while a more complex mix of carbohydrates will sustain your energy levels for longer.
If you are experiencing energy dips, it’s probably a good idea to take a look at your overall diet. I used to suffer terribly at around 3pm before I switched across to eating whole foods all the time. Remember, junk food is junk food, whether it’s vegan or not!
These really don’t need a lot of explaining.
Diet bars are simply bars which are specifically marketed as weight loss aids. How they claim to do so will vary wildly, so be careful if you choose to go down this route.
If you want my advice, it’s this: don’t bother. Simply cut out all processed foods wherever possible and stick to a whole food, plant-based diet.
If you’re true to yourself and don’t cheat, you’ll shed the pounds far faster than opting for products such as these.
Dairy-free protein bars Reviews
Now, knowing what to look for in dairy-free protein bars is one thing, but having the time to check through them all is quite another!
So, to help you out a little, I’ve put together a list of some of the most popular vegan protein bars out there. Some are good, some are great, but the right one for you will largely come down to personal preferences. Use this list as a guide and you won’t go far wrong.
Let’s kick off our list of vegan protein snacks right away, shall we?
Protein Puck Bar
If you are looking for a healthy snack to replace a missed breakfast or even lunch, the Protein Puck Bar is a great choice.
The Puck Bar also offers you a quick and easy bite to eat while you are out biking or on a hike deep in the woods.
This delicious “puck” is made with decent ingredients such as sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, almonds, flax seeds, gluten free oats, almond butter, coconut, and dark chocolate, but it does, unfortunately contain agave which isn’t going to suit everyone.
Another thing with this snack: Is it really a protein bar?
Well, for starters, it’s not a bar, but that’s probably being a little facetious. The real problem here is the low protein count, which is fine if that’s what you want, but the name is a little deceiving at only 6 grams per puck. Some of you will undoubtedly want a little more than that.
They are, however, fantastic as a meal replacement and very filling. In addition, they’re also a great choice for those that are allergic to gluten as well as being dairy-free, which will suit both vegans and lactose intolerant consumers alike.
The Protein Puck contains no GMO’s, sodium, trans fats, cholesterol, or saturated fats, and has a relatively short ingredients list. Certainly one to check out if you are looking to have something nearby when you really don’t have time for meal prep.
- One of these for breakfast is a great way to start the day, and they’re hearty enough to cover a missed lunch too
- Great taste and texture, delicious and filling
- All natural and paleo-friendly
- GMO free
- Not a great deal of protein, only 6 grams per puck
- A little on the expensive side
Amrita Paleo Chocolate Chip Coconut High Protein Mini Bars
When you want a filling and nutritional protein bar, the Paleo Chocolate Chip Coconut Mini Protein Bars from Amrita is a good one to reach for.
They have a great taste with a soft chewy texture, and the vegan chocolate chips add a surprising amount to their overall deliciousness.
The Paleo Protein Bar is made of high-quality ingredients that includes 4 grams of plant proteins in each tiny bar. There’s also no artificial sweeteners, GMO’s, or any of the top allergens, including peanuts, dairy, eggs, soy, and gluten.
These milk-free protein bars are a Kosher product and entirely uncooked, which will suit a lot of you raw vegans out there too.
Brown rice and pea crisps give this product reasonable levels of protein for their mini size. There’s also no real indication of the protein in the taste, which is a bonus for anyone who’s tastebuds are a little on the sensitive side.
The only real downside is that they are quite high in sugar (albeit natural) and not organic. All in all, though, these Amrita bars are an excellent choice for anyone looking to boost their protein intake healthily.
- Reasonable protein count (4g) for their size
- Natural ingredients, without unnecessary fillers
- Perfect for when you only want a tiny snack
- Free from a lot of known allergens (including soy, gluten, and, of course, dairy)
- Sugar content is a little high (but it is from natural sources)
BHU Foods Fit Protein Bar
The BHU Foods Fit Protein Bar is next up on our list, and in particular the peanut butter, chocolate chip (although there are six flavors in total, plus a great all-vegan variety pack if you want to give them all a try).
BHU is a small company founded by friends who wanted to create a better product without making a huge impact on the earth…and they’ve done a pretty good job. These bars are organic, and they pack a fair nutritional punch, too.
While they may not be the most protein rich bar you’ll find (11g), they do offer a well-rounded nutritional profile. With 200 calories, 14g total fat, and an amazing 10g of dietary fiber, BHU’s (pronounced BOO) bars will keep you satisfied longer than many other vegan protein bars out there.
Oh, and did I mention the sugar? There’s just 1 gram in there…how guilt-free do you want to be?
For some, however, the lack of sugar may result in the taste being a little hard to swallow. As with most things in life, though, what one persons loathes, another will love…so give BHU Foods a try!
- Organic ingredients
- Low sugar (1g), high fiber (10g)
- The taste of these bars splits people. Some love them, others, meh, not so much
- The surface of the bars may be a little too oily for some
Garden of Life Organic Sport Protein Bar
When you need an on-the-go protein bar, Garden of Life Sport Protein Bars gives you a convenient and quick 20g shot of protein, as well as a healthy dose of fiber (10g) as well.
These bars are an excellent choice for muscle repair after any workout. Each dairy-free protein bar is also soy free and gluten free, with the protein largely coming from organic peas that are grown in the USA. Organic sprouted brown rice protein and pea protein crisps are also used too.
The fiber is courtesy of the organic tapioca which, when combined with each bars substantial size, will help keep you full for longer. You’ll also be pleased to hear that the texture is good and there’s no discernible aftertaste with these bars, despite the heavy presence of pea protein.
These may be a little high in calories for you, but other than that, these non-GMO vegan protein bars are a great choice for anyone looking for protein packed snack made with clean ingredients.
Oh, and they come in four different flavors, too!
- High in both protein (20g) and fiber (10g)
- High-quality ingredients make this a great plant-based protein bar
- Free from soy and gluten
- No nasty aftertaste
- Non-GMO and organic
- Calories are on the high side
Vega Protein+ Snack Bar
When you have those moments where you are too busy to sit down, the Vega Protein+ Snack Bar not only gives you protein, but also greens, veggies, vitamins, and fiber too.
It’s little wonder these bars have become so popular in such a short space of time.
The problem is that while they offer a more rounded profile, they do fall short when compared to other vegan bars nutritional information. The Vega Protein+ gives you just 11 grams of protein and 4 grams of fiber, which is considerably less than some of the other dairy-free protein bars we have looked at here in our list.
That being said, the inclusion of leafy greens, sprouts, peas, grasses, and other vegetables will appeal to many, and each bar boosts your vitamin intake considerably as well, with 11 vitamins hitting at least 25 per cent of your daily intake.
Despite their name, it would probably be fairer to label these as nutrition bars rather than protein, but for those who aren’t in need of a massive amount of protein the Vega’s will definitely hit the spot.
- Great vitamin profile
- Nice to see the addition of leafy greens and other veggies
- Gluten-free and non-GMO
- Good flavor, with no “proteiny” aftertaste
- Although adequate, they’re not the highest in either protein (11g) or fiber (4g)
NuGo Dark Chocolate Vegan Protein Bar
For the dark chocolate fans out there, NuGo Dark is sure to catch your attention.
Made with real cacao, these bars are one the tastiest bars around, but they’re certainly not the best when it comes to protein.
At only 10g in each bar, NuGo Dark is amongst the lowest on our list, and the news doesn’t get a lot better when it comes to fiber either, with only a paltry 1g present. Add to that the fact that they have a lot of sugar in them and you begin to see why they’re so tasty!
If you’re looking for a better treat than a standard candy bar, these will definitely manage that.
However, for those of you who are looking to supplement a healthy lifestyle and exercise regime, you might want to look elsewhere. (They really are tasty, though!)
- Taste great
- Very smooth, and silky
- Non-GMO and gluten-free
- Uses real cacao
- Certified kosher
- Way too much sugar for a “protein” bar
- Next to no fiber, just 1g
- Only 10g of protein
CLIF BUILDER’S Vegan Protein Bar
For those that hit the gym every day, Clif Builder’s is a high protein bar that’ll help fuel your muscles without tasting nasty.
In fact, considering each bar packs in 20g of protein, you’ll probably be pleasantly surprised by how good they actually are.
Clif have been doing what they do since 1992, and you can tell that they have a number of years under the belt thanks to their loyal following. While this recipe has a good amount of carbs to keep you going, it does lack somewhat in fiber (only 2g).
There’s also quite a bit of sugar present, so you’ll need to take that into account depending on what you are looking for from your protein bar.
Another thing I’m not overly keen on is the presence of soy protein as the number one ingredient. That being said, these are non-GMO protein bars, so that should assuage some concern.
Clif have a great reputation, but I think you’d be wise to look into the product’s ingredient list and nutritional information before buying. If the profile suits you, these vegan bars are great, but they’re definitely not for everybody.
- High protein count (20g)
- Low glycemic index spreads the energy boost nicely
- 35% organic ingredients, and non-GMO
- Great for recovery
- Relatively inexpensive
- Contains soy
- High in sugar
- Not enough fiber
Raw Rev Glo Dairy-free Protein Bars
On paper, Raw Rev Glo Protein Bars tick all of the necessary boxes.
They’re certified vegan, kosher, gluten-free, and non-GMO, and each one contains pea protein, organic raw hemp protein, peanuts, brown rice protein, organic raw virgin coconut oil, organic raw flax seeds, and organic raw chia seeds.
They also offer a reasonable 15 grams of vegan protein and pack in a frankly astonishing 14 grams of fiber.
Furthermore, these bars are great for anyone looking to cut back on their sugar intake, as each one only contains a measly 2g. There are also no hydrogenated oils or trans-fats. Thumbs up!
The problem is that they don’t taste all that amazing. Obviously this is entirely subjective, so you should try them for yourself, but they wasn’t for me.
A huge shame considering their nutritional makeup is so incredibly attractive.
- Brilliant nutritional profile
- Great for a post workout or a healthy snack
- Non-GMO and gluten-free
- Ideal for those who eat raw
- Very low sugar count
- Not the tastiest bar in the world
- Texture is a little gritty
PROBAR BASE Plant Based Protein Bar
The Probar Base Protein Bar is up there with the big boys, packing in 20g of protein into each bar.
Unfortunately, the majority of this comes from soy, and there’s quite a bit of sodium (410mg) and sugar (17g) in there too.
The dietary fiber levels are decent at 4g, but you may well find that the sugar levels are simply to high – especially if you have been eating cleanly for a while.
With all that said, they are great at filling you up and giving your muscles the protein they need, particularly post workout.
Plenty of people do love these PROBAR BASE bars, and I also like the inclusion of both chia and flaxseeds in the recipe, but ideally I would like to see a lot less sugar and sodium.
- Perfect as occasional meal replacements
- Tastes great and fills you up
- Protein levels are right for either before your hit the gym or post-workout
- Wide range of flavors
- High in sodium and sugar
- Contains soy
- Packaging isn’t the best
Larabar Gluten Free Bar
Larabar believes in using only simple and real ingredients that are delightfully delicious.
While these are not exactly protein bars per se, they are extremely popular with vegans who want a minimal bar that fills a hole after a light workout.
The Larabar Gluten Free Bar is made from just four ingredients: peanuts, dates, sea salt, and chocolate chips, making this one of the most straightforward vegan bars on our lists.
Each one has 6g of protein (hence the light workout connection) and 3g of dietary fiber. The sugar count is high in these, though, so be aware of that if you are trying to control your weight.
Not only are the ingredients simple with a Larabar, their packaging fits with an environmental lifestyle too. The company has teamed up with TerraCycle, which means that their wrappers can be both recycled and upcycled, reducing the waste commonly associated with individual packaging.
Naturally, if you are performing strenuous workouts, or simply want a more nutritious bar with greater amounts of protein, these will not be for you.
However, if you want a quick meal replacement bar with very few ingredients, you can’t go far wrong with Larabar.
- Just four ingredients, can’t get any simpler than that
- Nice texture, great flavor
- Ideal for missed breakfasts and after light workouts
- Very affordable
- Fair trade, non-GMO, and gluten free
- Only 6g of protein (but, to be fair, they don’t market themselves as protein bars)
- Quite high in sugar
PureFit Gluten-Free Nutrition Bars
The original non-dairy, non-GMO, gluten free bars, PureFit Nutrition Bars are made specifically with fitness in mind.
Produced with high quality ingredients, the PureFit Bars are a healthy nutritional option that do well in the protein stakes, with each bar boasting 18g. The protein does come from soy, though, so some of you will naturally want to avoid these for that reason, but it is non-GMO, which is something.
However, when it comes to other allergens, PureFit does extremely well. These protein bars are not only dairy-free, they’re also free from gluten, sugar alcohol, trans fatty acids, artificial sweeteners, and any other undesirable ingredient you can think of.
Dietary fiber weighs in at 4g, but the sugars are quite high at 17g. Again, if you are looking for a vegan protein bar that will also help keep your weight down, these may not be the right ones for you.
Something I like a lot about these bars is how well they stand up to warmer temperatures. Many dairy-free protein bars either melt or release oil when things heat up, but these stay in good shape regardless of what the weather is doing.
- Good amount of protein in each bar (18g)
- Gluten-free and non-GMO all-natural ingredients
- They don’t melt in heat or get super hard in the cold
- Protein is derived from soy
- Sugar content is a little high
- Dietary fiber could be improved upon
GoMacro MacroBar, Organic Protein Bar
GoMacro MacroBars are amongst the most balanced dairy-free protein bars on our list, and they’re one that I like a lot.
Organically sourced and fair trade, GoMacro’s ingredient list is unfussy and well put together. Sure, they don’t have the really high protein count that some will be after, but they are a great all-rounder for the average gym goers session.
The protein comes from a blend of pea and sprouted brown rice and weighs in at 11g per bar.
Dietary fiber is well represented with a perfectly respectable 8g and while the sugars could be lower, they’re not as bad as many of GoMacro’s competitors at 14g. Total carbs are definitely on the high side, though, so take this into account before purchasing.
One great thing about the MacroBar is the fact that it comes in so many different flavours, I think there’s around 20 in total (and you can try 12 in one shot with their variety pack), so I defy you not to find one you like!
- Nice, uncomplicated, organic ingredients
- Unrivalled range of flavors
- Perfect for those with digestive problems
- Gives a stable release of energy rather than a jolt
- Work well either as a meal replacement or as a post-workout bite
- Calorie count won’t be to weight watchers liking
- Quite carb heavy too, brown rice syrup is the primary ingredient
- Not the cheapest
Papa Steve’s No Junk Raw Protein Bars
When it comes to finding a decent soy-free vegan protein bar with 16 grams of raw vegan protein, Papa Steve’s No Junk Raw Protein Bars are hard to beat.
As their name suggests, Papa Steve’s bars are made with only the finest ingredients that are, wherever possible, locally sourced, which is a good thing for a number of reasons.
First off, they taste a lot better than your average high protein bar.
Second, the ingredients used are pretty much all beneficial to your overall health, so you’re getting a little more than just a mere protein boost.
Third, you’re helping smaller, more artisan businesses thrive by keeping things local. All of which adds up to a pretty good deal.
Naturally, you can’t expect all this for nothing, so you will probably find that you’ll pay a little more for Papa Steve’s No Junk than you would other dairy-free protein bars, but you do get what you pay for.
Other than price, my only concern is the fact that these are a little on the high side when it comes to calories (300) and fat (17g), but they do counter that with a wonderful 16g of fiber and a tiny amount of sodium (5mg). All in all, I really like Papa Steve’s!
- Great raw bars that, like the name says, do not contain any junk
- Very filling bar with a high amount of protein (16g) and fiber (16g)
- Taste natural and clean and you feel good after eating one
- Gluten free, non-GMO, and free from soy
- Locally sourced ingredients used wherever possible
- Quite expensive
- High calorie (300) and fat (17g) content
- Pretty short lifespan, but only because they’re raw and real. You can freeze them to extend their shelf life if you wish
Amrita Paleo Sunflower Butter and Jelly High Protein Mini Bars
If you are not a chocolate fan, this could be the vegan protein bar for you.
The sweet taste of fruit in the Paleo Sunflower Butter and Jelly High Protein Mini Bars from Amrita combined with the seed butter makes these mini bars perfect for when you don’t want a whole bar, and they also pack in a respectable (for their size) 4g of protein too.
Free from rubbish fillers and artificial preservatives, colors, and sweeteners, Amrita’s vegan bars are a reliable source of protein for anyone who wants to keep animal products out of their lives.
Unlike many other dairy-free protein bars, these little beauties are pretty darn tasty, but they are bit high in sugar, unfortunately, thanks largely to date paste being the primary ingredient.
Other than that, these mini bars are great and they’re certainly worth your consideration if you’re looking for a small protein bite that fits with your vegan lifestyle.
- High-quality ingredients
- Small, bite-sized bars which are ideal for when you really don’t want anything too filling
- Suitable for raw vegans
- Decent enough protein content for their size
- No soy, gluten, or dairy (naturally!)
- Quite high in sugar, but it does come from natural ingredients
Organic Food Bar
With 22 grams in each bar, the Organic Food Bar is hard to beat in terms of protein.
These cold-pressed bars are ideal for anyone who is looking to pack in the protein without resorting to animal products and compromising their ethics.
The protein comes from good sources, too: Organic brown rice and almond butter. The other ingredients that make up these bars are pretty decent as well, but I know some of you won’t be overly pleased to see agave nectar included.
Personally, I agree, and would have preferred it if they’d done without or switched it up for something else. After all, these bars do have a fair amount of sugar (18g) in them.
The dietary fiber count is good at 8g, and the fat content is pretty low at 9g, as is the sodium at only 5mg. They are, however, one of the highest calorie dairy-free bars on our list with a whopping 330 calories in each. Anyone who is watching their weight will want to take note of that, I’m sure!
As far as taste is concerned, these are pretty good, but that will largely be down to the sugar. One thing people may not like is the texture, which is a little on the gritty side.
- Great choice if you are concentrating on protein
- Organic ingredients and no soy
- Works well as a meal replacement
- Ideal for raw vegans
- Good fiber count (8g)
- Contains agave nectar, which won’t appeal to everyone
- Sugar content is quite high (see above!)
- A little bit gritty texture-wise
- Not the cheapest
Which Dairy-Free Protein Bar is best?
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Well, there’s a tough question!
As I’ve already mentioned, things such as food are highly subjective, so I can only offer an opinion. If pushed, I’d have to opt for Papa Steve’s No Junk Raw Protein Bars as they just tick all of the boxes for me.
Each one of these fab dairy-free bars has 16g of protein, 16g of fiber, and very little sodium (5mg). Sure, they’re probably not the best vegan weight-loss bar around, but that’s neither what they are marketed as nor what we are looking at here today.
The only downside with these bars really is the price. So, if you are looking for a cheaper vegan protein bar, I’d suggest trying out the Garden of Life Organic Sport instead. Like Papa Steve’s, these bars do well in both protein and fiber, with 20g and 10g respectively.
Made with high-quality ingredients, the Garden of Life vegan bars are tasty and nutritious. However, they are a little high in calories (290), so you might not want to use these if you are trying to keep your weight down.
Phew. What a monster post! I’m in need of some sustenance…hand me those protein bars, would ya?
About The Author:
Lisa Williams is a committed vegan, passionate animal welfare advocate, and keen follower of too many v-friendly food blogs to mention. She started happyhappyvegan.com back in 2016 because she felt there was a need for more straightforward information on plant-based living.
Back then, too many sites seem to either concentrate solely on recipes or be too intimidating or inaccessible for the v-curious, and she wanted to change that. The landscape is certainly a whole lot different now!
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- Mayo Clinic Staff | Nutrition rules that will fuel your workout | https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/nutrition-and-healthy-eating/in-depth/nutrition-rules-that-will-fuel-your-workout/art-20390073
- Carly Schuna | Do People Eat Protein Bars As Meal Replacements? | https://healthyeating.sfgate.com/eating-protein-bar-after-workout-lose-weight-11765.html
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- Laura Dolson | How to Calculate Your Protein Needs | https://www.verywellfit.com/how-to-calculate-how-much-protein-you-need-3955709
- Henry Ford Health System Staff | How To Choose A Truly Healthy Protein Bar | https://www.henryford.com/blog/2018/09/how-to-choose-a-truly-healthy-protein-bar
- Harvard Health Publishing | Should I be eating more fiber? | https://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/should-i-be-eating-more-fiber-2019022115927