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I have what some might consider a pretty sick obsession with protein bars. I always have a bar in my bag for a pre- or post-workout snack or just for on-the-go munchies. And as a sweet perk of my job as a food and nutrition writer, I am fortunate to get sent plenty of protein bars to test out.
What I’ve noticed lately is that the bars I tend to gravitate towards most are actually keto-friendly. I don’t follow a keto diet, but I do tend to eat more low-carb during the week (considering that my weekends are filled with bread, booze, and more bread). Even still, I’ve found that keto protein bars, in particular, have an amazing smooth taste and texture, and since they’re generally higher in fat, while being lower in carbs, they feel more filling and silky than other granola or high-carb protein bars on the market do.
Of all the bars I’ve been lucky enough to try, I’ve found a few favorites. They all offer something different, which I love, and provide great nutrition and flavor.
The Perfect Keto bars have wholesome ingredients, a good amount of fat to maintain ketosis for those who follow the lifestyle (or to boost satiety and provide silkiness in the bar for someone like me!), as well as protein to hold you over between meals. And there are only 2-3 grams of net carbs per bar. They’re also free of dairy, if that matters to you!
All the flavors are delicious, but my favorites are Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough (the chocolate chips inside are dark and rich, and they practically melt in your mouth with each bite), Almond Butter Brownie, and Lemon Poppyseed — and I am NOT a lemon person, so this actually says a lot! It’s like a lemon poppyseed muffin, so think of it as a great portable breakfast or quick snack to curb carb-y cravings in the day.
Sometimes I also spread their nut butter on one — they come in Almond Butter & Jelly and Chocolate Hazelnut — two flavors that are super unique for nut butters on the market and have nuts, MCTs, and fats to fill you up but zero artificial sweeteners or added sugars. The best part is that they are resealable, so you don’t need to eat the whole nut butter packet at once. (Which I usually don’t!)
Buy Now: Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Perfect Keto Bars, $40 for 12 bars
Next up, Quest: I love how many flavors there are in these bars (and cookies), and there is a whopping 20+ grams of protein per bar, so it’s great for post-workout recovery. I love the double layered ones, like the Peanut Butter Brownie Smash, because that double layer of flavor makes it feel even more decadent while still being low in sugar and carbs. (There are only 2 grams of sugar and 5 grams of net carbs in that one.)
Plus, they use erythritol as a sweetener, which I like because it doesn’t cause GI discomfort (at least for me), and it doesn’t spike blood sugar levels. They’re also gluten-free, which is nice for those with an intolerance. My tip? Heat them up! It’s a great sweet for a dessert that is still good for you — and add a scoop of light ice cream on top, too!
These bars are made from grass-fed whey protein, and they’re high in omega 3’s. There are around 15 grams of protein per bar. Plus, there are adaptogens inside (like ashwagandha and maca root), which is unlike other protein bars I’ve found.
These are silky and taste like mousse. I love putting them in the fridge or freezer, and then eating them as a chilled snack or dessert with some whipped cream or ice cream. The flavors just melt in your mouth and still have excellent protein and fats.
I love the Peanut Butter Chocolatey, Peanut Butter & Jelly, and the Coconut Chocolate Chip. Each one has about 9-11 grams of protein, which is a nice amount for a snack (it is less than Quest and Atlas). This one has the smoothest, meltiest texture. It’s basically dessert. That’s why freezing them can be smart, too!
Eager to try all of them? Well, you SHOULD. Trust me, you will not be disappointed!