Best Low Calorie Protein Bars for Healthy Snacking in 2024

Fuel your fitness with these best lean protein-packed foods. Our list features filling choices to support muscle growth without excess calories so you can meet your body composition goals.

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Protein is essential for the body to thrive, repair, recover, and grow. They are made from amino acids, considered the building blocks for muscles, bones, enzymes, and hormones. Therefore, protein is essential for the body to work and function well; thus, you need adequate amounts daily.

“Protein plays a functional or structural role in all our cells,” explains Tom Clifford, a sports nutritionist and lecturer in physiology and nutrition at Loughborough University. “It’s principally involved in growth and repair, but it provides us with energy, too.”

Getting your proteins from natural food sources is the ideal way of consuming proteins.
However, in cases where you cannot keep up with your daily protein intake, you can substitute with low-calorie protein bars. Today’s article will focus on the best low-calorie protein bars and all you need to know about them.

Best Low Calorie Protein Bars

Best Low Calorie Protein Bar Overall:
Onnit Protein Bites

Best Keto-Friendly Low Calorie Protein Bar:
Genius Gourmet Gluten Free Keto

Best-Tasting Vegan Low Calorie Protein Bar:
Nugo Slim Dark Chocolate

Best Organic Low-Calorie Protein Bar:
Promix Nutrition Vegan Protein Puff

Best Crunchy Low-Calorie Protein Bar:
Power Crunch PRO

Our Top Picks

#1 Onnit Protein Bites

Key features

  • Sweetness: 5g of sugar per serving
  • Diet Compatibility: Specific dietary needs considered
  • Serving Size: 32g
  • Flavors: Chocolate Coconut Cashew, Chocolate Peanut Butter, and Chocolate Cookie Dough
  • Fiber: High
  • Protein: Up to 9g per serving
  • Price per Serving: $39.95

What we love:

  • Crafted from the milk of grass-fed cows, ensuring quality and purity.
  • Each bite is enriched with nutrients from over 60 plant sources.
  • Enrobed in decadent dark chocolate for a rich taste experience.
  • Delivers 7g of protein per serving to support muscle health.
  • High in dietary fiber to promote digestive wellness.
  • Offers an indulgent flavor that resonates with health-conscious chocolate aficionados.

What to consider:

  • May contain allergens due to the variety of plant ingredients.
  • The price point could be a consideration for budget-conscious consumers.

Why we choose Onnit Protein Bites:

We selected ONNIT Protein Bites for their innovative approach to snacking that doesn’t skimp on flavor or nutritional value. They’ve upped the nutrition game by packing each bite with high-quality whey protein and a symphony of plant-based ingredients, proving that health and indulgence can go hand-in-hand.


ONNIT Protein Bites are a game-changer for those seeking a protein-rich snack without sacrificing flavor. These bites are perfect for anyone, from the gym enthusiast to the casual snacker, providing a healthier alternative to candy bars with the added benefits of fiber and protein.

By using ingredients from a diverse selection of plants, ONNIT has created a snack that not only satisfies taste buds but also supports a well-rounded diet. Furthermore, the latest formulation has been optimized for even more protein and fiber, ensuring that your snack works as hard as you do—without the guilt.

#2 Genius Gourmet Gluten Free Keto

Key features

  • Convenient:Single-pack bars for easy transport
  • Diet Compatibility: Keto-focused nutrition profile
  • Serving Size: 26.16 oz per box
  • Flavors: Chocolate Peanut Butter
  • Fiber: Up to 3g
  • Protein: 10g per serving

What we love:

    • Just 1g of sugar and 2 net carbs per bar.
    • A boost of keto-friendly energy from MCTs and 10g of protein.
    • Versatile for keto snacking or as a quick breakfast option.
    • Offers a flavorful alternative to traditional high-carb snacks.
    • Convenient for on-the-go nourishment without taste compromise.

What to consider:

  • May not be suitable for non-keto dieters due to a specific macronutrient profile.
  • Limited flavor variety compared to some other brands.

Why we choose Genius Gourmet Gluten Free Keto:

We took notice of Genius Gourmet Keto Protein Bars for their commitment to keto principles without losing sight of taste and convenience. They strike a fine balance, offering a snacking option that fits seamlessly into the ketogenic lifestyle, supporting sustained energy and satiety.


For the keto devotee, Genius Gourmet Keto Protein Bars stand out as a staple to keep your diet on track. They’re crafted to not only align with strict keto guidelines but also to deliver a taste that satisfies cravings without typical snack guilt. The incorporation of quality MCTs and protein helps fuel workouts, recoveries, or even just a day at the office, ensuring that dietary goals aren’t just met—they’re enjoyed.

Plus, with only 1g of sugar and 2 net carbs per bar, these protein bars offer a tasty and convenient way to stay in ketosis. So why choose between convenience, taste, and health? With Genius Gourmet Keto Protein Bars, you don’t have to compromise on any. Start snacking smarter today!

#3 Nugo Slim Dark Chocolate

Key features

  • Price: $23.81
  • Protein: 16g per bar
  • Fiber: 6g per serving
  • Flavors: Crunchy Peanut Butter with Dark Chocolate and many more
  • Serving Size: 19.08 oz total per package
  • Diet Compatibility: Targeted for Keto, Gluten-Free, and Vegan diets
  • Unique Selling Points: Certified low glycemic and high fiber for curated dietary needs

What we love:

  • Real Dark Chocolate with low sugar.
  • High protein (16-18g/bar) for weight management.
  • Low glycemic index confirmed by lab tests.
  • Certified Gluten-Free and Vegan.
  • Substantial fiber (6-7g/bar) aiding digestion.

What to consider:

  • Low carb content may not align with non-keto diets.
  • Specific dietary attributes could limit the consumer base.

Why we choose Nugo Slim Dark Chocolate:

NuGo Slim’s unique blend of flavor and nutrition caught our attention as a snack that doesn’t compromise. Their commitment to health and indulgence, supported by rigorous testing, makes them a top contender in the snack bar market.


NuGo Slim Crunchy Peanut Butter Protein Bars offer a nourishing snack for those on-the-go moments, packing a high-protein punch with the added benefits of being certified gluten-free and vegan. The real Dark Chocolate coating provides an indulgent yet guilt-free experience, meeting the demands of a healthy lifestyle without sacrificing taste.

Their low glycemic index makes them an excellent choice for individuals who aim to control blood sugar levels and manage weight. NuGo Slim’s transparency in ingredients affirms its position as a trusted option for health-conscious consumers.

#4 Promix Nutrition Vegan Protein Puff

Key features:

  • Unique Selling Points: Whole, organic ingredients; allergen-friendly; non-GMO
  • Diet Compatibility: Gluten-Free, Vegan
  • Flavors: Cinnamon French Toast and more
  • Protein: 12g per bar

What we love:

  • 12g plant-based protein per bar for muscle recovery.
  • Whole ingredients like organic cocoa and coconut oil for superior taste.
  • Direct-to-farm sourcing guarantees ingredient transparency.
  • Free from common allergens; no peanuts, corn, or canola oils.
  • All-natural recipe: gluten-free, non-GMO, no artificial colors or flavors.
  • Formulated to curb cravings and maintain energy levels.
  • Perfect pre/post-training or on-the-go snack.

What to consider:

  • The cinnamon flavor might not cater to all palates.
  • Pricier than some conventional protein snack options.

Why we choose Promix Nutrition Vegan Protein Puff:

Promix Vegan Protein Puff Bars stands out for its commitment to clean, performance-driven nutrition. The absence of artificial additives and the use of whole, organic ingredients reflect the brand’s rigorous standards, meeting the expectations of athletes and health enthusiasts alike.


Promix Vegan Protein Puff Bars in the Cinnamon French Toast flavor merge health-centric values with the indulgence of dessert. These bars serve as a dependable source of plant-based protein, supporting muscle recovery and energy sustainability.

They are meticulously crafted with simple, wholesome ingredients, providing a snack that is both energizing and satisfying. With their strict exclusion of artificial colors, flavors, and common allergens, these bars are a safe and reliable option for individuals following strict dietary protocols, and looking for a clean supplement to complement their training and nutritional goals.

#5 Power Crunch PRO

Key features:

  • Unique Selling Points: High-DH hydrolyzed for quick absorption, nostalgic flavor profile, no sugar alcohols
  • Diet Compatibility: Not suitable for Gluten-Free, Vegan diets
  • Flavor: S’mores
  • Protein: 20g per bar

What we love:

  • Blend of nostalgia with the S’mores flavor.
  • High protein content at 20g per bar.
  • No sugar alcohols included.
  • High-DH hydrolysates for faster absorption.
  • Supports intense workouts and protein-rich diets.

What to consider:

  • Contains common allergens like wheat, milk, and soy.
  • May be high in calories for those monitoring their intake.

Why we choose Power Crunch PRO:

Power Crunch PRO bars are redefining snack time for health-conscious individuals and fitness enthusiasts. With their exceptional balance of high-quality protein and the timeless taste of S’mores, these bars provide both the nutritional value needed to support rigorous training regimes and a flavor profile that delights the senses.


This is not just a treat; it’s a strategic nutrient powerhouse cloaked in the classic American campfire favorite flavor. The Power Crunch PRO High DH Hydrolyzed Whey Protein Bar delivers on its promise of a substantial protein boost with every bite, tailored for those needing a convenient and delicious way to meet their daily protein targets.

Their reliance on High-DH hydrolysates means the protein is optimized for quick assimilation into the body, essential for muscle recovery and sustenance. The harmonious blend of chocolate, graham cracker, and marshmallow flavors not only satisfies cravings but does so without overwhelming your dietary playbook with sugar alcohol, or empty calories.

What You Should Know About Best Low-Calorie Protein Bars

As much as low-calorie protein bars are a quick way of staying on par with your protein intake, you should know that they aren’t meant to replace a wholesome, healthy meal. If by anything, they are meant to compliment them.

Stephanie Urrutia, director of performance nutrition at the Department of Intercollegiate Athletics at the University of California, Los Angeles, insists on the fact that they are to be consumed as snacks, not as meals: “It’s a snack for when you’re in a pinch,” she adds, “if you’re going up the side of the mountain, if you can’t grab a full meal.”

Another thing you should know about low-calorie protein bars is to read the ingredient list and product label to avoid consuming unhealthy stuff and added sugars. You should buy bars that have natural ingredients and those that you recognize. Marion Nestle is a nutrition, food studies, and public health professor at New York University. She emphasizes checking nutritional value on labels, saying, “If they’re largely nuts and fruit — that’s not bad,”

Therefore, as much as you’d like to have your favorite low-calorie protein bar everywhere you go, you must remember the abovementioned points. Always do your due diligence to avoid falling bait for the hype marketing around the internet of some fake low-quality bars.

Why You Need Low-Calorie Protein Bars?

You may ask yourself why you need protein bars and how they may transform your nutrition and health. Here are some of the reasons why you need them. Let’s have a look:

  • They are a convenient source of proteins. “We value protein so much that it’s the central thing on our plate,” said Janet Chrzan, an adjunct assistant professor of nutritional anthropology at the University of Pennsylvania.
  • Low-calorie protein bars are portable and can fit in your pockets to grab on the go. Therefore, you can reach out to them wherever you need them, and you don’t have to slack on your protein intake.
  • They are ideal for Improving nutrition. Some protein bars have more than one nutrient. They may have a hint of vitamins, minerals, and healthy fats, which add additional nutritional value.
  • The low-calorie protein bars may aid in weight and fat loss. According to a journal on obesity, increased protein intake in diets proved effective in supporting weight and fat loss because it lowers appetite and decreases fat mass.
  • They support the development of healthy muscles because they are rich in proteins and low in calories, which is the right recipe for building healthy muscles.
  • They are a healthy snack option compared to other fat and sugar-saturated snacks. The low-calorie protein bars are a sustainable snack that helps eliminate mindless snacking, often leading to weight gain.

Benefits of Low-Calorie Protein Bars

Low-calorie protein bars have various benefits, such as:

Increase protein intake

These low-calorie protein bars have a high protein content that is ideal for supplementing the gaps left by regular diets. Therefore, you always quickly meet your daily protein intake needs. These bars may suit individuals who can’t meet their nutritional goals daily through regular meals due to busy lifestyles.

Increase nutrient intake

Low-calorie protein bars also have additional nutrients such as vitamins, minerals, and superfoods. All these increase your daily nutritional intake, which means better health and immunity.

Increase fiber intake

Most protein bars have additional fibers that help keep you full longer and support digestion. Fibre also helps lower cholesterol levels, supporting heart health and lowering the risk of diabetes.

Stabilize energy levels

Low-calorie protein bars also play an essential role in stabilizing energy levels through balancing blood sugar levels. Hence. It also helps balance healthy weight in the long run.

Nutritionist Jenna Hope explains, “Protein can be beneficial for balancing blood sugar levels and limiting energy crashes, as it helps you to feel fuller for longer,” she says. “Increasing your protein consumption within the realms of your required energy intake will not cause weight gain.

How We Choose The Best Low-Calorie Protein Bars

Many protein bars claim to be the best in the market, boasting various health benefits, yet fail to deliver their promise. That is why we took time to identify the best low-calorie protein bars around. Here are our criteria for how we chose the best low-calorie protein bars:


When picking a protein bar, we looked at high protein content. We went for the ones with a minimum of 10 grams of protein per serving. We also checked the protein source for safety and in case of allergens such as nuts. Another thing we were keen on is the other ingredients present.

They should be adding nutritional value to the bar. Therefore, reading the ingredient list before making your purchase is vital to ensure that you’re getting value for your money and that the bar meets your nutritional needs. Ingredients like fiber and nuts are also a plus for low-calorie protein bars because they keep your stomach full and curb frequent snacking.


Price is something else to consider when buying the best low-calorie protein bars. Different brands offer different price ranges, and reviewing what each offers is essential. We went for the best-tasting low-calorie protein bars within your budget, which work perfectly for you. Also, expensive doesn’t mean quality; thus, due diligence is needed to achieve an option ideal for you and your pocket without overlooking the quality of the protein bar you’re getting.


The essence of taking low-calorie protein bars is to limit calorie intake. Therefore, buying a low-calorie protein bar that’s high in calories doesn’t make sense. We went through the product label and ensured low-calorie content. Aim for about 150 to 250 calories.

Sugar Content

Ensuring the protein bars have low sugar content is necessary because that would mean they have no unnecessary additional sweeteners or fillers. Sugar isn’t healthy; limiting it will favor your health and yourself. Also, high sugar content may lead to weight gain and diabetes. If you’re on specific diets or are diabetic, we advise you to keep off added sugars.

final-sec verdictConclusion

Low-calorie protein bars are great for snacking, adding nutrients, and even supporting weight loss. They can also be used alongside strength training to build muscles and increase bone mass. You have so much to gain from eating protein bars, and finding the best low-calorie protein bars is the first step in the right direction.

Our article has shed some light on what to look for and where to start when sourcing the best low-calorie protein bars. Checking for high-quality ingredients, calorie content, added sugars, and price is key to comparing and choosing the best low-calorie protein bars. Therefore, we hope you can cut through the marketing noise and gimmicks to find the best bar that meets your nutritional needs.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q. Are Low-Calorie Protein Bars Worth It?
A. Many individuals claim that low-calorie protein bars are worth it. They are suitable for mindful snacking and curb unnecessary cravings.

Q. What’s The Difference Between Protein Bars And Low-Calorie Protein Bars?
A. Protein bars are basic protein bars with high protein content, while low-calorie protein bars have a low-calorie content while maintaining a high protein content. Low-calorie protein bars suit individuals on a weight loss or low-calorie lifestyle.

Q. Who Should Eat Low-Calorie Protein Bars?
A. Anyone watching their weight or calories can benefit from eating low-calorie protein bars. They are also ideal for individuals on various diets, such as keto, diabetic, vegan, and organic.

Q. Where Can You Buy Low-Calorie Protein Bars?
A. You can buy your low-calorie protein bars from online sites such as Amazon or the official sites of various brands.

Q. How Many Calories Are In Low-Calorie Protein Bars?
A. Different low-calorie protein bars have different calorie content. However, an ideal bar should have around 150 calories, and you shouldn’t go for bars with more than 250 calories

Q. Do Low-Calorie Protein Bars Have Any Side Effects?
A. So far, there haven’t been adverse side effects associated with consuming low-calorie protein bars. However, bars with allergy-causing ingredients, such as nuts, can trigger allergic reactions. Thus, it’s very important to always read the ingredient list before consuming your low-calorie protein bar.

4 Sources

BodybuildingReviews avoids using tertiary references. We have strict sourcing guidelines and rely on peer-reviewed studies, academic researches from medical associations and institutions. To ensure the accuracy of articles in BodybuildingReviews, you can read more about the editorial process here.

  1. Clinical evidence and mechanisms of high-protein diet-induced weight loss. (2020, September 30). Journal of Obesity & Metabolic Syndrome.
  2. Effect of a high-protein diet versus standard-protein diet on weight loss and biomarkers of metabolic syndrome: A randomized clinical trial. (n.d.). PubMed Central (PMC).
  3. The effects of protein supplements on muscle mass, strength, and aerobic and anaerobic power in healthy adults: A systematic review. (n.d.). PubMed. Fiber. (2023, February 2). The Nutrition Source.
  4. Protein. (n.d.). Better Health Channel - Better Health Channel.

Marisa Moore, MBA, RDN, LD

Marisa is a nationally-recognized registered dietitian nutritionist and culinary nutrition expert.

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