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Why Protein Bars Don’t Make Good Meal Replacements

Why Protein Bars Don’t Make Good Meal Replacements

By Geoff Robison | In Nutrition Tips | on December 11, 2018

Why Protein Bars Don’t Make Good Meal Replacements


When you’re in a hurry, it’s tempting to grab a protein bar as an easy meal replacement. They’re convenient, they fit in your hand, and they’re (usually) pretty tasty. However, protein bars aren’t meant to replace full meals, and there are multiple reasons why you should put down the Cliff bar and go for a healthier alternative. Here are just a few of the main reasons protein bars don’t make good meal replacements.


Too Much Sugar


We mentioned above that protein bars are tasty. Unfortunately, that can be one of their biggest limitations. Many popular protein bars are packed full of sugar so they’re more appetizing to people. They may taste great, but if they’re filled with sugar, they aren’t healthy by anyone’s definition. If you do choose to eat protein bars, be sure to check the sugar content. Some have more sugar than a doughnut.


Not Enough Protein


Sure, it says “protein bar” on the package. But what does that really mean? Unfortunately, the word “protein” on the packaging does not guarantee that what’s inside is a good source of it. Many popular bars fall short and only contain a few grams of protein in them. If the bar doesn’t have a sufficient amount of protein in it, you aren’t going to be satisfied, and you’ll likely find yourself hungry again soon after. That means you’ll increase your chances of eating an unhealthy snack to quiet your hunger pains.


Lack of Good Nutrition


Not all protein bars are bad. In fact, some of them even contain “whole food” ingredients. However, they still fall short when compared to a complete meal, and not just when it comes to protein. Pure whole foods in their natural form are packed with vitamins and nutrients, and it’s been shown that they provide a better nutritional value than supplements. It’s common for protein bars to contain fillers that offer little to no nutritional benefits, so you end up inadvertently consuming empty calories.



While they’re okay in moderation, protein bars don’t make good meal replacements. They often shall short when it comes to protein content and nutrients, and whole foods are a much better meal option. If you need help with healthy eating, check out our nutrition tips here.

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