Are Protein Bars Good For You?


     Protein bars are commonly used as an easy snack, meal replacement or post workout snack. They are sold virtually everywhere—the gym, gas station and health foods stores. And since they have the word ‘protein’ in them, they have to be healthy, right?? Sure, some protein bars are healthier than others. However, some protein bars are simply a candy bar in disguise! Let’s dig a little deeper to find out what you’re really eating! For this article, we will compare the Cliff Protein Bar (White Chocolate Macadamia Nut) to a Snicker’s Bar.
Cliff Protein Bar vs. Snickers Bar
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– Fiber
One benefit of the Cliff bar is that it has a decent amount of fiber. It contains 4 grams of Fiber, while the Snicker’s bar only contains 1 g of Fiber. Fiber helps aide the digestive processes and makes you feel fuller for longer.
– Total Fat
The Cliff Bar has more total fat; however, it contains 4 g of monounsaturated fat and 1 g of polyunsaturated fat. These fats are considered ‘good fats’ and are actually healthy! The label on the Snicker’s bar does not indicate the polyunsaturated fat or monounsaturated fat content.
The Cliff bar does contain less sugar than the Snickers, however the 21 g sugar of sugar in this bar is still more than is ideal for consumption! The World Health Organization recommends normal adults limit sugar consumption to 25g per day. 21 grams of sugar equals out to about 5 ¼ teaspoons of table sugar!
 5.25 g sugar
Total Carbohydrates
The Cliff Bar packs in a total of 42 grams carbohydrates. The body needs carbs to function, however if this Cliff Bar is consumed with other high carb options, it is going to be too much. The best sources of carbohydrates come from whole grains, fruits & vegetables—these take longer to digest and for the body to process.
– Calories
I always recommend foods that are ‘calorie dense’. This means that you get the most nutrients, vitamins and minerals possible for calories consumed. Sugar appears to be contributing to the high calorie content of this bar. Also, if consuming this as a post workout snack, the calorie content is rather high for only 9 grams of protein.
– Saturated Fat
The Cliff Bar has 2 g of Saturated Fat, while the Snickers has over double that amount! The Cliff Bar has less fat than the Snickers. However, for someone on a very restrictive saturated fat diet, this would equate to about 15% of daily needs.
The Cliff Bar is the winner here! It has 9 g of protein while a Snicker’s bar has almost 4 grams of protein. The ideal amount of protein post work out or per meal is around 20-25 g (depending on your weight and activity level). The Cliff Bar provides a low protein content if used as an actual meal replacement or post workout supplement.
calories from protein
     You know the facts, now the decision is up to you! The Cliff Bar has more Fiber than the Snickers; however it has a relatively high sugar and calorie content. Also, the protein content appears to be rather low for the amount of calories consumed.
     I would encourage you to continue to read the nutrition facts of any protein bar or granola bar before consuming. Often, these are simply candy bars in disguise. This is evident with the Cliff Bar—it has several similarities to a candy bar, including high sugar and calorie content. This bar is a better option than some foods, such as a slice of pizza, but there are definitely some healthier options out there! As you continue to research protein bars, you will find that some do have an acceptable nutritional profile; however there are many on the market similar to this Cliff Bar!


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