Why Low-Carb Protein Bars Are Not Good for the Keto Diet

It might sound crazy but it’s true, most low-carb protein bars are not keto friendly. I know what you’re thinking: the whole point of the ketogenic diet is to avoid carbohydrates, this guy does not know what he’s talking about. Let me explain.

Keto friendly protein bar

This low carb protein bar is a good example of one that’s keto-friendly.

The problem with simply focusing on net carbohydrate count is that it does not take into Account the complete macronutrient profile of foods. And a case of protein bars, most products that bill themselves as being low in carbohydrates are also very low in fat, and that is not good for keto at all! If you don’t eat enough fat, you’re not going to stay for, and you will definitely fail to stay in ketosis. That’s right: most advertised keto friendly protein bars are not actually good for you.

How Much Healthy Fat Should a Keto Bar Have?

For a protein bar to be truly keto friendly, the calories should be at least 50% fat, and potentially up to 60 or even 70%. Consuming lots of fat is the key to making the ketogenic diet work. It might seem counterintuitive but more fat in your diet will actually help you lose weight! You should look for having a minimum of 150 fat calories in your bar.

Most Low-Carb Protein Bars Are Laden with Preservatives

The problem with so-called low-carb protein bars is not that they have low carbohydrate counts, of course. The problem is that they are not balanced in their nutritional profiles. Generally, they are heavily marketed to people who are interested in a low-carb diet, which is different from the keto diet. They tend to be cheap and manufactured with very low-quality ingredients, typically including lots of preservatives in order to make them shelf stable. Preservatives and other chemicals are known to be bad for your health. Why take the chance? For example, One Bar and Pure Protein Bars have a scarily large number of preservatives, including known carcinogens.

Finding Keto-Friendly Protein Bars at Costco and Walmart

If you regularly shop at Costco or Walmart, you have wondered if there are keto friendly bars available there. Thing is, while there are low-carb bars, most of them are not keto friendly for the aforementioned reasons above. Loaded with preservatives, low in fat, and lower in healthy fats. Add a glance, the Kirkland brand might look like a good option but I assure you are better off with something else. In the case of Walmart, you can find some low-carb bars that might be OK for the keto diet, but I would still recommend healthier choices.

Quest Bars Seem Cheap, but They’re Not

Yes, protein bars like those made by Quest Nutrition might seem like a bargain when they’re $20 a box or less. Thing is, they don’t actually save you money calorie for calorie because they are so low on fat. Rather than look at simply the cost of the bar, you should look at the cost per calorie, assuming Valeries are healthy, of course. For example, quest bars are only about 150 cal, meaning that You pay about two cents per calorie. As another example, Miracle Bars are 300 super healthy calories, and about 50% of them are fat calories. They cost about $2.50 a bar, meaning that you pay only about one and a half cents per calorie.

How Many Net Carbohydrates Does a Low-Carb Protein Bar Have?

One of the many problems with protein bars that advertise themselves as having low net carb counts is that they are made with sugar alcohols, which are not actually as low in carbohydrates as manufacturers claim them to be. Sucralose, for example, is advertised as containing zero net carbs. However, research has shown that about 50% of the carbs are actually absorbed by your body. That means that when looking at net carb counts on the nutrition labels you should add back in about half of what the nutrition label says has not been accounted for. The same thing goes for soluble corn fiber, especially in Quest bars, which are not actually healthy at all.

Conclusion: Select a Keto Bar That Is High in Healthy Fats, Protein and Calories

The good news is that there are plenty of keto protein bars on the market that are actually good for you, you just have to avoid the brands that market themselves strictly as being low carb. Instead, look for brands that market themselves simply as being keto bars. Then, look at the nutrition label and make sure that at least 50% of the calories are from healthy fats. They should also come from healthy fats, such as coconut oil, MCT oil, and grass-fed ghee because it is loaded with omega-3 fats. Don’t be afraid of calories: a good keto bar could easily have 250 300 cal.