Nutritionists Agree—This Popular Protein Bar Is Terrible for You

Nutrition bars are perfectly suited to a busy, “always on” lifestyle but, unfortunately, not a healthy one. Made with cheap, low-quality ingredients, many household nutrition bars are actually packed with added sugar and often have more unhealthy additives than healthy ingredients. According to Ariane Hundt, a clinical nutritionist and founder of Brooklyn Bridge Boot Camp, “nutrition” bars can actually cause digestive issues and block absorption of important nutrients. In an effort to set the record straight once and for all, Hundt tested out over 40 different nutrition bars, publishing her verdict on Well+Good.

Topping the list of the best bars is the Health Warrior Dark Chocolate Coconut Sea Salt Protein Bar ($20 for 12). Packed with superfood chia seeds, this nutrition bar actually delivers on its promise of being nutritious, using all clean, whole food, plant-based ingredients. With 10 grams of protein and 5 grams of fiber, this bar is “great for people who want something that’s crunchy and slightly sweet for a snack,” says Hundt. “It’s delicious and well balanced in terms of the ingredients.”

On the opposite side of the spectrum, we have the Luna Lemon Zest Bar. Marketed as a “bar for women,” the Luna bar actually boasts more sugar than protein and fiber combined and is made with cheap, unnatural ingredients. Well+Good points out that the very first ingredient listed, soy rice crips, is basically an ultra-processed soy protein isolate, most likely “GMO soy drenched in pesticides.” Ew.

Head over to Well+Good for the top five best and worst bars, and share your reaction in the comments below.