the best diabetic protein bars to fight diabetes

The Best Protein Bars For Diabetics: Bars That Help Battle Diabetes

Managing diabetes is no small feat. It involves a careful balance of diet, exercise, and medication. Protein bars can be a convenient option for diabetics, but not all bars are created equal. In this article, we'll look into what makes the best protein bars for diabetics and how to make an informed choice.

Why Protein Bars are Beneficial for Diabetics

When it comes to managing diabetes, every food choice counts. Protein bars offer a convenient and portable solution for those moments when you need a quick source of energy. But why choose a protein bar over other snack options? 

  1. High Protein Content: They contain high amounts of protein, which helps regulate blood sugar levels and keeps you feeling fuller longer. The protein helps slow digestion, preventing spikes in blood glucose.

  2. Low Glycemic Index: Many brands formulate their bars with ingredients that have a low glycemic index. This means they do not cause rapid rises in blood sugar.

  3. Nutrient-Dense: Unlike typical snacks that are high in sugar and low in nutrients, a well-formulated protein bar can offer a balanced nutrient profile, including essential vitamins and minerals.

  4. Portability & Convenience: Protein bars are easy to carry around, making them a convenient option for those who are always on the move. No need for a blender or a shaker, unlike meal replacement shakes.

  5. Sustained Energy: The protein and fiber provide sustained energy rather than a quick sugar crash later. This steady energy is important for diabetes management.

Research shows that consuming high protein, high fiber snack bars can help improve post-meal glucose and insulin responses in people with type 2 diabetes compared to high fat snack bars.

protein bars to help with diabetes

Read More: The Best Meal Replacement Shakes for Diabetics

Choosing the Best Protein Bars for Diabetics

When choosing a protein bar for diabetes management, it’s essential to evaluate the nutritional content rather than just the flavor.

Ingredients to Look For

diabetic protein bar ingredients to look for

Keep these key nutrients in mind:

  • Protein: Aim for at least 10g of protein, which aids muscle repair and blood sugar regulation.
  • Carbohydrates: Seek low-carb protein bars with less than 20g total carbs and favor bars with complex, slowly-digested carbs over simple sugars.
  • Fiber: Look for 4-5g fiber or more per bar to slow sugar absorption.
  • Fat: Prefer healthy fats like omega-3s and avoid unhealthy trans fats.
  • Calories: For a meal replacement, choose 200-300 calories. For a snack, stick to 100-200 calories.
  • Sugars: Minimize bars with added sugars or artificial sweeteners that can spike blood sugar.
  • Vitamins/Minerals: Added vitamins like calcium and vitamin D are a bonus but not required.

By evaluating the nutrition facts, diabetics can select a healthy snack that fits into their blood sugar management plan. The right nutrients make bars a tool for diabetes control.

Ingredients to Avoid

ingredients to avoid in diabetic protein bars

While protein bars can be convenient, some contain ingredients unsuitable for diabetics:

  • High fructose corn syrup - causes dangerous blood sugar spikes
  • Trans fats - increase bad cholesterol
  • Soy protein isolate - may interfere with hormone levels
  • Sugar alcohols - can affect blood sugar control
  • Preservatives like BHT/BHA - not ideal for chronic health conditions
  • Artificial colors and flavors - no nutritional value and may cause allergies

It’s important to watch for these potentially problematic ingredients in order to choose the best protein bars for diabetes needs.

Top Protein Bar Brands for Diabetics

With so many protein bars on the market, it can be tricky finding ones suited for diabetes nutritional needs. Here are some of the top brands manufacturing diabetes-friendly protein bars:

Brand Brief Description Popular Bars
BSN Protein Crisp Protein-packed bars with a light, crispy texture. Low in sugar with 20g protein per bar. Chocolate Crunch, Salted Toffee Pretzel
Bariatrix Proti-VLC Protein bars designed for bariatric patients, high protein and low carb. Fudge Graham, Peanut Butter
Healthsmart ChocoRite Low sugar protein bars with chocolate coating. Triple Layer, Cookie Dough
Quest Nutrition Quest protein bars and shakes are focused on high protein and low sugar/net carbs. Cookies & Cream, Cookie Dough
AmBari Nutrition Meal replacement bars designed for bariatric patients. Caramel Crunch, Cinnamon Crisp
Kind Bars Kind protein bars are made with nuts, spices, and fruits. Emphasizes wholesome ingredients. Dark Chocolate Nut, Peanut Butter Dark Chocolate
RXBAR Simple ingredient RX protein bars with no more than 8 ingredients per bar. Chocolate Sea Salt, Peanut Butter
Orgain Organic Organic nutrition bars made with plant-based proteins and real foods. Chocolate Peanut Butter, Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough
One Protein bars with 1g sugar and 20g snack bars for diabetes. Peanut Butter Chocolate, Birthday Cake
Proti-Diet Protein bars and shakes for weight loss, low sugar and high protein. Peanut Surprise, Chocolate Wafer

By choosing established brands focused on nutrition, diabetics can feel confident they are choosing quality bars that are high in protein. Be sure to always check labels for sugar content and other diabetic diet needs when selecting any protein bar.

The Best Protein Bars for Diabetes Management

The best protein bars for people with diabetes are bars that are typically about 140-200 Calories per bar and have 10-15g protein. We've compiled this list from our 10+ years of product sales and reviews including online and in-clinic sales. We pulled data from Bariatric Food Source as well and have also considered Verified Product Reviews when putting together this list of the best diabetic protein bars.

  1. Caramel Crunch Bars

    caramel crunch protein bar

    For individuals managing diabetes, choosing the right snack can be a complex decision. The Caramel Crunch Protein Bar offers a balanced option. Composed of crispy nuggets and a caramel filling enveloped in a chocolate coating, the bar provides a satisfying taste experience. With 15g of protein and 170 calories, it's designed to help maintain stable blood sugar levels. Unlike many other bars, this one is gluten-free, making it suitable for those with additional dietary restrictions. It's also listed on AmBari's "Best Bariatric Protein Bars" list, indicating its suitability for bariatric patients. Reviews from both diabetic and bariatric patients highlight its enjoyable taste and its utility as a convenient source of protein when on the move.

  2. Vanilla Shortbread Bars

    vanilla shortbread meal replacement bars

    If you're diabetic and craving a sweet treat, the Vanilla Shortbread Protein Bar is your go-to option. It offers a delightful taste without the sugar spike, thanks to its 5g of fiber and 15g of protein. It's more than just a snack; it's a nutrient-packed meal replacement. Packed with essential vitamins and minerals, these bars are designed to keep you satiated and energized, supporting your unique diabetic nutritional needs. They've been praised by fellow bariatric and diabetic patients for their delicious taste, satisfying texture, and convenience as a portable protein source.

  3. Divine Caramel Sea Salt Bars

    Bariatric Divine Caramel Sea Salt Protein Bar

    For those managing diabetes, the Divine Caramel Sea Salt Protein Bar serves as a balanced and thoughtful choice. This bar is unique in its composition, featuring a crunchy rice crispy texture and a blend of smooth caramel and sea salt flavors. With 15g of protein, 5g of fiber, and a calorie count of just 150, it's formulated to support stable blood sugar levels. The bar is gluten-free, adding another layer of dietary consideration. It has earned a spot on AmBari's "Best Bariatric Protein Bars" list, which speaks to its effectiveness and quality. Reviews indicate that it's not just a nutritious option but also a tasty one that is packed with fiber, making it a convenient and enjoyable snack bar for diabetics.

  4. ChocoRite Protein Bar

    chocorite peanut butter protein bars

    When it comes to managing diabetes, the ChocoRite Protein Bars stand out as a well-balanced option. These bars are specially formulated with 9-10g of protein and 7-9g of fiber, aiming to provide a stable energy release without affecting blood sugar levels. Unlike many other options, these bars contain zero glycemic impact sweeteners and avoid maltitol, reducing the risk of blood sugar spikes and bloating. The triple-layered caramel design adds a gourmet touch, making it not just nutritious but also delicious. Given their low sugar content and high fiber, they are an excellent choice for diabetics looking for a convenient, tasty, and healthy snack.

  5. Mint Cocoa Bar

    mint cocoa protein bars

    For diabetics, this Mint Cocoa Protein Bar presents a balanced snacking option. These bars are formulated with 15g of protein and 5g of fiber, components known for their role in stabilizing blood sugar levels. Additionally, each bar is fortified with 17 essential vitamins and minerals, contributing to overall nutritional intake. The flavor profile combines cool peppermint with sweet cocoa, offering a satisfying taste without compromising health objectives. With a calorie content of 160 per bar, they are also suitable for those on weight management or low-calorie diets. The bars are designed to help control hunger, a feature that is particularly beneficial for diabetics who need to manage their food intake throughout the day.

  6. Fluffy Nutter Protein Bars

    fluffy nutter protein bars

    If you're a diabetic in search of a snack that meets multiple dietary considerations, the Fluffy Nutter Bar by Proti-VLC, is worth your attention. Free from aspartame and gluten, this bar accommodates those with specific dietary restrictions. Its unique texture, akin to a rice crispy treat, offers a satisfying crunch that sets it apart from typical protein bars. The bar contains 15g of protein and 7g of fiber, essential components for blood sugar stabilization. With a low sugar content of just 5g, it's a responsible choice for those managing diabetes. Its rich peanut butter flavor ensures that you don't have to sacrifice taste for health.

  7. Salted Toffee Pretzel Bars:

    salted toffee pretzel protein bar

    This bar is a gluten-free option that's particularly suitable for bariatric and diabetic patients. With its 15g of protein and 7g of fiber, it's designed to help maintain stable blood sugar levels, making it an excellent choice for those managing diabetes. The bar is also bariatric-friendly, aligning with the nutritional needs of patients who have undergone weight loss surgery. At only 160 calories and with a minimal 5g of sugar, it supports medical weight loss goals effectively. What sets this bar apart is its rich blend of sweet and salty flavors, offering a well-rounded great tasting snack bar.

  8. Proti-Diet Raspberry Dark Chocolate Squares

    protidiet raspberry dark chocolate squares

    Enjoy the gourmet experience of the Raspberry Dark Chocolate Square Bar from ProtiDiet. The bar masterfully blends rich chocolate with sweet raspberries, offering a decadent yet health-conscious dessert option. With 150 calories per square, it's a sensible choice for those on a medical weight loss plan. This bar is particularly suitable for bariatric patients, aligning with their specific nutritional guidelines. It's also free from aspartame and contains 15g of protein and 3g of fiber, making it a well-rounded choice for anyone dealing with diabetes.

Diabetic-Friendly Protein Bar Variety Pack

Looking for a way to sample a range of flavors while sticking to your diabetic diet? This 15g Protein Bar Variety Pack is your answer. This pack is like a 'greatest hits' album of protein bars, featuring some of the top-selling flavors. What's more, a few of the bars in this variety pack have made it onto our list of top diabetic protein bars, making it a curated selection for health-conscious individuals. Each bar is a meal replacement, packed with 15g of protein, 5g of fiber, and essential vitamins and minerals. With only 160 calories per bar, this variety pack is a convenient and versatile option for those on medical weight loss programs or managing specific dietary needs like diabetes and bariatric conditions.

diabetic protein bars variety pack

Author: Carrie H.

Carrie is a passionate health and nutrition writer who transforms complex medical research into accessible, evidence-based content to empower readers to make informed choices about their wellbeing. With a background in science and a dedication to helping others live healthier lives, she provides thoughtful analysis of the latest studies and practical, actionable advice readers can apply to their own lives.

Reviewed By: Dr. Kevin Huffman

Dr. Huffman is an accomplished board-certified bariatric physician with extensive clinical experience and expertise in treating obesity. He has trained countless healthcare providers and founded American Bariatric Consultants to develop highly sought-after protocols, training materials and continuing education used widely by medical societies, hospitals and physicians. Dr. Huffman's impact reaches far beyond direct patient care, as he actively prepares the next generation of physicians to achieve board certification in bariatrics, thereby exponentially expanding access to this vital medical treatment.

Weight Loss & Nutrition Journal

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