Steve reviews 8 popular protein bars…

I recently posted a video on Facebook offering my personal take on some of the more popular protein bars on the market today.  Since the video is over 15 minutes long, which some people don’t have the time or inclination to watch, I figured I would turn the video into a blog post.

Let me first start by saying that protein bars should not replace real wholesome, home-cooked meals. Instead protein bars are best eaten sparingly to either fill nutritional gaps throughout the day or while stuck in a pinch when eating a good nutritious meal is not a viable option.

Quest bar (Cookies & Cream)   

Overall Rating: C

Taste – This bar is very sweet especially if you are like me and not use to eating products that contain artificial sweeteners (stevia, erythritol and sucralose). Although there are nice size pieces of Oreo’s in the bar (very tasty) this bar has a very unnatural taste to it.

Convenience – This bar is not messy making it easy to eat on the go.

Texture – The texture is pretty good. The bar is soft and easy to chew.

Ingredients Protein Blend (Milk Protein Isolate, Whey Protein Isolate), Soluble Corn Fiber (Prebiotic Fiber), Almonds, Water, Cocoa Butter, Natural Flavors, Erythritol, Palm Oil, Dextrin, Cocoa (Processed with Alkali), Sea Salt, Calcium Carbonate, Sunflower Lecithin, Sucralose, Coconut Oil, Xanthan Gum, Baking Soda, Steviol Glycosides (Stevia).

Macros – 9 grams of Fat, 20 grams of carbs, 21 grams of protein

Rating   Overall, I rate this bar a C-  Although its quite yummy, there is a good amount of junk in it despite being marketed as “clean.”  Half of the ingredients are unrecognizable and certainly not names that resemble real food. Can you picture what calcium carbonate or erythritol looks like?  Yeah, me either. The marketing of this bar as being “clean” is irresponsible as it only serves to confuse and trick consumers. 

Lara Bar (Blueberry) 

Overall Rating:  B

Taste – This bar tastes great in my opinion. Not over powering or too sweet. Just right.

Convenience – This bar is not messy making it easy to eat on the go.

Texture – The texture is good. The bar is soft and easy to chew.

Ingredients Dates, Cashews, Unsweetened Blueberries, Blueberry Juice Concentrate, Lemon Juice Concentrate, Vanilla Extract.

Macros – 8 grams of Fat, 26 grams of carbs, 4 grams of protein

Rating   Overall, I rate this bar a B. It’s a great tasting bar with a very clean label. If the protein content was higher (above 10 grams) I’d give it an A rating. The other downside to this bar is that its owned by General Mills aka Big Food who I don’t trust and have a hard time supporting.

Epic Bar (Beef Habaero Cherry)    

Overall Rating: D

Taste – The taste of this bar is nasty in my opinion. Very dry and off putting.  I had to spit it out.

Convenience – Not inconvenient to eat on the run but it did leave a little residue on my fingers.

Texture  Has the texture of dog or cat food. The meat is very beat up and processed…not the way meat should be.

Ingredients Beef, Dried Cherries, Walnuts, Lactic Acid, Salt, Celery Powder, Fine Black Pepper, Crushed Habanero.

Macros – 7 grams of Fat, 11 grams of carbs, 9 grams of protein

Rating   Overall, I rate this bar a D. As a meat lover, I find this bar offensive. I just can’t get over the foul taste and texture. While I love their packaging and branding, this bar I find this bar downright gross.  The other downside to this bar is that its owned by General Mills aka Big Food who I don’t trust and have a hard time supporting.

RX Bar (Blueberry)    

Overall Rating: C

Taste – The taste of this bar is decent in my opinion.  While the natural blueberry flavor is a bit over powering, there is no mistaken that you are eating a blueberry flavored bar.

Convenience – It left a little residue on my fingers but nothing major.

Texture  This is where it gets ugly. The texture is gummy like a power bar and I kept getting pieces stuck in my teeth. It looks like they processed this bar to no end and really beat it up to get the ingredients to mix together.

Ingredients Dates, Egg Whites, Almonds, Cashews, Blueberries, Natural Blueberry Flavor.

Macros – 7 grams of Fat, 26 grams of carbs, 12 grams of protein

Rating – Overall, I give this bar a C rating. While I love the branding they have going on (clean and simple), I didn’t care for the texture of this bar. It was too chewy for my liking. I also don’t care for natural flavors in my food as the aroma and strong fake flavor gives me a headache.


Clif bar (Chocolate Chip)    

Overall Rating: D

Taste – Tastes like raw cookie dough.  Very sweet.

Convenience – Easy to eat on the run.

Texture  Decent texture although falls on the processed side similar to most other protein bars. A little stickiness on the fingers but had no issues with pieces get stuck in my teeth.

Ingredients – Organic Brown Rice Syrup, Organic Rolled Oats, Soy Protein Isolate, Organic Cane Syrup, Organic Roasted Soybeans, Rice Flour, Dried Cane Syrup, Organic Oat Fiber, Unsweetened Chocolate, Organic Soy Flour, Organic Sunflower Oil, Organic Date Paste, Cocoa Butter, Molasses Powder, Organic Soybean Oil, Barley Malt Extract, Salt, Vanilla Extract, Soy Lecithin, Natural Flavors, Cinnamon.

Macros – 5 grams of Fat, 45 grams of carbs, 10 grams of protein

Rating – Overall, I give this bar a D rating. The ingredient deck is bad, bad news. While the bar tastes good, it doesn’t deliver from a performance standpoint the way a protein bar should. Rather than consume all of this unnecessary sugar (not to mention the plethora of other junk ingredients), if you are going to waste calories on this bar you might as well enjoy your favorite candy bar.

KIND bar (Dark Chocolate Nuts & Sea Salt)    

Overall Rating: C

Taste – Tastes great. Whole almonds drizzled with chocolate…what’s not to love?!

Convenience – Easy to eat on the run.

Texture  Good texture with a nice crunch and easy to chew.

Ingredients – Almonds, dark chocolate flavored coating (palm kernel oil, chicory root fiber, sugar, cocoa powder, soy lecithin, natural flavor, salt) peanuts, chicory root fiber, honey, walnuts, glucose syrup, rice flour, unsweetened chocolate, sea salt, soy lecithin, sugar.

Macros – 15 grams of Fat, 16 grams of carbs, 6 grams of protein

Rating – Overall, I give this bar a C rating. It tastes good and has decent macros. I’d give it a higher rating but the ingredient deck is a BIG disappointment with sugar, palm kernel oil and glucose syrup in the lineup. No wonder why the FDA made them remove the word “healthy” from their packaging. Deceitful marketing.

Perfect bar (Coconut Peanut Butter)    

Overall Rating: B+

Taste – Tastes the way a protein bar should taste. Thought the coconut and peanut butter would be a weird combination but I was pleasantly surprised.

Convenience – This bar must be refrigerated or it falls apart. So not very convenient for eating on the run.

Texture  I was pleased with the texture. Easy to chew.

Ingredients Organic Peanut Butter, Organic Honey, Organic Nonfat Dry Milk, Organic Coconut, Organic Coconut Oil, Organic Dried Whole Egg Powder, Organic Rice Protein, Organic Flax Seed Oil, Organic Sunflower Seed Oil, Organic Sesame Seed Oil, Organic Olive Oil, Organic Pumpkin Seed Oil, Dried Whole Food Powders (Organic Kale, Organic Flax Seed, Organic Rose Hip, Organic Orange, Organic Lemon, Organic Papaya, Organic Tomato, Organic Apple, Organic Alfalfa, Organic Celery, Organic Kelp, Organic Dulse, Organic Carrot, Organic Spinach).

Macros – 21 grams of Fat, 25 grams of carbs, 16 grams of protein

Rating – Overall, I give this bar a B+ rating. The taste and macros were both on point. The biggest downside of this bar is the fact it needs to be refrigerated, making it not very convenient to eat on the run. My only other issue with this bar is the dairy (nonfat dry milk) in it since I’m lactose intolerant.  But all things considered this was one of the best protein bars I’ve tested.

ShareBar (Strawberry Vanilla) by Steve’s PaleoGoods (the owner and author of this review)

Overall Rating: B+

Taste – Delicious. Tastes like a Bounty candy bar. If you like coconut and strawberry you’ll enjoy this flavor.

Convenience – The bite-size version of this product come in a container which is not easy to carry in a bag while eating on the go so its not as convenient as bar form.

Texture –Soft and easy to chew. Nothing got stuck in my teeth which is rare.

Ingredients Dates, Egg Whites, Coconut, Apple Juice Infused Strawberries, Vanilla Extract, Bacillus Coagulant GBI-30 6086

Macros – 6 grams of Fat, 26 grams of carbs, 13 grams of protein

Rating – Overall, I give this bar a B+ rating. The taste and macros are great. Love the soft texture as well. Added bonus being there is no nuts, cashews or weird stuff such as natural or artificial flavors. This one is right on the money. Highly recommend.



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