Stands out for being an outstanding source of protein, as each bar contains 21 grams. Only 2 grams of net carbs. Low glycemic for diabetics. Made with chocolate and almonds that are tasty and satisfying.
Several customers experienced upset stomachs or gas after eating them. Dense consistency won't appeal to everyone.
Cookies made to fit a keto diet thanks to containing 8 grams of protein and just 3 grams of net carbs. Made with quality, plant-based ingredients. Cookies are large, so they can be broken in half and shared or saved for later. Several flavors available.
Somewhat dry and crumbly. Some customers didn't like the flavor or consistency.
Each bar contains 4 grams of net carbs and 9 grams of protein. Great taste with a good crunch and will keep you full for a long time.
The texture is a bit crumbly and these do contain sugar alcohol.
Available in chocolate cacao, vanilla almond, and peanut butter chip flavors. Each bar contains 16 grams or more of protein, 3 grams or less of sugar, and no gluten or soy. The bars have a good, chewy texture and are filling and not overly sweet.
Does contain sugar alcohols, but most say it has a good balance between sugar alcohol and stevia.
High fat, fair protein (9 grams each), and low carbs. Delicious ingredients like vanilla, peanut butter, and nutty almond chunks. No added sugar or artificial sweeteners. Plant-based keto bar. Simple ingredients. Several flavors available.
Expensive due to its premium ingredients.
We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.
We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.
When you’re counting carbs, you can’t snack indiscriminately or grab just any old energy bar. This applies especially to people following a keto diet in which carbs are severely restricted. Fortunately, health food manufacturers have developed keto bars to curb cravings without breaking your diet. These convenient individually wrapped snacks are often high in healthy fats and packed with protein. And, in accordance with the keto diet, the bars have a low net carb content.
Some keto bars taste better than others, and the ingredients vary from product to product. Which keto bars offer high fiber? Which ones are low in sugar alcohol?
For an in-depth look at the world of keto bars, including a glimpse at some of our favorite products, keep reading.
“Keto” is short for ketogenic, and the keto diet is one of the hottest health trends. It boasts fast weight loss and promotes a host of other health benefits, too. The keto diet reduces the amount of carbohydrates consumed to about 5% of your daily caloric intake, which typically amounts to 20 to 50 net grams of carbs. That’s not the easiest feat when you consider that a single apple contains 21 net grams! Fortunately, you can eat a lot of healthy fat on the keto diet. In fact, 75% of your calories should come from fat. Protein accounts for the remaining 20% of your daily food intake. These percentages are known in the keto world as “macros” (short for macronutrients).
So why is it called “keto”? Ketosis is metabolic state that occurs when your body shifts from burning glucose (sugar from carbs) to burning fat. Eating less carbs forces your liver to convert all the fat you’re consuming into ketones, which it uses for fuel. These ketones suppress hunger, helping you shed weight quickly.
As always, consult with a healthcare professional before starting a diet, especially if you have thyroid issues or are a woman because cutting carbs could potentially disrupt your hormones.
It’s hard to know what to eat on a keto diet with all the rules you have to follow. If you’re just starting a ketogenic diet, you might be shocked to discover foods you considered healthy are to be avoided, like most fruits. For instance, a single banana contains 25 grams of carbs, which is more carbohydrates than strict keto followers consume in one day. On the other hand, foods that you may have considered “bad” on other weight loss programs, like full-fat dairy products, are embraced on the keto diet.
Keto bars make following this somewhat confusing diet a lot easier. The carb count is already calculated for you and is sure to be low. The bars are high in fat, so you feel full after eating one, and they’re low in sugar so you won’t crash.
Reading the label
Knowing how to read nutrition labels and understanding the terminology will help you distinguish which keto bars are better for you. Net carbs, fiber, and sugar alcohol are three important ingredients to pay attention to.
On a keto diet, you want to avoid spikes in blood sugar. Some carbs do this while others don’t. The term net carbs is used in the keto diet to distinguish the kinds of carbs, like starches and sugars, that your body uses for energy. These are the carbs that “count” in a keto diet. This number is not to be confused with the number of total carbs listed on a nutrition label, which may include carbs from fiber and sugar alcohol. A keto bar will have its net carbs clearly labeled. Five grams or less of net carbs is ideal for a snack bar.
Fiber is one of the carbohydrates that don’t count as a net carb. Your body doesn’t have the enzymes to process this plant-derived substance, so it passes through undigested and doesn’t affect your blood sugar. Fiber is beneficial because it keeps the digestive tract running smoothly. The recommended dose by the National Institute of Health is 25 to 31 grams of fiber per day. Because a high-fat diet is often lacking a healthy amount of fiber, look for a keto bar containing a decent amount of fiber.
Some sugar alcohols are also indigestible, or partially so, so they don’t count as net carbs. These include erythritol, xylitol, mannitol, and lactitol. Sugar alcohols that do impact your blood sugar level and therefore count as net carbs are maltitol, sorbitol, isomalt, and glycerin. However, they only count as half their carb worth. For instance, a gram of one of these sugar alcohols should be divided by two, and that number is your net carb amount. Some keto bars contain sugar alcohols whereas others do not.
Keto bars typically contain protein, anywhere from 8 to 15 grams per bar. The type of protein varies from bar to bar. Some are collagen based; others are sourced from grass fed-whey; others contain planted-based proteins, such as soy or pea protein. Many keto bars contain nuts, which also provide protein (as well as fat).
Keto bars that avoid sugar alcohol tend to use stevia in its place. Stevia is a natural, no-calorie sweetener derived from the stevia plant. It is 200 times sweeter than sugar but does not affect blood sugar levels. Some keto bars contain a combination of sugar alcohol and stevia.
This “medium-chain triglyceride” oil is typically derived from coconuts and is popular for its high-quality, healthy fat content and other health benefits. For a healthy dose of fat, look for a bar containing MCT oil from coconuts.
A lot of keto bars contain no gluten. Even if you’re not gluten intolerant, there are studies suggesting that gluten can have adverse effects on the body. Therefore, you may wish to pick a gluten-free keto bar.
Some keto bars are also free of dairy products. Dairy is a big part of the keto diet — that is, whole-fat dairy. However, not everyone can tolerate dairy, especially those who are lactose intolerant. For these folks, dairy-free keto bars are a must. Be mindful that a keto bar containing whey protein is not dairy free, as whey is a derivative of milk.
Like most snack bars, keto bars come in various flavors — chocolate and vanilla are a few of the more common choices. In fact, most keto bars have a candy bar taste. If you have a sweet tooth, this is good news.
Keto bars usually come in a pack. For a 12-count package of keto bars with high-quality ingredients, including grass-fed and grain-free ingredients, expect to pay $35 to $40. A mid-range package of keto bars might cost a little less — around $25 to $30. Lower-priced keto bars tend to cost from $17 to $23 per dozen. But buyer beware: some lower-cost keto bars contain preservatives and/or sugar alcohols that more health-conscious brands tend to avoid.
If you have food allergies, carefully read the ingredient list on your snack bars. Keto bars often contain allergens such as nuts, dairy, and soy — or are processed in a facility that processes them.
Our bodies require protein when exercising. For a pre-workout snack, pick a keto bar with a high amount of protein — around 15 grams.
Pack a box of keto bars in your suitcase when traveling. If you don’t have access to a kitchen while on a trip, maintaining your keto diet can be difficult. Carrying your own keto-approved snacks makes traveling a whole lot easier.
No time to make eggs in the morning? Or just plain tired? A keto bar tastes great with your butter coffee as a breakfast alternative.
Keep an eye out for dry eyes and fatigue when following a keto diet. These symptoms are signs that you’re restricting your carbs too much and could benefit from “carb cycling” (upping your carb intake to 150 grams one day a week).
When you’re concerned about your health, the quality of the food you eat is important. This is why we love Bulletproof’s Collagen Protein Bars for their carefully selected organic, non-GMO, grass-fed ingredients. These keto-friendly bars contain no dairy, grain, or gluten and have the added bonus of two types of MCT oil.
For a completely plant-based keto bar, looking no further than Dang Bar’s Keto Certified, Plant Based, Low Carb, Gluten Free Snack Bar. These vegan snack bars contain no sugar alcohols and are keto-approved at four to five grams of net carbs. We love the almond vanilla and lemon matcha flavors, which contain no artificial flavoring or preservatives. If you’re looking to get your healthy fats from a non-dairy or animal source, these are by far your best option.
Q. Besides weight loss, what are some of the other health benefits of a ketogenic diet?
A. The keto diet has helped some diabetics get off their medication because of its stabilizing effect on insulin levels and lowering of blood sugar. Of course, we always recommend talking to your doctor before stopping a medication. The keto diet can also help with cholesterol levels by improving “good” HDL cholesterol. Because of its high healthy fat content, the diet has beneficial effects on the brain, which is at least 60% fat. Its anti-inflammatory benefits have been claimed to reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s and cancer. For many, the keto diet greatly increases their energy because ketosis creates more mitochondria, your cells’ tiny power generators.
Q. I started a keto diet and felt horrible. What gives?
A. Unfortunately, you may have been suffering from what’s known as the keto flu. When you first start burning fat instead of glucose, your body may experience flu-like symptoms: dizziness, fatigue, brain fog, irritability, and insomnia. This is a natural reaction and unfortunately one that you need to push through for a few days up to a few weeks. After that, many experience a huge increase in energy, which is one of the diet’s touted benefits. You can alleviate keto flu symptoms by keeping hydrated with electrolyte water, resting, gently exercising, and taking activated charcoal to bind any toxins that may have been stored in the fat you’re shedding.
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