12 Best High Protein Bars for Diabetics

whitney stuart dallas dietitian protein barAre you looking for a way to eat healthy while managing diabetes? Protein bars for diabetics can be a delicious and healthy snack option while keeping you full for a long time. 

Getting the right amount of protein is always a concern when you have health issues! But, protein is even more important for diabetes because it can stabilize blood sugar and promote satiety.

High Protein Bars for Diabetics

Protein bars can be an easy way to increase protein intake and keep the body healthy and kicking. A protein bar can curb hunger and maintain blood sugar levels simultaneously. We’ll discuss protein bars for diabetics along with the best brands. 

What is Protein? 

Protein is an essential macronutrient that builds muscles and fuels the body with energy. Besides, it supports hormonal health and improves appetite regulation. Studies show that increased protein can improve the blood glucose response in those with type 2 diabetes. Eating enough protein, adequate dietary protein, is key to reducing insulin resistance, if you have type 2 diabetes or gestational diabetes

Are Protein Bars Good For Diabetes?

Protein bars are good if you have diabetes. They can work as meal replacements when you’re on the go. And they can be healthy snacks instead of high-carb, ultra-processed and unhealthy food options. In addition, be mindful of the ingredient list and serving size. 

High Fiber

A key ingredient, outside of protein, in a protein bar is fiber. Fiber is a powerful nutrient to regulate blood sugar, promote fullness, and improve bowel regulation. Besides, protein bars often contain inulin, chicory root, oats, or psyllium, which are all rich in fiber. 

These ingredients can make you feel full for longer and not increase blood sugar instantly. The blood will absorb glucose slowly and at a gradual rate due to high fiber. Aim for a bar that has 12-25% of your dietary fiber; too much will cause stomach upset and not enough will lead to blood sugar spikes.


Protein bars are super easy to carry in your bag, and can save you from a stop at the gas station for a candy bar or PopTart. besides, the convenience of eating healthy with minimal effort makes it one of the best snacks.  

Say Goodbye to Cravings with High Protein Bars for Diabetics

Cravings diminish when you eat enough protein! If you have a protein bar handy, you may be less likely to give in to cravings and eat unhealthy food for your body and blood sugar levels. 

In addition, the ingredients in the diabetes-friendly protein bar will ensure you get a rich source of nutrition and keep you full for a long time. This satiated feeling will help you stay energetic throughout the day and avoid midday energy crashes that lead to snacking and less than desirable snack choices. 

Use Protein Bars Sparingly; A Word of Caution 

An excess of anything will be bad for your health, and it’s best not to rely on protein bars as your primary source of protein. Even when you find the cleanest protein bar, the majority of your diet needs to be full of real food ingredients and your balanced diet of ample protein, fiber, and complex carbs should be coming from unprocessed real single ingredient foods!

Also, some store-bought protein bars for diabetics contain large amounts of artificial sweeteners and these should be avoided as chronic intake can lead to worsen insulin resistance. 

Moreover, reading the label is always important if you’re looking to avoid other inflammatory ingredients. Artificial flavors, food dye and added sugar are all recommended to limit or avoid as they have the potential to cause health risks in the long run. 

If you’re in a hurry, looking for words like “high protein”, “low carb” and “keto” on a label can at least ensure that you’re getting an option with less carbohydrates and thus, less likely to spike blood sugar. 

Best Time to Eat High Protein Bars for Diabetics


healthy eating on the go protein bar
use code whitness!
  • Whether you want to eat the protein bars as a snack or a meal replacement, they can be a healthy option to turn off hunger (reducing leptin) and would be a better option than a granola bar or energy bar. 
  • Protein bars are also great as a pre-workout or post-workout snack to replenish the energy in the body and promote recovery and muscle tissue repair
  • They may also work to prevent hypoglycemia if you have fluctuating blood sugar levels and often experience blood sugar and energy crashes

When to avoid protein bars

Consuming protein bars to replace a balanced meal is not the best idea. Choose them as a healthy snack or low-sugar supplement option to help meet your daily nutrition goals on a busy day, a work trip delay, or an extra busy afternoon. 

Also, be mindful of the total protein bars consumed in a day. If you can choose a high protein and fiber meal instead of a protein bar, do so since it’s likely to be even better for your blood sugar! Need meal ideas, check out my recipes here. 

Are Sugar-Free Snack Bars Healthy? 

Oftentimes snack bars that are sugar-free are still loaded with empty calories in the form of a high carbohydrate bar. Remember that ingredients like brown rice syrup, oats and dates still raise blood sugar even though they aren’t sugar. That is why Nature Valley Bars and Clif Bars, along with LaraBars should be avoided and not considered a protein bar. 

Furthermore, sugar-free bars often use a sugar replacement instead of natural ingredients. Protein bars are healthy snacks and meal replacements if you go for the whole ingredients and low-calorie type of sugars used. Artificial sweeteners like stevia, saccharin, and erythritol cut down calories and aid in blood glucose management. 

Because of the side effects that many sweeteners have, I prefer to see that bars only use a small amount of dates, honey, stevia, monk fruit, or allulose. All of these ingredients seem to have the best taste and the least impact on blood sugar and insulin resistance. 

Another thing to consider is sugar alcohol in the ingredients. Skip xylitol, maltitol, sorbitol, lactitol, and isomalt, as they cause bloating. Be extra careful when choosing the sweeteners, as some may even impact gut health while leading to sugar cravings. 

These higher protein options are also healthy if you have gestational diabetes.  Besides, avoid granola bars, energy bars, and bars that have oats and dates as the first (most prominent) ingredient. Protein bars can play a part in fulfilling daily protein and fiber requirements while not increasing blood sugar levels. 

How to Choose the Right Protein Bars for Diabetics? 

Here are some tips for choosing diabetic-friendly protein bars:

Read Labels

I cannot stress enough the importance of reading the labels. Labels will tell about the protein and sugar per serving. Check the ingredients in the order they are written. The ingredient with the highest quantity is placed in the beginning. 

See that healthy protein-rich ingredients are listed before any added sugar, carbohydrate rich food, natural and artificial sweeteners, fats, and preservatives. 

Besides, choose the bars with the lowest levels of sugar alcohols, as they tend to cause digestive issues. Many brands have gluten-free, vegan, keto-friendly labels and 0 added sugar/fat on the label. Before purchasing, see the product label and nutrition facts to confirm that it’s truly a nutritious choice for your needs and not just marketing.

Focus on the Macros

An individual’s macronutrients will differ due to height, weight, activity level and metabolic activity. These can be individualized by working with a dietitian and using a body composition scanner like a DEXA

Even though we all need different macros, it’s a good rule of thumb to aim for protein bars that have no less than 10g of protein to stay satiated. Most of my patients need anywhere from 30-40g of protein per meal. Select a protein bar with at least 10-20 grams to stay satiated. 

The best protein bar should have 5-10 grams of fiber for slow digestion and preventing high blood sugar. Approach carbs with caution, paying attention to the glycemic index (GI). A protein bar low in carbs and GI is the best option. 

Go for a whole Food Source

Whole food ingredients will be better than processed ones. Look for whole grains, nuts, and seeds in the protein bar. Less processed ingredients with high fiber will also have lower GI, preventing high blood sugar and inflammation. A great whole foods option like Healthy Eating on the Go (code Whitness) or Health Warrior would be a great choice.

Sugar Content 

Be wary about syrups, honey, and sugars in the protein bars, as they may lead to a spike in blood sugar. Choose diabetic-safe sweeteners such as stevia and pure monk fruit. Look for moderate levels of alternate sugar sources. Finally, avoid bars high in sugar like Clif Bars, Luna Bars, LaraBars, and Perfect Bars.

Homemade vs. Store-Bought Protein Bars

If you’re unable to find the right product, you may try homemade protein bars for diabetics with ingredients like oats, nuts, seeds, coconut oil, protein powder, and peanut butter. In addition, experiment with the recipe to alter it to your taste buds and food preferences. 

When it comes to store-bought bars, picking a high-nutrition product with clean ingredients and high protein content is important. individually wrapped bars that are easy to carry and eat when the hunger strikes. You may make a few protein bars with ingredients at home, store them in an airtight container, and keep them in the fridge. 

Try this diabetes-friendly protein bar recipe. And, if you love peanut butter, try this easy 3 ingredients recipe. For complex recipes, choose a similar flavor from a good brand. 

Pros of Homemade Protein Bars

  • Custom ingredients of choice 
  • Fresh protein bars 
  • No hidden sugars 
  • Experiment with the protein and fiber serving size
  • Affordable 

Cons of Homemade Protein Bars

  • Short shelf life 
  • Time-consuming preparation 

Pros of Store-Bought Protein Bars

  • Long shelf life
  • Variety of options 
  • Convenient on-the-go nutrition 
  • Portion control

Cons of Store-Bought Protein Bars

  • Costlier in comparison to homemade bars

    protein bar
  • Hidden ingredients 
  • Limited custom options 

12 Best Diabetes-Friendly Protein Bars 

While eating healthy, you do not need to compromise on taste! Here is the list of the top ten protein bars for diabetics to amp up their nutrition with healthy ingredients and good taste. These may be affiliate links, and each purchase may lead to a small commission which offsets website hosting costs.

BTR Bars 

Ideal for Type 2/Type 1 diabetes, BTR bars come in variants like cookie dough, peanut butter chocolate and strawberry shortcake. They contain 8 grams of protein per serving.

Resist Bars

These are 14 gram protein, vegan and high fiber bars with ingredients like turmeric, goji cherry, and peanut butter. Even the wrappers are BPA and phthalates free. Code WHIT15 for a discount.

The New Primal Meat Sticks

These bars are zero sugar, certified paleo and keto with 6 grams of protein. Besides, they come in delectable flavors like cilantro, lime, turkey, pepper, and sriracha, to name a few.

Epic Bars

Choose from bacon, pork, venison, and bison protein bars with 0 sugars and enjoy a delicious savory taste. 


With 20 grams of protein and just 3-4 grams of net carbs, these bars are great to fuel your body. Besides, the sugar content is just 1 gram per bar. 

Healthy Eating On the Go

These bars have 15 grams of protein and are packed with superfoods like blueberries, almonds, and dark chocolate. Although these contain soy lecithin so consider food allergies and interactions.

Paleovalley Bars

Try these superfood bars free from sugars, sugar alcohol, ang gluten. Moreover, they have 10 grams of protein that’s GMO free.

Aloha Bars 

Plant-based protein bars with 14 grams of protein. Besides, they come in flavors like raspberry, chocolate caramel and peppermint chocolate.

Tru Bars

Get these if you’re craving key lime pie and donuts. Besides, these are a healthier alternative for dessert cravings with 12 grams of protein and 13 grams fiber.

Health Warrior Pumpkin Seed Bars

These bars have pumpkin seeds as a protein source and are high in fiber. You may also choose their chia seed variation for good fat, fiber, and protein. 

Low Sugar GoodMeasure Bars

These low-sugar bars contain 7-8 grams of protein and come in various flavors, such as blueberry and almond butter. These are low carb protein bars for diabetics with just 4-5 grams per serving, making them low in calories. 

No Sugar Costco Protein Bars

Rich in taste with chocolate, peanut butter, and caramel flavors, these bars do not have added sugar. They have 14 grams of protein content per serving and 7 grams of fiber while being gluten-free and keto-friendly. Be wary of these as they have erythritol.

Wrapping it up!

See what I did there? A protein bar, wrapper. There, you have the best protein bars for diabetes. Follow the above tips and information to choose the right protein bar. In addition, focus on a balanced diet rich in fiber, protein, and complex carbs to fuel your body throughout the day. 


Are protein bars good for diabetes?

Protein bars with more protein than carbohydrates and little to no added sugar are good for diabetes. 

Are Atkins bars good for diabetics?

Atkin bars are a low carbohydrate bar for diabetics and contain 15 g of protein but excessive fiber and sugar alternatives that may cause stomach upset, gas and bloating. I would recommend avoiding these protein bars and swapping them for a BTR bar

Are Clif bars good for diabetics?

Clif bars are a bad choice for diabetic and will raise blood sugar due to the large carbohydrate content and amount of added sugar similar to a dessert bar. protein bar

Are Rx bars healthy?

RX bars are not healthy for anyone who needs to keep blood sugar balanced. Besides, RX bars are not suitable for diabetes or gestational diabetes with two times the amount of carbohydrates as there is protein, dates as a prominent ingredient and only 12g of protein. 

Are Kirkland bars/Costco Kind bars good for diabetics?

Because these bars are rich in healthy fats and low in carbohydrates, along with being a gluten-free, kosher, and keto-friendly low-sugar option, these bars are good for diabetics. Be careful to not eat more than one daily as they contain 15 g of corn fiber (60% of your daily needs) which can cause bloating. 

What snack bars are good for diabetics?

Snack bars high in protein and fiber and low in carbohydrates/sugar are good for diabetics. Additionally, these bars can have sugar alternatives for the sweet taste without adding to blood glucose and consumed calories. Moreover, low glycemic snack bars can be hard to find; it will be easier to identify a protein bar option that meets these criteria!

How to make protein bars for diabetics/20g protein bar recipe?

Combine a cup of coconut flour, 4 scoops of raw peanut butter, unsweetened protein powder, and 2 spoons of coconut oil. Spread a layer on a tray and refrigerate before cutting it into small pieces. 

What are the lowest sugar/best low sugar protein bars?

BTR no sugar bars, Epic meat (venison, chicken, bacon) protein bars, and New primal beef sticks have no sugar and are high in protein. 

What’s the healthiest protein bar?

The healthiest protein bar should contain at least 15g of protein, no added sugar, at least 12-15% of your daily fiber with less than 15g of carbohydrate and no more than 200 calories per bar. You can review some of the best protein bar options above that meet these criteria! 

What are the best breakfast bars?

Krave Jerky bars, and BTR bars are good breakfast bars with high protein and no sugar content

What are the best fiber bars?

Atlas Protein Bars and Health Warrior Chia Bars have high fiber which is ideal for balancing blood sugar. 

Can diabetics eat granola bars?

Granola bars should be avoided for anyone with diabetes because they are low in fiber and rich in carbohydrates and sugar. A good alternative to oat based bars like Nature Valley and Kind would be a MunkPack bar which is rich in fiber and low in sugar and has a low glycemic impact. 

Should gestational diabetics eat protein bars?

Eating protein bars rich in fiber and low in carbohydrates is safe. In general, focus on real food sources of protein like Greek yogurt, eggs, cottage cheese, and lean meat to meet your daily protein needs during pregnancy. For more specific support in navigating blood sugar control during pregnancy, utilize our gestational diabetes program!

Should you eat protein bars with erythritol?

Recent research shows how erythritol can be the cause of an increase in stroke or heart problems. However, more data has to be studied to understand the long-term impact of erythritol on consumption. Given the preliminary studies, skipping protein bars with artificial sugar and dyes and sticking to naturally derived sugars such as monk fruit extract and stevia is better. 

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