Diet

What are the Best Protein Bars for Diabetics
Reviews & Buyer’s Guide

5 Best Protein Bars for Diabetics
Written by Isaac

Most people don’t appreciate the degree to which diabetes impacts a person’s life. It’s far more than simply having to avoid candy bars and milkshakes.

It affects every aspect of their daily life from what they eat to when they eat to how much they eat. 

They need to plan their workouts carefully and monitor their condition continuously.

They need to watch their starch intake, watch their carb intake, and maybe most importantly, they need to resist the sugar urges that can sometimes seem overwhelming.

The good news is that, as long as a diabetic has kidneys that are functioning normally, they can consume more or less the same amounts of protein as anyone else, which makes diabetic friendly protein bars a smart and healthy alternative to sweets.

Below, we’re going to look at the five best protein bars for diabetics.

Our Top 6 Diabetic Protein ​Bars (2019 updated)

Finding great tasting protein snacks without sugar or with a minimal amount of sugar isn't easy but we put our nose to the grindstone and came up with 6 that we feel stand head and shoulders above other diabetic breakfast bars.

So, let’s begin.

Product

​Supplement Facts

Key Highlights

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#1 BSN Protein Crisp

(Editor's Choice)

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  • ​5g Sugar
  • 20g Protein
  • 23g Carbs
  • 7g Fat
  • ​Minimal sugar content
  • Packed with 20g of premium protein
  • One of the best tasting protein bars we've ever tried
  • Comes with a variety of tasty flavors
  • Gluten-free, 230-240 calories per bar
  • On sale through April
Quest Nutrition Protein Bar

#2 Quest Nutrition

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  • ​1g Sugar
  • 21g Protein
  • 4g Carbs
  • 7g Fat
  • ​Very minimal sugar content
  • Made with complete, dairy-based protein isolates
  • ​200 calories per serving
  • Gluten-free and ​keto-friendly
KIND Bars

#3 Kind Bars

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  • ​9g Sugar
  • 8g Protein
  • 16g Carbs
  • ​0g Trans Fat
  • Helps strengthen bones, muscles and skin
  • Has 3 grams of fiber
  • ​200 calories per serving
  • Gluten-free and non-GMO
NuGO Slim Brownie Crunch diabetes protein bar

#4 NuGO Slim

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  • ​2g Sugar
  • 16g Protein
  • ​19g Carbs
  • ​6g Fat
  • Helps maintain steady blood sugar
  • High in protein and fiber
  • All-natural and gluten-free
  • ​190 calories per serving
RXBAR Whole Food Protein Bar

#5 RX Bar

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  • ​13g Sugar
  • 12g Protein
  • ​24g Carbs
  • ​9g Fat
  • Better workout performance
  • No sugar and preservatives added
  • ​210 calories per serving
  • Gluten-free and no dairy
Kashi-Chewy-Granola-Bars-150x150

#6 ​Kashi

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  • ​​5g Sugar
  • ​7g Protein
  • ​19g Carbs
  • ​5g Fat
  • Promotes high-intensity energy
  • ​Helps in weight management goals
  • ​140 calories per serving
  • ​Contains 4g of fiber

1. Editor's Choice: BSN Protein Crisp

While some protein bars are just candy snacks with a few off the beaten track ingredients tossed in, BSN Protein Crisp Bars have thoughtfully created high protein bars that pack a considerable punch while remaining devilishly delicious and true to their roots.

There are 2-5 grams of sugar in each of these bars; a sugar load many people with diabetes will find manageable.  

Plus, its texture and delicious taste will make you feel like it's cheat day without compromising your macronutrients. 

Indulge yourself with BSN Protein Crisp Bars after your workout, or any time for a quick energy boost.

BSN-Protein-Crisp-Bars-Editors-Choice
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It's the best tasting protein bar that we have found through our research, and we're not alone. Many reviewers claim that these protein bars are a nice addition to their grocery lists because it helps with the sugar cravings and it's actually quite healthy to consume often.

That's why we got our hands on a bunch of them, and we have never run out of supplies since then. 

PROS

  • Packed with 20g of whey protein isolate
  • Keeps you energized on the go
  • Minimal sugar content (4g or less)
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    Satisfies your sweet tooth cravings, guilt-free
  • One of the best tasting protein bars in the market

​CONS

  • Not vegan-friendly

2. Quest Nutrition

Quest Nutrition actually produces a dizzying number of protein, health, granola and other snacks for the health conscious.

Their protein snack variety pack is a good example of all the things the company does right.

That includes providing customers with plenty of flavor options and being mindful of the needs of their target audience.

In this case, their protein bars turn out to be some of the best diabetic protein bars because they provide 12 grams of protein, steer away from most of the starch that can wreak havoc with blood sugar levels and are sweetened with allulose instead of sugar.

Quest Nutrition
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Allulose is nearly identical in chemical makeup and flavor to sugar but with only 1/10 the calories.

For the most part we enjoyed all the items in this variety pack although, to our mind, the Coconut Cashew snack could use some work.

PROS

  • ​An array of flavors to choose from
  • ​No sugar protein bars sweetened with allulose
  • ​1/10 the calories of real sugar
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    ​Great pre-workout for diabetics

​CONS

  • ​Texture may not be for everyone
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    ​A few flavors don’t work so well

3. Kind Bars 

Kind Bars have zero refined sugar and are completely free of wheat, dairy, gluten, and genetically modified organisms.

They’re as close as you’re going to get to completely ‘clean’ protein snacks and your body is going to appreciate that. The simple natural ingredients are combined with dried fruit and/or honey to provide a range of wonderfully well-rounded flavor experiences.

Plenty of thought and care went into the making of these diabetic breakfast bars and the results speak for themselves.

KIND Bars
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Be aware though that the different flavored snacks contain different types of nuts so if you have allergies, you might want to check the label before you buy anything. 

PROS

  • ​Available in a wide variety of flavors
  • ​No genetically modified organisms
  • ​Great texture and equally great taste
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    ​Sugar from honey and dried fruit ingredients

​CONS

  • Not as high in protein as others

4. NuGO Slim

While some protein bars are really just candy snacks with a few off the beaten track ingredients tossed in, NuGo Slim Brownie Crunch bars have thoughtfully created high protein, virtually sugar-free bars that pack a considerable punch while remaining devilishly delicious and true to their roots.

There are 2 grams of sugar in each of these bars; a sugar load many diabetics will find manageable. 

Plus, it helps that there isn't any high fructose corn syrup lurking here that could really mess up blood glucose levels.

NuGO Slim Brownie Crunch diabetes protein bar
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The dark chocolate coating makes all the difference flavor wise (but it's a flavor accent, not a foundational ingredient), while the 9 grams of fiber will help you feel satiated.

PROS

  • ​Available in raspberry truffle, dark brownie crunch and roasted peanut
  • ​Only 2 grams of sugar per bar
  • ​No trans fats or high fructose corn syrup
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    ​Real chocolate coating

​CONS

  • ​Can be challenging to find

5. RX Bar

The RX Bar may be just what the doctor ordered for diabetics looking for sugarless protein snacks that also provide a bit of a pick me up during the long day.

Like some of the other protein snacks without sugar on our list the RX Bar is also without GMOs, dairy, soy, gluten and artificial preservatives.

RX Bars have the added benefit of being Kosher and that's welcome in a protein landscape where such considerations are often swept aside.

RX Bars utilize 5 mg of caffeine to produce the aforementioned ‘pick me up.'

RXBAR Whole Food
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That's enough to put some wind in your sails without making you feel jittery. Like some of our other snacks though, if you have nut allergies, you'll want to be careful.

PROS

  • ​Consistently delicious no sugar protein bars
  • ​Produced in certified Kosher facility
  • ​5 mg caffeine per bar for energy boost
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    ​Subscriptions available

​CONS

  • ​Those with nut allergies may want to steer clear

6. Kashi TLC Chewy Granola Bars

Kashi TLC Chewy Granola Bars are not as high in protein as some of the other items on our list - but they are truly delicious, contain plenty of fiber, and steer clear of blood glucose red flags like high fructose corn syrup and, of course, sugar.

What they do contain is plenty of whole grains, sun-dried fruit, dark chocolate, and roasted nuts.

They're free of gluten, soy and artificial ingredients and just one is likely to satisfy your appetite for something sweet without sending your blood glucose levels into space.

Kashi Chewy Granola Bars
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PROS

  • ​No high fructose corn syrup
  • ​No sugar, refined or otherwise
  • ​5-7 grams of protein per bar
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    ​Naturally low in starch

​CONS

  • ​Chocolate coating tends to melt
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    Not as tasty as some other snack bars

​Choosing ​The Best Protein Bar for Diabetics

woman holding a snack bar

As long as the diabetic understands that protein bars are not completely risk-free (some contain starches and other ingredients that can cause a spike in blood sugars), then any of the outstanding, well-balanced, high-quality diabetes bars profiled above should fulfill between-meal cravings.

​These tasty snacks also help maintain stable blood sugar and energy levels.

​When choosing the best protein bar, ​we ​look for quality natural ingredients, outstanding taste, nutritional value, and bars that don't try to slip sweeteners past the unsuspecting. You should too. (1)

Important: Always read the label carefully, look for 5 to 15 mg of protein (the more, the better generally), and steer clear of artificial ingredients, avoid high fructose corn syrup and don't forget to enjoy.

Our Favorite Protein Bar for Diabetics

The best protein bars for diabetics pack plenty of nutritional value while at the same time providing the protein and carbs you need to stay energized through the day.

These are never going to be without risk as we mentioned, but they can help you respond to sugar cravings in a positive way that will have health benefits across the board.

BSN Protein Crisp Bar is a prime example of the type of well rounded, responsible snacks diabetics need.

Packed with 20g of premium whey protein isolate, 5g of sugar or less, and one of the best tasting protein bars we've ever tried, what else could you ask for?

BSN-Protein-Crisp-Bars-Editors-Choice
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BSN Protein Crisp Bar
Our #1 Diabetic Protein Bar

  • Packed with 20g of premium protein
  • Helps achieve proper blood sugar levels ​5g of sugar of less)
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    Gluten-free, 230-240 calories per bar
  • check
    One of the best tasting protein bars we've ever tried
  • Comes with a variety of tasty flavors
  • On sale through April

About the author

Isaac

I’m a personal fitness trainer and nutritionist living in sunny Indianapolis, IN. I’ve spent the last 8 years staying at the forefront of the health and fitness industry. In that time, I’ve helped hundreds of people shed the excess weight and get into shape, maintaining their healthy new lifestyle through proper training and eating habits.

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