Protein bars are a great source of energy and nutrition, especially for those with busy lifestyles. Unfortunately, they also contain a lot of carbohydrates, including FODMAPs, which are difficult to digest and can trigger irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) symptoms.
The low-FODMAP diet was developed to allow IBS sufferers to manage their symptoms. It's a challenging diet to design and maintain, as it requires followers to remove FODMAPs from their diet and then slowly reintroduce them and record their body's reactions.
Although most popular protein bars are high in FODMAPs, some aren't and are safe for IBS sufferers.
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Are Protein Bars High in FODMAPs?
A protein bar can contain as much as 43 grams of carbohydrates, of which 24 grams are sugars, and many of those FODMAPs.
So, although they can contain as much as 40% of the recommended protein intake, they may trigger IBS symptoms.
Below are 12 of the best bars for those on a low-FODMAP diet.
1. Enjoy Life Protein Bites
These protein bars are low in sugar and are made with semi-sweet chocolate. They're also gluten-, soy-, and dairy-free.
Three protein bites contain about 270 calories, 5 grams of protein, iron, potassium, and calcium.
2. MariGold Protein Bars
MariGold protein bars are hand-made with healthy ingredients. They're GMO- soy-, lactose-, and gluten-free, and each bar contains over 20 grams of protein.
They’re also low in sugar, meaning they don’t contain too many FODMAPs but do contain good amounts of fiber, potassium, and magnesium.
3. Carman’s Protein Bars
These contain about 6.3 grams of protein and 182 calories per bar.
However, unlike some other bars on this list, they may contain traces of tree nuts, milk, soy, or eggs.
Carman's also makes nut bars suitable for those on a low-FODMAP diet.
4. Fody Foods Nut Bars
These bars are low FODMAP and lactose- and gluten-free. They're low in sugar, contain a good amount of fiber, and one bar contains about 210 calories and 6 grams of protein.
Fody Foods has a selection of foods suitable for a low-FODMAP diet, including ketchup, sauces, and salsas.
5. GoMacro Protein Bars
Each organic bar contains about 10 grams of protein, 11% of the recommended daily intake. It also contains 2 grams of fiber, calcium, iron, and potassium.
Fiber supports good digestive health, and calcium boosts your immune system. Iron helps prevent anemia, and potassium offsets the adverse effects of sodium on your blood pressure.
6. Rachel Pauls Happy Bars
As they're certified gluten-free and low FODMAP, these bars are among the best choices for those with IBS.
One bar contains about 8 grams of protein and 3 grams of fiber, which feeds good gut bacteria, improving digestive health.
These bars also contain calcium, iron, potassium, and antioxidants that flush out free radicals and reduce oxidative stress.
7. Stellar Labs Bars
Stellar Labs have designed a range of foods for IBS sufferers, including protein bars and powders, supplements, and other exercise nutrition.
Their bars contain a good amount of protein, fiber, potassium, and iron.
8. Caveman Protein Bars
Caveman Protein Bars are GMO-, soy-, and gluten-free; each bar contains about 10 grams of protein, 190 calories, and 2 grams of fiber.
9. Health Warrior Bars
Each Health Warrior bar contains only 3 grams of sugar, which is great for those with IBS.
They're slightly lower in protein than others on this list, with a bar containing about 3 grams. However, they contain 18% of the recommended daily fiber intake, iron, calcium, and potassium.
10. 88 Acres Protein Bars
These bars are low in sugar, and one contains 12 grams of protein and 280 calories. A bar also contains up to 20% of the recommended daily iron intake, calcium, and potassium.
They're slightly higher in FODMAPs than others on this list, so start with half a bar and see how your body reacts.
11. Simply Protein Crispy Bars
One bar contains 160 calories and just 3 grams of sugar. It also contains 14 grams of protein, 7 grams of fiber, iron, and potassium.
12. Homemade protein bars
If you have the time, you can make protein bars at home, enabling you to limit their FODMAP content.
There are many healthy ingredients to choose from, including peanut butter, protein powder, rolled oats, honey, flaxseed meal, coconut oil, and cinnamon.
Should You Eat Protein Bars on a Low-FODMAP Diet?
In moderation, the protein bars above are safe for those on a low-FODMAP diet. However, everyone is different, so introduce them into your diet slowly and observe how your body reacts to them.
Can You Eat Protein Bars Every Day on a Low-FODMAP diet?
Protein bars are high in carbs, so people with IBS shouldn't eat them every day.
If you follow a low-FODMAP diet, it's certainly possible to enjoy the occasional protein bar.
Source: Nutrition Data