Protein bars are a very common and convenient snack. They help curb your hunger between meals, up your intake of protein and provide you with plenty of important micronutrients.
Unfortunately, protein bars also tend to contain carbohydrates, including FODMAPs. Because of that, most popular protein bars aren’t suitable for people struggling with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), as they can trigger many unpleasant symptoms.
So, can people on a low FODMAP diet indulge in any protein bars?
While most commonly available protein bars are high in carbs and sugars, there are some healthier alternatives that are also lower in FODMAPs. As a result, even people with IBS can have some every once in a while.
Protein bars are also fortified with vitamins and minerals, which means that they can contain nearly all your daily recommended need for vital nutrients. Eating them can help you avoid nutritional deficiencies, especially if you’re living a busy life.
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Are protein bars high in FODMAPs?
A single protein bar can contain as much as 43 grams of carbohydrates – 24 grams being sugars. This is a lot, and most of them tend to be FODMAPs.
While they do contain a good dose of protein – often about 40% of your daily recommended need for this nutrient – they might still trigger IBS symptoms in people sensitive to these fermentable carbs.
Luckily, there are many protein bars containing way fewer FODMAPs than some of the most popular brands out there.
Just always make sure to read the nutritional label.
Best Low FODMAP Protein Bars
1. Enjoy Life Protein Bites
These protein bars are gluten-free, soy-free, and dairy-free, which makes them suitable for many people. They’re made with semi-sweet chocolate made with cocoa beans, which means that they’re not too high in sugar.
Just three protein bites contain about 270 calories and 5 grams of protein. In this serving, they don’t contain too many carbs, so they can be a part of a low FODMAP diet – provided you consume them in moderation.
Aside from their carb content, Enjoy Life Protein Bites contain a lot of iron as well as some potassium and calcium.
So, eating them can help you get these nutrients into your diet, even when you’re on the go.
2. MariGold Protein Bars
MariGold protein bars are hand-made with healthy and natural ingredients. Each bar contains over 20 grams of protein, which is a great deal considering the size and calorie content of the bars.
These protein bars are soy-free, non-GMO, lactose-free, and gluten-free. So, they’re suitable for a wide variety of diets.
They’re also low in sugar, which means that they don’t contain too many FODMAPs, as long as you stick to one bar per serving.
What’s more, these bars contain a decent amount of dietary fiber, potassium, and magnesium. So, choosing these bars can help you prevent mineral deficiencies.
3. Carman’s Protein Bars
This brand also makes delicious and healthy protein bars made with fresh ingredients. They’re quite filling, as they provide you with about 6.3 grams of protein in a single small bar. And they’re not too high in calories; they contain only about 182 calories in a single serving.
They also do contain some fiber as well as minerals that can help keep you healthy. Unlike some other bars on this list, though, they may contain trace amounts of tree nuts, milk, soy, or eggs.
So, if you’re allergic to any of these ingredients, you may need to keep that in mind.
In addition, this brand also makes nut bars, which are also suitable for a low FODMAP diet. So, these can be a great snack choice for people with IBS as well.
4. Fody Foods Nut Bars
Fody Foods advertises their nut bars are low FODMAP and free of lactose and gluten. Depending on the flavor you choose, they might contain peanuts and other allergens, so check that before buying.
One nut bar (40 grams) contains about 210 calories and 6 grams of protein. They’re low in sugars as well and provide you with a good amount of fiber.
What’s more, this brand has a whole selection of foods suitable for a low FODMAP diet, including ketchup, sauces, salsas, and many more.
So, if you find that commonly sold foods trigger your IBS, you might want to give this brand a try to see if their products are easier for your digestive system.
5. GoMacro Protein Bars
GoMacro makes protein bars that are free of gluten, FODMAP-friendly, and organic.
One bar contains about 10 grams of protein, which is 11% of your daily recommended need for this nutrient. They also provide you with 2 grams of fiber, which helps with digestion – something that’s very beneficial for people with IBS.
These bars also contain some calcium, iron, and potassium, which are important micronutrients for your health. For example, calcium boosts your immune system, iron helps prevent anemia, and potassium offsets the negative effects of sodium on your blood pressure.
Because of that, choosing these bars can keep you healthy without increasing your intake of FODMAPs.
6. Rachel Pauls Happy Bars
Rachel Pauls Happy Bars are one of the best choices for people with IBS and those following a low FODMAP diet. They’re certified low-FODMAP and gluten-free, so they don’t provide you with too many of these indigestible, fermentable carbs.
One protein bar contains about 8 grams of protein – about 16% of your daily need. It also contains 3 grams of fiber, which is important for good digestion and feeding the ‘friendly’ gut bacteria in your digestive tract.
What’s more, these bars provide you with some calcium, iron, and potassium as well but they can also contain other minerals, depending on the flavor you choose.
They also contain antioxidants, which are plant compounds that help flush out free radicals. So, including these bars in your diet can help lower your risk of several health conditions as long as you follow a varied diet.
7. Stellar Labs Bars
Stellar Labs is another company with a whole collection for people following a diet low in FODMAPs. Aside from bars, they also offer low FODMAP protein powders, supplements, and other exercise-related nutritional aids.
Their bars contain a good dose of protein and several other nutrients like fiber, potassium, and iron – all while allowing you to snack without worrying about intaking too many FODMAPs.
So, as long as you stick to a serving of one bar per serving, you shouldn’t experience any IBS-related symptoms.
8. Caveman Protein Bars
Each Caveman Protein Bar contains about 10 grams of protein, which is a great dose that helps you up your intake of this nutrient. These bars are also GMO-free, soy-free, and gluten-free.
One bar contains around 190 calories, and that includes about 2 grams of fiber, which keeps your digestive system in good condition.
Unfortunately, these protein bars don’t contain any significant amounts of minerals or vitamins. So, if you want your protein bars to provide you with some micronutrients, you may need to choose a different brand.
9. Health Warrior Bars
Health Warrior produces bars that contain about 100 calories each and provide you with only 3 grams of sugar. Because of that, they’re suitable for a low FODMAP diet and for people with IBS.
These bars are also slightly lower in protein, containing about 3 grams of this nutrient in each bar. On the other hand, they contain 18% of your daily recommended need for fiber and provide you with some iron, calcium, and potassium.
They come in a wide variety of flavors too, so everyone can find something that fits their dietary requirements and taste buds.
10. 88 Acres Protein Bars
88 Acers Protein Bars contain 12 grams of protein in a single serving and about 280 calories. They contain natural ingredients and aren’t loaded with sugars and FODMAPs.
These bars are slightly higher in FODMAPs than other protein bars, though, so you may want to start with half of a bar and see how your body reacts.
On the bright side, these protein bars contain 20% of your daily recommended need for iron and provide you with some calcium and potassium as well.
So, they make for a healthy addition to a balanced diet, especially if you need some nutrition on the go.
11. Simply Protein Crispy Bars
These protein bars provide you with about 160 calories and just 3 grams of sugar. Because of that, they’re suitable for a low FODMAP diet, as long as it’s in moderation.
Simply Protein Crispy Bars contain 14 grams of protein in a single bar, which makes them a great source of this important nutrient. They also contain 7 grams of fiber, which is a lot for a protein bar.
So, eating them can help improve the health of your digestive system.
Just like other bars, they also contain a good dose of iron, potassium, and iron as well.
12. Homemade protein bars
If you have the time and are willing, you can also choose to make protein bars at home. That way, you can carefully track all the nutrients you include in your protein bars. It can also help you save money.
This can help you limit your intake of added sugars and FODMAPs, thus improving your IBS and reducing the frequency and severity of your symptoms.
There are many ingredients that people use to make homemade protein bars. Depending on the desired flavor and nutritional profile, you can use peanut butter, protein powder, rolled oats, honey, flaxseed meal, coconut oil, and cinnamon.
These ingredients provide you with protein, healthy fats, omega-3 fatty acids, and various minerals and vitamins that store-bought protein bars lack.
Should you eat protein bars on a low FODMAP diet?
Protein bars can be an excellent addition to any diet, including one that’s low in FODMAPs. The only thing you have to keep in mind is to measure your serving sizes carefully and avoid buying high-carb protein bars.
The brands mentioned above are considered suitable for a low FODMAP diet, so eating them shouldn’t trigger any IBS-related symptoms. Still, it’s important to stick to a serving of one protein bar or sometimes even less, especially when first introducing protein bars to your diet.
At the end of the day, moderation is key. So, if your body can tolerate small amounts of protein bars, there’s no reason not to include them in your diet.
Can you eat protein bars every day on a low FODMAP diet?
Protein bars are always high in carbs, so they shouldn’t be a major part of a diet low in FODMAPs. They are perfectly safe in moderation, but eating them every day can trigger some IBS-related symptoms in the long run.
Instead of relying on protein bars for nutrition and an adequate protein intake, try meal prepping. This will allow you to have lunch or a snack ready for when you need it.
This can also help you reduce your overall intake of FODMAPs.
What’s more, always make sure to read the nutritional label of all the foods you consume. Sometimes certain varieties can be higher in sugars than others (and this includes FODMAPs). This can increase your intake of FODMAPs and trigger many symptoms.
So, pay close attention to the nutritional label.
As you can see, it’s possible to consume protein bars on a low FODMAP diet. Still, though, it’s important to stick to recommended serving sizes to avoid taking in too many FODMAPs in a single sitting.
Protein bars are a very easy way to load up on important nutrients as well. In fact, they contain a lot of fiber, vitamins, and minerals, which make them a healthier alternative to some other snacks.
And if you make protein bars yourself, you can get even more nutrients and save some money, as this type of snack can be easily refrigerated for quite some time.
So, even if you suffer from IBS, it’s OK for you to indulge in some protein bars from time to time.
Source: Nutrition Data