You’re out and about, and you hear it. The growl. Your stomach is telling you, “I know it is not dinner but I neeeeeeeeed something.” We’ve all suffered this experience and often when starting on a new food plan such as Paleo, or Whole 30 snacks are one of the toughest options to figure out. In the past, snack bars have served as a reasonable solution, but if you are eliminating dairy, gluten, or sugar, navigating the bar shelf in the grocery store can be a complex mess of ingredients on teeny tiny labels. So let me solve the snack problem for you. Here is a list of the top 15 Paleo and Whole 30 friendly bars on the shelves right now. And, if you are not Whole 30 or Paleo these are still fantastic options because they are a whole food, few ingredients, no preservatives option that would be super satisfactory for any growling stomach.
The Best Paleo And Whole 30 Bars Available
EPIC – I love this bar. The first time I tried it, I will be honest, it was a little icky. It was just that I was used to super sweet, crumbly bars that were full of crap. Once I got to my second one I loved the saltiness and clean flavor. It is kind of like jerky, but better. I also love the protein factor! 15 grams in a bar! Be aware that not every Epic flavor is Paleo-compatible. A few of the flavors have brown sugar, like the Bison one. But the Lamb and Bacon are good to go. I never allow myself to run out of this brand!
LARABAR – I don’t recommend these all the time because Larabars are pretty high in sugars (not sugar itself), but if you need a sweet fix or an alternative to dessert this is my go-to. I love that these bars have so few ingredients! Remember the Larabars with peanut would not comply because Paleo does not encourage legumes to be consumed. HERE’S WHY. My favorites are Coconut Cream Pie, Lime Pie, and Lemon.
PALEO PROTEIN BAR – **Warning** This bar is by Julian’s Bakery, who I love. I love their Pizza Crust (just bought four bags of it) and some of their other Paleo-friendly products. I have not tried this bar and so went to look at reviews. Sadness – Paleo Protein Bar has a horrible rep online. However, I got a horrible rep in middle school from a bunch of lies (I survived, don’t worry). I am sensitive to the fact this little bar may be misunderstood. Anyone tried it? Like it or hate it? Do share.
RXBAR – I feel like that mom watching their kid compete in the Olympics or become a famous actor. I have been with RXBar since they launched back in 2013. I stocked and sold them in their original brown paper packaging on my counter in my office. Since then they have rebranded and are now at the top of the Paleo Bar food chain. Well done boys. RXBar is a hefty bar that should be your go-to for hikes and post workouts. These bars are substantial, but with only a few ingredients, you can count on cleanness and easy digestibility.
SIMPLE SQUARE – These little buggers are tremendous. They are a little “fally aparty,” but the taste is non-negotiably delish. The sweetness comes from a well-sourced honey. If you are watching your fructose or sugars keep these to a minimum. There are about 10 grams of sugar per bar but they are a great option for travel because they are compact.
EVO HEMP – Okay these are delicious. The ingredients are fantastic and almost 100% organic. Frankly, I like the product just because the four guys from Boulder that founded the company look so cool. The protein source is Hemp and has a level of sweetness that can take you from snack to dessert.
TANKA – **Warning** These bars are similar to Epic because they are kinda meaty and jerkyish. Some people refer to them as Pemmican-like but leaner and sweeter. I have a problem with them, though. Everywhere online people are calling these bars Paleo and Whole 30 friendly, but every one of their flavors (that I can see) has sugar in it. The sugar is listed as part of the cranberries that are added, but a couple of the bars also have “cane juice.” Sorry, folks, that is sugar. So although these are a “pretty good” alternative to the chocolaty sweetness that passes for protein bars out there, I do not fully consider these Tanka bars Paleo. They are tasty, I will give them that.
WILD ZORA – Good news? Grass Fed Beef and well-sourced turkey and lamb. Not soo good? Some of the flavors have dairy. The lamb and the Turkey flavors are perfectly acceptable. The beef version has Parmesan Cheese (Why, oh why, Zora??) As with the Epic and the Larabars, not ALL the flavors are Paleo or Whole 30 friendly so read your labels. I like these though because they are “wildly” different (see what I did there?) from anything else out there.
YAWP – Now this YAWP bar is a diversion from the theme. Here is a crunchy, crumbly bar that is reminiscent of the old Nature’s Valley granola bar we all got in our lunch boxes in 8th grade. (Well, I did.) It is not too sweet, a little messy, but delicious.
NOGII – Ok. Miss Hasselbeck is charming AND talented. She is a gluten-free guru who developed her NOGII bars with the gluten-free gal or guy in mind. But CAREFUL! Not all NOGII bars are created equal. If you are paleo, you must look for the PALEO labeled NOGII, not just the gluten-free flavors. I was alarmed to see soy and dairy and sweeteners galore in the bars until I realized the differentiation. (Let me say the gluten-free version needs some work, Liz. Number and quality of ingredients, tsk tsk.)
THUNDERBIRD – I love the simplicity of this bar. What you see is what you get. Nuts, seeds, and fruit, blended together simply and elegantly. How much do you love their infographic of ingredients? Pretty much says it all. Very safe bar to grab for Paleo and Whole 30 enthusiasts.
RAW REVOLUTION – These are tricky. First of all, original Raw Revolution bars are delicious, moist and very palatable. The “tricky” is that the “Paleo” approved bars have some Agave sweeteners which are typically not supported by Paleo purists. Secondly, their new “Glo” line, claiming “superfood benefits”, has additional ingredients that include brown rice protein, sugar, and soy!! (Not Paleo or Whole 30 compliant). Such a good example of making the consumer believe they are getting something healthier than even the original version when, in fact, Raw Revolution has diluted the purity of the product. So overall these bars are passable but stay away from their new “Glo” versions.
KIT’S ORGANIC – I am very excited that Clif Bar stepped up to the plate and released a bar that is a health-conscious and whole food. The ingredients are minimal and organic and the price point, commendable. The label reads “unsweetened chocolate”, so I am going to trust that means no added sugar. (I have looked everywhere to find out what their chocolate source is.) So, I do believe that this bar is perfectly acceptable on this “friendly” list.
THE PALEO DIET BAR – Sadly these bars are being reviewed with negative fervor. Julian’s Bakery reviewed them back in 2013, but Julian’s has now put out their own Paleo bar (see above). The Paleo Diet Bars are not easily obtained, and many folks describe them as tasteless. But, some say the cranberry almond flavor is the best kind. Haha, have I sold you?? Don’t take my word for it. The Paleo Diet Bar is available at Amazon and Vitacoast.
AMRAP – Oh, I like this bar. Only just discovered it recently. But first the name. “As many rounds as possible” I love that. I love that “go for it!” attitude. This bar was designed by a group of serious fitness enthusiasts who train big and wanted a paleo bar that met their fueling needs. Ten percent of proceeds go to charities! The ingredients of Amrap, in my opinion, are excellent.
BY THE WAY….
BEWARE OF MISLEADING LABELING: This dumb bar tricked me. The look of the label and the name suggests it is paleo. NOT AT ALL. Sugar, Soy, brown rice syrup, cane syrup are just some of the offending ingredients. NAUGHTY NAUGHTY. “Paleo Inspired,” my left arm!! Watch out for this one.
LOOK AT WHAT I JUST FOUND AS I WAS FINISHING THIS POST!!!
What Paleo Bars are in my cupboard? Epic, Larabar, RXbar, Amrap, Simple squares, Evo Hemp, Thunderbird
This week consider spending more time on reading nutrition labels. I challenge you to take the ten foods with a label ( Apples don’t have a label) that you eat the most often, and dig into their nutritional benefits. Are there sugars, soy, dairy, or any grains? Are there any that you might want to switch out for another option? Have fun cleaning house!
If you like this post, you’ll jump through hoops for these.