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The Worst Protein Bar to Eat, According to a Dietitian

Don't let this junk food in disguise sabotage your healthy eating.
FACT CHECKED BY Olivia Tarantino

Whether they're being used as a meal replacement or post-workout snack, protein bars are commonly billed as healthy food. And while there are definitely some protein bars out there with impressive nutritional profiles (just check out the 15 Best Healthy & Low-Sugar Protein Bars), many of those supposedly healthy treats are little more than glorified candy.

However, even among the less-than-stellar protein bars on the market, there's one protein bar, in particular, that experts say you should avoid if you want to stay healthy: Gatorade's Peanut Butter Chocolate Whey Protein Bar.

Trista Best, RD, MPH, a registered dietitian at Balance One Supplements, says that Gatorade's Peanut Butter Chocolate Whey Protein Bar is a particularly bad choice for anyone trying to eat a healthy diet or lose weight.

one wrapped and one unwrapped gatorade protein bar on table outdoors
Courtesy of Gatorade

"Just one of these bars contains 360 calories and 25 grams of sugar for just 20 grams of protein. As a general rule, the amount of sugar in a healthy protein bar should not be higher than the protein content," says Best.

However, it's not just the sugar shock of this bar that earns it such low marks from the experts.

"This bar provides little in the way of other nutrients beneficial to workout performance and or recovery," Best explains.

Best also notes that it's not just the sugar or calories in most protein bars that you should be considering before you dig in, though.

"It's also important not to get carried away with the amount of protein in your bars," says Best. "The body can only sufficiently process about 25 grams of protein at a time. Anything over this will be stored as fat and can also put the liver and kidneys under stress."

So, if you want to indulge in the occasional protein bar, go ahead—just don't assume that every option on the shelf at your local store is a healthy choice.

If you need more incentive to nix those sugary snacks from your meal plan, check out the Side Effects of Giving up Protein Bars, According to Science.

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Sarah Crow
Sarah Crow is a senior editor at Eat This, Not That!, where she focuses on celebrity news and health coverage. Read more about Sarah
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