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Many keto dieters turn to protein bars for a great snack that offers energy and helps build muscle. They assume it’s a healthy treat that won’t kick them out of ketosis.
Many protein bars are widely available in stores, just like Pure Protein.
Are Pure Protein bars keto-friendly?
We discuss whether Pure Protein bars help with weight loss and if they are compatible with the keto diet.
We also share with you some protein bar recommendations for keto and some other protein-rich foods to eat on the keto diet.
What are Pure Protein Bars?
Pure Protein makes a protein bar that has a high protein-to-carb ratio. It’s great for gym enthusiasts who want to gain a few pounds or some lean muscle mass.
The protein blend includes isolates instead of L-glutamine or BCAAs. These are:
- Milk Protein Isolate
- Whey Protein Isolate
- Whey Protein Isolate.
Because these protein bars contain no casein, expect to be able to digest them more quickly. Casein is a dairy protein that is slow-digesting to help boost muscle growth.
Pure Protein bars are available in multiple flavors, including:
- Birthday Cake: 11.5g net carbs
- Chocolate Peanut Butter: 12g net carbs
- Dark Chocolate Coconut: 14g net carbs
- S’mores: 13.5g net carbs
- PLUS Apple Pie: 15g net carbs
- PLUS Cookies & Cream: 14g net carb
- Chewy Chocolate Chip 13.5g net carbs
- Chocolate Peanut Caramel: 12.5g net carbs
- Peanut Butter Caramel: 14.5g net carbs
- Greek Yogurt Blueberry: 14.5 g net carbs
- PLUS Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough: 13.5g net carbs
- Chocolate Deluxe: 13g net carbs
- Chocolate Salted Caramel: 15.5g net carbs
- Red Velvet Cake: 9.5g net carbs
- Greek Yogurt Strawberry: 15.5g net carbs
- PLUS Mocha Brownie: 13.5g net carbs.
Pure Protein is marketed for runners, weightlifters, athletes, and anyone else looking for a quick and easy way to increase their protein intake.
Pure Protein Bar Nutrition
The most common flavor of Pure Protein bar is the chocolate deluxe, which has 180 calories, 4.5g fat, 3g saturated fat, 17g carbs, 3g sugar, 4g sugar alcohol, 2g fiber, and 85mg of sodium.
The bar is under 200 calories with 15g net carbs. And it contains 20g of protein.
Convenient Source of Nutrients
Protein bars like Pure Protein are simple and ready to eat. If you want something easy for a snack, this food has high-quality ingredients that are practical for the keto lifestyle.
Pure’s protein comes from milk, soy, peanut, and tree nut ingredients, which are a good choice for a before or after workout snack to aid in muscle repair and growth.
Be careful as these ingredients do contain common allergens.
If you are an active person, adding more protein to the keto diet may aid your efforts. Studies state that protein supplementation can increase your muscle mass and performance.
It also contains dietary fiber, which is important for digestive health. However, the fiber content is not a large percentage.
Fiber deficiency is common among keto dieters, so fiber supplements are often necessary.
Contains Sugar Alcohol
All Pure Protein bars are sweetened with maltitol, unlike other unhealthy protein bars that include high-fructose corn syrup which increases the risk of fatty liver, obesity, and diabetes.
This naturally occurring sugar is what makes Pure Protein a selling point.
When consumed in moderation, maltitol is safe on keto. This sugar alcohol is commonly used to lower the calorie content of foods.
However, other sweeteners like erythritol, stevia, and monk fruit are more recommended on a low-carb diet.
Sugar alcohols are typically manufactured rather than being used in their natural form. They are found in baked goods, candies, and even medications.
Protein bars are a quick way to replace a meal, although this is not always recommended.
The 20 grams of protein is sufficient for many people who do not have high-calorie needs or high-intensity training needs.
Even though Pure Protein bars are nutrient-dense, you still want to opt for whole foods on the keto diet for maximum health without getting kicked out of ketosis.
Does Pure Protein Bar Help with Weight Loss?
This depends on how much you are eating and your activity levels.
Protein supports healthy weight loss because of its filling effects that can curb your appetite and prevent overeating.
However, protein is also consumed by people who want to gain weight. Protein bars are calorie-dense, meaning they provide a lot of calories in a small serving.
Make sure you know how to calculate your daily protein intake on the keto diet, so you don’t over or under-eat.
Are Pure Protein Bars Keto-Friendly?
No. Pure Protein bars are not keto-friendly.
To understand whether a food is keto-friendly or not, you have to look at the carb count and the nutrients it contains.
Unfortunately, Pure Protein bars are on our list of not-so-keto-friendly protein bars because they have 9.5-15.5 g net carbs per serving.
That number of carbs is too high for a keto dieter whose daily carb limit should be around 35-50g per day.
Protein bars are still processed food, and you should not be eating processed foods regularly if you want to remain healthy.
Avoid unhealthy ingredients like artificial flavors, preservatives, fake synthetic fibers, and sugar on the keto diet.
You should maximize your daily intake by consuming whole foods that are nutritious, such as carrots, beans, seafood, and blue cheese.
Another reason why Pure Protein bars are not keto-friendly is that maltitol is not the best sweetener to consume when on keto.
Maltitol has a glycemic index of 52, which is close to the GI of table sugar.
And just because keto is a high-fat diet doesn’t mean you can eat any fat sources. Pure Protein bars use highly processed oils.
Palm oil, for instance, contains chemical residues, hexanes, and waste products that can damage the body even if they claim to be “natural”.
Check the label on your protein bar if there is “fractionated palm,” “palm kernel oil,” or “modified palm oil.”
Always go for high-quality fats on the keto diet.
How Many Pure Protein Bars Can You Eat on Keto?
Ideally, you shouldn’t be eating Pure Protein bars at all on keto. But if you can’t resist, or they are your only option, just have one.
One Pure Protein bar a day is okay to satisfy your sweet tooth without getting kicked out of ketosis. But you will have to carefully monitor your carb intake for the rest of the day.
While you are technically allowed to have one, we don’t recommend you eating Pure Protein bars too often.
There are much better options to choose from.
Better Protein Bars for Keto
Most protein bars are so high in refined sugar that they might as well be in the candy section of the supermarket.
Here are some low-carb, keto-friendly protein bars you can try instead.
Perfect Keto Bars
Perfect Keto Bars are one of the best protein bars for keto. These low-glycemic snacks have clean ingredients which are also paleo-friendly.
For instance, they use tapioca flour as an alternative to corn syrup and corn starch.
These delicious bars are sweet but low in carbs! They don’t have any sugar or sugar alcohols, so you can satisfy your sweet tooth without guilt post-workout!
With only 2 or 3g net carbs per serving, these Perfect Keto bars will help you stay in ketosis!
They also have 11g of protein from grass-fed collagen, one of the best protein sources on the keto diet.
Dang Bars are low-sugar bars that have almonds, sunflower, and chia seeds. Available in flavors like Peanut Butter and Toasted Coconut, this product is 100% plant-based and dairy-free.
Each bar contains 4-5g of net carbs and 14-16g of fat, making it suitable for the keto dieter who wants to stay in ketosis.
One bar of this yummy treat contains 9g of protein.
It’s the perfect protein treat for muscle growth and staying satiated because you won’t feel any bloating after eating it! This vegan protein bar uses vegan pea protein instead of whey protein.
Dang Bars contain chicory root fiber, an excellent source of gut-healthy prebiotic fiber.
BHU Keto Bars
BHU Keto Bars are the best go-to snack if you want something fudgy without artificial sweeteners or preservatives.
Store these bars in a cool, dry place like the refrigerator to avoid early expiration.
Each bar has 200-270 calories, which is higher than Pure Protein bars. But they are lower in carbs with only 2-3g net carbs per bar.
BHU Keto Bars contain organic tapioca flour, which has nondigestible fiber to feed good bacteria in your gut and give you a stronger immune system.
The 8g of protein comes mainly from organic pea protein, an organic plant-based ingredient that can provide you with energy while helping you maintain and develop your muscle mass.
Homemade Keto Protein Bar
If you’re still having second thoughts about store-bought protein bars, you can always make your own keto protein bars.
This recipe by Chocolate Covered Katie only has four ingredients and 3.9g total carbs.
All you need is the following:
- ½ cup nut butter
- 3 tbsp keto-friendly protein powder
- ¼ tsp salt
- 1 ½ tbsp granulated erythritol
- 4 oz sugar-free chocolate chips, optional.
Other Protein-Rich Foods
Now if you want whole protein sources instead of processed protein bars, here are the best options for the keto diet:
- lean meats like beef, lamb, veal, pork
- poultry like chicken, turkey, duck, goose
- fish and seafood like prawn, crabs, mussels
- eggs and dairies like milk and cheese
- nuts and legumes.
Some grains and cereal-based foods are also high in protein, but the carb content in these will likely be too high.
People following a strict vegetarian or vegan diet need to choose a variety of protein sources from whole food plant-based sources.
FAQ Protein and the Keto Diet
Is it Okay to Eat a Protein Bar Every Day?
Just because a protein bar is low in carbs does not mean you should eat them every day.
Most of your diet should always come from healthy whole food sources, rather than processed foods.
Another reason why you shouldn’t eat a lot of low-carb protein bars is that too much sugar alcohol and whey protein can cause digestive upset.
Learn how to calculate your macros for keto to ensure that you are always in ketosis.
Can I Have Protein Shakes on Keto?
You can have protein shakes on the keto diet. Remember that not all protein shakes are made the same.
Some protein shakes have high carb content while others are low-carb and keto-friendly.
Go for one that contains adequate amounts of protein and low amounts of carbs to help you stay in ketosis.
Find out which protein powder is the best for keto.
Can I Have Beef Jerky on Keto for Protein?
Beef jerky is another protein source you can eat on keto.
Slim Jims are the most famous beef jerky that come as a ready-to-eat snack. Each pack has just the right ratios of protein and fat to make them a great keto snack.
While they are low-carb, Slim Jims may still kick you out of ketosis when you eat too much. It’s also not the healthiest source of nutrients for you.
Find out more about Slim Jims on the keto diet.
Look for Low-Carb Protein Bars on Keto
Finding the tastiest and best low-carb protein bar for the keto diet is not easy. You need to make sure it has the right ingredients, is low in net carbs, and has a good amount of protein from a healthy source.
Protein Bars like Pure Protein are usually laden with too much sugar or sugar alcohols that might kick you out of ketosis. They also have a lot of unhealthy additives that can harm your body.
Note the net carb counts of your protein bars to ensure you stay in ketosis.
Always check the nutrition label and ingredients list because what you eat does matter on the keto diet. Beware of the types of foods that kick you out of ketosis!