Healthy Living, Natural Foods

Choosing the Right Health Bar

The Vitamin Shoppe


If there is a common question I hear a lot, it is how to choose the right health bar. How do you tell the difference between a meal replacement bar and a protein bar? Did you even know there is a huge difference between the two? You could actually disable any chance of seeing real results in your goals simply because you are choosing the wrong foods. It is important to truly understand every food and the ingredients that you are consuming if you are serious about accomplishing health goals.


For teens and the young this is very important. A reason I was inspired to find education on this topic was because I have a teenage stepson and one day he tells me his mother has bought him a popular high fat/high protein shake mix and he drinks it every morning trying to lose weight. He had intentions of working out, but aside from some PE class time he was not attending a gym. The ingredients in his drink were meant for those with an intense workout regimen in their day and not for use as a standard weight loss shake when activity level is below moderate. It was hard to convince him that this ‘yummy’ drink that has cool commercials and shows fit men was the entirely wrong choice for him!


There are real purposes to health products and with nutrition bars and shakes, they are very specific. Don’t choose the wrong product or you can have the opposite results. I reached out to The Vitamin Shoppe who I have the pleasure of working with quite a bit and here is the advice sent to me for all of you.


Brian Tanzer of The Vitamin Shoppe® , Board Certified Nutrition Specialist with an MS in nutritional science was able to provide this understanding so you can choose the right health bars for yourself. 


Difference between protein bars and meal replacement bars:
Protein bars are higher in protein and contain less carbohydrate and fat.  They are a convenient source of additional protein when you’re on the go. Meal replacement bars typically contain all three key nutrients, protein, carbohydrate and fat, as well as additional vitamins and minerals.  These bars can be used to replace a small meal, or even as a healthy snack when your pressed for time.


Protein Bars
Protein Bar
Contains whey protein hydrolysate, which is easier to digest than typical whey protein isolate/concentrate. Recommended for those looking for a protein snack that’s easy on the digestive system.
Great option for a vegan looking for a high-fiber, all natural protein bar.
Only 230 calories and 12 grams of protein this is a great option for those looking for a non-GMO, organic protein bar.
Meal Replacement Bars
Meal Replacement
Due to the high protein content, along with carbohydrates and fat, this bar works as a mini meal replacement. It’s free of artificial flavors and colors.
High in protein with 20 grams of carbohydrates for energy and healthy fats derived from almonds this bar can also be used as a mini meal replacement
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