Low carb and vegan are not necessarily synonymous with eachother and typically people eating a vegan diet will have a diet slightly higher in carbohydrate content – ideally coming from fruits, legumes/beans, and whole grains. However, not everyone eats this way and sometimes vegans will consume higher amount of carbohydrates that looks a little more like vegan mac+cheese with refined grains, fries, tortilla chips/potato chips, cupcakes, cookies, cakes, pretzels, and crackers. This is not ideal from a nutritional standpoint or a satisfaction standpoint.
Although I don’t think low carb diets are for everyone (just like I don’t think vegan diets are for everyone – and I am a vegan dietitian!), I do think that sometimes choosing a low or lower carb vegan protein bar can be helpful.
For example, maybe you’ve had a large lunch and your dinner is smashed between workout and work meetings. Rather than skip dinner or wait until 10pm, it could be helpful to eat a low carb protein bar to give you protein but without all the extras. Or, maybe you’re a really active individual and you just had a hard work out, a low carb protein bar can hep repair muscle cells and reduce soreness. If you are fearful of carbohydrates, that is not a reason to opt of a low carb bar (and that is what I see a lot). Carbohydrates give our minds energy and focus to do really important work in the world. It’s important to choose a vegan protein bar that you enjoy (since you’ll be the one eating it!) that can also help you meet your plant-based nutrition needs whether you are going low/lowish carb or not.
5 Low Carb Vegan Protein Bars
IQ Bars are a keto favorite but they also happen to be vegan and plant-based. Most keto targeted bars use whey or animal collagen for the protein but the IQ Bars use almonds and pea protein for the most part. IQ Bars get their name from the ingredients added meant to help support a healthy brain, like MCT oil, choline, and omega-3 fatty acids. Keep them in the fridge to have them last longer. Each IQ bar has 10 grams of protein and 19 grams of carbohydrate with 4 grams of net carbs and no added sugar. Check out IQ Bars for yourself.
2. Dang Bar – Chocolate Sea SaltThe Dang Bar is a keto friendly and low carb vegan friendly protein bar that contains 4 grams of net carbs (10 grams of total carbohydrates) with chicory root fiber being the second ingredient. Chicory root fiber is a fiber that not all GI systems can handle but if you’re on a low carb diet and not consuming other high fiber foods multiple times per day (beans, legumes, whole grains, fruits), this fiber will likely help keep you regular and not be a problem at all. The bar is targeted at keto eaters but the ingredients are real food based including pea protein, almonds, and coconut. I enjoy the Chocolate Sea Salt flavor the most, but there are 8 different flavors to choose from.
3. Keto Bars! – Chocolate Peanut ButterKeto Bars! are another surprisingly vegan protein bar that are made of plant-based whole ingredients and not whey like many keto and other protein bars. With 13 grams of carbohydrate and only 3 grams of net carbs plus 8 grams of protein from peanut butter, these high fat moderate protein, low carb vegan bars are perfect for breakfast or on-the-go eating. There are seven ingredients (if you count water which is listed on the ingredient list) and although most of them are simple and straightforward, the Keto Bars! do you sugar alcohols to sweeten the bar but without contributing any sugar or carbohydrates. There are 3 Keto Bar flavors, but I recommend the Chocolate Peanut Butter as it has a few more grams of protein compared to the other Keto Bar! flavors.
REDD stands for Radiant Energy Delicious Delivery and these plant-based protein bars are newer to the vegan protein bar market but with 10 grams of protein and 12-15 grams of net carbs, they are a great option if you’re eating plant-based and want a low sugar or lower carbohydrate snack but you’re not full keto and counting macros. The REDD bars also contain a prebiotic fiber blend and live active cultures with potential probiotic activity. Not only do REDD bars help support a healthy gut microbiome but the adaptogenic mushroom blend can be helpful in dealing with life’s stressors (although adaptogens are not for everyone). Find REDD plant-based vegan protein bars with few net carbs HERE.
With only 4 grams of net carbs, Stoka bars are a new option for plant-based eaters who also want lower carbohydrate options for bars and snacks. There are 9 grams of plant-based protein from almonds in each bar to help ward away hunger while continuing to keep yourself nourished and satisfied. Stoka plant-based vegan protein bars are an newer bar on the market, so it’s definitely worth checking out as you likely haven’t tried them before!
There are not too many low carb vegan protein bars on the market and this list definitely covers the heavy hitters in that low carb vegan protein bar space but if you know of another brand/bar that’s also vegan and low carb, comment below and I bet others would like to hear about it as well. If you found this helpful, you may also benefit from the Top Low Sugar Vegan Protein Bars.