glazed donut

If you've been reaching for protein bars as part of a healthy diet in the hopes of boosting your protein intake and losing weight while building lean muscle, you may want to check out these 5 'healthy' protein bars which actually have more sugar and calories than a donut.

Krispy Kreme Glazed Donut Nutritional Information

We'll be comparing the 'healthy' protein bars to a classic: the Krispy Kreme glazed donut. If you're on a diet, trying to lose weight, or just trying live a healthy lifestyle, no way would you go near one of these. But shockingly, they contain fewer calories, carbs, sugar, and fat than a lot of the 'healthy' foods on our list.

We've created a handy table at the end of the article directly comparing the stats of the 'healthy' foods with the donut.

One Krispy Kreme Glazed Donut contains:

190 calories

11g of fat

22g of carbohydrates

10g of sugar

3g of protein

Krispy Kreme Donuts Nutritional Information

Myprotein Baked Chocolate Cookie

Myprotein cites the key 'benefits' of eating this cookie being that it's high in protein, vegan-friendly, and baked using high quality ingredients. While 13g of protein is certainly high compared to a normal cookie, it still contains a lot of calories and sugar (much more than our Krispy Kreme donut).

You'd probably be better off eating a grilled chicken breast (or suitable vegan alternative) to get your protein hit and then enjoy a delicious donut, leaving you having consumed fewer calories and carbs than if you'd eaten one of these cookies. 

One Myprotein Baked Chocolate Cookie contains:

289 calories 

8.6g of fat

38g of carbohydrates

16g of sugar

13g of protein

Multipower Power Pack Bar

The Multipower Power Pack bar is marketed as being a 'healthy snack' and claims to contain 27% high quality protein. While this may be true, it also contains as much sugar as a Krispy Kreme and less protein than 100g of quinoa. 

One Multipower Power Pack Bar contains:

145 calories 

4.7g of fat

14g of carbohydrates

11g of sugar

11g of protein

Myprotein High Protein Flapjack

The Myprotein flapjack is a formidable snack, containing a huge 324 calories (as much as a small meal) and an impressive 20g of sugar (almost twice as much as the donut). Despite this, it still contains less protein than a standard chicken breast or protein shake.

Why not enjoy a normal snack like a bar of chocolate so that you don't feel like you're depriving yourself, which would contain fewer calories and less sugar than this flapjack, and then top up your protein intake through a natural source like eggs, steak, or quinoa. 

One Myprotein High Protein Flapjack contains:

324 calories 

11g of fat

32g of carbohydrates

20g of sugar

20g of protein

Nutramino Protein Bar

The Nutramino Protein Bar is marketed as being a healthy on-the-go snack, boasting about its 20g of protein. However, it contains 4g more sugar than a donut and more than twice the fat found in a Mars bar. 

One Nutramino Protein Bar contains:

290 calories 

14g of fat

22g of carbohydrates

15g of sugar

20g of protein

Science In Sport Protein Bar

Finally, we have the Science In Sport protein bar. SIS are world-renowned for their energy gels and are proud to fuel such athletes as Chris Froome and Olympic medallists. However, their protein bar contains almost twice as much sugar as a donut and is calorie-rich at 223 calories. 

One Science In Sport Protein Bar Contains:

223 calories 

6.4g of fat

21g of carbohydrates

18g of sugar

20g of protein

Nutritional Comparison

 Product Calories Fat Carbs Sugar Protein
Krispy Kreme Donut 190 11g 22g 10g 3g
Myprotein Cookie 289 8.6g 38g 16g 13g
Multipower Bar 145 4.7g 14g 11g 11g
Myprotein Flapjack 324 11g 32g 20g 20g
Nutramino Bar 290 14g 22g 15g 20g
Science In Sport Bar 223 6.4g 21g 18g 20g

Key Takeaways

The point we're trying to make here is that there are are lot of products out there that are being marketed to us as being 'healthy' when they really aren't. Nutrition and weight loss are difficult enough as it is without struggling to know what you should and shouldn't eat. 

As always, check the labels on what you are eating and educate yourself on how much of each macronutrient (fat, carbs, protein) you should be eating each day, as well as how much fibre you need (hint: it's more than you think!) and limiting your sugar intake.

These days, sugar is added into everything and so limiting your intake can be difficult. Make informed choices and don't be tricked into eating something just because of the way it's sold to you. Natural foods will always be healthier than packaged foods, and if you want a treat from time to time then go ahead! You can still indulge without going too far over your daily caloric allowance. 

Remember: weight loss is only possible if you maintain a caloric deficit, meaning you burn more calories than you consume. You only need a 500 calorie daily deficit to lose 1lb of fat every week. Eating one 190-calorie donut probably isn't going to bust your diet, but a 324-calorie 'healthy' flapjack might!