It is common to consider only the amount of protein, fat, carbohydrates and calories in a protein bar when making your selection. This is enough for many people, but if your goals include clean eating, you may go a step further and identify organic protein bars. This does reduce the number choices you have, but it also ensures that you aren’t consuming pesticides, hormones, sludge and unnatural fertilizers and pesticides.

It is still important to carefully select a protein bar with a nutritional profile that meets your health and fitness goals. If you compare products and read labels, you should be able to find a bar that meets those needs as well as your desire to eat clean.

What’s In a Label?

If you want to determine if a prepackaged product is organic, it makes sense to look at the label. Unfortunately, there are many labels that you will come across in the organic foods market, and some of them are a bit deceptive. Here is a quick rundown of what you may come across as you shop for organic protein bars created in the United States:

1. Organic: This is one of the trickiest organic labels because the word makes you assume that the product is organic. Unfortunately, manufacturers only need to prove that their product is 95% organic to get this basic label on their package.

2. 100% Organic: Products with this label are entirely organic. This is the label you are looking for if you do not want any nonorganic ingredients in your food.

3. Made with Organic Ingredients: At least 70% of the product ingredients are organic. That means up to 30% of the product may contain nonorganic ingredients.

4. USDA Organic Seal: This round symbol says “USDA Organic” and is present on some products certified as organic by the United States Department of Agriculture. Products qualifying for the “organic” and “100% organic” label can use this seal, so these foods should be at least 95% organic. Not all products that are certified as organic must use the seal. Do not assume that all products with the seal are 100% organic or that products without the seal are not organic.

If you do not detect the USDA Organic seal on a product and the above labels are not found on the packaging, you may still see some organic ingredients listed on the side or back of the package. This means that the product contains some organic ingredients, but those ingredients do not make up a high enough percentage of the product to qualify for an organic endorsement. There are nonorganic ingredients in those products, so they would not fit the criteria for legitimate organic protein bars.

If you come across a product labeled “Certified Organic by (name of a certification agency),” you have probably found a product created outside of the United States. Many Canadian products are labeled “Certified Organic by the Pacific Agricultural Certification Society.” You can look up these agencies online to determine their criteria for issuing their certification labels.

A Note on Organic Nutritional Profiles

You will notice that many organic protein bars contain less protein and more calories than other protein bars currently on the market. This is due to the inclusion of whole, natural foods, which may include organic sugar and other natural sweeteners. Luckily, there are some exceptional organic bars that do offer over 20 grams of protein per bar, and you will learn about one of those in the recommended products below.

Recommended Organic Protein Bars

The market for organic protein supplements is picking up due to consumer demand, so you have quite a few options. All but one of the recommended bars listed here are USDA certified, which means they are at least 95% organic. The last bar is certified by the Pacific Agricultural Certification Society out of Canada.

Protein by Organic Food Bar

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If you are concerned with the purity of ingredients and want to consume a clean, organic diet, this is the best protein bar on the market right now. You get 22 grams of organic protein in every bar, which is comparable to many nonorganic protein bars popular today. This is also double the protein found in many other organic bars. Each bar also contains 9 grams of fiber, 13 grams of fat and 33 grams of carbohydrates.

This is a USDA-certified “organic” bar, so you can expect at least 95% organic ingredients. This brand prides itself or producing pure foods without dairy, GMO, salt, preservatives, additives, refined sugar, soy or gluten. The Protein bar does not contain peanuts and is made of 80% raw ingredients.

MacroBars Organic Protein Bars

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This vegan protein bar is gluten-free and carries the USDA Organic seal. There are no additives or preservatives, so you get wholesome foods close to their natural state. Each bar contains 260 calories, 10 grams of fat, 34 grams of carbohydrates and 12 grams of protein. The calorie and fat content is still reasonable if you are trying to lose weight, but this may not be an ideal pick if you are looking for low-sugar protein bars to control diabetes.

If your focus is natural food without chemicals, this is an ideal protein supplement to consider. The label reads “organic,” so you can assume the ingredients are at least 95% organic.

NuGo Organic Nutrition Bar

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This vegan protein bar contains 32 mg of omega 3 fatty acids from plant-based ingredients and is packed with antioxidants. You only get 10 grams of protein from each bar, but you get the benefit of a supplement that contains no dairy, trans fat or hydrogenated oil. You can select from a variety of flavors, so make sure to look at all of your options before making your final pick.

The label reads “organic” and the product carries the USDA Organic seal, so you can assume that the ingredients are at least 95% organic.

Amazing Grass Organic Protein Bar

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This gluten-free protein bar contains less protein and more calories than some other organic protein bars, but it is a natural foods product grown and harvested by a family-operated farm in Kansas. The final product is manufactured in Canada, so it is certified by a Canadian authority rather than the USDA. Each bar contains 270 calories, 14 grams of fat, 28 grams of carbohydrates, and 12 grams of protein. This is a pure food protein supplement suitable for a clean eating diet. The carbohydrate count includes 3 grams of fiber and 19 grams of sugar.

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