Nature Valley – Protein Bar Review

Reviewing the Nature Valley Protein bars:

My overall rank on this product is at the end of the Post.

These Protein Bars made with whole grains, and the standard bars have ten grams of protein per bar.

The consistency of the product is chewy and holds together very well.

It comes in a variety of different flavors and is also available in the XL which delivers 15 grams of protein in each bar.


Cheap compared to most Protein Bars.

The good nutritional balance between sugar (14g), fiber (5g) and protein (10g) = (-1 carbs)

The first ingredient is peanuts (good unless allergic)


Being processed has soy products that can probably have some GMO in it.

Sources are from glycerin and starches (cause triglycerides to increase)

Price varies by the retailer you purchase the product. Each of the major retailers offers product sales and special incentive programs, and buyer must on the look for the best deals.

Nature Valley Guarantees their products since the 1800s.

Cheap Protein Bars

Just because a company uses the economy of scale to lower they are per unit product cost; that does not necessarily mean that the products are bad or good for you.

While we are all looking to save money at the grocery store, the trend is for people to be more conscious of the nutrition value of the food we are buying.

With Nature Valley I have gotten outstanding quality products; that goes back for as long as I can remember.

Even when eating the higher calorie products, before having to cut that out of my diet, they were very good to me.

I have had people complain about Nature Valley products being too sweet, but that is a matter of taste. Guess I have always had a bit of a sweet tooth… so there you go.

Extra High Protein Content

Well, the main reason the Nature Valley XL Protein Bar has so much more protein is that it is 50% larger than the ones that have 10g of protein.

That’s right these XL bars are extra large, which puts them in the correct calorie range for a meal replacement bar in a pinch.

As discussed in my previous post Meal Replacement Shakes – Smoothies for Kids.

I have not seen these in the stores yet, found this while researching for this article. It is available from Amazon. I plan to purchase some from Amazon if we cannot find at the grocery store. Prefer to try a few before buying bulk.

Gluten Free – Does It Matter

When does it matter about gluten-free? There is so much misinformation out there; some swear that it is the worst thing you can put in your body.

While others; including my Doctor, shrug it off, saying that if you are not allergic, don’t worry about it.

Better to listen to the medical experts rather than some fad diet that claims to find the secret to magical weight loss.

According to the latest research; unless someone has Celiac disease, going on a gluten-free diet may be harmful, and not suitable for someone to try.

Best to check with your Doctor before trying any new diets.

But just for those who do have Celiac disease, the Nature Valley Protein Bars do not contain any gluten.

Pass the Taste Test

How well does Nature Valley stand up to the competition? Well, that is a matter of personal preference; but what I used to compare these two was something sweet, like a candy bar.

For those of us who have a sweet tooth; there is no comparison. Snickers Bar wins hand down!

But for those of us who do not have the option for a Snickers Bar. Well, these taste pretty good against healthier types of snack bars.

Might as well be happy about it, right? Let’s compare two of Nature Valleys products side by side to see how they measure up to a Snickers candy bar.


Let’s start with the (10g) Protein Bar, with Peanut Butter Dark Chocolate.

Up against the Crunchy Granola Oats & Honey.

Just take a look at the serving size of each and they are close, with the Protein Bar two grams heavier than the Granola Bars; but the sugars are about half on the Protein Bar than that of the Granola Bars!

Just take a look at the serving size of each and they are close, with the Protein Bar two grams heavier than the Granola Bars; but the sugars are about half on the Protein Bar than that of the Granola Bars!

Now take a look at the Snickers Bar.

There is the reason the Snickers taste so good; our bodies crave sugar more than anything else, that’s why they still make them.

People buy them even though they are not the best snack. Heck, just looking at that picture makes me want one!

The NET CARB Count on each are:

Regular 10g Protein Bar with Peanut Butter Dark Chocolate = -1 NET CARB
XL 15g Protein Bar with Peanut Butter Dark Chocolate = -2 NET CARBS
Crunchy Granola Oats & Honey = +24 NET CARBS 
Snickers Bar = +30 NET CARBS

Now look at the difference in the calorie content of each:

Regular 10g Protein Bar with Peanut Butter Dark Chocolate = 190
XL 15g Protein Bar with Peanut Butter Dark Chocolate = 290
Crunchy Granola Oats & Honey = 190
Snickers Bar = 271

It would be better to go ahead and have the Snickers Bar before the Crunchy Granola; especially when you take the size difference into account, the Snickers is 15g larger than the two Crunchy Granola bars are. *

Thanks for taking the time to read this post, hope that it helps!

Please leave any comments or suggestions below.

27 comments on “Nature Valley – Protein Bar Review

  • Barbara says:

    Good thing I read your post after I came back from dinner, or I would be on my way out to find a snickers bar. Your post is very straight forward and informative. I enjoyed reading it.  When you go to the grocery store with a list be very careful about reading ingredients.  Nature Valley protein bars are less expensive than other bars but there is a good nutrition balance between sugar, fiber  and protein.   However, today people are more conscious of nutrition value rather than price. The XL protein bar is 50% larger than the 10 gram protein bar, so it could qualify as a meal replacement. Nature Valley Nutrition bars are supposedly safe for those who suffer from Celieac disease.  The author made good use of visuals. This is an informative post with  just a little humor in it–which I found very engaging.

    • Chad Trader says:

      Thank you Barbara for your comment, you are right people are becoming more aware these days.

      People working shift work are more prone to eating badly just by the schedules they keep.

      Most of the men I am around on a daily basis are not thinking too much about the nutrition.

      That is one of the main reasons I started blogging about this to help me keep it on my mind.  

  • Babsie Wagner says:

    I love the peanut butter and dark chocolate option in the XL.  I’ve never seen these protein bars in the stores either, so I think I’m going to go ahead and order these.  I always get to the end of my protein bars wishing I had a little more, lol, so these might just do the trick.  The dark chocolate is so healthy and good for you, I can’t wait to try this variety.  If I hadn’t come across your article, I never would have even known they existed.  Thanks for the great info!

    • Chad Trader says:

      Thanks for the comment Babs, glad to help get the word out. Learning about it myself, ran acrossed this product while looking for something else! I was not aware of it either. 

  • Ashley says:

    I’ve always really liked Nature Valley products in general. I don’t think they’re too sweet at all, but then again, I have a pretty intense sweet tooth. Dangit if I don’t love those crunchy granola bars too! I guess it just goes to show that just because something is advertised as a healthy option, it’s not always the best choice! 

    • Chad Trader says:

      Thanks for the comment Ashley, I thought the same thing about the Crunchy Granola Bars before learning how to interpret the labels.

      The D.E. Nurse opened my eyes to looking at the sugar content much differently; guess with all the advertisment throughout the years we get brainwashed to thinking what is good for us.

  • Dale says:

    The myth is that these bars are all good for a person.  My wife couldn’t believe it when I showed her the contents and how much sugar are in these bars.  I to always thought these were healthy until I was diagnosed with diabetes.

    That got me reading labels and I to was amazed at how these weren’t good for me. Im not saying they aren’t good for some people but all Im saying is that its important to pay attention to what we are putting into our body.

    Thank you for taking the time to write this article.

    • Chad Trader says:

      I agree with you Dale, one of the first things after being told I had diabetes was to learn how to read the labels. 

      There is a lot more to it than that, but knowing how to balance the carbs with the protein has opened my eyes to what it is we are putting in our bodies. 

      Checking your blood sugar about hour after eating foods we question, is the best way to see how it is afffecting you! Best tip from my D.E. Nurse.

  • Dave says:

    Hi Chad,

    Wonderful article, I like the way you have highlighted all the contents of the bars, I was blown away to discover that snickers has 29g of sugar. I mean where do they put it all?. I will be keeping clear of them!

    I’m not sure about Natures Valley Protein bars getting 5 stars, still too much sugar for me and all those ingredients, I mean look at the list of ingredients. It would take 10 minutes just to read them all. 

    I think their must be better alternatives to getting more natural protein.


    • Chad Trader says:

      Thanks for your comment Dave, these are not the best sources of protein but the Nature Valley bar is better than most and much better than the Crunchy Granola! 

      The Pure Protein Bars are the best I have seen so far, when comparing regular Protein Bars. I am still looking into other sources of protein bars, glad to hear any suggestions?

  • Telma says:

    We eat allots Cruncky Grnnola bars in home. Even my kids like then allots. I didn’t know that is more sugar on they than the Protein Bar, however nothing compare with Snickers Bar of couse. 

    I always get a productos from Nature Valley at supermarket because I trust they in quality and freshiness. Guess what? I just get one crunchy Oats ‘n Honey to eat, I could not resist those pictures here. 

    Question: why the Nature Valey Crunchy Granola bar loose in stars for Snickers bar?

                     What about the chocolates on thr Proteina Bars? Do not make more caloric?

    The place we buy those are Bj’s and Cosco. Now Publix estarting have then also.

    Your blog is been very helpuful in glut free for those that look for a snack  and can not have gluten.

    To you success,

    • Chad Trader says:

      Hi Telma,

      Thanks for the reply, it came pretty much as a surprise to me that there was so much sugar in the Crunchy Granola bars. That’s the reason for the low stars with the Crunchy Granola, both the Protein Bar and the Snickers are bigger portions with the Snickers Bar that I used in the comparison being 25% large than the Crunchy Granola bar.

      While there is more calories, the snickers bar is far more satisfying than the Crunchy Granola bars are. But had to take away points from the Snickers Bar for the high sugar content. For that reason; and the low nutritional value,  the Snickers Bar is not a suitable meal replacement candidate either.

      The chocolate by itself is not all bad for you, normally we think of chocolate as milk chocolate which is creamy and melts in your mouth, right? But it’s the sugar content that makes it bad for us. Dark chocolate has more of the cocoa than the milk chocolate does and provides us more health benefits.

      Hope that helps,

      Have a great day!


      • Telma A Donahue says:

        Yes, help allots, thank you so much, Chad. I will look with another eye to Crunchy Granola bars from now on.

        Cheers to your success,


  • Chris says:


    This is a great article that is not pushy but very informative. I like the fact that you show the nutritional value as well as compare the competition to a snickers bar. You also cover the gluten aspect and tell folks to advise their doctor, which shows you care about the overall health of the reader. Your style is laid back but very informative and you let the reader decide on the facts you present which are compelling. Great article, great style of writing, keep up the great work!

    • Chad Trader says:

      Hi Chris,

      Thanks for the feedback and I appreciate you taking the time to let me know what your thoughts are. It is encouraging to hear that someone likes what you’re doing; puts a smile on their faces and makes them want to continue with a good attitude about it.

      Have a great day!


  • Jim says:

    Hi Chad. Thank you for your informative article on Nature Valley protein bars. They actually sound very yummy, unusual for something that is good for us. I’m looking for bars such as this not so much for the protein level, but more for the carbohydrate levels. I have a 5 year old granddaughter with diabetics 1, and it seems most companies tend to forget about these people when producing food. She is unable to consume foods with high carbohydrate levels and we find it difficult to have snacks available that suit her when she stays with us. Could you please let  me know if these bars are lower then the average in carbs, or if they have any other bars available that might be.  Jim

    • Chad Trader says:

      Hi Jim,

      Thanks for your comment, I have been focused on type 2 diabetes and how that interacts with the carbs, but there is still the need watch the carb intake with type 1 diabetes. 

      These Nature Valley protein bars are not the lowest in sugar or highest in protein, especially when you compare them to other more expensive bars on the market. But, for the price the Nature Valley protein bar is the best value with a -1 NET carb count.

      What may be a better choice is the Pure Protein Bars they have less sugar and better taste than any of the protein bars that I have tried. Your granddaughter may like the taste better than the Nature Valley product.

      Have a great day!


  • Brandon Pierce says:

    It always fascinates me the way carbs versus calories works out in most cases.  This is a great example.  That Snickers calorie count doesn’t look that daunting, but the toll it takes on the spiking of your blood sugar levels is so much more of a problem.  This is the problem with people that believe that diets that revolve around calorie counting are successful.  There are so many more parts of the equation that are not being taken into account.  Great article and I concur with your findings.

    • Chad Trader says:

      Hi Brandon,

      Thanks for the comment and your insights on how our diets are much more complex than we tend to give it credit for. As we study these thing more,  it is amazing how many things we can learn about ourselves! Glad to know you appreciate the article. 

      Have a great day!


  • Jenny says:

    I’m definitely going to try the protein bars. They look nice and yummy… and they have chocolate!

    Honestly, it’s not so usual to find something that it is healthy, tasty and have a nice price for what you get. Usually, they have two out of three max. Thanks for the recommendation!

    • Chad Trader says:

      Hi Jenny,

      Thanks for your comment, yes it is good to find something that is cheap but still good for you! Hope you enjoy them.

      Have a great day!


  • Marita says:

    Hi Chad,

    I am on the pre- diabetic  stage also, with my blood sugars on the borderline mark. 

    I love sweets, as well, but I try to eat very little, just tasting them if I can. I find the Nature valley protein bar sweet as well, so I don’t really buy a lot of them.

    How do you compare the sugar content from the protein bar compared to fresh fruit, like bananas?  


    • Chad Trader says:

      Hi Marita,

      Thanks for your comment, it is important to take care about your diet, I do not for many years and now I’m paying for it! Sound like you are concerned and trying to do the right things. 

      Sweets have always been a weakness of mine, that makes it harder to cut them out of my diet. But it is something doable!

      The average medium size banana contains 14g of sugar, that’s more than two times the sugar than one regular Nature Valley Protein Bar. 

      When you look at a normal breakfast and consider having a banana or protein bar; an large egg contains 6g of protein,  you would need to eat three eggs to offset the 14g of sugar from the banana! 

      Hope you are hungry… the protein bar is already a -1 NET carb.

      Hope that helps,

      Have a great day!


  • Garen says:

    I’ve been eating the cheap protein bars from Aldi’s for several months.  I know the ones from Aldi’s are cheap.  The problem is they give me gas and make me constipated.

    It does look like these ones have a lot less carbs though.  I have always heard that carbs equal weight.  Also, it looks like the calories are far less. I just checked my current ones and it looks like they are 380 calories!

    Do you happen to know if they have any mint flavor protein bars?  I quickly glanced at the ones by Nature Valley, but I didn’t see any mint flavored ones.

    • Chad Trader says:

      Hi Garen, 

      Thanks for your comment, you know sometimes we get what we pay for, sorry to hear about your digestive issues. I have noticed that if I eat too many protein bars without drinking a bottle of water before and after I get a similar results as you describe. May give that a try… maybe it will help you.

      I could not find any Nature Valley mint flavored protein bars either. There is a chocolate mint flavored Cliff bar that has a +8 NET carb with 20g of protein. Would be a suitable snack if not diabetic. They are reasonably priced in regular grocery stores at little over a dollar a bar.

      If you like them you can get them in bulk from Amazon but they are about the same price, just convenient.

      Have a great day!


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