Quest Bars Review

7 Reasons Quest Bars are Bad News for Your Health (#5 will shock you!)

Let’s be real, Quest Bars have a cult following. Everywhere you go, people are raving about how delicious and “healthy” they are.

One of my biggest pet peeves is the Instagram pics and TikTok videos showing Quest Bars reconstituted into “heathy” cakes, muffins and even donuts.

So gross!!


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Let me tell you, these things are not healthy at all. In fact, I would go as far as to say that they are downright unhealthy.

But you don’t have to take just my word for it. The many nutritionists I’ve quoted below all agree.

Here are seven reasons why Quest Bars are bad for you. #5 on its own should be enough for you to “just say no”.

1. They are loaded with artificial sweeteners

One of the main ingredients in Quest Bars is sucralose, which is a type of artificial sweetener.

According to registered dietitian and nutritionist Alissa Rumsey, “Artificial sweeteners have been linked to a number of negative health effects, including weight gain, increased risk of type 2 diabetes, and even an increased risk of certain types of cancer.” Yikes.

But wait, there’s more!

2. They are high in processed proteins

Quest Bars are marketed as a high protein snack, but the protein they use is highly processed.

According to nutritionist Megan Ware, “Processed proteins like those found in Quest Bars can be difficult for the body to digest and can put a strain on the kidneys.”

Specifically, Quest uses whey protein isolate rather than whey protein concentrate, becuase it’s cheaper. Turns out Whey Protein Isolate can increase inflammation in the gut, which may harm your microbiome. Oopsie!

No thank you.

3. They are filled with additives and preservatives

Quest Bars contain a laundry list of additives and preservatives, including maltitol, soy lecithin, and cellulose gum.

According to nutritionist Lisa Richards, “These additives and preservatives can cause digestive issues and may even contribute to weight gain.” It’s no wonder people complain about bloating after eating Quest Bars. I’ll pass on the gas!

4. They are high in sugar alcohols

That means more potential stomach trouble.

Many Quest Bars contain sugar alcohols like maltitol, which can cause digestive issues like bloating, gas, and diarrhea. According to registered dietician Andy De Santis, “Sugar alcohols can also interfere with blood sugar control and may lead to weight gain.” That’s right, zero calorie sweeteners can make you fat.

Thanks but no thanks, I’ll pass on the digestive issues and weight gain!

5. They could make you go bald

You were sure whey protein was good for you, right? Not so fast. All whey protein is not created equal. This is a really important topic and there are a lot of misconceptions out there, so we need to return to it.

Grass-fed whey protein concentrate is most certainly good for you.

Unfortunately, as I mentioned earlier, Quest uses whey protein isolate (from corn-fed cows, to boot!), because it’s cheaper. Turns out whey protein isolate has been linked to hair loss, whoops!

See, I wasn’t kidding when I said this one would shock you. I don’t know about you, but possible hair loss is not a risk I am willing to take!

6. They are expensive

With all those low-quality ingredients Quest Bars should be cheap, but turns out it’s the opposite. A single bar can cost upwards of $2.50, which can add up quickly if you’re snacking on them regularly.

According to registered dietitian Abby Langer “There are much cheaper and healthier options out there that provide the same amount of protein and nutrients.”

7. No so low-carb after all

This one’s a real pisser.

What?? But they have all this fiber and the wrapper says the net carb count is close to zero, you say!

Well, unfortunately that’s the fake synthetic fiber isomalto-oligosaccharides. It does not offset carbohydrate absorption like other fibers and has even been shown to increase blood sugar. In fact, Quest Bars was sued for misleading marketing claims because of it.

In fairness, they have begun to switch to Soluble Corn Fiber…which is only 80% as bad. It’s still fake synthetic fiber.

Quest Bars are defintely bad for you

It should be clear by now that Quest Bars are bad news and you’re better off with another bar.

The good news is that you’re in the right place to find the right bar for you, because we’ve reviewed dozens. Check out the best:

And while you’re at it, check out our own Human Food Bar!

quest bars
Quick Take on Quest Bars
The Takeaway
Masquerading as a healthy option, Quest Bars are actually one of the least healthy protein bars available. There’s no shortage of better options.
Taste and Texture
High in protein
Low sugar options
Acceptable taste
Low quality protein (contains isolates)
Loaded with sugar alcohols
Net carbs may not be as low as claimed
Loads of artificial ingredients and preservatives
Can be expensive

Macros: 108 Calories, 6g fat, 20g protein, 6g erythritol, 13g fiber, 5g net carbs


Are Quest Bars healthy?

It depends on your definition of healthy. Quest Bars are marketed as a high-protein, low-sugar snack option and they do contain a good amount of protein and relatively low amounts of sugar compared to other bars or snacks. However, they are also high in calories and contain a number of artificial ingredients and sweeteners, which may not be considered healthy by some. Additionally, the high protein content may not be suitable for everyone, as excessive protein intake can have negative effects on the kidneys and may contribute to other health issues.

What are the unhealthy ingredients in Quest Bars?

Some unhealthy ingredients found in Quest Bars include artificial sweeteners (such as sucralose), processed vegetable oils (such as palm oil), and artificial flavors and colors. These ingredients may be harmful to health in large amounts or when consumed frequently. It is important to read ingredient labels carefully and choose healthier options whenever possible.

Why did Quest Bars get sued?

Quest Bars faced several lawsuits due to their marketing and labeling practices. Some customers claimed that the company misled them with false or misleading information about the nutritional value of their products. These lawsuits alleged that Quest Bars did not accurately disclose the amount of sugar, carbohydrates, and calories in their products, and that the company used deceptive marketing practices to portray their bars as healthier than they actually were. Additionally, some customers claimed that Quest Bars used artificial sweeteners and other controversial ingredients that were not disclosed on their labels.

Remy is the founder of Human Food Bar. A health and wellness enthusiast based in Berkeley, California with a deep interest in dietary nutrition, he's well versed in the Plant Paradox, Keto, Paleo and Vegan diets. He has a borderline obsession with nutrition bars that eventually gave birth to the Human Food Bar. In his free time he likes to blog, cook, mixologize, garden and mountain bike.
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Registered Dietitian Nutritionist, Nutritional Synergy
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Kathy is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist with a Master of Science degree from Michigan State University in Human Nutrition. She's been a Registered Dietitian for 32 years serving in all capacities of my profession from clinical nutrition to public health and education. She's passionate about helping people change their lives for the better using medical nutrition therapy and in the art and practice of writing about all aspects of functional and integrative nutrition.
Remy is the founder of Human Food Bar. A health and wellness enthusiast based in Berkeley, California with a deep interest in dietary nutrition, he's well versed in the Plant Paradox, Keto, Paleo and Vegan diets. He has a borderline obsession with nutrition bars that eventually gave birth to the Human Food Bar. In his free time he likes to blog, cook, mixologize, garden and mountain bike.

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