YES Bar Review

Remy has reviewed over 100 protein bars. He's the founder of Human Food Bar.

5 Reasons to Just Say NO to YES Bar (#3 Alone Should Convince You)

YES Bar review comparison chart

Macros: 210 calories, 15g fat, 5g protein, 9g sugar, 3g fiber, 12g net carbs

YES Bar. The name sounds promising, doesn’t it? Like a healthy, wholesome endorsement of good food choices. They’ve carefully cultivated an image of clean, guilt-free snacking with their emphasis on plant-based, non-GMO, and even kosher certification.

But here’s the problem: YES Bar aren’t nearly as good for you as they want you to believe. Beneath the feel-good marketing and wholesome-sounding ingredients list, there’s a not-so-sweet truth lurking.

Let’s peel back the wrapper and see why these bars deserves a resounding “NO” from anyone who truly cares about their health (with one major exception which I’ll get to at the end).

1. The Sugar Shell Game

YES Bar loves to claim its bars have about half the sugar of an apple. A medium-sized Fuji apple (200g) contains close to 26g of sugar, which is more than 1.5x what you’ll find in a Snickers and before you protest that fructose is a healthier sugar, it’s barely different from high-fructose corn syrup)!

And while a YES Bar claims to have ‘only’ 9g of sugar, let’s take a closer look at the ingredients list to reveal a different story. Take its Macadamia Chocolate bar, for example.

YES Bar Macro ingredients nutritional information with ingredients

YES BAR ingredients

Sure, they use natural-sounding sweeteners like maple syrup and coconut nectar, but this is still added sugar. Most of us get too much sugar in our diets already, and the last thing you need is added sugar in your bar.

By downplaying the actual sugar content, they’re doing a disservice to consumers, especially those who need to be extra vigilant about their sugar intake due to health conditions like diabetes or pre-diabetes. And according to Dr. Frank Hu, professor of nutrition at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, “The effects of added sugar intake — higher blood pressure, inflammation, weight gain, diabetes, and fatty liver disease — are all linked to an increased risk for heart attack and stroke.”

2. “Clean” Ingredients, Questionable Choices: The Problem with YES Bar’s Oil

Many of their flavors contain sunflower oil. Sounds harmless, doesn’t it? While sunflower oil can be a source of healthy fats, the type matters. Some forms of sunflower oil have been stripped of nutrients and can contribute to inflammation. A truly health-conscious bar would opt for less processed oils like coconut, avocado, or extra virgin olive oil.

3. Low in Protein and Fiber (Hello, Energy Crashes)

A closer look at their nutrition label reveals a startling truth: these bars are surprisingly low in protein and fiber.

With only 5 grams of protein per bar, YES Bar offer barely more protein than a single egg. And don’t even get me started on the fiber content – a measly 3 grams, which is less than you’d find in half a cup of broccoli. This lack of essential nutrients makes these bars a poor choice if you’re looking for sustained energy without cravings.

If you’re out on a bike ride and burning a ton of calories, that quick burst of energy from the high sugar content might be useful. But for the average desk jockey, there are healthy and better choices that will keep you full and energized without the sugar crashes (psst, try our own Human Food Bar).

And if you thought YES Bar Bars were unhealthy, read our review, which proves that Kind Protein Bars are not healthy either.

4. Size Does Matter

YES Bar may not be the most expensive bars on the shelf, but they’re not a steal considering their size and nutrient profile. At only 40 grams per bar, they’re on the small side and definitely won’t fill you up.

But what they lack in size, they make up for in sugar. With 9 grams of sugar per bar, primarily from fructose, including up to 7 grams of added sugars (in the case of Chocolate Chip), these bars are packing a sugary punch. I don’t care that it comes from seemingly-natural maple syrup and coconut nectar. All sugar is metabolized in the same way, and will be stored as fat unless your body puts it to immediate use as workout fuel.

And when you consider how little protein and fiber these bars contain, it’s clear that they’re more focused on delivering a sweet treat than providing actual nourishment. YES Bar are really just junk food disguised as health food. This is little more than a cookie.

They even position their product next to junk food like potato chips!


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5. The Sweet Deception

Let’s be honest: YES Bars aren’t the worst-tasting bars on the market. But that’s because they’re packed with sugar. Of course, they won’t taste terrible!

I had a chance to try their 6-bar variety pack, which features the following flavors:
Macadamia Chocolate, Apple Cinnamon Crisp, Strawberry Coconut, Salted Maple Pecan, Dark Chocolate Chip, and Black Sesame Sea Salt.

The use of raw nuts and seeds contributes a slightly chewy texture, which becomes more pronounced as you finish the bar. The sesame seeds or the sea salt in the Black Sesame Sea Salt bar had an unusually hard crunch that made my teeth hurt, which was extremely off-putting. Some of the added flavorings, especially in the fruit-based flavors, taste artificial and overly sweet, leaving a lingering aftertaste that doesn’t quite feel “natural.”

And while I’ve had worse bars, others aren’t thrilled with the taste:

Negative Amazon review of YES Bar

Overall, the taste of these bars isn’t terrible, but it reveals their true priorities: masking off-putting flavors with sugar rather than aiming for a balanced and truly satisfying taste experience.

Looking for other Vegan Protein Bars? Read our Kind Bar review for an alternative to YES Bar Bars.

The Bottom Line

When it comes to YES Bar, the answer should be a resounding “NO!”, unless you’re fueling up for a workout or recovering from one. Instead, choose a bar that legitimately prioritizes your health, with clean ingredients, balanced macros, and a price point that doesn’t break the bank. Your body will thank you.


YES Bar Dark chocolate chip with cinnamon and vanilla cookie bar packaging
YES Bar Review
The Takeaway
Don’t be fooled by clever branding and deceptive ingredient lists. YES Bar might look tempting, but they offer little more than a sugar rush and a false sense of healthy indulgence. It’s time to say “NO” to YES Bar and “YES” to snacks that genuinely nourish your body and mind.
Taste and Texture
Nutrition Macros
Fiber Quality
Tastes okay
High in sugar
Small for the price
Basically a candy bar

So, What’s the Alternative?

If you’re looking for a lectin-free protein bar that truly supports your health goals, you deserve better than YES Bar.

Our own Human Food Bar, for example, is a low-sugar, high-protein, high-fiber bar. It’s made with real, unprocessed ingredients you can recognize and contains no inflammatory oils. Plus, it tastes pretty damn good!



Are YES Bar a good source of protein?

No, they typically only have 5 grams of protein, which is less than a single egg.

What about fiber?

They're also low in fiber, usually containing only 3 grams per bar, which is less than half a cup of broccoli.

Are YES Bar a good alternative to candy bars?

Marginally. While they may be slightly lower in sugar than some candy bars, the difference is negligible. If you're looking for a truly healthy snack, there are numerous better options available, like our own Human Food Bar.

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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