Make My Belly Flat: Best Low-FODMAP Protein Bars for IBS

by | May 17, 2020

Improve Your IBS Symptoms with Low-FODMAP Protein Bars

IBS is a curse most sufferers wouldn’t wish on their worst enemy. Finding low-FODMAP protein bars that won’t aggravate your symptoms can be a problem because the majority contain range of random fibers, dried fruits, nuts, artificial sweeteners, and preservatives–all of which can spell big trouble.

In this article I’ll explain how I approached evaluating various popular bars, including a detailed FODMAPs comparison chart I put together on all of them. Then I’ll provide an in-depth review of my #1 recommended bar, and tell you where to get it and how to save. If you’re unfamiliar with the low-FODMAP diet, you’ll find an explanation at the very end.

What the Scientists Say

There’s a lot of misinformation on the Internet so I started by seeing what I could learn from the professionals, the esteemed researchers at Monash University. A quick search for “energy bars” on their award-winning app reveals that a majority of popular bars contain FODMAPs (no surprises there, sigh).

Low-FODMAP protein bars by Monash University

FODMAPs profile of an Oatmeal Raisin Walnut Clif Bar (don’t eat these)

Monash’s list includs two popular Clif Bar flavors, Peanut Butter and Oatmeal Raisin Walnut, neither of which were found to be FODMAP-friendly. The Oatmeal Raisin Walnut Clif Bar analysis is pictured above. Unless you’re one of the lucky few who can tolerate sorbitol, fructans and GOS, avoid them.

Are Clif Bars, RXBars, Lara Bars, Kind, Perfect or Quest Bars Low-FODMAP?

Monash University’s analysis is great but it does not include Kind Bars, Perfect Bars, Quest Bars, RX Bars or Lara Bars, which a lot of people with IBS are wondering about.

I dug into the ingredient lists of them all to evaluate their FODMAP friendliness, looking at well over a dozen different flavors across brands. You’ll find my analysis further below, including a detailed breakdown of which types of FODMAPs each bar contains. I’ve also included my top recommended bar, MariGold Bars, which I will go into detail on later.

As you can see, there are no Clif Bars, RXBars, Lara Bars, Kind or Quest Bars that are FODMAP-freindly. Not a single flavor is safe, unless you happen to know that you have issues with only some of the six categories of FODMAPs.

What’s more, these bars are not all that healthy to begin with–for anyone, IBS or not. They tend to have poor macronutrient profiles, being high in sugar and other carbs and lower in protein and healthy fats. Quest Bars may be an exception but they’re laden with preservatives (stay away!).

MariGold: Best Protein Bars for IBS Sufferers

MariGold Bars (pictured below), are without a doubt the best low-FODMAP protein bars. With their superior macronutrient profile and clean ingredients, they’re already healthier than anything else out of the gate. There are dozens of flavors to choose from so it’s not hard to find FODMAP-friendly options.

Low-FODMAP MariGild Bars

MariGold Bars look and taste like they came from your own kitchen.

These bars look like they came from your own kitchen, and they taste just as good (dare I say better?). Let’s take a closer look.

✅ Low-FODMAP options: Texas Praline Pecan, Lemon Pie, Coconut Rage, ChunkyChoco Pecan, Cinnabahn, and Cookie Dough are all very low in FODMAPs.*

Get 10% off with promo code HFB10. 

✅ No sugar alcohols: Sweetened with stevia and small amounts of coconut nectar and maple syrup.

✅ Grass-fed whey protein (LOW-FODMAP and lactose-free): MariGold Bars are a grass-fed whey protein powerhouse. They are also hormone, antibiotic and pesticide free. 

✅ Healthy ingredients: Grass-fed whey, chocolate, coconut, coconut oil, stevia, grass-fed ghee and very small amounts of coconut nectar and maple syrup.

✅ Preservative-free: They even come in refrigerated packaging–a sure sign they’re fresh! They also travel well and keep just fine out of the fridge.

✅ High Amazon rating: These bars have 4.6 stars on Amazon, which is elite for this category. Rest assured: MariGold bars are loved by many more people than just me. If you don’t like them, there’s a money-back guarantee.

✅ All Organic and Fair Trade: From grass-fed whey protein and ghee to Fair Trade chocolate and coffee beans, MariGold Bars does not compromise on ingredients.

✅ Lectin-free: Lectins most likely aren’t helping your IBS, so you may want to think about avoiding them too. If you’re concerned, all flavors listed above except Cookie Dough are free of lectins.

*Important: Marigold Bars do have very small amounts of fructans as result of having a bit chicory root fiber. It counts for less than 2% of ingredients. If it gives you trouble, they’ve got a 30-day money back guarantee, no questions asked.

Wait, are you SURE whey protein is low FODMAP?

Yes. Whey protein does not contain any FODMAPs. It’s IBS friendly and is approved for the diet. In fact, it’s the low FODMAP protien powder of choice. 

Great, so where can I get them?

If you live in Texas you may be able to find MariGold Bars locally. Otherwise, you’ll need to order them online. To get 10% off with promo code HFB10, you’ll need to order directly from the MariGold Bars website.

Hands-On with MariGold Bars

Watch the video below to see me get hands-on with MariGold Bars and learn why they’re my favorite low-FODMAP snack.

Since I made the video they’ve updated their lineup to include the full seven flavors listed above. See the full collection in the gallery after the video.

MariGold Bars Low-FODMAP Collection

Cracking the Code on an IBS-Friendly Protein Bar

The most promising dietary option for Irritable Bowel Syndrome is arguably the Low-FODMAP diet: It has more scientific research behind it than anything else out there.

If you’re not familiar, FODMAPs (Fermentable Oligosaccharides, Disaccharides, Monosaccharides and Polyols) are food ingredients that cannot easily be digested by many IBS sufferers, most likely because they lack the gut microbes needed to properly break them down. The result is gas, bloating and other unpleasant IBS symptoms. Many people with IBS experience significant relief when removing FODMAP foods from their meals.

The diet has a very precise breakdown of ingredients that will not cause bloating (and related IBS symptoms). You can see a good example below, courtesy of FODY Foods. Find a protein bar that contains only low FODMAP ingredients and voila, you’ve got a snack that even the worst IBS sufferer can likely tolerate.

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Remy Tennant
Founder , Human Food Bar
Corporate slave by day, health and fitness enthusiast by night, hailing from the San Francisco Bay Area. From the Plant Paradox Diet to Keto to Paleo, I’ve done my homework and am generally well versed. In my free time I like to blog, cook, mixologize, garden and mountain bike.
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Dr. Debbie Ungerleider, a New Jersey native, started practice in July of 1989 upon completion of her residency in pediatrics at the Bellevue Hospital/New York University Medical Center. Dr. Ungerleider was a Chief Resident in Pediatrics in her last year there. She is Board Certified by the American Board of Pediatrics, and a member of the American Academy of Pediatrics.  In addition to her clinical practice, Dr. Ungerleider also does Medical Writing and Editing, as well as medical reviewing.
Remy Tennant
Founder , Human Food Bar
Corporate slave by day, health and fitness enthusiast by night, hailing from the San Francisco Bay Area. From the Plant Paradox Diet to Keto to Paleo, I’ve done my homework and am generally well versed. In my free time I like to blog, cook, mixologize, garden and mountain bike.
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