Dr. Becky Maes - Is It Bad For You? Approved by Dr. Becky Maes

Are Great Value Chewy Protein Bars Bad For You?

Also Known As: Walmart protein bars, Great Value brand protein bars



Short answer

Great Value Chewy Protein Bars offer a convenient source of protein and dietary fiber but contain added sugars, saturated fats, and artificial additives which may not make them ideal for daily consumption, especially for individuals with specific health goals. They provide a moderate amount of calories suitable for post-workout snacks or energy boosts. However, mindful integration into a balanced diet is advised due to their sugar content and the use of artificial sweeteners which could impact health. Comparatively, they have lower protein and higher sugar levels than some alternatives.



Recommended Alternative

Long answer

Nutritional Profile and Ingredient Analysis of Great Value Chewy Protein Bars

Understanding the nutritional profile and scrutinizing the ingredient list of any consumable product is crucial in assessing its impact on your health. The Great Value Chewy Protein Bars are designed to be a convenient source of protein, but it's important to delve deeper into what makes up these bars. Let's break down their nutritional content and analyze the ingredients to see how they measure up in terms of healthfulness.

Nutritional Content:

Great Value Chewy Protein Bars typically provide a significant amount of protein, which is essential for muscle repair, growth, and general body functions. A single bar can offer around 10-20 grams of protein, depending on the specific flavor or variety. These bars also contain dietary fiber, which aids in digestion and helps maintain a healthy gut. The fiber content can range from 3 to 5 grams per bar. In terms of energy, they are moderately calorie-dense, with an average of 200-250 calories per serving. This makes them a suitable option for a post-workout snack or a quick energy boost during the day.

However, it's not just about the macronutrients. These bars also contain vitamins and minerals, such as calcium, iron, Vitamin A, and Vitamin C, which contribute to overall nutritional value. But, the content of these nutrients can be minimal and should not be relied upon for meeting daily nutritional requirements.

Ingredient Analysis:

The ingredient list reveals more about the product's quality and potential health impact. Key ingredients often include:

  • Proteins: Sources may include soy protein isolate, whey protein concentrate, or milk protein isolate. These are high-quality proteins that are efficiently utilized by the body.
  • Sweeteners: Many Great Value Chewy Protein Bars use sugar, corn syrup, and in some cases, sugar alcohols or artificial sweeteners like sucralose. Regular consumption of added sugars can contribute to weight gain and increased risk of chronic diseases.
  • Fats: The fat content usually comes from nuts, oils (canola, peanut, soybean), and in some cases, palm oil, which is high in saturated fats.
  • Carbohydrates: Apart from fibers, these bars also contain added sugars and other carbohydrate sources like rice flour or oat flour, which contribute to their taste and texture.
  • Additives: To enhance flavor, texture, and shelf life, additives such as lecithin, maltodextrin, glycerin, and artificial flavors are common. While generally considered safe in small amounts, some individuals might be sensitive to these compounds.

While Great Value Chewy Protein Bars offer a convenient protein boost, it's important to consider the trade-offs. The presence of added sugars, saturated fats, and various additives may make them less than ideal for daily consumption, especially for individuals with specific dietary goals or health concerns. Integrating these bars into a balanced and varied diet, rather than relying on them as a primary nutrition source, is a sensible approach to maintaining overall health and wellness.

In summary, when choosing protein bars or any packaged food, always examine the nutritional facts and ingredients list carefully. This will empower you to make informed decisions aligned with your health objectives and dietary preferences.

Sugar Content and Its Health Implications

When evaluating the healthiness of any snack, particularly protein bars like those from Great Value, it's crucial to scrutinize their sugar content. This is because excessive sugar intake is linked with numerous health issues, ranging from weight gain to more serious conditions like type 2 diabetes and heart disease. Let's delve into the sugar content found in Great Value Chewy Protein Bars and understand its potential health implications.

Firstly, it's important to note that the American Heart Association recommends limiting added sugars to no more than 9 teaspoons (36 grams) per day for men and 6 teaspoons (25 grams) per day for women. Keeping these figures in mind helps gauge how a single protein bar fits into your daily dietary allowance.

Great Value Chewy Protein Bars are marketed as a convenient source of protein, but they can also pack a significant amount of added sugars. Depending on the flavor, the sugar content in these bars can vary. Some flavors may contain as much as 7 to 12 grams of sugar per bar, which constitutes a substantial portion of the daily recommended limit, especially if you're consuming more than one bar a day or getting added sugars from other dietary sources.

The main concern with this level of sugar intake is its role in contributing to chronic health conditions. Research shows that high intake of added sugars is associated with higher risks of obesity, type 2 diabetes, and cardiovascular disease. For example, a study published in the Journal of the American Heart Association found that higher consumption of added sugars is linked to an increased risk of dying from cardiovascular disease.

Beyond chronic conditions, consuming snacks high in added sugars can lead to energy spikes followed by crashes, leaving you feeling tired and hungry sooner than you'd expect. This cycle can disrupt healthy eating patterns and may lead to overeating or choosing less nutritious snacks in search of quick energy.

It's also worth noting the form of sugars used in these protein bars. Many processed foods, including some protein bars, use high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS) or other high glycemic index sweeteners that can have a more immediate and pronounced effect on blood sugar levels than other types of sugar. This rapid spike in blood sugar can lead to cravings and an increased appetite for more sugary foods.

To maintain a balanced diet, it's advisable for individuals to check the nutritional labels of protein bars for both the total sugar content and the sources of that sugar. Opting for bars with lower sugar content or those sweetened with natural sugars like fruit purees or honey can be a healthier choice. Additionally, integrating whole foods such as nuts, seeds, fruits, and vegetables into your snacks can provide more nutritional benefits while keeping added sugar intake in check.

In summary, while Great Value Chewy Protein Bars offer a convenient source of protein, their sugar content and the potential health implications cannot be overlooked. Being mindful of the sugar in these bars and how they fit into your overall dietary pattern is key to enjoying them as part of a healthy, balanced diet.

Artificial Sweeteners and Additives: Hidden Risks

When considering the health impact of Great Value Chewy Protein Bars, it's essential to delve into the specific components that could alter their nutritional profile—namely, artificial sweeteners and additives. These ingredients are commonly used to enhance taste, extend shelf life, and substitute natural sugars, but their inclusion is not without controversy and potential health implications.

One of the primary artificial sweeteners found in many protein bars, including some varieties of Great Value Chewy Protein Bars, is sucralose. While sucralose is approved by the FDA and considered safe for general consumption, some studies suggest that it may have adverse effects on the gut microbiome. A research article published in the Journal of Toxicology and Environmental Health, Part A, found that sucralose could reduce the amount of good bacteria in the gut by up to 50%. This disruption of gut flora is concerning given the critical role it plays in digestion, immune function, and overall health.

Another additive worth noting is maltitol, a sugar alcohol used as a low-calorie sweetener. It's found in many low-sugar and "sugar-free" products, possibly including some varieties of Great Value Chewy Protein Bars. While it’s less caloric than sugar, studies indicate that maltitol can cause digestive issues for some individuals. According to research published in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition, excessive consumption of maltitol can lead to bloating, gas, and diarrhea in some people, particularly those with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).

Besides sweeteners, these protein bars may also contain various preservatives and artificial colors to maintain their appearance and shelf life. For example, butylated hydroxytoluene (BHT) is an antioxidant that is sometimes added to food products as a preservative. Although the FDA considers BHT to be safe, there are ongoing debates and studies, like one from the Journal of the American Oil Chemists' Society, which have raised concerns about potential carcinogenic properties and effects on liver health.

Understanding the scope and implications of these artificial sweeteners and additives is crucial for making informed dietary choices. While the presence of such ingredients doesn't necessarily make Great Value Chewy Protein Bars inherently bad for everyone, individuals with specific dietary sensitivities or health concerns may want to exercise caution or consult with a healthcare provider. Meanwhile, consumers aiming for more natural dietary patterns might prefer seeking out alternatives that prioritize whole food ingredients and natural sweeteners.

Protein Quality in Great Value Chewy Protein Bars

When discussing the nutritional value of packaged snacks, the quality of protein they contain is a crucial aspect to consider. Protein is an essential macronutrient that plays a key role in repairing tissue, building muscle, and making enzymes and hormones in the body. But not all proteins are created equal. The quality of protein in Great Value Chewy Protein Bars is evaluated based on its amino acid composition, digestibility, and bioavailability to the body.

Great Value Chewy Protein Bars are formulated with a blend of soy protein isolate, whey protein concentrate, and milk protein isolate. Each of these protein sources brings its own set of benefits:

  • Soy Protein Isolate: A complete protein containing all essential amino acids. It's plant-based, making it a good option for vegetarians. However, some studies suggest that large amounts of soy protein may impact hormone levels, although this is still a topic of ongoing research.
  • Whey Protein Concentrate: Derived from milk, this protein is rich in leucine, an amino acid that's crucial for muscle repair and growth. Whey protein is highly digestible and rapidly absorbed by the body.
  • Milk Protein Isolate: Also from milk, it includes both casein and whey proteins. It provides a sustained release of amino acids, making it beneficial for muscle recovery over longer periods.

The combination of these protein sources in Great Value Chewy Protein Bars suggests a high-quality protein blend that caters to immediate and sustained protein needs. However, the nutritional benefit can be influenced by the presence of other ingredients in the bars, such as sugars, artificial sweeteners, and various additives, which can detract from the overall healthfulness of the product.

It's also important to consider individual dietary needs and allergies. For example, soy and dairy are common allergens, and those with sensitivities or allergies to these foods should avoid Great Value Chewy Protein Bars or choose products tailored to their dietary requirements.

When examining protein quality, the digestibility-corrected amino acid score (DIAAS) is a newer method that provides a more accurate measure than the traditional Protein Digestibility Corrected Amino Acid Score (PDCAAS). While specific DIAAS scores for Great Value Chewy Protein Bars are not readily available, the use of high-quality protein sources indicates a potentially high score, suggesting these bars could be an effective source of essential amino acids when incorporated into a balanced diet.

In summary, Great Value Chewy Protein Bars offer a blend of high-quality proteins that can support various nutritional needs. However, consumers should be mindful of other ingredients within the bars and consider individual dietary restrictions and preferences when determining if these protein bars are a suitable choice for their health and wellness goals.

Impact on Weight Management and Hunger Control

When considering protein bars as a snack or meal replacement, it's crucial to understand their impact on weight management and hunger control. The effectiveness of Great Value Chewy Protein Bars in these domains depends on several factors, including their nutritional content, the quality of protein used, and the presence of dietary fiber.

Protein is known for its satiety-inducing properties, which can aid in hunger management by making you feel fuller for longer periods. This can potentially reduce overall calorie intake, supporting weight loss or maintenance efforts. The quality of protein in Great Value Chewy Protein Bars is a critical factor to consider. High-quality proteins contain all essential amino acids and are effectively utilized by the body. While the packaging may indicate a high protein content, it's important to scrutinize the source of this protein.

Dietary fiber also plays a significant role in satiety and weight management. Fiber-rich foods slow down the digestion process, contributing to prolonged feelings of fullness and reduced appetite. This, in turn, can help manage weight by decreasing the likelihood of overeating. The content and type of fiber in these protein bars, hence, warrants attention.

However, one should not overlook the calorie and sugar content of these bars. High-calorie or high-sugar options might counteract the benefits of protein and fiber, leading to weight gain if consumed in excess. It's essential to balance the nutritional benefits against the calorie and sugar content, especially for those monitoring their weight or blood sugar levels.

  • High-quality protein: Assists in keeping you satiated, thereby controlling hunger and aiding in weight management.
  • Dietary fiber: Slows digestion, contributing to longer-lasting fullness.
  • Calorie content: Essential to consider in the context of daily caloric intake and weight management goals.
  • Sugar content: Critical to monitor to avoid inadvertent weight gain or impacts on blood sugar levels.

To optimize the positive effects of Great Value Chewy Protein Bars on weight management and hunger control, consumers should aim to incorporate them as part of a balanced diet. This entails not just focusing on the protein and fiber content, but also being mindful of the calorie and sugar intake. Integrating these bars thoughtfully into your dietary regimen can leverage their benefits while minimizing potential drawbacks.

It is also worth noting that individual responses to dietary protein and fiber can vary. Some may find these bars particularly effective in controlling hunger, while others might not experience the same level of satiety. Listening to your body and observing how it responds to these protein bars is crucial in determining their role in your diet.

In conclusion, while Great Value Chewy Protein Bars can be a convenient source of protein and potentially aid in weight management and hunger control, a comprehensive assessment of their nutritional profile is necessary. Consumers are encouraged to consider the balance of protein, fiber, calories, and sugars in relation to their personal health goals and dietary needs.

Comparison with Other Protein Bars: Nutritional Standpoint

When considering any dietary choice, particularly in the realm of protein bars, it's crucial to examine how the product stacks up against its alternatives from a nutritional perspective. Protein bars can vary wildly in their composition, with differences in calories, protein content, types of sweeteners, and the presence of artificial ingredients or additives. Through this lens, let's dive deeper into how Great Value Chewy Protein Bars compare with other leading protein bar brands.

Caloric Content: Great Value Chewy Protein Bars typically range from 190 to 210 calories per bar. This places them in the mid-range category when compared to other protein bars, which can vary from as low as 150 calories to as high as 300 calories per serving. The caloric content is a vital consideration for individuals managing their weight or tracking their caloric intake for fitness goals.

Protein Content: With 10 grams of protein per bar, Great Value Chewy Protein Bars fall into the lower end of the protein spectrum. High-performance bars often contain between 20 to 25 grams of protein. This factor makes them more suitable for a snack rather than a post-workout recovery option for those aiming to build muscle mass or significantly increase their protein intake.

Sugars and Sweeteners: One of the distinctions that might affect health-conscious consumers is the type and amount of sweeteners used. Great Value Chewy Protein Bars contain both sugar and corn syrup, with sugar content around 7 grams per bar. Compared to other bars that utilize alternative sweeteners like stevia, erythritol, or even chicory root fiber to lower the sugar impact, Great Value's choice might not be the best for individuals monitoring their sugar intake or following a low-glycemic diet.

Fiber and Nutritional Extras: Fiber content in Great Value Chewy Protein Bars is about 5 grams, which is decent for aiding digestion and promoting satiety. However, some competitor bars enhance their nutritional profile with a higher fiber content or added vitamins and minerals, making them a more nourishing option overall.

Artificial Ingredients and Additives: The presence of artificial flavors and soy protein isolate in Great Value Chewy Protein Bars may be a downside for those seeking more natural ingredients in their protein sources. Many protein bars on the market now emphasize organic ingredients and avoid artificial additives, catering to a growing demand for cleaner labels.

In conclusion, while Great Value Chewy Protein Bars offer a convenient and relatively balanced snack option, their lower protein content, use of sugars, and artificial ingredients might not make them the first choice for health enthusiasts or those with specific dietary goals. It's essential to carefully read labels and consider personal dietary needs and preferences when selecting a protein bar that aligns with your health objectives.

Frequently asked questions

People with diabetes need to monitor their carbohydrate and sugar intake carefully. Great Value Chewy Protein Bars contain added sugars and corn syrup, which can impact blood sugar levels. While they can be incorporated into a diabetes-friendly diet, it's important to consider the specific sugar content of each bar and how it fits into your overall meal plan. Consulting with a healthcare provider or dietitian can provide personalized advice.

Artificial sweeteners like sucralose, found in some Great Value Chewy Protein Bars, are considered safe for general consumption by regulatory bodies such as the FDA. However, some individuals may experience digestive discomfort or other adverse effects. There's ongoing research into their long-term health effects, especially concerning the gut microbiome. If you have specific health concerns or dietary sensitivities, consult with a healthcare professional for advice tailored to your needs.

Great Value Chewy Protein Bars can serve as a convenient snack or a quick energy boost but should not be relied upon as a primary meal replacement. While they offer a significant amount of protein and dietary fiber, their nutritional profile lacks the variety and balance of vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients that a complete meal would provide. If you're looking for a meal replacement, choose options that contain a broader range of nutrients to meet your dietary needs.

In the context of a calorie-controlled diet, Great Value Chewy Protein Bars can be a convenient snack option that helps manage hunger thanks to their protein and fiber content. However, their added sugars and calorie density mean they should be consumed in moderation. Incorporating these bars as part of a balanced diet, alongside whole foods rich in nutrients, is a more effective strategy for weight loss and overall health.

Ask a question about Great Value Chewy Protein Bars and our team will publish the answer as soon as possible.

Possible short-term side effects

  • bloating
  • gas
  • diarrhea

Possible long-term side effects

  • weight gain
  • risk of chronic diseases (e.g., heart disease, type 2 diabetes)
  • disruption of gut flora
  • potential hormonal impacts from high soy intake
  • increased cardiovascular disease risk
  • potential carcinogenic effects

Ingredients to be aware of

  • sugar
  • corn syrup
  • artificial sweeteners (e.g., sucralose)
  • sugar alcohols (e.g., maltitol)
  • saturated fats (e.g., palm oil)
  • artificial flavors
  • additives (e.g., lecithin, maltodextrin, glycerin, bht)


  • muscle repair and growth
  • satiety and hunger control
  • quick energy boost
  • digestion aid
  • convenient source of protein and fiber

Healthier alternatives

  • protein bars with natural sweeteners
  • whole food snacks (nuts, seeds, fruits)
  • bars with higher protein and lower sugar content
  • organic ingredient bars

Our Wellness Pick (what is this?)

RXBAR Protein Bars

  • High in protein
  • Delicious chocolate flavor
  • Convenient snack option
  • Sea salt twist
  • Box of 12 bars
Learn More!

Thank you for your feedback!

Written by Diane Saleem
Published on: 05-03-2024

Thank you for your feedback!

Written by Diane Saleem
Published on: 05-03-2024

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