Most protein bars are full of processed ingredients: Sugar, flour, protein isolate, vegetable oil, and more. In contrast, Perfect Bars are known for containing whole foods—they even require some refrigeration. But are these bars actually healthy when you check the details?
Perfect Bars have healthy ingredients like nut butters, and they are free of processed sugar and flour. However, they still have over 10 grams of added sugar from honey or other natural sweeteners per bar. Perfect Bars also have over 300 calories per bar, which may be high for people on a diet.
Below, we’ll dig into the details of Perfect Bar nutrition. We’ll look at the sugar, protein, sodium, and fiber content, and we’ll explore whether they’re good for weight loss, and more!
Are Perfect Bars Good for You?
Here are the 8 main questions I’ll be answering about Perfect Bars. Click to skip to any section—or just keep reading below:
- What Are Perfect Bars Made Of?
- How Much Sugar Do Perfect Bars Have?
- Are Perfect Bars High in Protein?
- Are Perfect Bars High in Sodium?
- Are Perfect Bars High in Fiber?
- Are Perfect Bars Good for Weight Loss?
- Can You Eat a Perfect Bar Every Day?
- Are Perfect Bars Vegan?
1. What Are Perfect Bars Made Of?
Let’s start by looking at some Perfect Bars ingredients. Below is a table with 3 popular flavors. The ingredients are pretty similar in each.
I’ll share my analysis below the table:
|Perfect Bar Flavor||Ingredients|
|Dark Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter||Peanut Butter*, Honey*, Nonfat Dry Milk*, Dark Chocolate*† (Chocolate*, Cane Sugar*, Cocoa Butter*, Sunflower Lecithin), Dried Whole Egg Powder*, Rice Protein*, Sea Salt, Sunflower Lecithin*, Dried Whole Food Powders (Kale*, Flax Seed*, Rose Hip*, Orange*, Lemon*, Papaya*, Tomato*, Apple*, Alfalfa*, Celery*, Kelp*, Dulse*, Carrot*, Spinach*), Flax Seed Oil*, Sunflower Oil*, Sesame Seed Oil*, Olive Oil*, Pumpkin Seed Oil*. (*Organic †Fair Trade Chocolate)|
|Almond Butter||Almond Butter, Honey*, Nonfat Dry Milk*, Almond Pieces, Dried Whole Egg Powder*, Rice Protein*, Sesame Seeds*, Dried Whole Food Powders (Kale*, Flax Seed*, Rose Hip*, Orange*, Lemon*, Papaya*, Tomato*, Apple*, Alfalfa*, Celery*, Kelp*, Dulse*, Carrot*, Spinach*), Sunflower Lecithin*, Flax Seed Oil*, Sunflower Oil*, Sesame Seed Oil*, Olive Oil*, Pumpkin Seed Oil*. (*Organic)|
|Salted Caramel||Cashew Butter, Peanut Butter*, Maple Syrup*, Nonfat Dry Milk*, Honey*, Dried Whole Egg Powder*, Rice Protein*, Vanilla Extract*, Sea Salt, Sunflower Lecithin*, Dried Whole Food Powders (Kale*, Flax Seed*, Rose Hip*, Orange*, Lemon*, Papaya*, Tomato*, Apple*, Alfalfa*, Celery*, Kelp*, Dulse*, Carrot*, Spinach*), Flax Seed Oil*, Sunflower Oil*, Sesame Seed Oil*, Olive Oil*, Pumpkin Seed Oil*. (*Organic)|
Here’s what I notice about these ingredients:
- The first ingredient in Perfect Bars is peanut butter or other nut butter. Nuts and nut butters are high in calories—but research shows health benefits, including for longevity and weight management. Nuts are very satiating, and they are a whole-food source of mostly unsaturated fat.
- Perfect Bars are free of refined sugar and flour. This is a rare achievement for a protein bar or energy bar. The sweetness in Perfect Bars comes from honey or sometimes maple syrup—not refined sugar. So these are more whole-food based than most bars. That said, you may still have concerns about the total sugar content (see below).
- Perfect Bars contain fruit and vegetable powders. These “whole food powders” likely add some antioxidants and other nutrients to Perfect Bars. In practice, it’s not clear how much of these ingredients are actually present… but they likely give a little nutritional boost.
- Perfect Bars have vegetable oil. Vegetable oil is high in calories and, typically, highly processed. To be fair, some of the oils in Perfect Bars are the healthier ones—flax and olive oil. But I’m not a fan of the sunflower oil. It’s a high-omega-6 oil, which may cause inflammation when eaten in excess (and most people already eat too much).
- Perfect Bars have added sea salt. A little salt won’t hurt you, but too much can raise your blood pressure and raise disease risk over time. Some Perfect Bars are quite low in sodium (35mg per bar), but others are more moderate (130mg per bar). See more on sodium below.
Overall, the ingredients for Perfect Bars are a mix of good and bad. They are certainly more “whole food based” than most bars available today. But I still have concerns about the total sugar content, as well as the sunflower oil.
- Are Perfect Bars “processed food”? Perfect Bars are less processed than most protein bars. Instead of refined sugar, they are sweetened with honey and/or maple syrup. They also have nut butter and other whole food ingredients. However, they still have vegetable oil and added salt, making them somewhat processed.
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2. How Much Sugar Do Perfect Bars Have?
Most Perfect Bars have 16g to 19g of total sugar per bar, including 11g to 13g of added sugar. Most of the sugar comes from honey and, depending on the flavor, maple syrup. Perfect Bars have about 24g to 27g of total carbs per bar, so they are not low-carb or keto-friendly.
Below is a table showing the sugar content for a variety of Perfect Bars flavors:
|Perfect Bar Flavor||Total Sugar||Added Sugar|
|Dark Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter||18g||12g|
How does this sugar content compare to other popular protein bars and energy bars? Comparing the total sugar per serving, Perfect Bars have:
- Less or similar total sugar as Clif Bars (17 to 21g per bar)
- Similar or more total sugar than Larabars (13 to 20g per bar)
- Similar or more total sugar than RXBARs (13 to 18g per bar)
- More total sugar than GoMacro Bars (10 to 15g per bar)
- More total sugar than Nutri-Grain Bars (12 to 13g per bar)
- More total sugar than Nature Valley Bars (6 to 12g per serving)
- More total sugar than Kashi Bars (5 to 11g per serving)
- More total sugar than Quaker Chewy Bars (5 to 7g per bar)
- More total sugar than Kind Bars (5g in many bars)
Disclaimer: All these numbers may vary depending on specific products, countries, and other variations. Also, the source of sugar may differ (natural vs refined sugar). Do your own research to confirm the sugar content you’re happy with.
Personally, the amount of total sugar in Perfect Bars is too high for me. I’ve noticed that I seem to get more acne when I eat that much sugar at once—even if it comes from a “natural” source.
That said, Perfect Bars are not crazy high in sugar compared to other bars. And it’s worth noting that the serving sizes for Perfect Bars (62g to 71g) is a bit bigger than some other bars. So that may explain some of their high sugar content when compared per bar.
And of course, the sugar in Perfect bars comes from natural sources (honey, maple syrup). So, although it’s still too much total sugar for me, Perfect Bars are not actually the worst in this area.
3. Are Perfect Bars High in Protein?
Most Perfect Bars have 12 to 17 grams of protein per bar. That is within a standard, moderate range for protein bars.
Most of the calories in Perfect Bars come from fat, with the second-most coming from carbs. However, the milk, egg, rice protein, and nut butters do add significant protein.
Here is a table showing the protein in various Perfect Bar flavors:
|Perfect Bar Flavor||Protein (Per Bar)|
|Dark Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter||15g|
If you’re trying to eat a high-protein diet, you can still find other bars and snacks with more protein yet. Here are two vegan options I like with 20 grams of protein in each bar:
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4. Are Perfect Bars High in Sodium?
Most flavors of Perfect Bars have between 35mg and 130mg of sodium per bar. Low-sodium flavors of Perfect Bars include Pumpkin Pie (35mg per bar) and Almond Butter (45mg per bar).
Here is a table showing the specific sodium content for a variety of Perfect Bars flavors:
|Perfect Bar Flavor||Sodium (Per Bar)|
|Dark Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter||105mg|
As you can see, the highest-sodium Perfect Bars in this list has over 3 times as much as the lowest-sodium flavor. So choosing the right flavor is important if you care about sodium content.
If you want another good bar that is low in sodium, be sure to look at Larabars. Even the highest-sodium flavor only has 90mg of sodium per bar, and many flavors are completely salt-free.
5. Are Perfect Bars High in Fiber?
Perfect Bars have about 2 to 4 grams of fiber per bar, depending on the flavor. Higher-fiber flavors of Perfect Bars include Dark Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter and Almond Butter (4g of fiber per bar of each).
|Perfect Bar Flavor||Fiber (Per Bar)|
|Dark Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter||4g|
6. Are Perfect Bars Good for Weight Loss?
Perfect Bars can be part of a healthy weight loss diet… But they’re quite calorie-dense, as they contain quite a bit of nut butter and honey. So you need to be careful of overeating.
Most of the ingredients in Perfect Bars are relatively healthy—but they are some of the more high-calorie healthy foods. For example, peanut butter is very calorically dense. This is because fat has 9 calories per gram, compared to only 4 calories in protein or carbs.
Here’s a thought experiment to help you understand why Perfect Bars are not the absolute best for weight loss: First, picture the size of a Perfect Bar in your head.
Now ask yourself: Is that Perfect Bar bigger or smaller than a banana? Well, it’s clearly smaller.
But which one has more calories, the banana or the Perfect Bar? Well, if you look it up, the Perfect Bar has almost 3 times as many calories as the banana!
My point is that Perfect Bars have quite a bit of calories for the amount of space they fill in your stomach. They are calorically dense. And caloric density is one of the key concepts you should utilize if you want to lose weight without counting calories.
Now, it’s worth considering that Perfect Bars do have a good bit of protein, which is beneficial for filling you up, so you don’t keep eating all day.
Still, I think Perfect Bars should probably not be a big focus in a diet designed for weight loss. You can lose weight while eating Perfect Bars—but you’d likely lose weight more easily if you focus on juicy fruits, vegetables, and other lower-fat, lower-calorie foods as snacks.
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7. Can You Eat a Perfect Bar Every Day?
Eating a Perfect Bar every day should be fine for most people, although it may not be optimal. Perfect Bars are made primarily of healthy, whole foods. They don’t have an extreme amount of any specific nutrient, so the risk of toxicity or deficiency should be low.
I hesitate to say that anyone should eat a Perfect Bar every day, though. Personally, I think the 11 to 13 grams of added sugar per bar is a bit too high. I’d personally only have them as an occasional treat.
What about eating multiple Perfect Bars every day? At some point, you should start to be concerned about the amount of variety in your diet. Variety is important to make sure you’re getting a mix of nutrients, without getting way too much of one thing.
To help make dietary choices, you can also use an app like Cronometer to track your nutrient intake. Also keep a journal to see how your energy levels feel and if you have any unusual digestive symptoms (gas, bloating, diarrhea, constipation, etc).
- Can I eat a Perfect Bar for breakfast? Perfect Bars may be a healthier choice than other “breakfast bars” like Nutri-Grain or BelVita. They have more whole food ingredients than those competitors. However, it may be even healthier to eat a 100% whole-food breakfast like oatmeal, fruit, and whole-grain toast with avocado.
8. Are Perfect Bars Vegan?
Perfect Bars are not vegan, as they contain nonfat dry milk, honey, and dried whole egg poder. If you want a vegan protein bar of a similar style, take a look at GoMacro Bars (click for my full nutrition review).
Another interesting vegan energy bar company with whole-food based ingredients are Larabars. But the protein content of Larabars is much lower than Perfect Bars.
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