Protein bars certainly can be good for you. They can also be little better than a candy bar. It depends on the ingredients. And if you compare a few protein bar labels, you'll probably be amazed at how widely they can vary in terms of the calories they contain.

Food manufacturers often create products they call "protein bars," but which don't offer much protein, and contain plenty of non-protein ingredients you may not want. Choose protein bars that provide an ample amount of high-quality protein without high amounts of calories, carbohydrates, and fats to help you lose weight, build muscle mass, and control hunger. If the bar has a very poor protein-to-carb ratio, meaning there are far more carbs than protein, you may be paying premium prices for what is basically junk food.

A solid benchmark to aim for: If it doesn't have at least 10 grams of protein per serving, don't consider it a "protein bar." If it has a full 20-30 grams per bar, even better.

Pick from this list of the best protein bars to make sure you're not just eating candy bars in disguise. You can also make your own! By using the right ingredients, you can rest assured that the protein bars you eat are good for you.