Snack bars are a common go-to snack when you need something to tide you over between meals, and there are so many to choose from.
But how healthy are they?
"Many are made from different products like oat, nut,” says registered dietitian Sara Scheler with Rose Medical Center. “Or some these days are made with egg whites for added protein."
Scheler says you don't have to sacrifice taste for health, but you do have to be careful not to be tricked by the so-called “health bars.”
"I tell all my patients to flip it over and look at the nutrition facts,” she says.
Here are 3 things Scheler says to look for:
- A snack bar should be around 200 calories
- It should be high in fiber
- It should have about 9 grams of protein and no more than 10 grams of added sugar
If you have no dietary restrictions, Scheler says be wary of bars that are sugar free, fat free or gluten-free.
“A lot of times when they take the gluten out of the product, they have to put in salt and extra sugar to make it taste better,” the dietitian says.
A Clif Bar, for example, has 23 grams of sugar in it. A Snickers bar has less sugar than that. Another popular bar is the Fiber One bar. It's not unhealthy, but some bars don't have enough protein or calories to hold you over to the next meal.
Here are a few bars that did made the cut:
The Caramel Almond & Sea Salt Bar from KIND is a great choice: 200 calories, 6 grams of protein, 5 grams of sugar and high in fiber.
The Honey Almond Flax by Kashi is another good one: 150 calories, 4 grams of fiber, low sugar and 7 grams of protein.