We are all on the hunt for healthy snack bars that are also tasty. Snack bars are a good on-the-go breakfast, great snacks, or even meal replacements, in some cases. They’re wildly popular, and available at most grocery stores, convenience stores, and even some gas stations and big box stores. But it’s not always easy to find something that is nutritious, AND tastes really good. You may think you’re fine grabbing the first thing off the shelf, but those deceptively packaged products can have harmful and hidden ingredients. It’s important to pick a brand that is open and transparent with their ingredients.
What’s in A Snack Bar?
Snack bars come in a variety of flavors, from sweet to salty to everything in between. Some have fruits, most have nuts, and some even have chocolate! For this example, let’s go with a granola bar. Besides granola, there are carbohydrates (and richer carbs if there is fruit or yogurt, as well), fats (both monounsaturated and trans fats), and various other nutrients, like dietary fiber. In fact, most bars are a good source of additional dietary fiber. Many snack bars, and even some healthy snack bars, are high in sodium.
What Ingredients in A Snack Bar Are Bad for Me?
Many bars have no cholesterol and some are low in sodium – but many are not, so make sure to check the package for ingredients. Trans fats are not great for you, and be careful how much carbs are included. Also check the daily value percentages – you don’t want to eat something for a snack that’s meant to be a meal replacement.
How Do I Pick Healthy Snack Bars?
If you’re on a specialized diet, trying to find a snack bar that’s nutritious and won’t break the calorie bank can be hard. Vegans and those looking for gluten-free products often have a hard time find pre-made snacks that fit within their dietary restrictions. Veganism is a type of vegetarian diet that excludes meat, eggs, dairy products, and all other animal products; gluten is a term for proteins found in wheat, rye, barley, and triticale, and people with gluten intolerances, like those with Celiac disease, must avoid its consumption. Luckily, there are non-GMO, vegan, and gluten-free options when it comes to healthy snack bars – and they even taste good!
When searching for a healthy snack bar, keep in mind that not all brands are equal. Even if you’re not on a specialized diet, eating vegan, gluten-free snack bars can only benefit your health – and help you bulk up in other areas, like with fiber or good fats. Read the ingredients, research the company, and make sure that whichever bar you are choosing, it fits your diet and lifestyle. Snack bars can be an excellent way to squash that mid-afternoon snack craving, providing you with a nutritious, health-conscious option!