If you’re craving a midday snack, need a pre-workout boost, or you’re looking for a great on-the-go breakfast, granola bars can be the perfect choice. But not all granola bars are created equal. If you’re not careful about your choice of granola bar, you could end up with a high-sugar, high-calorie snack that more closely resembles a candy bar than a health food. Make sure you look for these 4 important factors when selecting one.
Ingredients You Recognize
All-natural ingredients should be something you look for in every food- not just granola bars. Ingredients that are five syllables long and sound like they’re best suited for the periodic table should be avoided. Look for whole grains, nuts, and fruits. There should be no partially hydrogenated oils, high-fructose corn syrup, or artificial colorings in your granola bars.
Low Sugar Content
Many granola bars on the market today are covered with chocolate or dripping with caramel. If you can’t tell the difference between your granola bar and a Snickers bar, that’s a problem. Look for a granola bar with 10 grams of sugar or less, and try to pick granola bars with natural sweeteners like honey or pure maple syrup.
High Fiber Content
Fiber is not only an important part of your diet, but the more fiber there is in your granola bar, the longer you will feel full! Stick with a bar that has at least 5 grams of fiber (some bars can contain about 1/3 of your daily fiber). Fiber is great for your digestion and helps you lose weight, so don’t discount it when you’re picking a granola bar. Click here to read more about fiber and to find out how much fiber you should consume each day.
Whether you should look for a low-calorie or high-calorie bar depends on what you’re using your granola bar for. If you’re making it a mid-morning snack, stick with bars that are 150 calories or less. Higher calorie bars may be better used as meal replacements. A higher calorie bar may also provide you with a pre-workout boost of energy.
Click here for even more healthy eating tips!