When you’re looking for a healthy snack, granola bars may come to mind as the obvious choice. But not all granola bars are created equal. They fall in all the spectrum, in terms of flavor and nutritional value. Ideally, you want one that achieves the perfect blend of tasty and healthy – but it’s often hard to find.
Christina Badarako, MPH, RD, LDNHe says the best options are made with whole grains like oats, quinoa, or buckwheat (this may include whole grain flour), along with nuts, seeds, or nut/seed butter. Dried fruits or vegetables, as well as herbs and spices, are also a good sign. For the not-so-great stuff, she recommends checking the ingredients list and watching for mentions of preservatives, refined oils, or artificial sweeteners like sorbitol or xylitol.
“While a little added sweetener can be good, most bars have way too much,” Badarako says. “Avoid bars that contain processed sweeteners like corn syrup, fructose or tapioca syrup, and choose bars with sweeteners like honey, maple syrup, date syrup, or cane sugar that are as near the end of the ingredient list as possible. Essentially, they should be The ingredients in the bars you eat are foods you know and like to eat and cook on their own!”
Of course, it’s not a good idea to have a granola bar full of healthy ingredients if the flavor is so unappealing that eating that particular bar feels more like a punishment than a cure. So you’ll also want to look for flavors that tempt your taste buds (it can be helpful to browse reviews for feedback on taste – people generally aren’t shy about mentioning a taste that’s less than satisfying).
Here are some healthy granola bars that you’ll actually enjoy eating.
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Healthy Granola Bars
88-acre Cinnamon Maple Seed + Oat Bar – $21.49 for nine bars
This 88-acre lot is infused with the tempting taste of cinnamon, contains a short list of ingredients and 7g of total sugars. The company’s products are vegan and free from the most common allergens. Try the Seed + Oat Bar sample pack, which includes six delicious varieties for $11.99.
Bobo’s Peanut Butter & Jelly Oat Bar – $29.88 for 12 packs
Who said peanut butter and jelly couldn’t be good for you? Then again, this bar from Bobo’s isn’t a typical PB&J snack. Made with 100% whole grain oats, it’s also dairy- and gluten-free. Best of all, it’s sweet and delicious!
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Kashi Chocolate Almond Sea Salt Chewy Granola Bar – $2.98 for a box of 6
These flavor-packed Kashi bars will leave you feeling satisfied — and smart, because you’re making a wise decision. Each bar contains 130 calories and 7 grams of sugar. As a bonus, it features responsibly sourced cocoa.
IQBAR Banana Chip Bar – $24.99 for 12 bars
Each IQBAR is packed with 6 brain nutrients and is keto-friendly, with 2 grams of sugar or less. This delicious banana slice set is a limited edition flavor so eat it as often as you can! If you missed it, don’t worry—there are plenty of other great options, like peanut butter wafer, blueberry lemonade, or matcha chai. If you’re having trouble choosing, try the 7-bar sampling box.
CLIF Thins Chocolate Peanut Brownie Bar – $7.99 for a 7-pack
The makers of the popular CLIF bar have created this thin and crunchy snack bar, available in three flavors. Each package contains two types of flakes, which contain healthy and natural ingredients such as organic oats. With only 100 calories and 5g of sugar, it’s a snack you can feel good about.
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CORE Coconut Chocolate Chip Bar – $1.98
This CORE bar contains 7g of fiber, 6g of protein and 9g of sugar. Badarako loves CORE bars because they “have no added/refined sugar and are less sweet than other bars. Plus, they have added vitamins and minerals and lots of nuts to provide fat and protein.”
KIND Cranberry Almond Nut Bar – $17.50 for a box of 12 bars
A perfect blend of refreshing and sweet, this KIND bar contains 160 calories and 8g of total sugars. Bonnie Taub-Dix, RDN, Creator BetterThanDieting.com and author Read it before you eat it – it takes you from poster to tableAnd the She loves the KIND Granola bar offerings, which she says is the perfect healthy on-the-go snack. Also, be sure to check out the brand’s KIND PRIDE tapes, which are available all year round.
Purely Elizabeth Chocolate Sea Salt Ancient Grain Granola Bar – $3.96 for a box of 4
These vegan and gluten-free bars from Purely Elizabeth offer the perfect blend of savory and sweet that so many of us often crave. Each bar contains 130 calories with only 6 grams of sugar. “These ingredients contain a blend of ancient grains and minimal added sweeteners,” Badarako says, noting that most of the ingredients are organic.
Satisfying Oats Bar – $9.99 for a box of 4
This Gratisfied Oat Bar is made with simple, easy-to-understand ingredients that you’ll recognize. It’s free from common allergens, making it a great choice for people with food allergies. Each bar contains 210 calories and 5g of total sugars.
Barebells Crunchy Fudge Protein Bar – $26.99 for a Box of 12
These protein bars from Barebells give you the crunchy chocolate taste you crave without any added sugar and 20 grams of protein. Available in nine flavors, including two new vegans.
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Justin’s Dark Chocolate Almond Butter Protein Bar – $2.49
These protein bars from Justin are certified gluten-free, non-GMO, kosher, and vegan. They provide 10g of protein at 230 calories and 6g of total sugars.
88-acre Apple Ginger Crisp Seed + Oat Bar – $21.49 for a box of 9 bars
Another 88-acre offering, this bar will have you imagining crisp fall weather, with its wonderful flavor blend of crystallized ginger and dried apple. Each bar contains 200 calories and 9 grams of total sugars. Badarako is a fan of this company’s snack bars because they are “made with whole grains and seeds, and also contain all-natural ingredients.”
Bob’s Red Mill Peanut Butter Chocolate & Oats Bar – $19.79 for a box of 12
These gluten-free bars are made with whole grain oats, peanut butter, organic chocolate chips, and organic honey. Each bar contains 220 calories and 10g of total sugars. Badarako points out that “it contains whole grains and plentiful nuts, which makes it rich in healthy fats and protein. They also contain all-natural ingredients, many of which are organic.”
MadeGood Cookie Crumble Granola Bar – $23.94 for a 30-count box
When you discover the real cookie bars packed inside this granola bar, you might be skeptical that it could be a healthy treat—but each bar contains only 110 calories and 7 grams of total sugars.
Nature Valley Chewy Fruit and Nut Granola Bar – $2.98 for a box of 6
These Nature Valley granola bars contain no artificial flavors or colors and no high fructose corn syrup. Each bar contains 150 calories and 8 grams of total sugars.
Quaker Chewy Chocolate Chip Granola Bars – $5.62 for a 24-count box
Packed with delicious chocolate chips, Quaker Chewable Granola Bars sound too decadent to be healthy—but each bar contains just 100 calories and 7g of total sugars.
KIND Healthy Gats & Honey Bar – $3.73 for a box of 5
Another offering from KIND, these Oat and Honey Bars offer the high-quality, healthy ingredients you’ve come to expect from the company. It’s gluten-free and made with 100% whole grains. Each bar contains 150 calories and 6 grams of total sugars.
Next, check out the 12 Best Keto Snacks on Amazon.
Christina BadarakoMPH, RD, LDN