Behind bars: the truth about granola bars - WSFA.com: News Weather and Sports for Montgomery, AL.

Behind bars: the truth about granola bars

Choose bars when you’re on the go and don’t have access to fresh produce and low-fat dairy products. © iStockphoto.com Choose bars when you’re on the go and don’t have access to fresh produce and low-fat dairy products. © iStockphoto.com


Provided by Nu-Train

Many people assume that granola bars are healthy because they contain the word ‘granola’. Not necessarily! Unfortunately, most of today’s granola and snack bars are sugar-coated, filled with candy fixin’s like chocolate and marshmallows, and laden with high fructose corn syrup as well as countless other ingredients that I can’t even pronounce, let alone spell.

But not all bars are bad. Many, in fact, include a healthy dose of fiber as well as natural ingredients like nuts and oats. Bars can also be a great afternoon snack idea because they are convenient, compact and individually wrapped – great for portion control. And they’re definitely easy to eat on the go. Here are our recommendations on the best (and worst) bars out there.

Bar Basics

Calories - Eaten as an afternoon snack, a bar should ideally be less than 200 calories. And interestingly, often the bars that are higher in calories are also higher in sugar and/or saturated fat.

Fiber - Since fiber helps keep you full and satisfied (since it takes longer to digest), bars should have some fiber to fill you up. Aim for a bar with 3 or more grams of fiber.

Protein - Protein is another key ingredient to help keep you feeling full in the afternoon. Try to reach for a bar with at least 7 grams of protein.

Sodium - Who would have thought that many bars contain a lot of sodium?! Often, when bars are low in fat, salt is needed to repalce the flavor lost when fat is removed. Go for bars with less than 60mg of sodium.

Sugar - Most bars out there are loaded with sugar to help improve their taste. Compare the grams of sugar to the grams of fiber in a bar and aim for a ratio of no more than 3 to 1. For instance, if a bar has 4 grams of fiber, it should have no more than 12 grams of sugar.

Unfortunately, it’s quite difficult to find bars that meet all of our requirements. So the bottom line is choose the bars that keep you the most satisfied without making you crave more. And even the best bars don’t hold a candle to fruits, vegetables and yogurt. So choose bars when you’re on the go and don’t have access to fresh produce and low-fat dairy products 

 


Heather's Bar Picks
Choose:

• Regular – Luna Bar in Caramel Nut Brownie
• Raw - Organic Fiber Bar in Chocolate Dream or Apple Apple

Lose:

• Snickers Marathon Energy Bars – These bars are overloaded with sugar (15-21 grams of sugar per bar) - YIKES!

 

 

Stephanie's Bar Picks

Choose:

• Regular– Kind Bar in Almond & Apricot
• Raw – Wild Bar in Mayan Spice

Lose:

• Special K Cereal Bars – Although it’s low in calories (90 calories), it has a higher sodium content than the typical bar (120mg) and has hydrogenated oils and a large ingredient list

 

Dara's Bar Picks

Choose:

• Regular - TLC Kashi Bar in Pumpkin Spice Flax
• Raw-  Larabar’s in Peanut Butter & Jelly

Lose:

• Fiber One Bars – These bars have too many unhealthy ingredients including high fructose corn syrup and high maltose corn syrup

  • Mark Leslie RecipesMore>>

  • Leslie Bailey's “A Top of the Morning Breakfast For St. Paddy's Day!”

    Leslie Bailey's “A Top of the Morning Breakfast For St. Paddy's Day!”

    Wednesday, March 12 2014 2:03 PM EDT2014-03-12 18:03:49 GMT
    Wsfa recipe for wed march 22,2014 "A Top of the Morning Breakfast for St. Paddy's Day!" 1 container of Bisquick pancake mix cooked bacon strips green food coloring butter softened powdered sugar Directions: MakeMore >>

    WSFA 12 News Alabama Live recipe for Wednesday March 22,2014. "A Top of the Morning Breakfast for St. Paddy's Day!"More >>

  • Mark Leslie's Quick Pickled Vegetable Platter

    Mark Leslie's Quick Pickled Vegetable Platter

    Friday, May 31 2013 3:31 PM EDT2013-05-31 19:31:06 GMT
    Making pickles doesn't mean having to pull out the dill and canning gear to spend a day over a hot stove. With a little notice ahead, I use salt and vinegar to quickly pickle vegetables from my gardenMore >>
    Making pickles doesn't mean having to pull out the dill and canning gear to spend a day over a hot stove. With a little notice ahead, I use salt and vinegar to quickly pickle vegetables from my gardenMore >>
  • Mark Leslie's "Old School BLT"

    Mark Leslie's "Old School BLT"

    Friday, May 24 2013 3:47 PM EDT2013-05-24 19:47:32 GMT
    Before the microwave, turkey bacon, pre-sliced loaf bread and store-bought mayo, the wholesome BLT had more character. A staple for a simple and refreshing meal on a hot summer's day, my twist on thisMore >>
    Before the microwave, turkey bacon, pre-sliced loaf bread and store-bought mayo, the wholesome BLT had more character. A staple for a simple and refreshing meal on a hot summer's day, my twist on this American favorite...More >>
Powered by WorldNow