17 healthy granola bars for a great snack
When looking for a healthy snack, granola bars may come to mind as an obvious choice. But not all granola bars are created equal. They cover the whole spectrum, in terms of flavor and nutritional value. Ideally, you want one that achieves that perfect blend of flavorful and healthy, but that can often be hard to come by.
Christina Badaracco, MPH, RD, LDN, says the best options are made with whole grains like oats, quinoa, or buckwheat (this can include whole-grain flours), as well as nuts, seeds, or nut/seed butters. Dried fruits or vegetables, as well as herbs and spices are also good signs. As for the not-so-good stuff, she recommends checking the ingredient list and watching for mention of preservatives, refined oils, or artificial sweeteners like sorbitol or xylitol.
“While a little added sweetener might be fine, most bars have way too much of it,” says Badaracco. “Avoid bars with processed sweeteners such as corn syrup, fructose, or tapioca syrup, and choose bars with sweeteners like honey, maple syrup, date syrup, or cane sugar that are as close to the end of the ingredient list as possible. Essentially, the ingredients in the bars you eat should be foods you recognize and are willing to eat and cook for yourself!
Of course, there’s no point in a granola bar being filled with healthy ingredients if the flavor is so unpalatable that eating that particular bar feels more like a punishment than a treat. So you’ll also want to look for flavors that tempt your taste buds (it can be helpful to scour reviews for taste feedback – people are usually quick to mention less than satisfying taste).
Here are some healthy granola bars you’ll really enjoy eating.
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Healthy granola bars
88 Acres of Cinnamon Maple Seeds + Oat Bar – $21.49 for nine bars
Brimming with the tempting taste of cinnamon, this 88 Acres bar has a short ingredient list and a reasonable 7g total of sugars. The company’s products are plant-based and free from the most common allergens. Try their Seed + Oat Bar sampler set, which includes six delicious strains for $11.99.
Bobo’s Peanut Butter & Jelly Oat Bar – $29.88 for a pack of 12
Who says peanut butter and jelly can’t be good for you? Then again, this bar from Bobo’s is not your 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!
Related: 20 high-protein snacks to help you lose weight
Kashi Chocolate Almond Chewy Sea Salt 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 smart choice. Each bar contains only 130 calories and 7 g of sugar. As a bonus, it contains cocoa from responsible sources.
IQBAR Banana Chips Bar – $24.99 for 12 bars
Each IQBAR contains 6 brain nutrients and is keto-friendly with 2g or less sugar. This tasty variety of banana chips is a limited edition flavor, so grab it while you can! If you miss it, don’t worry – there are plenty of other great options, like Peanut Butter Chips, Lemon & Blueberry, or Matcha Chai. If you have a hard time choosing, try their 7 bar sampler box.
CLIF Thins Chocolate Peanut Brownie Bar – $7.99 for a box of 7
The makers of the famous CLIF Bar have created this thin and crispy snack bar, available in three flavors. Each packet includes two Thins, which contain wholesome, natural ingredients like organic rolled oats. With only 100 calories and 5g of sugar, it’s a snack you can feel good about.
Related: 15 Protein Bars for Weight Loss
CORE Coconut Chocolate Chip Bar – $1.98
This CORE bar contains 7g of fiber and 6g of protein and 9g of sugar. Badaracco likes CORE bars because “they have no added/refined sugar and are less sweet than other bars. Plus, they contain 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
The perfect mix of tangy and sweet, this KIND bar contains only 160 calories and 8g of total sugars. Bonnie Taub-Dix, RDN, creator ofBetterThanDieting.com and author of Read It Before You Eat – From Etiquette to Table, likes the KIND granola bar offerings, which she says are the perfect healthy snack on the go. Don’t forget to also check out the brand’s KIND PRIDE bars which are available all year round.
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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 that perfect combination of salty and sweet that many of us often crave. Each bar contains only 130 calories with only 6 g of sugar. “These contain a blend of ancient grains and minimal added sweeteners,” says Badaracco, noting that most of the ingredients are organic.
Free Oat Bar – $9.99 for a box of 4 bars
This free oat bar is made with simple, easy-to-understand ingredients you’ll recognize. It is free from common allergens, making it a great choice for people with food sensitivities. Each bar contains 210 calories and 5 g of total sugars.
Barebells Crunchy Fudge Protein Bar – $26.99 for a box of 12
These protein bars from Barebells give you that crunchy, chocolatey candy you crave without any added sugar and 20g of protein. Available in nine flavors, including two new herbal varieties.
Related: 12 delicious after-school snacks so kids won’t notice they’re low carb
Justin’s Almond Butter & Dark Chocolate Chip Protein Bar – $2.49
These protein bars from Justin’s are certified gluten-free, non-GMO, kosher, and plant-based. They offer 10g of protein at 230 calories and 6g of total sugars.
88 Acres Apple Ginger Crisp Seed + Oat Bar – $21.49 for a box of 9 bars
Another offering from 88 Acres, this bar will have you imagining chilly fall weather, with its superb flavor combination of crystallized ginger and dried apples. Each bar contains 200 calories and 9 g of total sugars. Badaracco is a fan of this company’s snack bars because “they’re 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 10 g of total sugars. Badaracco notes that they “contain whole grains and plenty of nuts, making them high in healthy fats and proteins; they also contain all-natural ingredients, many of which are organic.
MadeGood Cookie Crumble Granola Bar – $23.94 for a box of 30
When you discover the real cookie bits packed inside this granola bar, you might be skeptical that it could be a healthy treat – but each bar contains just 110 calories and 7g of total sugars.
Nature Valley Chewy Fruit and Nut Granola Bar – $2.98 for a box of 6
These Nature Valley granola bars have no artificial flavors, colors or high fructose corn syrup. Each bar contains only 150 calories and 8 g of total sugars.
Quaker Chewy Chocolate Chip Granola Bars – $5.62 for a box of 24 pieces
Packed with delicious chocolate chips, these chewy Quaker granola bars seem too decadent to be healthy – but each bar contains only 100 calories and 7g of total sugars.
KIND Healthy Grains Oat & Honey Bar – $3.73 for a box of 5
Another offering from KIND, these oatmeal and honey bars provide the high-quality, wholesome ingredients you expect from the company. They are gluten-free and made from 100% whole grains. Each bar contains 150 calories and 6 g of total sugars.
Next, check out the 12 Best Keto Snacks on Amazon.
Christina BadaraccoMPH, RD, LDN