Did you know those healthy snack bars you’ve been consuming might not be very “healthy” at all?
It’s common to assume they’re healthier than traditional granola or cereal bars, making them a good, easy switch for some of your fatty or salty snacks. However, while health food snack bars may seem like a great idea, most are anything but healthy!
If you’re worried about getting a health bar that may be just as bad for you as other snack bars on the market, consider looking for warning signs. Here are a few to watch out for the next time you’re buying healthy snack bars.
One of the first things to look for when you’re buying healthy snack bars is the sodium count.
Remember that high sodium intake can cause water retention. This in turn can lead to weight gain and bloating. If you’re eating a snack bar that is organic and healthy, the sodium count should not be that high.
If it seems very high to you, then it is likely sodium found in preservatives and not in the ingredients of the food itself.
Sugar content can be very high in certain healthy snack bars. The problem with this is, most people don't tend to look at the sugar content.
It’s worth keeping in mind, some sugars are natural and come from the fruit contained within the snack bar. So, if you have a fruit bar versus a nut bar, then you will likely see more sugars. The sugar should come from naturally sweet ingredients, not added sugars.
If you are buying a bar that is nut-based, as well as high in protein and oats, you’ll likely want to consider it a warning sign if there’s a very high amount of sugars.
Consider this – one can of cola contains approximately 40 grams of sugar. If you are staying away from sugary drinks because of the sugar content, and the snack bar that is supposed to be healthy contains around the same amount, it is probably not a good sign.
Flavorings are a dead giveaway that your healthy snack bar isn't exactly healthy.
Ideally, it should have natural flavors and natural colors. When you see additives like artificial flavorings, it’s a warning sign that what’s in the bar is not necessarily as healthy as you might think.
Ideally, the best healthy snack bar is the one you make at home. You can control the ingredients, add only the things you want in the bars, as well as control the quantity. If you go down this route, remember to get everything as fresh as possible and be sure it’s not overly processed.
Real Simple recommends these four snack bars as being the most healthy and also taste good. I cannot attest to the taste because I haven’t tried all of them. Also, consider that these are snack bars, not meal replacement bars. Look at the size before you buy. Most are very small because they were designed to be a snack and therefore have fewer calories
- Health Warrior Chia Bars actually have chia seeds as the first ingredient listed, which is a good sign. Chia seeds have proven health benefits and the bars also include plant-based Omega-3 fatty acids and fiber. You can get them HERE.
- KIND Dark Chocolate Nuts & Sea Salt are great if you like extra crunchy. I have tried these and love the flavors. They feature heart-healthy nuts and a small drizzle of chocolate. Click HERE to find these.
- RXBar Coffee Chocolate is the next recommended snack bar. The extra sugar in these is naturally-occurring and comes mostly from the dates. These bars, except for ones with peanut butter are Whole30 compliant. You can find a variety pack HERE.
- GoMacro Granola and Coconut bars are the final recommended healthy snack bar. Their plant-based ingredients are sourced from organic and non-GMO certified growers. Click HERE for these bars.
Of course, the healthiest snack bars are homemade. If you are interested in a few recipes for healthy snack bars, comment below and let me know. I have tried several that I think are good.