Energy + Granola Bars: How To Choose?

NUTRITION TIP THURSDAY

When faced with the ever-growing granola bar selection, how do you pick a smart snack over a smartly marketed candy bar? Here's what dietitian Jessica Garay Redmond says are the top three things to check before you chow down:

Keep sugar in check. When you're looking for a snack, choose a bar with less than eight grams of sugar. Need to replace a meal? Opt for versions that have a similar amount of sugar and protein gram for gram. And don’t forget that “natural” sugars (brown rice syrup, tapioca syrup, honey, maple syrup) can still contribute to sugar crashes and lead to weight gain and a host of other health issues.

Make fiber and protein your friends. They’ll keep you feeling fuller longer and ensure you don’t chow down on everything in sight later.

Investigate the ingredients list: Look for ingredients you recognize. (What are you, soy protein isolate?) And a good rule of thumb is to hold the ingredient list to fewer than 10 items—but less is always more.

Check out this list for the top 15 healthy bars!