Snack bars are the ultimate portable fuel. Stow ’em in your your gym bag, work desk, or car to squelch hunger and provide your body with the macros it needs to power up after a workout…or the 3 p.m. slump.
But be picky. The market for snack bars is crazy right now, with everything from protein-packed options that taste like chalk to wannabe health bars that are really just candy bars obscured by clever marketing.
Companies advertise these bars with buzzwords to make them seem healthy. Phrases like “all-natural” and “gluten-free” make them seem like a good choice, but in reality they’re just covering up the low-quality ingredients, artificial additives, and unnecessary amount of sugar.
Use these tips to help you identify a healthy bar:
- Keep the added sugar low
- Try to keep added sugars to a minimum per bar and look for sources of natural sugars only (dates, honey, agave, etc.)
- Make sure it has some fiber and protein
- Fiber will help keep you full to hold you over to your next meal, while protein will help give your muscles the needed building blocks to grow.
- Look for real foods in the ingredient list
- You should be fueling your body with real foods, like dates, oats, pumpkin seeds, flax seeds, honey, and nut butters.
There are hundreds of bars on the market, but here are 10 you can feel good about grabbing whenever hunger strikes.