The Best of the Bars
Looking for a quick bite? Here's how the snack bars stack up.
2. Does it have at least 5 grams of protein? I also try to make sure
my breakfast and snack choices contain 5 grams of protein. This helps balance
the carbohydrates, so the bar seems more satisfying and the energy lasts
longer. Some bars I tested had 1 or 2 grams of protein, while others had 10 or
3. Does it contain less than 35% calories from sugar? I've got to
warn you; not many bars meet this guideline. One of the bars my daughters
really like (Nature's Choice Multigrain Raspberry) has 13 grams of sugar
Â¬which, at 120 calories a bar, comes out to 43% calories from sugar. I like to
calculate the percentage of calories from sugar because different brands of
bars differ dramatically in size and calories. Putting sugar into a percentage
gives you a way to compare them fairly.
4. How much total fat and saturated fat does it contain? You
definitely want some fat in the bar, so that it has a more satisfying taste,
texture, and helps slow digestion a bit. But you don't want too much fat, and
you certainly don't want any saturated fat if you can help it.
I read labels for the bars I came across and tried to find some that
followed my four keys to a better bar. I was able to find some bars with 3 or
more grams of fiber, 5 or more grams of protein, lower amounts of fat, and no
saturated fat. But it was the rare bar that had less than 30% calories from
That said, here are my better bar choices (for journaling purposes, you'd
generally count 230 calories for a meal-replacement bar and 137 calories for a
Clif Bars (made with organic oats and soybeans).
Clif bars score really well on protein and fiber content. The flavors I
looked at had 5 grams of fiber, 10 or more grams of protein, around 33%
calories from sugar, and 4-5 grams of fat (1.5-2 grams of saturated fat) per
One of Clif's lowest-sugar flavors is Cool Mint Chocolate: One bar
(68 grams weight) contains 250 calories, 10 grams of protein, 5 grams of fiber,
5 grams fat (1.5-g saturated fat) and 27% calories from sugar. (Journal as a
meal-replacement protein bar.)