At first glance, a granola or cereal bar seems like a healthy enough snack. After all, it’s packed with nuts and oats, which can provide healthy fats and plenty of protein. But not every granola bar is a healthy choice – some are more akin to cookies! Read on to find out what to look for in a healthy granola bar so you can make the best choice for yourself and your family.
Low in Sugar
One of the major problems with granola bars is that many of them have a lot of added sugar. That is, of course, how the granola bar is sweetened, but it just comes with too many problems. Excess sugar can lead to weight gain, and has been linked to higher blood pressure and higher triglyceride levels. Some granola bars contain enough sugar to give you almost half of the daily limit – just in one bar! Look for granola and cereal bars that don’t have added sugar or sweeteners like corn syrup, honey, fructose and dextrose.
No Artificial Preservatives
Some granola bar brands use something called BHT to preserve freshness. BHT stands for butylated hydroxytoluene, and it’s a synthetic antioxidant that has been shown to have carcinogenic potential. Play it safe and avoid granola bars with this type of preservative or other artificial preservatives –find bars that use natural ingredients like rosemary extract or vitamin E to keep them from going bad.
No Caramel Coloring
Do your best to find granola bars that don’t use caramel coloring. Certain caramel colorings are made in a way that results in trace amounts of contaminants remaining behind. Those contaminants are considered “possible carcinogens” by the World Health Organization.
No GMO Soy
Most soy grown in North America is genetically modified so it’s resistant to herbicides. Unfortunately, that means GMO soy usually contains residue from those herbicides. That’s not something you want your family ingesting! Take the time to find cereal or granola bars that contain no GMO soy.
Find yourself a healthy bar option that doesn’t contain excess sugar or a lot of additives and you’ve got a protein-packed snack perfect for your on-the-go lifestyle.