A Dietitian’s Guide to Choosing Granola Bars

By Mairead Rodgers, RD PHEc

What should I look for in a granola bar? Are granola bars ok to eat? What granola bars are best? Am I eating too many granola bars?

These are questions I get all the time from nutrition clients and we’re going to answer (hopefully) all of them today!

Can I eat granola bars? Is this ok?
Yep, granola bars are just fine as part of a balance healthy diet! They’re quick and convenient, don’t need to be kept cold and are super portable!

Could I eat too many granola bars?
Of course! If granola bars are taking the place of other important foods, that’s an issue. For most people, a granola bar in your lunch or for snack every day is not going to be an issue. If we’re having 2-3 a day, maybe it’s time to find some more variety in your snacks, but that could vary by the person based on their specific needs.

What should I look for in a granola bar?
For this, you’ll have to flip the bar over and check out the nutrition facts, or look at the nutrition panel on the side of the box.
Fibre: Fibre is important! It helps keep us full longer (important for snacks for busy people!), keeps us regular, and can help keep our cholesterol in check. Look for a granola bar with at least 3-4g of fibre to make a dent in your needs for the day.
Sugar: There can be a lot of sugar in granola bars! Something sticky has to hold it together! Even if something is sweetened with honey, maple syrup, or brown rice syrup, it’s still sugar and all acts the same way in our bodies. Try to keep the sugar per bar under 8g if you can. 
Protein: Protein also helps keep us full longer, and can help us repair muscles after a hard workout. Try to find a granola bar with minimum 5g of protein. Closer to 10g is even better! For lower protein granola bars, trying pairing it with a source of protein (cheese, Greek yogurt, hardboiled egg) for a wellrounded snack.

Hopefully these tips make snacking and choosing things in the granola bar aisle easier! If you have another nutrition topic you wonder about, email maireadrodgers@degreecrossfitseaforth.com to get it answered!

Have specific questions about your personal nutrition? Book your FREE 15-minute Bite Sized Nutrition Chat here and let’s get started!

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