The best snack bars are the ones that are made
with ingredients your grandma would recognize. Many are formulated using stuff
with weird names like "inulin" (a type of fiber) and "soy
isolate" (a type of protein). "Make sure the primary ingredients are
whole or minimally processed foods, such as almonds, cherries, and oats,"
says Alan Aragon, M.S., Men's Health's weight-loss coach.
deliver greater health benefits than refined ones do because a food's nutrients
are more powerful when they work together, which they can't do as well after
being dissected in a lab. (For more top supermarket picks, look for these 125 Best Foods for Men.)
Aragon also looks for at least 4 grams each of fiber and protein and less than
250 calories. But flavor counts, too, so we went beyond the numbers and tasted
more than a dozen bars. Here are our fab five.
Kind Peanut Butter & Strawberry
Peanuts and almonds have protein and crunch, while the strawberry provides a
chewy texture and a tart taste in this lower-sugar bar.
190 calories, 7 grams (g) protein, 18 g carbohydrates (4 g fiber, 10 g sugar)
18 Rabbits Nibblin' Apricot
This hybrid granola bar mixes soft, fiber-rich apricots and raisins with
crunchy, heart-friendly hazelnuts, walnuts, and cacao nibs.
210 calories, 4 g protein, 32 g carbohydrates (4 g fiber, 12 g sugar)
Larabar Apple Pie
Made only with dates, almonds, apples, walnuts, raisins, and cinnamon, this
chewy, sweet, gluten-free bar is high in fiber and delivers one serving of fruit.
190 calories, 4 g protein, 24 g carbohydrates, (5 g fiber, 18 g sugar)
Bumblebar Chunky Cherry
Tart, chewy cherry offsets the granular texture and nutty taste of the sesame
seeds in this protein-rich, gluten-free organic bar.
180 calories, 5 g protein, 18 g carbohydrates (4 g fiber, 13 g sugar)
Odwalla Chocolate Chip Peanut
Packed with protein and super-filling, this bar is like a peanut-butter-and-oatmeal
cookie spiked with gooey chocolate chips and crispy rice.
230 calories, 7 g protein, 33 g carbohydrates (4 g fiber, 14 g sugar)
Go to youbars.com to create your own snack bar from a selection of nuts, seeds,
fruits, and berries ($40 for 13 bars). Then add extras like cocoa and coconut.
The site provides instant nutritional analysis in a side window, so you can
tweak the ingredients until you meet Aragon's criteria.
Looking for more healthy products in the grocery store? Pick up a copy of the
all-new Eat This,
Not That! Supermarket Survival Guide. It's packed with smart shopping
strategies that will help you cut calories, lose weight, and even save money!