“What should you look for, nutritionally, when buying store-bought granola bars?”
Obviously, homemade granola bars are a great choice (try my 5 Minute No Bake PB Granola Bars or Nutty Protein Granola Bars), but making something from scratch isn’t always an option. When choosing a granola bar from the store, the first thing to look at is the ingredient list. Make sure it’s short and includes only things you recognize as real food. In particular, avoid partially hydrogenated oils (that’s trans fat) and enriched (as opposed to whole) grains. You’ll also want to make sure that sugar (in any form, whether it’s plain sugar, corn syrup, glucose, fructose, etc.) isn’t one of the first couple ingredients, since ingredients are listed in order of amount in the product. Even better is when fruit is the only sweetener involved! Two other things to note are the protein and fiber content — ideally, look for at least 5 grams of each.
For more from Anne Mauney, MPH, RD, check out her website at www.fannetasticfood.com.