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Take a Snack Bar Break

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  • Cinnamon & honey granola bar, 9/15/14

    Cinnamon & honey granola bar, 9/15/14

    Tuesday, September 16 2014 11:05 AM EDT2014-09-16 15:05:39 GMT
    Alan BennettMakes: 12 servingsPrep Time: 15 minsCook Time: 15 minsIngredients1/2 stick butter, softened1 cup brown sugar1 egg, beaten2 tablespoons flaxseed, ground if available2 tablespoons Honey2 cups Oats (old Fashion)1 cup All-purpose flour, sifted1 teaspoon cinnamon1/2 teaspoon baking soda1/2 cup raisinsNotes / DirectionsIn a large bowl, beat the softened butter brown sugar until blended and crumbly, about 2 minutes.Add egg and beat wellStir in flaxseed and honeyIn another bowl, combine ...More >>
    Alan BennettMakes: 12 servingsPrep Time: 15 minsCook Time: 15 minsIngredients1/2 stick butter, softened1 cup brown sugar1 egg, beaten2 tablespoons flaxseed, ground if available2 tablespoons Honey2 cups Oats (old Fashion)1 cup All-purpose flour, sifted1 teaspoon cinnamon1/2 teaspoon baking soda1/2 cup raisinsNotes / DirectionsIn a large bowl, beat the softened butter brown sugar until blended and crumbly, about 2 minutes.Add egg and beat wellStir in flaxseed and honeyIn another bowl, combine ...More >>
  • Game Day Dip

    Game Day Dip

    Saturday, September 13 2014 12:14 PM EDT2014-09-13 16:14:26 GMT
    By: Marc HaynesIngredients:8 oz Philadelphia cream cheese2 Cups of shredded cheddar cheese1 Can of Rotel Tomatoes1 tsp ground cumin1 Can white corn1 Can yellow cornDirections:Melt cream cheese in microwave for approximately 2 minutes. Add additional time if cream cheese is not completely melted.After cream cheese is softened stir in the shredded cheddar cheese and microwave for an additional 2 - 4 minutes (until mostly melted)Add can of Rotel tomatoes (NOT drained), the cans of corn (drained)...More >>
    By: Marc HaynesIngredients:8 oz Philadelphia cream cheese2 Cups of shredded cheddar cheese1 Can of Rotel Tomatoes1 tsp ground cumin1 Can white corn1 Can yellow cornDirections:Melt cream cheese in microwave for approximately 2 minutes. Add additional time if cream cheese is not completely melted.After cream cheese is softened stir in the shredded cheddar cheese and microwave for an additional 2 - 4 minutes (until mostly melted)Add can of Rotel tomatoes (NOT drained), the cans of corn (drained)...More >>
  • Paleo Country Breading & Frying

    Paleo Country Breading & Frying

    Saturday, September 13 2014 11:53 AM EDT2014-09-13 15:53:52 GMT
    by: Julianne BitelyIngredients:1 cup almond flour1/3 cup shredded coconut1/4 tsp paprika1 tsp garlic powder1/2 tsp black pepper1/2 tsp dried thyme2 large eggs (free range, please), beaten *for washCoconut oil for fryingCooking Oil Temperatures:Chicken: 350-375 degreesGreen Tomatoes: 360-375 degreesOkra: 350-375 degreesfor more recipes from Julianne go to WellnessInLittleRock.comMore >>
    by: Julianne BitelyIngredients:1 cup almond flour1/3 cup shredded coconut1/4 tsp paprika1 tsp garlic powder1/2 tsp black pepper1/2 tsp dried thyme2 large eggs (free range, please), beaten *for washCoconut oil for fryingCooking Oil Temperatures:Chicken: 350-375 degreesGreen Tomatoes: 360-375 degreesOkra: 350-375 degreesfor more recipes from Julianne go to WellnessInLittleRock.comMore >>

By Heather Bauer, R.D., nu-train

Though in an ideal world we would all eat balanced meals and snacks with whole grains, lean protein, and lots of fruits and vegetables, realistically it is often too time consuming and impractical.

However, we can't just starve until we have time to grab a decent meal. That's where bars come in.

Bars are quick, and if you choose the "right" ones, they can be balanced and filling. They are great to keep in your purse or briefcase if a meeting runs late and lunch seems far away, in the glove compartment of your car if you get stuck in traffic, or by the front door if there's no time for breakfast so you can grab one and go.

The tricky part when it comes to bars is figuring out which ones are best or the most balanced. To help you, we've outlined a few nutrients/ingredients to watch for when choosing a bar. The major question to ask yourself, however, is will this bar help me eat less later or will it simply set off a sugar craving and leave me wanting more.

Calories
As a snack, ideally it should have less than 200 calories. If you're replacing a meal, it can be higher than this, but beware that the very high calorie bars usually contain loads of sugar and/or saturated fat.

Fiber
Fiber helps by slowing digestion and allowing you to feel fuller longer. Finding high fiber bars can be tough, but aim for at least 3 grams of fiber per bar.

Protein
There are loads of high protein bars out there, but the main idea of protein is to balance out the carbohydrates and satiate us longer. There is no need to go overboard with protein (keep in mind, this is just a snack), but aim to get at least 7 grams in your bar.

Fat
You do want to have some fat in your bar to keep your snack balanced, to allow for a more satisfying snack, and to improve the taste and texture of the bar. However, try to keep the fat below 5 grams, with as little as possible coming from saturated fat. Also, avoid any bars with trans fats.

Sugar
This is definitely the hardest ingredient to assess. Most of the bars contain lots of sugar to improve taste. We decided to judge sugar based on its relation to fiber in the bar. Aim for bars that have at most a 6 to 1 ratio of sugars to fiber. For instance, if a bar has 3 grams of fiber, it should have no more than 18 grams of sugar.

To be honest, it was almost impossible to find a bar that fit all of our requirements. The bottom line is that you have to choose which ingredients are most important to you, and which bars help you most in staving off hunger (and which you like the taste of!). We've chosen some of our favorites to give you some ideas. The bars in bold fit every requirement.

Calories Total
Fat(g)
Sat.
Fat(g)
Protein(g) Carbs(g) Fiber(g) Sugar(g)
BellybarTM (for pregnant women)
170-180 4-6 1-2.5 8 22-26 2 11-13
Clif® MojoTM
180-210 8-11 1-2 9-10 19-23 2-3 8-12
Gnu® Foods
130-140 3 0-1 3-4 30-32 12 8-9
KashiTM GOLEAN® Roll!
190-200 5 1.5-2 12 27-29 6 13-14
KashiTM TLCTM*
120-180 2-6 0.5 5-7 19-26 4 5-8
Larabar®
180 4 2 8 29 5 11
Luna® SunriseTM
180 4 2 8 29 5 11
Luna®*
180-190 3.5-6 0.5-3 9-10 23-28 3-5 9-11
Pria® Complete Nutrition
170 6 4 11 22 5 7
Slim Fast® OptimaTM Meal On-The-Go Bar
180-220 4-9 2.5-4 8 28-35 2-3 12-16
thinkGreenTM
180-190 5-7 1-3 6-7 27-29 2-4 15-22

*Not every bar in this brand fits all of the requirements.

Take this guide with you as you navigate the supermarket aisles. By keeping balanced, healthy bars on hand, you will never have an excuse for going hungry!

*DISCLAIMER*: The information contained in or provided through this site section is intended for general consumer understanding and education only and is not intended to be and is not a substitute for professional advice. Use of this site section and any information contained on or provided through this site section is at your own risk and any information contained on or provided through this site section is provided on an "as is" basis without any representations or warranties.