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Best granola bars

Which granola bar is best?

Convenient food is the downfall of many health regimens. Many people work themselves beyond being moderately hungry, become impatient and grab something you'd think is healthy, like a granola bar. Unfortunately, not all granola bars are good for you.

The best granola bar lists items such as whole grains, nuts, seeds and fruits first in the ingredients. Our favorite is the yummy gluten-free low-sugar Dark Chocolate, Nuts, and Sea Salt KIND Bar.

What to know before you buy a granola bar

You want a granola bar that tastes good and satisfies your hunger, but you also want to know what you are putting into your body. If you are knowledgeable about nutrition, you can read the label. However, that can be confusing for many because some terms do not always mean what we think they mean.

High protein 

If you are looking for that satisfying granola or nut crunch, you are most likely to find it in bars that contain 6 to 12 grams of protein. Once you move beyond that, the bars use different ingredients and become more doughy in texture.


If a granola bar contains milk, whey, casein, lactose or honey, it is not a vegan product. Also, if the cholesterol content is listed as anything other than 0%, vegans need to avoid the food because cholesterol is only found in animal products.

Low fat 

To be considered low fat, a granola bar may only contain 3 grams of fat per 100 calories. However, low fat doesn't necessarily mean healthy. You still need to take a closer look at the label, checking ingredients such as sugar.

Gluten free/nut free

If you have allergies or sensitivities to certain ingredients such as gluten or nuts, the label must specifically designate a product to be gluten free or nut free. Always check the label, and never assume.

What to look for in a quality granola bar

Organic vs. all-natural

Organic foods are highly regulated to contain the least amount of inorganic substances. All-natural, on the other hand, can contain additives, antibiotics, pesticides and genetically modified ingredients (GMOs). If you have an option, choose organic over all-natural.

Whole foods

This term means minimally processed plant-based foods, such as grains, fruits and vegetables. If you see this on the label, it is a good thing, but it doesn't mean the food is organic or pesticide free.

How much you can expect to spend on a granola bar

You get the best value when you purchase granola bars in larger quantities. For example, a box of 12 or 24 bars may break down to as low as 50 cents per bar depending on the brand. The higher the protein and organic food content, however, the higher the price may be. If you purchase bars individually, they can cost as much as $2 or $3 per bar.

Granola bars FAQ

What should you look for in a granola bar?

A. That depends on why you are eating one. A granola bar with 300 to 400 calories is a meal replacement bar, not a snack. If you just want a snack, the granola bar you choose should only be 100 to 150 calories.

Is there a quick way to tell which granola bar is made from whole foods?

A.  Actually, the quickest way to check is to glance at the fiber content. A granola bar that has at least three or four grams of fiber means it most likely has been made using whole-food ingredients. To be sure, you can check the ingredients list to make sure that whole grains is listed first.

What's the best granola bar to buy?

Top granola bars

KIND’s Bar With Dark Chocolate, Nuts, and Sea Salt

What you need to know: A high-fiber bar, it is the perfect balance of tasting good and being good for you.

What you'll love: This KIND bar is made with dark chocolate and it is a gluten-free, non-GMO snack with zero trans fat. The primary ingredients are almonds and peanuts, so the bar is high in protein and unsaturated fatty acids, but still less than 200 calories.

What you should consider: These bars don't hold together well and can create a sticky mess when eating.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Top granola bar for the money

Quaker’s Chewy Granola Bars

What you need to know: A variety pack of chewy granola bars, it features low-fat chocolate chunk, peanut butter chocolate chip and s’mores.

What you'll love: These flavorful bars are made with Quaker whole-grain oats, they contain no high fructose corn syrup, and they are only 100 calories per bar. At just around 40 cents per bar, they are a great value.

What you should consider: The bars are smaller than you may be expecting and one might not be enough to satisfy your hunger.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Worth checking out

Cascadian Farm’s Organic Chewy Granola Bars

What you need to know: Certified organic bars, they are manufactured without GMOs or synthetic pesticides.

What you'll love: These bars combine 12 grams of whole grains and organic chocolate for a flavorful treat that is only 140 calories per bar. Additionally, they contain no hydrogenated oils, no artificial flavors, and no preservatives.

What you should consider: When choosing these bars, you will have to watch your other sugars because they contain 10 grams of added sugars.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon


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Allen Foster writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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