How to choose healthier snack bars

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Navigating the snack bar isle of the supermarket can be almost like the candy bar isle.  If you read the nutritional labels and ingredients lists you’ll find many are packed with loads of added sugars and fats, yet they are disguised in packages that can sometimes make them sound and look healthy.

While there are lots of healthy options for non packaged snacks, there’s something very convenient about being able to just grab a bar on those busy days when you aren’t organised and want something filling, tasty and healthy to get you through. I know we all have days like that!

Thankfully, things are changing and you CAN find some decent products that are lower in sugar and contain more nourishing ingredients.

Here’s a quick guide for choosing healthy snack bars.

Check the ingredients list

An easy way to get an idea of the quality of the bar is to see what ingredients are listed first.  The first few ingredients are what are in the bar at the highest percentage.  If it’s nuts and seeds, then you’ll be getting healthy fats, fibre, protein plus vitamins and minerals from the nuts.

Wholegrains such as oats, quinoa and buckwheat are also good ingredients to have listed early on as these also provide dietary fibre and other nutrients.

 

Nutrition information panel

The other place to have a look at is the nutritional information panel – and have a glance at the protein, fats, sugar, salt and fibre.

If a bar provides some protein, then it will help to keep you feeling fuller for longer.

With fats, what is important is the type of fat.  If the bar is made primarily from nuts and other plant based ingredients, then it’s likely most of the fat is healthy, unsaturated fats.  In general, looking for less than 3g saturated fat per bar is a good move.

When it comes to sugar, less than 10-15g per 100g is a good basic guideline.  There are some exceptions to this though.  For example, if you’re eating a bar that’s made up of nuts, seeds and dried fruit, the sugar content will be higher.  But sometimes you have to look at the big picture.  Dates, which generally make up most of the fruit these types of bars are high in sugar.  But they also provide dietary fibre, vitamins and minerals in a unique package that isn’t the same as eating plain sugar.  These are good options if you’re active as they provide a good source of carbohydrate or if you feel like a nutritious sweet treat.

Dietary fibre isn’t a mandatory requirement on food labels, but some manufactures do add it to the label – particularly if their product is higher in fibre. If the bar contains more than 4g of fibre, then it is a good source of dietary fibre.

So what can you buy that ticks the boxes?  One new bar I’ve been trialling the past couple of months is the Nice and Natural range of protein nut bars.

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These bars are made primarily of a yummy combination of nuts, seeds and soy protein (so great for vegetarians) plus other ingredients to make up their yummy, unique flavours.

As a grab and go snack, I like them because they’re a good source of fibre, contain 25% protein to help keep you feeling fuller for longer and they range between 2g and 4g of sugar per bar – that’s the lowest I’ve seen in a snack bar!  They are not overly sweet and get a bit of a sweetness top up with the natural, plant based sugar free sweetener stevia.

There are three flavours to choose from – Salted Caramel, Dark Chocolate & Cacao and Cranberry, Goji Berry & Quinoa.

My favourite is the salted caramel, but they are all tasty.

You can find these at supermarkets in the snack bar department, but you could also win a big pack of these bars for yourself!  Thanks to Nice and Natural, I’m giving away 40 of these delicious bars (that’s 6 packets!) in a flavour of your choice.  That will have you sorted for snacking!

I have another giveaway currently active on instagram – check it out here!
Congratulations to Rebekah Ochiai – the lucky winner of the first prize pack.    To enter the second draw, click here

Thanks to Nice and Natural for making this post possible.

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65 Responses to How to choose healthier snack bars

  1. Rebekah Ochiai July 28, 2016 at 8:14 pm #

    Would love to try salted caramel!

  2. Pauline Baas July 28, 2016 at 8:27 pm #

    I love the Cranberry, Goji Berry & Quinoa! These bars are great nutritionally. I love that they are low in sugar and taste great!

  3. Therese T July 28, 2016 at 10:21 pm #

    Would love to try the Salted Caramel, it sounds yummy! I really like that they are low in sugar.

  4. Michelle July 29, 2016 at 6:06 am #

    Salted caramel ????????

  5. Mel July 29, 2016 at 9:54 am #

    Yum! I’d love to try the cranberry flavour – I’ve had the dark chocolate and cacao and they are amazing, but the cranberry is always out of stock in our supermarket!

  6. Fiona July 29, 2016 at 10:26 am #

    the Dark Chocolate & Cacao sounds v yummy!

  7. Sandra July 29, 2016 at 10:40 am #

    Love the sound of Cranberry,Goji Berry & Quinoa.

  8. Miriam July 29, 2016 at 11:19 am #

    These all sound good but I would love to try Dark Chocolate & Cacao and Cranberry!

  9. Felicity Smith July 29, 2016 at 2:00 pm #

    Goji Berry & Quinoa

  10. Sonja Wezenbeek July 29, 2016 at 4:23 pm #

    I would like to try the salted caramel. Cheers

  11. debbie July 29, 2016 at 5:15 pm #

    Dark Chocolate & Cacao and Cranberry sounds amazing 🙂

  12. Beverley Archer July 29, 2016 at 7:09 pm #

    Dark Chocolate & Cacao and Cranberry sounds like me.

  13. Aaron Wells July 29, 2016 at 7:13 pm #

    Dark chocolate cacao and cranberry

  14. Kirsty July 29, 2016 at 8:41 pm #

    Any of the flavours would be great. But, if I had to choose Salted Caramel 🙂

  15. Lee Tymkin July 29, 2016 at 8:51 pm #

    Cranberry, goji berry and quinoa. I’ve tried them all but this one is my son’s favorite

  16. Angie July 29, 2016 at 9:47 pm #

    Cranberry Goji Berry and Quinoa, low in sugar so that’s awesome

  17. Erin July 29, 2016 at 11:21 pm #

    I would like dark chocolate and cacao. …yum!

  18. Antoinette July 30, 2016 at 10:22 am #

    Goji Berry & Quinoa sounds interesting and very healthy.

  19. Sara August 1, 2016 at 7:13 am #

    Yum, dark chocolate and cacao would be my first choice

  20. michael August 1, 2016 at 9:41 am #

    A treat would have to be Dark chocolate and cacao.

  21. Gabby August 1, 2016 at 10:21 am #

    I’d love to try the cranberry, goji berry and quinoa

  22. Trish Woods-Curle August 1, 2016 at 12:18 pm #

    Yummy ????????????????

    Salted caramel please Thanks so much.

  23. Selena August 1, 2016 at 6:42 pm #

    Ohhh! So hard to decide…. can’t make decision…. maybe Nice & Natural could make it for !me!! 🙂

  24. sally August 1, 2016 at 7:29 pm #

    Would love to try the dark chocolate one.

  25. Annita Williamson August 1, 2016 at 8:29 pm #

    Salted caramel please, sounds delicious.

  26. Annita Williamson August 1, 2016 at 8:31 pm #

    Can’t wait to try the new bars!

  27. Rose Tindall August 1, 2016 at 9:25 pm #

    I would love to try them all but salted caramel sounds amazing!

  28. Kellie August 1, 2016 at 9:38 pm #

    Dark chocolate and cacao.

  29. Deborah August 1, 2016 at 9:58 pm #

    Dark Chocolate & Cacao would be incredibly moreish, I bet !

  30. Sue Faulkner August 2, 2016 at 8:27 am #

    Would love to try the salted caramel, sounds delicious!

  31. Kathryn August 2, 2016 at 3:34 pm #

    Salted caramel sounds yum!

  32. Tammy August 2, 2016 at 5:27 pm #

    I would LOVE the salted caramel!

  33. Nicole August 2, 2016 at 5:43 pm #

    Salted caramel?

  34. Taryn August 2, 2016 at 6:09 pm #

    Hmmm I can’t decide between dark choc or salted caramel…. I think I’ll say salted caramel!!!

  35. Nic August 3, 2016 at 6:48 am #

    Yummm salted caramel!

  36. Alecia August 3, 2016 at 8:30 am #

    Definitely the dark choc! Yum!

  37. Isabelle Cohen August 3, 2016 at 11:40 am #

    I would love to try the quinoa one ^^

  38. Karen Gemmell August 3, 2016 at 1:03 pm #

    YAY – something that is actually healthy, simple, easy and affordable to put in my 4 year old’s lunchbox! Cranberry, Goji Berry & Quinoa would go down a treat please! #makinghealthyeasy

  39. Rachel Peers August 5, 2016 at 8:25 pm #

    I would loooove to try the salted caramel

  40. Mel Paterson August 5, 2016 at 8:40 pm #

    I would love to try salted caramel please!

  41. Carolyn August 5, 2016 at 8:49 pm #

    I would love to try Dark chocolate and Cacao.

  42. Rachel August 5, 2016 at 9:16 pm #

    Omg Salted Caramel is life!

  43. Heather Graham August 5, 2016 at 9:32 pm #

    Dark chocolate!!!

  44. Emily August 5, 2016 at 9:37 pm #

    Goji Berry & Quinoa

  45. Francie August 5, 2016 at 10:16 pm #

    Salted caramel every time!

  46. Jessica Fraser August 5, 2016 at 10:47 pm #

    The cranberry one sounds amazing!

  47. Maiye Czarniecka August 6, 2016 at 7:27 am #

    Dark chocolate combo sounds divine!

  48. Clare August 6, 2016 at 8:15 am #

    I’m already a fan of the Salted Caramel but would love to try the Dark Chocolate & Cacao. So awesome to finally find a low sugar option!

  49. Mia Mason August 6, 2016 at 8:36 am #

    Salted caramel sounds lovely. I can’t wait to try these bars with the kids as a low sugar treat alternative.

  50. Anya August 6, 2016 at 10:58 am #

    So hard to choose one flavour … since I’d probably try them in my kids lunchboxes, perhaps I’d better go with the Dark Chocolate and Cacao. I’m sure we’d all be happy with those. Then if they like them I could always buy the others in the range to try too!

  51. Lesley Burns August 6, 2016 at 12:37 pm #

    I would love to try the Salted caramel

  52. Brigette Kommeren August 6, 2016 at 1:12 pm #

    These look great.

  53. Anna Haase August 7, 2016 at 9:23 am #

    Mmm salted caramel

  54. Mel August 7, 2016 at 12:55 pm #

    Dark Chocolate and cacao

  55. Alex Cole August 7, 2016 at 5:06 pm #

    Goji berry and quinoa for me please 🙂

  56. Leanne August 7, 2016 at 5:08 pm #

    My 10 year old sent me a picture of a box of these after he tried them at Grandmas while staying there in the school holidays. He is pretty fussy but he LOVES the salted caramel flavour!! So good to have a healthy treat for his lunch box!! The only problem is we keep running out!! LOL.

  57. Carla August 7, 2016 at 5:41 pm #

    Wow, Salted caramel would be amasing to try ????

  58. Vanya August 7, 2016 at 5:51 pm #

    Would love to try them … I can’t find these in the store and my children love their bars called the whole food bar

  59. Marina August 7, 2016 at 6:28 pm #

    Salted caramel ????

  60. Susie August 7, 2016 at 7:13 pm #

    Dark chocolate & cacao please!

  61. Josiah Bradshaw August 7, 2016 at 8:30 pm #

    Would love to try Salted caramel

  62. Sarah August 7, 2016 at 9:04 pm #

    Salted caramel

  63. Erin Bez August 13, 2016 at 8:02 am #

    I would love to win the salted caramel bars for me and my mum! We’re big nut fans and love the addition of caramel! ????????

  64. Amy September 15, 2016 at 8:39 am #

    Would love to try!

  65. Mel September 20, 2016 at 7:10 am #

    Salted caramel nom

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