Now days there is an overwhelming choice when it comes to "Energy" bars.
While I normally talk about clean eating and preparing your food to take with you, I also realize that energy bars are a convenient option for the busy individual or if you are caught out and about longer than expected and CAN serve a positive purpose if used correctly.
Here are some tips for choosing an Energy bar
For a snack, choose something that's 100-200 calories. Anything 300+ would be considered more of a meal replacement than a snack.
Look for a combination of protein, carbs and fiber: 3-20g protein, less than 15-20g sugar and at least 2g fiber at a minimum. Be wary of bars with greater 20g protein (it's just not natural) and bars with excessive amounts of added sugars.
Avoid artificial sweeteners. They aren't often in energy bars but some brands (i.e. Special K bars) do use them.
The shorter the ingredient list, the better! Look for ingredients such as nuts, seeds, dried fruit, oatmeal, whole wheat flour/oats, rice. Avoid bars with excessively long ingredient lists, especially if you have trouble recognizing or pronouncing a few of those ingredients.
Added sugars and syrups of some kind are pretty routine with these bars. Look for those ingredients to be towards the end of the ingredients list, which means that they are in lower percentages than the good stuff.
Don't be fooled by health claims such as "all-natural" and "healthy." Many bars state these health claims and the criteria for including them are very loose. (See my blog post on Sneaky Tricks Brands Use to Create Deceiving Food Labels)
When I am in a pinch my first choice is a KIND bar.