Taste Test: Snack Bars

by in Taste Test, January 19, 2010

snackbars_lead
We suggested some of our top snack bar picks before; now we’re testing out a few of your favorites. See which common snack bars came out on top.

For this taste test, we stuck to our usual 5-point scale (with 5 being the most yummy and nutritious). To keep things on an even playing field, we chose only nut and honey-flavored bars and paid closest attention to taste, calories, fat and added sugars. As for the cost, prices range from about $0.50 to $1.50 per bar. Some bars were sold in boxes of 6 or 8, and others were sold individually.

Kashi Honey Almond Flax Chewy Granola Bar
Rating: 4.5
Nutrition Info: 140 calories; 5 grams fat; 5 grams sugar
Our Take: A thumbs-up snack bar all around, this one is made with a variety of whole grains like brown rice, rye, wheat and barley and sweetened with brown rice syrup and evaporated cane juice. It’s a bit lacking in the “chewy” department, but that’s because it’s chock full of almonds.

Nature Valley – Oats n’ Honey Bar
Rating: 4
Nutrition Info: 180 calories; 6 grams fat; 11 grams sugar
Our Take: This is the classic go-to bar that you can find in almost any vending machine, grocery store, airport or gas station. It’s made with whole grain rolled oats (which provide 2 grams of fiber) and heart-healthy nuts and canola oil. While it’s a smart choice in the snack machine, this one did rank second highest in sugar as it’s sweetened with sugar, honey and brown sugar.


Bear Naked Fruit + Nut Grain-ola Bar

Rating: 3.5
Nutrition Info: 240 calories; 9 grams fat; 15 grams sugar
Our Take: Tasty but overly moist and sticky, this bar provides 15% of your daily fiber thanks to the oats, fruit and ground flax seeds; it’s sweetened with a combo of dates, maple syrup, honey and tapioca syrup. The Bear Fruit Bar is a bit high in calories and fat but like granola, a lot of this comes from good-for-you-ingredients such as nuts, coconut and other dried fruits. (If you can’t find this in your average grocery store, check out your health food store instead.)

LARABAR – Cashew Cookie
Rating: 4
Nutrition Info: 230 calories; 13 grams fat; 18 grams sugar
Our Take: Any time we talk about snack bars people go gaga for LARA. You’ve got to love a bar with only two ingredients — cashews and dates (all their flavors have impressively simple ingredient lists). Eighteen grams of sugar may seem high but every bit of it is coming from natural fruit sugar. NOTE: The calories may be too much for a snack for some folks; you could always eat half and save the rest for later.

Special K – Honey Nut Cereal Bar
Rating: 3
Nutrition Info: 90 calories; 2 grams fat; 7 grams sugar
Our Take: You can’t miss Special K at the supermarket or in those TV ads, but this bar has a laundry list of processed ingredients. With virtually no fiber to speak of and sweetened with corn syrup, dextrose, fructose, sugar and a tiny smidge of honey, it may be tasty but it will most certainly leave you hungry.

BONUS BARS
Here are some more you might consider trying:
Thumbs up: Cascadian Farms Almond Butter Crunchy Granola Bar
Thumbs down: Quaker Chewy 90 Calories – Low Fat Oatmeal Raisin

TELL US: What bar do you snack on?

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Comments (43)

  1. Don says:

    Larabars are great. I worked as a backapcking guide and it seemed like all of us guides had really bad gas after eating Larabars. I guess you should only eat them alone.

  2. westqb000 says:

    As a college student, I like to get up and work out early in the morning. I don't eat breakfast before I go, and breakfast bars are a major part of my morning diet as a result. My choices are the Nature Valley bars (Oats and Honey is my favorite) and the Fiber One Cereal Bars. Great, healthy, and fiber-filled ways to charge me up for a workout!

  3. Emily says:

    Im a kid, only 12. And my favorite food in the world… is the Clif bar in chocolate brownie! There the best:) Also.. guess what? Im going to disney world tommorow! Im so exicted!!
    GO CLIF BARS!

  4. There is obviously a lot to know about this. I think you made some good points in Features also.Keep working ,great job!

  5. Wow, thanks a bunch m8

  6. Joanne says:

    what about kind bars- all nuts and fruit

  7. I’m partial to Quest Protein Bars because of they don’t particularly use any fractionated or hydrogenated oils in making their bars. Their bars also have some of the most fiber and protein compared to other protein / snack bars.

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