Eating Clean: Snack Bars

Photo from Unsplash

The chaos of a college student’s schedule can have us relying on snack bars as meals or snacks to keep us going. While it’s an easy and “healthy” thing to grab as you’re running out the door, there are many brands that aren’t as healthy as you might think. In fact, a 2016 survey by the New York Times found that 70% of Americans believe granola bars are “healthy” while less than 1/3 of nutritionists agree.

Things to avoid
Photo posted by @foodbyune on Instagram.
  1. Hidden Sugars
    Snack bars can have tons of hidden added sugars. The FDA’s new dietary guidelines have a suggested daily value of 50g of added sugar. Clif Bar’s popular Chocolate Chip Protein Bar contains 21g of added sugar; nearly half a day’s worth in just one 250 calorie bar!
  2. Loads of ingredients
    A great rule of thumb is: if you can’t pronounce it, don’t eat it. Avoid brands that have super-long lists of ingredients as they often include artificial ingredients including sweeteners, colors and flavors. Fewer and more whole-food ingredients ensure that you’re fueling your body with clean energy that will leave you feeling full and satisfied.
Some Truly Healthy Options
Photo posted by @rxbar on Instagram
Ingredients (Vanilla Almond):
  • Almonds
  • Egg Whites
  • Dates
  • Coconut Oil
  • Sea Salt
  • Natural Vanilla Flavor
  • Vanilla Bean
  • Natural Flavors

These bars are so clean, they list the ingredients right on the front of the package. While ingredients differ for each flavor, most RXBARS are made of just four things: egg whites, almonds, cashews, dates and absolutely 0g of added sugar. RXBAR even adds “No B.S.” as an ingredient to their impressively shortlist. They’re also a great way to sneak at least 14g of fiber and 12g of protein (depending on the flavor) into your day.

Photo posted by @larabar on Instagram
Ingredients (Coconut Chocolate Chip):
  • Dates
  • Semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • Unsweetened coconut
  • Cashews
  • Almonds

LÄRABAR is another brand so transparent they print the number of ingredients on the front of each bar! These snack bars are made with no more than nine simple ingredients and are available in 30 different flavors, meaning you’re bound to find one you’ll love.

CORE Food Bar
Photo posted by @corefoods on Instagram
Ingredients (Peanut Butter):
  • Gluten-Free Whole Grain Oats
  • Peanuts
  • Dates
  • Prebiotic Starch
  • Fiber (Inulin)
  • Water
  • Sea Salt
  • Chia Seeds
  • Natural Flavors
  • Bacillus Coagulans GBI-30 6086  (probiotic)

These over-night oat-inspired bars are certified organic, non-GMO, kosher, gluten-free, and vegan. Made with natural ingredients, this bar is packed with pre-and probiotics to help maintain a healthy gut and boost immunity. CORE Bars also include zero additives & preservatives so they’re stored “in the fridge where real food hangs out,” according to their website. They still make a perfect on-the-go option as CORE bars will last up to one week outside of the fridge.

If you’ve tried any of these bars before, let us know your favorite flavor on our socials @VALLEYmag on Instagram and Twitter!



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