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  • Writer's pictureWellness Workdays

What’s Really in Your Granola Bar

granola bar

Granola bars have been marketed as a nutritious and wholesome snack for years. They are convenient, easy to transport, easy to store and are a go-to snack or meal for many. They seem innocent enough, but how healthy are they really?

Granola bars often claim to be a “good source of whole grain,” an “excellent source of calcium,” or to “lower cholesterol,” however, these claims do not always equate to being healthy. It is important to look at the big picture and what you are really eating.

The truth behind those favorite granola bars is often the key ingredient: sugar. It is important to remember that sugar has several names that are listed on food labels—high fructose corn syrup, sucrose, dextrose, maltodextrin, malt syrup, brown rice syrup, evaporated cane juice or fruit juice concentrate — just to name a handful. Granola bars are notorious for having a form of sugar as one of the first ingredients and also including several variations of sugar as subsequent ingredients. Don’t be fooled — always read the ingredients label and avoid products with the recurring theme of sugar.

There is a much greater nutritional benefit in a snack with 200 calories made from whole ingredients than a snack with 50 calories made from refined ingredients. If you need a quick and healthy snack, plain nuts or seeds or a fresh piece of fruit are always wholesome choices that are easy on the go. If you must choose a granola bar, look for products with minimal ingredients, and ingredients you actually know—this means real food. For example, the main ingredients in Lara Bars are dates and nuts. For even healthier granola bars, make them yourself. Click here for a quick and easy homemade recipe.

Written by: Jillian Allen, Wellness Workdays Dietetic Intern. Learn more about Wellness Workdays and our wellness program offerings by downloading our brochure.

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