Photo: Randy Mayor

From fruity and nutty to chocolately and sweet, these granola bars were chosen best in their class.

Brandy Rushing
December 29, 2010

Seemingly healthy, granola bars can have hidden health facts that will leave your diet singing the blues.

  • Look for granola bars with a whole grain, like oats, as the first ingredient. Limit your selection to bars with 200 calories or less.
  • Watch the sugar. Granola can pack a lot of the sweet stuff, even if it's called brown rice syrup or organic evaporated cane juice. Keep your daily intake within 25 to 38g.
  • Avoid bars that contain trans fat or hydrogenated oils.

BEST CHOCOLATE: Nature Valley Dark Chocolate & Nut Chewy Trail Mix Bar, $2.69 (1 box, 6 bars)
Chunks of rich, semisweet dark chocolate, chewy raisins, and roasted peanuts push this option toward candy bar territory. But don't worry; it's much better for you, with about half the sugar of a typical candy bar. (1 bar: 140 calories; 14g sugar; 1g fiber)

BEST FRUIT & NUT: Kashi TLC Trail Mix Chewy Granola Bar, $2.79 (1 box, 6 bars)
It's got everything—hunks of almonds, sunflower seeds, raisins, and tart dried cranberries—all wrapped up in a dense, chewy bar that'll satisfy any sweet and salty craving. And with 4g of fiber, it will keep you full till dinner. (1 bar: 140 calories; 6g sugar; 4g fiber)

BEST OATS & HONEY: Nature Valley Oats 'n Honey Crunchy Granola Bar, $3.19 (1 box, 6 packets with 2 bars each)
The classic bar. Nutty toasted oats with sweet honey and a bit of salt for balance made this bar a staff favorite. This is the gold standard for a light, crispy crunch (some brands were almost tooth-shattering). (2 bars: 190 calories; 12g sugar; 2g fiber)

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