This post and giveaway are sponsored by Nature’s Path; however, the nutritional tips, editorial comments and enthusiasm are all my own.
Not all snack bars are created equal. And, with an entire grocery store aisle devoted to these popular between-meal munchies, it can be a confusing, tongue-clucking task deciding which bars to buy and which to avoid – some can contain more fat, sugar and calories than a candy bar! Not to mention concerning chemicals, additives and fillers.
So, whether for a gym bag, lunch box or office drawer, read on to find out how to make healthier choices when it comes to snack or nutritional bars. Also, don’t miss my giveaway at the end of this post for a 2-month supply of Superfood Bars from Nature’s Path.
Pick whole foods. Pick bars that have clean-label ingredients like dried fruits, seeds, nuts, oats, and whole grains. If you’ve heard of the ingredient, can pronounce it, and your great-grandparents ate it, it’s likely a smart choice.
Limit sugars. Look for bars that have no more than around 8 grams of added sugar. Stay away from processed sugars like white table sugar or high fructose corn syrup, which is now sometimes sneakily being marketed as “a natural sweetener”. Natural sweeteners considered healthy like honey, agave, fruit purees and so on, are better choices, but should be limited.
Monitor fat. Look for bars with less than half the total fat content being saturated fat. The remainder should be heart-healthy fats that are needed to help keep the body humming along, don’t fear these. However, do give a big “NO” to bars with partially hydrogenated oil, a trans-fat, that is linked to cardiovascular disease.
Look for fiber & protein: Look for bars with at least 4 to 5 grams dietary fiber to help make you feel fuller longer and provide support to the digestive system. A good rule of thumb is to get at 1.5 grams fiber per every 100 calories. As for protein, needs will depend on whether you are using the snack bar for energy, meal replacement or post-workout recovery. When having a snack for an simple energy boost, aim for at least 5 grams protein. A bar used for meal replacement or post workout should have around 18 to 25 grams.
One of my go-to snack bars that meet my suggestions above are the Superfood Bars from Nature’s Path, North America’s largest organic cereal brand. In fact, you may already be familiar with them as they were previously called Qi’a Bars. However, nothing about the wholesome goodness of this bar has changed; all the original, delicious, nutritious ingredients are exactly the same. Only the name and packaging have been updated to reflect the heroic role they can play in your daily “snackification.”
Ingredients are “super” in so many ways, they are gluten-free, vegan, USDA Certified Organic, and Non-GMO Project Verified, not to mention free of artificial preservatives, additives and synthetic pesticides. Plus, the nutritional profile offered by the superfoods found within (including chia, hemp, coconut, seeds, nuts, dried fruits and more) is a smart snacking choice that helps your body and brain perform optimally. Depending on the flavor, bars offer 4-7 grams of protein, 4-6 grams of fiber and lower sugar than most energy bars at 6 – 9 grams.
Oh, and did I mention five insanely yummy flavors of the Superfood Bars? You probably look right past the new see-through packaging and figure out the real foods in these Superfoods Bars – Dark Chocolate Cranberry Almond, Roasted Peanut Dark Chocolate, Mocha Cocoa Hazelnut, Blueberry Cashew Pumpkin Seed and Nuts & Seeds & Sea Salt. Try them all!
The bars are perfect for my snack before hot yoga, just the right portion size of complex carbohydrate energy and protein!
And, my kids love them to eat them before sports practice, as an after-school snack or as brain fuel during a long test. In fact, one loves them so much, I had to arm wrestle him for the last one in the box (and I tragically lost)!
If you’d like a chance to win a 2-month supply of Superfood bars (one 12-count box each of 5 flavors = 60 bars!) ENTER BELOW via Rafflecopter: