The 5 Healthiest Snack Bars

These quick bites are low in sugar, fat, and calories, and they're pretty tasty, too.

March 9, 2012
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Thinkstock
The Best Snack Bar for You

The best snack bars are the ones that are made with ingredients your grandma would recognize. Many are formulated using stuff with weird names like "inulin" (a type of fiber) and "soy isolate" (a type of protein). "Make sure the primary ingredients are whole or minimally processed foods, such as almonds, cherries, and oats," says Alan Aragon, M.S., Men's Health's weight-loss coach. Whole foods deliver greater health benefits than refined ones do because a food's nutrients are more powerful when they work together, which they can't do as well after being dissected in a lab. Aragon also looks for at least 4 grams each of fiber and protein and less than 250 calories. But flavor counts, too, so we went beyond the numbers and tasted more than a dozen bars. Here are our fab five.

Kind Peanut Butter and Strawberry
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Mitch Mandel
Nut: Kind Peanut Butter and Strawberry

Peanuts and almonds have protein and crunch, while the strawberry provides a chewy texture and a tart taste in this lower-sugar bar.
190 calories, 7 grams (g) protein, 18 g carbohydrates (4 g fiber, 10 g sugar)

18 Rabbits Nibblin' Apricot
3/6
Mitch Mandel
Granola: 18 Rabbits Nibblin' Apricot

This hybrid granola bar mixes soft, fiber-rich apricots and raisins with crunchy, heart-friendly hazelnuts, walnuts, and cacao nibs.
210 calories, 4 g protein, 32 g carbohydrates (4 g fiber, 12 g sugar)

Larabar Apple Pie
4/6
Mitch Mandel
Fruit: Larabar Apple Pie

Made only with dates, almonds, apples, walnuts, raisins, and cinnamon, this chewy, sweet, gluten-free bar is high in fiber and delivers one serving of fruit. 190 calories, 4 g protein, 24 g carbohydrates, (5 g fiber, 18 g sugar)

Bumblebar Chunky Cherry
5/6
Mitch Mandel
Seeds: Bumblebar Chunky Cherry

Tart, chewy cherry offsets the granular texture and nutty taste of the sesame seeds in this protein-rich, gluten-free organic bar.
180 calories, 5 g protein, 18 g carbohydrates (4 g fiber, 13 g sugar)

Odwalla Chocolate Chip
6/6
Mitch Mandel
Granola (With Chocolate): Odwalla Chocolate Chip Peanut

Packed with protein and super-filling, this bar is like a peanut-butter-and-oatmeal cookie spiked with gooey chocolate chips and crispy rice.
230 calories, 7 g protein, 33 g carbohydrates (4 g fiber, 14 g sugar)

DIY: Go to youbars.com to create your own snack bar from a selection of nuts, seeds, fruits, and berries ($40 for 13 bars). Then add extras like cocoa and coconut. The site provides instant nutritional analysis in a side window, so you can tweak the ingredients until you meet Aragon's criteria.

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