If you’re searching for a portable and delicious snack for those on-the-go situations, granola bars are considered to be the perfect fit.
Generally speaking, granola bars are an effective way for people to fill the hunger void between meals. These shelf-stable options are considered to have the potential to be pretty nutritious, however, they aren’t always synonymous with health.
In fact, many types of granola bars are packed full of sugar, artificial ingredients, and calories. Some types even have higher sugar percentages than a candy bar!
If you’d like to know a little more about the calorie content of these delightful portable snacks, you’ve come to the right place. Here’s everything you need to know about how many calories are in a granola bar.
What Is A Granola Bar?
This is a type of bar that is made using a mix of oats and other ingredients like chocolate, nuts, or brown sugar that are pressed together.
Many of these typical ingredients match those that can be found in loose granola mixes.
The shape and size of a granola bar make it a lot easier to consume on the go wherever you are and whenever you are feeling hungry. These compact food products are typically eaten as a snack.
Typical Ingredients In A Granola Bar
Although granola bars are primarily marketed as healthy snacks, some variations tend to include unhealthy ingredients.
These versions of the classic granola bar typically include pieces of candy, sugar, or marshmallows.
Some granola bars also feature a layer of chocolate or yogurt coating the outside of the bar for some additional flavor and texture. This creates a much sweeter-tasting snack for consumers to enjoy.
These yogurt or chocolate-coated bars are generally targeted toward younger children and are described as having fewer calories or lower fat levels than other high-calorie candy-based snacks.
This makes them more appealing to parents trying to make better nutritional choices in terms of the snacks that their children eat.
Granola Bar Texture
A traditional granola bar will have a coarse and thick texture, meaning they give a satisfying crunch when consumers bite into them.
Many granola bar manufacturers will also sell chewy variations of their best sellers, although this does depend on the brand. These are sometimes referred to as ‘soft granola bars.’
To achieve this softer texture, manufacturers will reduce or eliminate the baking time which results in the oats retaining a much softer texture than they usually would have.
How Many Calories Are In A Granola Bar?
Truthfully, there is no specific answer to this question as every granola bar is made with different quantities of ingredients!
However, there are a couple of general guidelines that you should familiarize yourself with.
Generally, most granola bars contain anywhere from 100 to 300 calories, 1-7 grams of fiber, and 1-10 grams of protein per serving.
For example, Kellogg’s Nutri-Grain Harvest bars can sometimes contain nearly 15 grams of sugar per serving — the majority of which comes from added sugar — which equates to almost four teaspoons!
Soft granola bars have an average of 124 calories whereas soft raisin granola bars tend to contain around 193 calories per serving thanks to the added ingredients.
An indulgent chocolate chip granola bar may set you back around 181 calories.
Again, the number of calories that are in a granola bar depends on the manufacturer and the quality and quantity of the ingredients that are included.
How Long Do Granola Bars Last?
You can eat granola bars for breakfast, lunch, or dinner, or as a snack in between these meals.
The best part? A package of granola bars can remain at high quality for around 6 to 8 months, depending on the way they are stored and whether individual bars remain sealed.
Make sure that you pay attention to the expiration date on the granola bar packaging!
Benefits Of Granola Bars
In addition to tasting delicious, granola bars offer a couple of major benefits that must be acknowledged. To summarize, granola bars can do the following (and so much more):
- Boost Energy: these bars are a concentrated form of energy without any of the sluggishness or ‘crash’ associated with sugary snacks.
- Reduce Cholesterol: thanks to soluble fiber, granola bars can work to reduce the harmful cholesterol that might be lurking in your arteries and potentially pose a risk to your overall heart health.
- Weight Loss Aid: these items are nutrient-dense, delicious, and low in sodium which helps to reduce the appetite and keep you feeling fuller for longer.
- Budget Friendly: generally, granola bars are a pretty cheap snack. This is mainly because they contain budget-friendly ingredients like fruit, oats, and nuts.
How To Choose A Healthier Granola Bar
There are plenty of snacks that you can choose from that are much healthier than a granola bar.
But if you want to satisfy your cravings with one of these (admittedly sweet) treats, there are a couple of things you must look out for.
When it comes to deciding on a healthier granola bar to eat, it’s extremely important to check all the ingredients on the labels carefully. You should also aim to consume products that are made from ‘real’ foods like nuts, grains, and fruits.
Search for a product that has fewer than 10 grams of sugar, 5 grams of protein, and at least 3 grams of fiber. Doing so will help to keep you feeling fuller between meals!
Try to avoid granola bars with sweeteners or sugars listed as some of the first ingredients.
Granola bars are small, portable ways to enjoy the delicious flavors of granola without the hassle. Some granola bars are higher in sugar than others, resulting in a much higher-calorie snack.
By checking the ingredients list for a granola bar you can easily identify the lowest-calorie alternative.
This means you can enjoy the taste of a granola bar without needing to worry about the number of calories or the sugar and fat content you are eating!
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