News 4 at 4

Jul 5, 2012 7:57 PM

Smart Choices: Better Bars

TUCSON - Today on News 4 at 4, Hana Feeney stopped by with more Smart Choices.

Here's what she had to say:

Best Bars
Granola bars and protein bars...fruit and nuts bars...what's the best? What should you be looking for?

A "bar" is a convenient way to control hunger. Natural, minimally processed bars serve as great snacks or can be a meal if you partner a bar with a piece of fruit and a yogurt or hummus and veggies. They function as a snack to tide you over to the next meal.

I don't recommend bars as meal replacements since most high-quality bars are not high calorie enough to substitute for a meal, which means you under-shoot your energy needs, and end up ravenous later. Plus, bars are simply not as filling as real food and so they can meet your needs between meals, but are usually not enough to serve as a meal replacement.

• Unprocessed, whole foods
• Short ingredient list, fewer than 10 ingredients
• No added sugar (glucose, and others ending in -ose, agave nectar, sugar, juice concentrate, honey, brown rice syrup and other syrups ) or sugar alcohols (maltitol, sorbitol and others ending in -ol)
• About 200 calories and about 30 grams carbohydrate
• There won't be a lot of protein in these bars since protein in a bar usually comes in the form of a refined protein powder and is generally accompanied by refined syrups and plenty of other additives. The bars I recommend tend to be lower in protein and make up for the lack of satiating protein with healthy fats that will tastily cut your hunger.

First Place
--Lara Bar Fruit and Nut Bar
--Clif Kit's Organic Fruit and Nut Bar

When you can avoid it choose bars that don't have any added sugar, like Lara and Kit's Organic Bars above. If you choose a bar with added sugar, choose bars that have only 1-2 added sugars and the added sugar should not be one of the first 2-3 ingredients.

Second Place
--ZonePerfect Simply Zone Bar-10 g protein!!

Runner Up
--ProBar Fruitrition-very clean, but the second ingredient is an added sugar

PS - These are all gluten-free!

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