Energy Bars Can Be Calorie Catastrophes


Yikes! I just found out my "Organic Fruit and Nut Explosion" has more calories than a Krispy Kreme!

Don’t let labels fool you with words like “lite” or “sports.” Just because a product uses positive phrasing doesn’t mean it’s good for you. For instance, a Detour “lower sugar” energy bar may sound like the smart pick, but it packs 340 calories—only 10 calories less than the original!

Here’s how some of America’s most popular energy bars stack up:

Detour Original Caramel Peanut protein bar (350 calories)
Clif Builder's Protein Crunchy Peanut Butter (280 calories)
Clif Bar White Chocolate Macadamia Nut energy bar (260)
Balance Yogurt Honey Peanut bar (200 calories)
Nugo Chocolate Brownie Fiber bar (140 calories)
Kashi Chewy Granola Bars Chocolate Almond & Sea Salt with Chia (140 Calories)

The best energy bars are under 200 calories and have at least 3 grams of fiber. Check out Luna bars, which come in dessert-like flavors (Peanut Butter Cookie? Yes, please!) and are all less than 190 calories. Some Luna bars are even gluten-free. And speaking of gluten-free, I must mention the Larabar brand.

Larabar is a totally gluten-free and vegan line with over 20 varieties. You can satisfy almost any dessert craving in a healthy way with these guys; they've got Mocha Chip, Chocolate Brownie, you name it! Many of the flavors clock in around 200 calories, and all with no more than 9 ingredients. Their Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip bar gives Reese's Peanut Butter cups a run for their money!

Kind bars are also strong in the energy bar market. With flavors like Maple Glazed Pecan & Sea Salt and Madagascar Vanilla Almond, you'd think you've fallen into gourmet heaven. They only have about 200 calories or so, and many varieties boast only 5 grams of sugar. Beware, you may get obsessed.

Although harder to find in stores, consider Nugo bars, which have 140 calories and the most fiber of any energy bar I’ve come across (12 grams on average). I dare you not to moan when you bite into the Banana Walnut flavor!