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How to choose the best energy bar for your needs

You walk into your local grocery or convenience store and inevitably stumble upon a sea of energy bars. Feeling somewhat overwhelmed by the plethora of health claims, you quickly buy an eye-catching bar with an appealing flavor. But did you really get the best bar to suit your needs?

Before making a purchase, think about why you are eating that bar—for additional protein, as a nourishing snack or as a convenient meal replacement? Do you feel that because you are dieting, exercising or focusing on your health, that energy bars are simply a must? Whatever you’re reasoning, know that energy bars are not a necessary part of a healthy, balanced diet. Before you buy, remember these pros:

There are many reasons why energy bars are so popular. In general, energy bars:

  • Can help meet your energy (calorie) needs.
  • May help meet your nutritional needs for protein, carbohydrates and fat.
  • May help to meet other nutritional needs, depending on the added vitamins and minerals (i.e. calcium, zinc, iron, vitamin D, vitamin B-12, folic acid, protein and fiber).
  • Are portable, convenient and pre-packaged.
  • May keep you away from unhealthier temptations, such as the vending machine or fast food drive-thru.
  • Can help ward off binge eating if you become excessively hungry.
  • Have a long shelf life and don’t require refrigeration.