Experts at Consumer Reports say if you're satisfying your hunger with a snack bar, choose wisely. They evaluated two dozen in strawberry, chocolate, and peanut butter flavors.
"It doesn't matter if it's called a protein bar, a cereal bar, granola bar, we did find big differences in nutrition," Consumer Reports tester, Ellen Klosz, said.
There are big differences in taste, too, even within brands. Take Clif bars. "Clif Builder's 20-gram Protein Chocolate Peanut Butter" tasted chalky and gritty. Nutritionally, more than half the fat is saturated, and although the bar is larger than most, it was the most expensive tested at $1.30 per serving.
But its sibling, the "Clif Crunch Chocolate Chip Granola Bar", cost less than half that. It rated good for nutrition, and very good for taste, with honey notes and crispy, toasted grains.
When it came to the two Nature Valley bars, they were consistent for flavor. "Sweet and Salty Nut and Crunchy Oats 'n Dark Chocolate" rated very good for taste, though weren't the best for nutrition.
So make sure you take a moment to check a bar's label, before you grab and go.
If you're looking for a snack bar with a lot of fiber, as many people do at breakfast-time, pick a bar with fiber in its name. Consumer Reports' tests found one from Kellogg's, the "Fiber Plus Antioxidants Chewy Chocolate Chip bars," scored good for taste and very good for nutrition.