When you’re hungry and on the go, an energy bar can seem like a good idea—but is it a healthy choice or just another example of smart marketing? That depends. And the only way to know for sure is to be label-savvy.
Once relegated to long endurance sessions, energy bars have become a snack for just about anyone on the go. If a bar was designed to fuel you on a 20-mile run, it might be too much for your afternoon slump at the office. The right energy bar under the right circumstances can be a healthy choice—but it’s up to you to discern.
Read the Label
It may sound obvious, but read that label—and beware a long list full of unpronounceable ingredients. Here’s what you want to look for:
Energy bars can be a good snack in a pinch, but real food is always the better alternative. Don’t let convenience trump nutrition. Sure, energy bars are easy and come in their own wrapper—but so do bananas and oranges, only they offer more nutrients and fewer calories.
Remember—it’s up to you to discern the health from the junk. It’s no accident that the energy bars are typically placed next to the candy bars in the grocery store—a lot of times there is not much difference between the two. The bottom line—not all energy bars are created equally. Some are healthier than others. The burden is on you to choose wisely.