What are the best healthy cheap granola bars?
When you’re trying to eat healthy in a pinch, granola bars are a great snack alternative to sugary processed foods. However, not all granola bars have the right nutrients, and many cheap bars are full of sugar and chemicals no one can pronounce.
The healthiest granola bars will have whole grains, nuts, fruit, protein, and fiber. The first ingredient on the list should be whole grain oats or other whole food. While a little bit of added sugar is acceptable, avoid purchasing high-sugar bars with hard-to-pronounce ingredients.
It’s essential to pay attention to the ingredients and nutrients list on the back of a box when considering granola bars. KIND and Kashi are two of the cheapest and most well-known granola bars available at the store, or you can try your hand at making your own.
The Best Healthy Cheap Granola Bars
When you want to find the cheapest and healthiest granola bar, start by looking at the ingredients label and check for added sugar. According to Time, try to avoid granola bars with many artificial sugars like high fructose corn syrup, in the list. Don’t shy away from fat, but make sure its source is something like nuts or seeds.
Here are some of the healthiest granola bars you can find for cheap:
When it comes to healthy snacks on the go, you can’t go wrong with KIND. The company prides itself on making nutrient-rich snacks with whole nuts, grains, and fruit (Source: KIND Snacks). From high-protein breakfast bars to mini bars for a mid-afternoon refuel, they have numerous products full of protein and fiber.
Most KIND snacks are very affordable. You can get a 12-pack of their classic dark chocolate nuts and sea salt bars for just over $12 on Amazon.
It’s no surprise this low-sugar bar is one of the most popular – the first ingredients are almonds and peanuts, and the dark chocolate drizzle adds a sweet touch.
If you want to stock up, you can get 60 peanut butter dark chocolate bars for $52 on Amazon.
KIND also sells cereal, oatmeal, granola, and other products to keep you energized throughout the day.
Kashi is another well-known healthy food company that produces tasty and nutritious granola bars in various flavors. The company aims to nourish with plant-powered ingredients that everyone needs to live a sustainable lifestyle (Source: Kashi). They offer breakfast bars, granola bars, cereals, and everything in between.
Whether you’re looking for a chocolatey pick-me-up or a bar full of fruits and nuts, Kashi’s products have very little added sugar. Also, the first ingredient is typically whole grain oats. Check out this Amazon deal for a variety pack of 24 starting at $15.
Health Warrior Chia Bars
These tiny 100-calorie bars come in numerous flavors, from chocolate peanut butter to mixed berry. Chia seeds pack the bar with five grams of fiber and omega-3 fatty acids. They’re also gluten-free and vegan.
Fit food company Health Warrior created its Chia Bars as a low-calorie and low-sugar alternative to other snacks. Depending on the flavors you buy, a 15-count of Chia Bars runs anywhere from $12 to $17 on Amazon. It comes out to just about a dollar per bar.
Nature Valley Packed Sustained Energy Bar
When it comes to Nature Valley products, you need to pay special attention to the ingredients list. Nature Valley often likes to add a lot of unnecessary sugar in their granola bars. While their new Packed Sustained Energy Bars have about nine grams of added sugar, there are many healthy ingredients, including almond butter, blueberries, etc.
Nature Valley offers two flavors of this bar: almond butter and blueberry and peanut butter and cranberry. These sustained energy bars have higher calories and are meant to energize you to get through the day. They’re also inexpensive on Amazon.
Krusteaz Energizing Oat Bites Mix
If you enjoy making your snacks, the Krusteaz Energizing Oat Bites Mix comes in two flavors. Both are packed with healthy ingredients like whole grain oats, flaxseed, and chia seeds. The mix itself only has the above ingredients, salt, and either chocolate chips or cinnamon, depending on the flavor you buy.
On the back of the box, the company recommends an alternative to the ingredients to add while making them. Whether you want a different nut butter or real sugar instead of honey, there are many ways to make these your own. You can go get eight boxes on Amazon for a low price.
Homemade Granola Bars
If you want to avoid added sugars and crazy chemicals altogether, make your granola bars! There are hundreds of recipes online that you can find with a simple Google search. They all feature cheap ingredients that make a lot of servings.
ChooseMyPlate, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s program for promoting healthy eating, offers a recipe that makes 24 servings. They use honey, peanut butter, oats, raisins, carrot, and coconut to create a delicious baked granola bar (Source: ChooseMyPlate).
A lot of news websites offer up fun and healthy recipes. If you want a chewy granola bar alternative, check out this recipe from the Detroit Free Press. It uses rolled oats, nuts, cranberries, condensed milk, and other natural ingredients to create 20 yummy granola bars. The New York Times has a coconut granola bars recipe that uses nutmeg and honey.
If you have dietary restrictions, don’t be afraid to change up a recipe you find online. Numerous sites offer granola bar recipes that are gluten-free, vegan, dairy-free, and more. Many are already vegan or gluten-free, but be sure to check the list of ingredients so that they align with your dietary preferences.
What to Avoid in a Granola Bar
While looking at granola bars, it’s just as important to look at the ingredients to avoid. Many bars marketed as healthy often include added sugar, unnecessary calories, and other artificial ingredients. Here are the top things to avoid in granola bars:
Added sugars come in a variety of names. Whether it’s refined table sugar or a chemical alternative, they’re not necessary for a delicious and nutritious snack. Artificial sugars are no good, either. Try to avoid purchasing granola bars with the following added or artificial sugars high up on the ingredients list (Source: Healthline):
- Sugar or cane sugar
- High fructose corn syrup
- Sugar alcohols (maltitol, mannitol, sorbitol, xylitol)
- Organic cane juice
- Rice syrup
If a granola bar is high in calories (typically over 200 calories, according to Women’s Health Mag), don’t buy it. A high-calorie granola bar typically means the ingredients are not natural and include a lot of sugar and added fats.
Not all fats are the same, and some of them are detrimental to your health. An unhealthy granola bar contains more than three grams of saturated fat. Some fat is acceptable (especially if it’s coming from nuts), but too much is bad for your body.
There are various healthy, cheap granola bars you can find in you can find online or in the store. Kashi and KIND are arguably the most well-known and sell numerous flavors for all palates. Nature Valley, Healthy Warrior, and Krusteaz also offer healthy alternatives to high-sugar snacks.
If you have restrictions or don’t want a lot of added sugar, consider making your granola bars. You can find hundreds of unique recipes on the Internet, whether you’re looking for something chocolatey or want a savory treat.
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