It doesn’t require extreme feats of willpower or a monk-like aversion to indulgences. Sure, right now the magnetic pull of the drive-thru may seem irresistible, but you can silence the siren song with a just little planning. You see, there are healthy snacks–delicious ones–that put mindless munching to rest and diffuse the desire to reach for the first thing in sight, no matter the dietary consequences.
But be vigilant in the snack bar aisle! Many of these chocolate-covered treats are candy bars masquerading as health food. We did the legwork to track down the diamonds in the sugar-laden rough, and the bars that made the cut pack enough satiating protein and fiber to keep you full until mealtime–at relatively low sugar counts. Next time you’re at the grocery store, grab a stockpile of the best nutrition bars around and stash them in your bag, glove compartment and snack drawer at the office.
KIND, Caramel Almond & Sea Salt
|Saturated Fat||3 g|
KIND Bars are one of the most popular brands out there–for good reason. They’re made with “powerful” ingredients like almonds, dark chocolate, honey and molasses. While some have a slightly higher calorie count–the bars range from 150 to 230 calories–they pack impressive amounts of protein, so they’re sure to take the edge off even the meanest midday hunger. And while your sweet tooth will be happy with flavors like Caramel Almond & Sea Salt and Peanut Butter Dark Chocolate, these chewy snacks aren’t just for sugar cravings; savory options like Honey Smoked BBQ are also available.
ManBake Protein, Apple Pie
|Saturated Fat||0 g|
They’re called “ManBake,” but we’ll let you in on a little secret: They’re fit for a queen, too. These hearty bars are chock full of protein and made with yummy, healthful ingredients like chia seeds, flax seeds and hemp. Some of the bars, like Vanilla Latte, even have 50 grams of caffeine in addition to 20 grams of protein to wake you up and power your whole morning, even if you’re the kind of person who always hits snooze.
Simply Protein, Cinnamon Pecan
|Saturated Fat||0.5 g|
Simply Protein is all about–you guessed it–protein to help keep you full and fend off cravings. In fact, each of these sweet bars are packed with 15 grams of protein for only 130 to 150 calories. Bonus: The sugar counts stay under 3 grams per bar. And if you’re getting a bit bored with your daily nutrition bar habit, Simply makes other protein-packed snacks that satisfy your craving for crunch.
|Saturated Fat||2.7 g|
Sometimes you just crave something crunchy, but that’s no reason to give up on good nutrition in favor of the potato chip bag. Enter Yawp Bars, the seed and nut bars you should always have on hand if your cravings lean toward the crunchy snacks. All five Yawp flavors like Coconut Chai and Cinnamon are made from a base of organic almonds, organic dates and sunflower seeds, and all come in under 200 calories per bar.
Quest Bar, S’mores
|Saturated Fat||2.5 g|
Quest nutrition bars are all about the protein, making them an ideal choice if you’re trying to fend off cravings and gain lean muscle. Though some people experience stomach discomfort with whey, the massive serving of 20 grams of protein per 180-calorie bar is perfect for those who digest it with ease. Drool-worthy flavors like S’Mores and Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough (yes, seriously) make these tasty snacks an almost-too-good-to-be-true way to up your protein intake and beat the 3 pm slump.
OATMEGA, Wild Blueberry Crisp
|Saturated Fat||2 g|
Somewhere between snack time and forbidden dessert time lies OATMEGA and its variety of bar-like crisps. These bars have everything we look for in a good bar: Low sugar, high protein, high fiber, lots of omega-3s and minimal additives. Each of these delicious bars–which come in crave-worthy flavors like Wild Blueberry, Chocolate Peanut and Chocolate Mint–has 14 grams of protein and as little as 5g sugar. And we haven’t even mentioned their cookie line yet.
Health Warrior Chia, Acai Berry
|Saturated Fat||0.5 g|
Self-described as “Super Snacks,” these chia-based bars are the low-calorie diet boost you’ve been looking for. All Health Warrior Chia bars are gluten-, dairy- and GMO-free, 100% vegan and boast mouth-watering flavors like coffee, acai and apple cinnamon. Each four-bite bar has only 110 calories and as many as 1100 mg of omega-3s–that’s more ounce-per-ounce than is found in a piece of salmon! With that nutritional power packed into their diminutive size, they’re perfect for stashing in your bag for sudden snack attacks.
|Saturated Fat||1 g|
Lärabar are designed to keep you full throughout the day without all the complicated ingredients and preservatives you’re probably taking in when you grab a bar to go without reading the label. Though their use of dates as the first ingredient can can send those sugar counts soaring—check those labels!—we love the Cappuccino for weighing in as the lowest in sugar, without compromising the natural ingredients. If you’re a dedicated Lärabar fan but keep an eye on your sugar, another good option is the Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough, which also clocks in at 16 grams.