Which snack bars are actually good for you?

EMBED </>More Videos

Snack bars are a handy, grab-and-go food, but some pack as many calories as a Snickers bar (KTRK)

The most overcrowded section of your grocery store these days may be the snack bar aisle.

Sales are on the rise with 20 percent of Americans saying they munch at least one bar a day, according to Mintel Market Research. Snack bars are a handy, grab-and-go food, but there's a difference between those that are healthy and the ones that have a lot of sugar and saturated fat.

Consumer Reports sampled dozens of bars to help you find the best. They evaluated 28 bars and rated them for nutrition and taste.

When shopping in the snack aisle, it's important to look beyond fat and calories. Check the label and look for real foods like fruit and nuts. For instance, Consumer Reports found a Clif Bar that has more calories than a Snickers bar.

Lots of bars boast about their protein content. Watch out for "soy protein isolate," when it's listed as the first ingredient.

"It's a processed ingredient that manufacturers put in to boost the protein content. It's better to get most of your protein from natural sources, like nuts," said Consumer Reports nutritionist Ellen Klosz.

The testers found a standouts in the Kind Plus Cranberry Almond bar that sells for $1.25. It has whole almonds, macadamia nuts and dried cranberries. The nuts add some fat, so eat the bars in moderation.

Abound Pomegranate and Cranberry from CVS is a best buy at $0.80. The bars are chewy, with a mix of oats, almonds, cranberries and blueberries, and rated "Very Good" for nutrition.

The Chunky Peanut Butter Chocolate bar from Raw Revolution is $1.60. It's dense and chewy, with a good balance of chocolate, peanuts, and dates. It has 6 grams of protein, and while it does have 12 grams of fat, very little of it is saturated fat.
Related Topics:
foodstretch your dollarconsumer reportsfoodhealth food
(Copyright ©2019 KTRK-TV. All Rights Reserved.)