The Healthiest Low-Sugar Granola Bars to Curb Your Midday Cravings

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Granola bars are always touted as a “healthy snack,” but if you don’t select yours carefully, you could wind up buying a glorified candy bar. Beyond the chocolate chips and gooey caramel, granola bars often sneak in other added sugars that can be harder to spot on the ingredients list.

It’s important to understand the difference between natural and added sugars, especially before exploring the granola bars below. Fructose and lactose, for example, are naturally occurring sugars found in fruits and milk, whereas added sugars are the sweeteners (think: honey and syrups) found in many processed foods like breads, condiments, fruit drinks, and, yes, granola bars.

Unlike naturally occurring sugars, the added kind lack vitamins and minerals, providing empty calories that can lead to energy crashes and eventual hunger. (Women should aim for no more than 25 grams (or 6 teaspoons) of added sugar daily, according to the American Heart Association. For men, it’s 36 grams, or 9 teaspoons.)

Because it’s so tricky to find a nutritious granola bar (and protein bars, for that matter!), we asked Erin Palinski-Wade, R.D., C.D.E., author of Belly Fat Diet For Dummies, to recommend some options that aren’t total sugar bombs. Here are seven bars you can feel good about stashing in your bag, pantry, or desk for those moments between meals when hunger strikes.

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