Information, Symptoms, Treatments and Resources


Are Snack Bars Healthy Snacks?


Serving size: 1 bar (25-65 g)

Carbs: 11-49 g

Calories: Varies widely; check nutrition label

Glycemic index: 21-101, low-high

Glycemic load: 2-49, low-high


When it comes to grab-and-go munchies, snack bars are surely convenient — and can be a more nutritious nibble than something like a bag of chips. But check labels: with some brands, you might as well be eating candy bars. Like sweets, snack bars can be high in carbohydrates for “quick-release” energy. And these carbs usually come from added sugars — the kind that aren’t so great for you.

Because snack bars go by many names — cereal bars, energy bars, granola bars, protein bars — choose wisely. Most protein bars, for instance, have around 20 grams of protein, but also 15 to 30 grams of carbs that need to be counted. Whatever the name of your bar, you’re safest sticking to a smaller one. A serving size of 25 to 30 grams tends to deliver around 15 grams of carbs — the amount in a standard diabetes-friendly snack.

Quick tip: Seek out newly trendy nut bars in savory flavors. While they might use sugar-based syrup as a binder, they’re free of dried fruit or chocolate and lower in sugar and carbs.


Published on August 12, 2016.


— Compiled by Kerri-Ann Jennings, MS, RD

Reviewed by Toby Smithson, MS, RD, LDN, CDE on June 25, 2016.
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