Nutrition bars can turbocharge your diet or workout—or serve as tasty pre-med snacks. Many are candy in disguise, while others make health seem, well, tasteless. Lauren O’Connor, a nutrition assistant at Project Angel Food in Los Angeles, picked six that taste good and are good for you. So, belly up to these bars.
Clif Bar Peanut Toffee Buzz
(250 calories, 2 grams saturated fat,
200 milligrams sodium; about $1.59)
Clif’s cane juice and rice syrup—more healthful than refined sugars—will satisfy the sweetest tooth. This bar also buzzes with 11 grams of soy protein, fiber from apple pectin, flaxseed, chicory and psyllium and plenty of heart-healthy oats.
Luna Lemon Zest
(180 calories, 3 grams saturated fat,
150 milligrams sodium; about $.99)
Luna packs oats and ten grams of soy protein—a calcium-rich wonder that can guard against breast cancer and bone loss. It’s marketed to women, but its benefits are unisex—especially for those with HIV, which can involve bone thinning.
Odwalla Bar Cranberry C Monster
(220 calories, 0.5 grams saturated fat, 85 milligrams sodium; about $1.09)
Odwalla delivers 250% of the recommended daily vitamin C dose plus cholesterol-clobbering oats and antioxidant-rich cranberries and green tea, also said to jump-start metabolism and promote healthy brain and kidney function.
Lärabar Cocoa Môlé
(200 calories, 1 gram saturated fat,
5 milligrams sodium; about $1.99)
Each raw, easy-to-digest bar offers two servings of fruit and four grams of nut protein, with heart-healthy omega-3 oils from walnuts; vitamin E from almonds; and cinnamon, helpful for leveling cholesterol.
Clif Nectar Cranberry, Apricot & Almond
(170 calories, 0.5 grams saturated fat,
0 milligrams sodium; about $1.29)
This one stuffs three grams of protein into a mix of nuts, seeds, berries, fruits and whole grains. Dates may help control blood sugar and control cholesterol, but beware the high potassium if you’ve got kidney problems.
Solo Chocolate Charger
(200 calories, 3 grams saturated fat,
120 milligrams sodium; about $1.99)
Solo is a low-glycemic food—it won’t spike blood sugar—so it’s a good pick for those with diabetes. The 11 grams of soy and whey (a dairy product) proteins may spark energy and aid weight control.