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The Best Breakfast Bars to Grab When You're Crazy-Busy

by
author image Brittany Risher
Brittany Risher is a writer, editor, and digital strategist specializing in health and lifestyle content. She loves experimenting with new vegan recipes and believes hummus is a food group. To stay sane from working too hard, she turns to yoga, strength training, meditation, and scotch.

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The Best Breakfast Bars to Grab When You're Crazy-Busy
ehaurylik/Adobe Stock

When you need an on-the-go breakfast (and these days, when don't you?), a packaged bar is an obvious solution. No utensils needed, it's not messy, and you can eat one while driving, walking or in a packed subway car. “It wouldn't be my number one choice,” says Keri Gans, R.D., author of "The Small Change Diet," “but I'd rather someone grab a bar than skip breakfast altogether or grab a doughnut. A lot of bars do have some nutritional value.” But not bars are created equal. Here are 10 of the best bars and why these outshine the rest.

1. Rise Almond Honey Protein Bars
risebar.com

1 RISE ALMOND HONEY PROTEIN BARS

The first step when searching for a bar for breakfast is to look for as many “whole” ingredients as possible. “The ingredients should look like a recipe you could have made in the kitchen. You want to think, 'Oh I could have made this myself,'” says Cynthia Sass, R.D., author of "Slim Down Now." With only three ingredients -- almonds, honey and whey protein -- we're pretty sure we could have made these. If we had the time. (280 calories, 16 g fat, 20 g protein, 13 g sugars.)

Related: More info about Rise Almond Honey Protein Bars -- and where to find them

2. Amrita Chocolate Maca Protein Bar
amritahealthfoods.com

2 AMRITA CHOCOLATE MACA PROTEIN BAR

Protein is highly important in a breakfast bar. “It helps you feel full and helps maintain muscle mass,” Gans says. If you can, find a bar with at least 10 grams of protein. Thanks to brown rice protein powder, sunflower seed butter, tahini and three types of seeds (sunflower, sesame and chia), this nut-free, brownie-like bar packs 15 grams of protein. (230 calories, 8 g fat, 15 g protein, 13 g sugars.)

Related: More info about Amrita Chocolate Maca Protein Bars -- and where to find them

3. RXBAR Coffee Chocolate
www.rxbar.com

3 RXBAR COFFEE CHOCOLATE

Fiber is another key nutrient to look for in a breakfast bar, Gans says. “The average person isn't eating enough,” she explains. “It helps you feel satiated because it's digested slower than other carbs, it keeps us regular and it may help prevent against high cholesterol,” she adds. Aim for no less than 3 grams, she recommends. The combo of 4 grams of fiber and 12 grams of protein in this bar will keep you satisfied, and who doesn't like mocha in the morning? (200 calories, 8 g fat, 12 g protein, 13 g sugars.)

Related: More info about RXBAR Coffee Chocolate bars -- and where to find them

4. The Gluten-Free Bar Oatmeal Raisin
http://www.theglutenfreebar.com/

4 THE GLUTEN-FREE BAR OATMEAL RAISIN

Carbs are not the enemy! When balanced with protein and fat, they give you energy that lasts. Sass recommends looking for bars with 15 to 30 grams of carbohydrates. This gluten-free bar (as the name implies) has 29 grams of carbs from a mix of plant proteins, agave, oats, rice crisps and fruit. But the hints of cinnamon and vanilla are what you'll really love. (220 calories, 7 g fat, 12 g protein, 18 g sugars.)

Related: More info about The Gluten-Free Bar Oatmeal Raisin bars -- and where to find them

5. KIND Madagascar Vanilla Almond
www.kindsnacks.com

5 KIND MADAGASCAR VANILLA ALMOND

You're probably wondering about sugar, but our experts weren't that concerned as long as you follow their other nutrient guidelines. “The only type of sugar we really want people to watch or limit is added sugar,” Sass says. Luckily the new nutrition facts label will list added sugars. Companies have until late July 2018 to update their labels, however KIND Snacks has already changed over. This crunchy, vanilla-rich bar has 4 total grams of sugars — and only 2 of those are added sugars! (210 calories, 16 g fat, 7 g protein, 4 g sugars.)

Related: More info about KIND Madagascar Vanilla Almond bars -- and where to find them

6. Perfect Bar Fruit & Nut
perfectbar.com

6 PERFECT BAR FRUIT & NUT

One thing that's tough with eating a bar for breakfast is getting enough calories. “This is one time when less isn't better,” Gans says. A 150-calorie bar is a great snack, but if you have it in the morning, you'll be hungry again in an hour. This Perfect Bar, however, may have enough calories on its own to fuel you until lunch -- especially since it's also high in protein and healthy fats. In general, if a bar has the protein, carbs and fat our dietitians recommend, it should also have enough calories, Sass says. (330 calories, 18 g fat, 16 g protein, 19 g sugars.)

Related: More info about Perfect Bar Fruit & Nut bars -- and where to find them

7. Primal Kitchen Coconut Cashew Bar
www.primalkitchen.com

7 PRIMAL KITCHEN COCONUT CASHEW BAR

The final macronutrient you want to check is fat. Sass recommends about 8 to 15 grams of healthy fats coming from whole foods like nuts and seeds. This Paleo-friendly bar features not only pumpkin seeds, cashews and coconut for healthy fats, it also has grass-fed collagen for protein. (220 calories, 14 g fat, 15 g protein, 3 g sugars.)

Related: More info about Primal Kitchen Coconut Cashew Bars -- and where to find them

8. Kit's Organic Peanut Butter Fruit & Nut Bar
www.clifbar.com

8 KIT'S ORGANIC PEANUT BUTTER FRUIT & NUT BAR

Here's the thing about trying to find a bar with enough protein: If you'd prefer one without added protein powder, it's really (really) tough to hit 10 grams. So if you find a whole bar that's lacking, pair it with a high-protein food, both Gans and Sass say. This Kit's Organic is made from just dates, peanuts, almonds, and sea salt, and it tastes like a soft peanut butter cookie. So why not have it with a latte or Greek yogurt, since dairy is made for cookies. (210 calories, 11 g fat, 6 g protein, 20 g sugars.)

Related: More info about Kit's Organic Peanut Butter Fruit & Nut Bars -- and where to find them

9. Larabar Banana Bread
www.larabar.com

9 LARABAR BANANA BREAD

Some people would see 20 grams of sugars and freak out. But “always see where the sugar is coming from,” Gans says. So let's look at the ingredients here: almonds, dates, bananas. That's it. All that sugar is from fruit. That's way better than syrups and sugar. If you see a bar with more than three types of added sugars, put it back — that's a candy bar, not a bar for breakfast. Just remember to pair this naturally high-fiber bar with a high-protein food. (230 calories, 11 g fat, 6 g protein, 20 g sugars.)

Related: More info about Larabar Banana Bread bars -- and where to find them

10. Soul Sprout Wow Cacao Nib
www.soulsprout.com

10 SOUL SPROUT WOW CACAO NIB

You now know what to look for in a breakfast bar as far as nutrition and ingredients. But none of that matters if you gobble it down like you're in a competitive eating contest. “If you eat a bar when you're distracted and it's gone in three or four bites, you can feel like you didn't eat anything,” Sass says. “And then you may eat again at work and have two breakfasts.” So take your time eating all of these bars, including this crunchy and chewy delight featuring sprouted nuts and cacao nibs. (230 calories, 17 g fat, 5 g protein, 8 g sugars.)

Related: More info about Soul Sprout Wow Cacao Nib bars -- and where to find them

What Do YOU Think?
Maksim Shebeko/Adobe Stock

WHAT DO YOU THINK?

What is your favorite healthy breakfast bar? Let us know your suggestions in the comments!

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