Nature Valley started out as a cereal manufactured by General Mills in 1973, but it was quickly followed by the granola bar in 1975.
Today, you can find a number of different types of Nature Valley granola bars: crunchy, chewy, sweet or salty. The Nature Valley Oats 'n Honey bar is a crunchy variety that is low in saturated fat and a source of fiber and iron, but it's also a little high in calories. Here's a breakdown of the nutrition facts (per two-bar serving):
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- Calories: 190
- Fat: 6 grams
- Carbohydrates: 29 grams
- Sugar: 12 grams
- Protein: 4 grams
Two Nature Valley Oats 'n Honey bars — the suggested serving size — contain 190 calories. This means that one serving of the granola bar contains 4.5 calories per gram, making it an energy-dense food.
This is food that has a high calorie content compared to its weight. People typically eat about the same amount of food each day, regardless of calories, according to a September 2017 study in Nutrition Bulletin. High-energy-dense foods aren't as filling as low-energy-dense foods, and if you eat too many high-energy-dense foods, you might consume more calories than you intend to.
The granola bars are a source of fat, with a small amount of saturated fat and no trans fat. Two bars contain 6 grams of total fat and 0.5 grams of saturated fat. Higher intakes of fat, saturated fat and trans fat are associated with higher rates of heart disease, according to the American Heart Association.
According to the Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2010, you should limit total fat intake to 20 to 35 percent of calories, and you should limit saturated fat to less than 10 percent of calories. The guidelines recommend that you try to limit your intake of trans fat as much as possible.
Carbs, Sugar and Fiber
One serving of the Nature Valley Oats 'n Honey granola bars contains 29 grams of carbohydrates, 12 grams of sugar and 2 grams of fiber. Although the granola bars are a source of whole grains and fiber, they are not a very good source.
According to Harvard Health Publishing, a good whole grain should contain 1 gram of fiber for every 10 grams of carbs. This Nature Valley granola bar contains just more than half a gram of fiber per 10 grams of carbs.
Two Nature Valley Oats 'n Honey granola bars contain 4 grams of protein. How much protein you need to eat each day depends on your weight, age and activity level. In general, adults need between 46 and 56 grams a day, but that number will increase if you are active. The bars aren't a significant source of protein, but most Americans get more than enough protein in their diet.
One serving of the Nature Valley Oats 'n Honey granola bars contains 160 milligrams of sodium. Getting too much sodium in your diet increases your risk of developing high blood pressure. For improved health, limit your daily intake to less than 2,300 milligrams a day.
The granola bar is not a significant source of any vitamins or minerals, but it does contain a small amount of iron, less than 1 milligram. One serving meets 4 percent of the daily iron needs. Iron is a nutrient of concern for those of childbearing age and menstruating adolescents.
Iron is important because it helps make the proteins that carry and store oxygen in your body. Failing to get enough iron in your diet can lead to anemia.
- Nature Valley: "Oats 'n Honey Crunchy Granola Bar"
- Nutrition Bulletin: "Dietary energy density: Applying behavioural science to weight management"
- Harvard Health Publishing: "The Trick to Recognizing a Good Whole Grain: Use Carb-to-Fiber Ratio 10 to 1"
- U.S. Department of Agriculture and U.S. Department of Health and Human Services: Dietary Guidelines for Americans, 2010
- MedlinePlus: Iron
- American Heart Association: "The Skinny on Fats"