Not all snack bars are as healthy as they look.

A snack bar with claims of “all natural” or “containing Superfoods” printed on its label may contain just as much calories, fats and sugar as a candy bar. This is what testers at Consumer Reports found.

Below are some recommendations on how to read the ingredients list and choose the right healthy snack bar.

Tip 1 – Avoid highly processed ingredients

Examples of highly processed ingredients to avoid are Soy Protein Isolate, High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS), Hydrogenated Oils, and Monosodium Glutamate (MSG). Ingredients are listed in order of quantity on product labels. So look for snack bars that have real food ingredients such as oats, nuts and fruits listed at the top of their ingredient lists.

Tip 2 – Too much sugar is always bad

Take note that sugars can be present in different forms such as fructose, corn syrup, honey or fruit concentrates.

Tip 3 – Avoid “Added Protein” or “Added Fiber”

Look out for snack bars that have soy protein or chicory root listed as their top ingredient. This means that the protein and fiber content has been boosted with less wholesome ingredients.

Tip 4 – Less saturated fat is always good

Avoid snack bars with partially hydrogenated oil. Partially hydrogenated oil means trans fat is present! A healthy snack bar should also have higher unsaturated fat content compared to saturated fat.

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