Feeling hungry between meals is annoying! Eating healthy snacks that add extra nutrition to your day between meals is the best solution to curb hunger. But, can snacking be a part of a healthy diet? Today, I will talk about one of the most popular snack bars that are used widely in the USA, which are Nature Valley bars.
They are delicious and nutritious as well. In addition, they contain healthy ingredients which makes them a good option for snacking. Are Nature Valley bars healthy? Are they gluten-free? Are Nature Valley bars vegan? All these questions will be answered in the article below.
What are Nature Valley bars?
Nature Valley is an American brand that has many different bars, granola, and snacks, which is owned by General Mills. There are a variety of granola bars, cereals, and snacks that are produced by it. Nature Valley bars come in seven types, which are crunchy bars, sweet and salty bars, nut bars, wafer bars, protein bars, fruit and nut bars, and layered granola nut bars.
Are Nature Valley bars healthy?
To answer this question we should know first the ingredients that are in them. The bars contain whole grain oats, dried fruits, and nuts. In addition, they contain refined sugar, canola oil and, rice flour.
Let’s talk about the health benefits of whole grains:
- Whole grains contain healthy nutrients that help support heart health by reducing the risk of heart disease
- Following a healthy diet that contains whole grains is recommended to manage sugar levels, especially for people who have diabetes type 2
- Whole grains contain fiber and healthy nutrients that help support healthy digestion and reduce the risk of colon cancer
- The fiber in whole grains and healthy nutrients contribute to losing weight
Nature Valley bars do not contain artificial preservatives, flavors, or colors. They contain healthy ingredients but they also contain processed oils and sugar. Many bars contain at least 10 grams of added sugar.
Nature Valley bars nutritional values
As it was mentioned above, Nature Valley bars basically contain honey, whole grains, nuts, chocolate chips, coconut, and rolled oats. So, it’s important to know the nutritional values of these delicious bars.
Fiber is essential for improving digestion and it helps regulate blood sugar levels, which is important for diabetics. It’s recommended for adults to consume 30 grams of fiber daily. Eating Nature Valley bars provides the body with a good amount of fiber. For example, the Nature Valley bar protein bar in coconut and almond flavor contains 5.1 grams of fiber.
The calorific content in Nature Valley bars ranges from 130 to 290 calories for a serving size.
Using different types of nuts in Nature Valley bars provides the body with healthy fats. Sweet and Salty Nut bars contain saturated fats more than the Crunchy bar. The Oats and honey crunchy bar contains 7.2 grams of fat.
Nature Valley bars contain processed oils and refined sugar. In general, the sugar content is considered acceptable and some bars have less sugar than others.
Nature Valley protein bars
Protein bars are considered nutritional supplements that are produced in different flavors. Nature Valley chewy protein bars are high in protein and contain less sugar.
They come in many flavors such as Blueberry Nut, Chocolate Peanut Butter, Coconut Almond, Honey Peanut Almond, Peanut Butter Dark Chocolate, Peanut Butter, Salted Caramel Nut, and Peanut, Almond & Dark chocolate.
If we look at the nutrition facts of them, we will find that the calorie number is acceptable and they provide you with 10 grams of protein, which is about 20% of the daily needed protein. Also, they are a good source of fiber. They are perfect for post-exercise.
In addition, they are gluten-free. They contain 190 calories, 12 grams of fats, and 6 grams of sugar.
Nutrition facts of Nature Valley Crunchy Oats & Dark Chocolate Cereal Bars
- Calories: 199
- Fat: 0.3 g
- Saturates: 1.4 g
- Sugar: 11.3 g
- Salt: 0.27 g
- Carbs: 25.8 g
- Fiber: 2.9 g
Are Nature Valley bars good for weight loss?
Nature Valley bars are high in calories and contain sugar and processed oil. By looking at these ingredients, you can notice that the high-calorie content is not ideal for weight loss.
Also, it’s known that sugar and processed oils are not recommended to be consumed if you try to lose weight. On the other hand, we can see the other healthy ingredients that are found in the bars such as whole grains, nuts, and dried fruits that contain healthy nutrients like fiber, which is important for keeping you feeling full for longer and for improving gut health, which supports healthy digestion.
So, as we can notice here, Nature Valley bars contain a mix of healthy and unhealthy ingredients. But in general, they are for energy more than for weight loss. They can be a perfect snack and a good option if they are used in moderation in a balanced diet.
Are Nature Valley bars vegan?
Some Nature Valley granola bars are not vegan. The idea is some vegans can eat some types and others who are more strict can not eat these bars. Let’s talk about some ingredients in Nature Valley granola bars that may be unsuitable for vegans including:
Most vegans do not eat honey because they consider it an animal product.
Some granola bars have milk derivatives. So, these bars are non-vegan without a doubt.
- Refined sugar
Nature Valley granola bars contain sugar, and not all types of sugar that are produced in the USA are vegan.
- Natural flavors
Not all natural flavors come from plants but some of them come from animals as well. It’s known that Nature Valley company uses both animal and plant natural flavors. So, it would be confusing.
But, most vegans can enjoy eating 12 flavors of Nature Valley bars that do not contain milk or honey. And here is a list of them:
- Almond Butter
- Peanut Butter
- Apple Crisp
- Roasted Almond
- Maple Brown Sugar
- Trail Mix
- Dark chocolate & Nut
- Cranberry & pomegranate
- Dark Chocolate Cherry
Are Nature Valley bars gluten-free?
Nature Valley company offers a variety of products that do not contain gluten. But, if you are allergic to gluten or have celiac disease, you should always check the label. Here are the gluten-free protein bars:
- Coconut Almond
- Honey Peanut Almond
- XL Mixed Nut
- Salted Caramel Salt
- Peanut Butter Dark Chocolate
- Peanut, Almond & Dark Chocolate
Nut bars that are gluten-free
- Almond Crunch Roasted Nut Crunch
- Peanut Crunch Roasted Nut Crunch
Snacks can absolutely fit in your diet but you should always find the healthiest options that can help you enrich your day and avoid consuming empty calories. Nature Valley bars are considered one of the best snacks that contain healthy ingredients. They come in a wide variety of flavors that satisfy all tastes.