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Snack Bar Breakdown

Whether it’s skipping breakfast, surving a long lecture or getting ready for a daily run, we often find ourselves reaching for some kind of snack bar to give us that exta boost of energy.  Often overlooked, however, is the cardinal rule that not all snack bars are created equal.  Sifting through the masses of energy bars, snack bars, protein bars, and everything else can be overwhelming, so here’s an easy guide to some of these bars’ differences, advantages, and best uses:


Kashi Chewy Granola Bar

Kashi, known for their attention to detail when it comes to ingredients, offers up their own version of the chewy granola snack bar.  With six grams of protein and four grams of fiber, this bar is great for those moments when you need to put hunger at bay for an hour or so until you can catch a meal.  On the downside, the Kashi bar offers few vitamins and minerals, and is high in calories.


Luna Nutrition Bar

Available in many different flavor combinations and without that “energy bar” chemical aftertaste, Luna Nutrition Bars are a favorite when it comes to satisfying your taste buds.  Offering up nine grams of protein and four grams of fiber, this bar wouldn’t be the best pick to replace a meal, but breaking out a Luna Bar during lecture for a power-boosting snack is definitely a great move.  Also, Luna Nutrition Bars are geared towards women, providing vitamins and minerals essential to women’s health, like calcium, iron, folic acid, and vitamin D!


Special K Protein Meal Bar

Breakfast is the most important meal of the day – and the most often forgotten!  For those of us who rush to class without a single thought regarding a bagel, bowl of cereal, or cup of yogurt, the Special K Protein Meal Bar is a great alternative.  Keeping one of these in your school bag guarantees that you’ll have something to kickstart your day during your first class.  With 10 grams of protein and five grams of fiber, and a taste that reminds you of your favorite bowl of cereal with milk, this bar serves it purpose as a decent morning kick-starter.


Balance Nutrition Energy Bar

The Balance Nutrition Energy Bar offers up just that, balance in your diet.  With 15 grams of protein, this bar is sure to give you a boost of energy.  The Balance Bar gets down to business when it comes to vitamins, providing you with 100% of your daily values of Vitamins C and E and 15% – 50% of other essential vitamins.  The Balance Bar is great as far as energy goes, but you can definitely taste that it’s enhanced with lots of extra protein; but, if you can bear a mild artificial aftertaste, this bar could work for you.  On the downside, the Balance Bar only offers up one gram of fiber, so if you’re looking for something to fill you up, this bar may not be for you.


Cliff-brand Builder’s Protein Bar

If protein is what you’re looking for, the Cliff-brand Builder’s Bar is for you.  With 20 grams of protein, this bar wins for offering energy you need to make it through your day.  If you feel yourself fading grab oneo these to quickly reenergize.  On the downside, like the Balance Bar, you can definitely taste the added protein in the Builder’s Protein Bar.  Also, even though this bar is super-high in protein, it’s also high in calories (270) and low in fiber (only four grams).


Fiber One Chocolate Fudge Brownie

The best-tasting bar of the bunch is the Fiber One 90-calorie Chocolate Fudge Brownie.  The Brownie offers you 20% of your daily doses of fiber (five grams), which will certainly satisfy your stomach grumbles.  This bar scores high on taste and fiber, but low on protein (only one gram).  If you’re looking to keep your stomach from feeling empty, then you’ve found your snack-bar match, but don’t look to this bar for protein or vitamins.


Whatever you decide, it’s always great to have at least one of these bars in your schoolbag.  Keeping your metabolism running will keep your body in-check.  These bars can offer up more than just a mid-day treat, so keep them around because the last thing you want to happen is to fall asleep  during finals or be that girl with the grumbly stomach!


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Meg Orita


Meg Orita is a junior at Northwestern University, majoring in Voice/Opera performance and probably something else, too.Meg is currently studying abroad in Paris, France (!!!) and loving every minute of it.
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