If you’re looking for a nutritious snack, Nature Valley Protein Bars are excellent. Their chewy texture and combination of sweet granola and savory peanuts make them an excellent choice for a quick burst of energy. Plus, they’re easy to eat at any time.
New from General Mills, Nature Valley Chewy Protein bars are high in protein and low in sugar, and you don’t have to go to a fancy health-food store to find them. This bar is a win-win with delicious flavors such as peanut butter, dark chocolate and peanut, almond, and dark chocolate.
Nature Valley Protein Bars Nutrition Facts
What are Nature Valley Bars Made of?
Let’s start by looking at some ingredients. Nature Valley makes a lot of different bars, but the Crunchy Granola Bars and the Fruit & Nut Bars are two of the most popular ones.
Here are the ingredients for one of their Crunchy bars:
Peanut Butter Crunchy Granola Bars: are made with Whole Grain Oats, Sugar, Canola Oil, Peanut Butter (peanuts and salt), Rice Flour, Brown Sugar Syrup, Salt, Baking Soda, and Soy Lecithin.
And here are the ingredients for a Fruit & Nut flavor:
Dark Chocolate & Nut Fruit & Nut Bars: Whole Grain Oats, Corn Syrup, Semisweet Chocolate Chunks (sugar, chocolate liquor, cocoa butter, soy lecithin, natural flavor), Roasted Peanuts, Raisins, Rice Flour, sugar, vegetable Glycerin, Canola Oil, Fructose, Corn Starch, Soy Lecithin, Salt, Barley Malt Extract, Baking Soda, Added to keep things fresh.
Here are the ingredients for one of their Crunchy bars:
They’re made with whole grain oats. Oats have soluble fiber, which is good for you and can also help lower cholesterol. But oats are in most granola bars, so this isn’t that unusual.
They contain nuts, and peanuts or peanut butter are in both bars. Peanuts are not nuts; they are legumes. But, if you’re not allergic, they have most of the same health benefits as nuts.
They have multiple sugar ingredients. There are a lot of sugary sweeteners in both bars, and corn syrup, sugar, brown sugar syrup, and fructose are some of these. (The rice flour, corn starch, and barley malt extract probably also add to the glycemic load.)
They contain processed oil. Canola oil is in both of these bars. It’s not the best oil, but it’s not the worst either. It is usually made very complicated, with hexane and very high heat.
Overall, Nature Valley Bars are a mix of healthy whole foods and sugar and oil that have been processed. So, they are neither good nor bad in every way.
Are Nature Valley Bars High in Sugar?
Crunchy Granola Bars from Nature Valley have 10 to 12 grams of sugar per bar (two bars). Each Fruit & Nut Bars has between 6 and 8 grams of sugar (one bar). Nature Valley Bars have less sugar than Clif Bars, but most Kind Bars have more sugar than Nature Valley Bars.
Nature Valley Bars Nutritional Values
Because many bars are made with honey, rolled oats, nuts, chocolate chips, and coconut, their nutritional values vary. Even though they are a good source of fiber and protein, they also have a lot of sugar and fat that should be eaten in moderation. This part of our review looks at what the Nature Valley ranges offer nutrition.
The products from Nature Valley have a lot of nuts and grains, which are both complex carbohydrates. This type of carb is generally healthier than refined carbs found in sugary drinks, pastries, white bread, and pasta. Complex carbs are less likely to cause your blood sugar to spike, followed by a crash that makes you want more refined carbs.
The Nature Valley Crunchy range, on the other hand, has an average of 27g of carbohydrates per bar, 11.8g of which are sugars. When you think that 4.5g of white sugar is about the same as a teaspoon, you have to decide if the benefits of the complex carbohydrates are worth the high sugar count.
Getting enough fiber is important for a healthy digestive system. The government says that a typical adult should eat 30g of fiber every day, and however, most adults eat much less than this. If you want to get more fiber in your diet, the Nature Valley Protein bar in coconut and almond flavor is your best bet. The wholegrain rolled oats in each bar give it 5.1g of fiber, which is a lot.
Good fat vs. bad fat
Nature Valley’s snack bars are made with different kinds of nuts, and it’s important to know that the Sweet & Salty Nut bars, made with peanuts, have more saturated fat than the Crunchy bars.
The Oats & Honey Crunchy bar has 7.2g of fat, of which 1.1g is saturated fat. If you want to cut down on fat, this is the best choice. Most of the bars also have shea vegetable fats and palm oil. Palm oil has been in the news lately because of worries about how making palm oil affects the environment. Some people may choose not to buy products that contain palm oil as a moral choice.
Calories in Nature Valley bars
The nutrition labels on Nature Valley products say that each serving of their snack bars has between 139 and 200 calories. If you want the bar with the fewest calories, choose the Dark Chocolate, Peanut & Almond Sweet & Salty Nut snack bar. A 30g serving has only 139 calories.
Vitamins and minerals
The most vitamins and minerals are in the flavors that taste like nuts. Almonds are a good source of vitamin E and magnesium, so try the Nature Valley Almond Butter Biscuit. Vitamin E is a powerful antioxidant that can help protect your body from viruses by strengthening your immune system. Magnesium is a mineral that could help keep type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and headaches at bay.
Nature Valley Protein Bars
How Much Protein do Nature Valley Bars have?
Most Nature Valley bars only have between 2 and 4 grams of protein per bar. On the other hand, each Nature Valley Protein bar has 10 grams of protein. And each “XL Protein” bar from Nature Valley has 15 grams of protein.
The Crunchy Granola Bars from Nature Valley have 3 to 4 grams of protein per two bars. Their Fruit & Nut bars, on the other hand, have even less protein—only 2 to 3 grams per bar. So if you don’t get the “Protein” bars, you’re not getting a lot of protein. The non-protein bars from Nature Valley have even less protein than Larabars, and that’s not very high since most Larabars are just nuts and dates.
When you look at the Nature Valley Protein bars themselves, you’ll see that they are not vegan. Some of the added protein is whey protein, and I also found other milk ingredients in the flavors I checked. But Nature Valley has two different protein bars, each with a different “level.” Most bars have about 10 grams of protein, including their Chewy and Crunchy protein bars. On the other hand, each “XL Protein” bar has 15 grams of protein. If you want to get the most protein out of each bar, you can find bars with even more protein.
Are Nature Valley Bars Good for Weight Loss?
Since they have a lot of calories, Nature Valley bars are not the best choice for people who want to lose weight. They are high in calories because they have sugar, canola oil and nuts, dried fruit, or chocolate. If you want to lose weight with Nature Valley bars, you might have to cut your portions or count calories. Calories in and calories out are the most important thing for weight loss.
And if you want to lose weight more easily, the best foods to eat are those with a low number of calories per gram. Most foods with a low-calorie density are high in fiber and water, and they help you feel full on fewer calories because they fill your stomach.
Most Nature Valley Bars don’t have a lot of fiber or water. Each serving of Crunchy Granola Bars only has 2 grams of fiber, and a half-cup of rolled oats has twice as much fiber as that. The truth is that Nature Valley Bars are mostly made of foods high in calories.
These include sugar and other sweeteners, canola oil, peanut butter, dried fruit, or chocolate. Each pack of two Crunchy Granola bars has about 200 calories. This is average for granola bars, but it’s high compared to whole plant foods. You could eat about two bananas about the same size for the same number of calories.
Are Nature Valley Bars Whole Grain?
Whole grain oats are in Nature Valley bars. But they also have things like sugar, brown sugar syrup, canola oil, and rice flour made in a factory. So, Nature Valley bars don’t fit the definition of “whole foods” in general.
This happens all the time. Many processed foods look healthy because they are made with whole grains. But then you find out it also has a lot of sugar and oil. Most granola and granola bars you buy in a store are like this. They do have healthy rolled oats in them. But they also have a lot of sugar in them. Most of the time, making your granola bars is the best way to get healthy ones. You can get the sweetness from the fruit.
Do Nature Valley Bars have Fiber?
I looked at all Nature Valley bars and found that each serving has between 2 and 8 grams of fiber, and most Nature Valley bars have between 2 and 3 grams of fiber per serving on the lower end.
Here’s a list showing roughly how much fiber you can expect per serving from each of the Nature Valley product lines:
- Sweet & Salty Nut Bars: 2g fiber or less
- Crunchy Granola Bars: 2g fiber
- Fruit & Nut Bars: 2g fiber
- Nut Bars: 2g fiber
- Crunch protein bars: 2g fiber
- Sustained Energy Bars: 3g fiber
- Wafer Bars: 3g fiber
- Soft-Baked Muffin Bars: 4g fiber
- Chewy protein bars: 5g fiber
- XL Protein bars: 7g fiber
Are Nature Valley Bars Vegan?
There are a lot of vegan Nature Valley bars, but not all of them. Here’s a quick rundown of the best-selling product lines:
- All flavors of the Fruit & Nut bars are vegan.
- Most flavors of the Crunchy Granola Bars are vegan and avoid the flavors with honey.
- No flavors of the Sweet & Salty bars are vegan (due to milk).
- No flavors of the Protein bars are vegan (due to milk).
As a vegan, I’ve always chosen the Fruit & Nut bars or the Peanut Butter flavor of the Crunchy Granola Bars.
Most Nature Valley bars have a lot of calories and sugar. Because of this, they are not the best choice for a snack if you want to lose weight. If you eat too many of them every day, you might gain weight, so be careful. If you want to lose weight, it’s best to snack on fresh fruits and plain nuts. Whole grain oats and other healthy things like dried fruit and nuts are in Nature Valley bars. But at least 10 grams of added sugar are in at least one serving of many of their bars. They also have things like canola oil and rice flour made in a factory, making them not the best choice for your health.