Don't confuse granola bars with breakfast or cereal bars. Granola bars are typically made from whole grains; breakfast bars are typically made with refined grain and look like a smooth pastry.
Few granola bars are high in fiber, and some have more sugar than one serving of cereal. But most are low in fat and provide adequate nutrition as a quick breakfast or snack.
Here are a few shopping tips:
Pay attention to serving size. Larger granola bars are higher in calories, and some products come packaged with two bars per serving.
Check the fat content and choose products low in total fat, especially saturated and trans fats.
Check the ingredients list. Look for simple ingredients and make sure the whole grain (usually whole oats) is the first ingredient.
Granola bars that contain candy and are marketed to children may be higher in fat but, on average, contain no more sugar than other bars.
Take the time to compare granola bar brands. When possible, buy bars with more than 2 to 3 grams fiber per serving and that are lower in total carbohydrates or sugars than other bars.