Clif Bar v. Nature Valley Granola Bar

Q:  What’s the difference between the Nature Valley Granola Bars that I buy at Costco and Clif Bars? ~ R.A., San Ramon, CA

 Nature Valley granolaA: When you need some quick fuel and you don’t have anything on hand, an “energy bar” can help satisfy your appetite and energy needs.  However, energy bars on the market vary greatly.  Some bars are just slightly more nutritious than a candy bar while some are actual meal supplements that contain part of your daily requirement of vitamins and minerals.

Note: Food labels list percentages of nutrients based on the amount you should consume each day — your Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA).  The term Percent Daily Value (DV) is used to declare what one serving of the food provides in relation to the established daily standards.  

Nutritional Facts Clif Bar Nature Valley Hershey
Oatmeal Walnut Granola Bar Milk Chocoloate
Raisin Honey ‘N Oats Candy Bar
28 g 28g 28g
Calories 100 120 143
Calories from fat 20  33 75
Total Fat 2g (4% DV) 4g (6% DV) 9g (14%)
Sat. Fat .5g (2%DV) .3g (2% DV) 6g (27%)
Trans Fat 0g 0g 0g
Cholesterol 0mg (0% DV) 0mg (0% DV) 7mg (2%)
Sodium 50mg (2% DV) 107mg (5% DV) 24mg (1%)
Potassium 110mg (4% DV) N/A 0mg (0% DV)
Total Carb. 18g (6% DV) 19g (7% DV) 18g (6%)
Dietary Fiber 2g (8% DV) 1.3g (5% DV) <1g (3%)
Insoluble Fiber 1 g N/A 0g
Sugars 9g 7.3g 16g
Other Carb. 7g N/A 0g
Protein 4g 2.7g 2g
Vitamin A 10% DV 0% DV 0% DV
Vitamin C 40% DV 0% DV 0% DV
Calcium 10% DV 0% DV 6% DV
Iron 10% DV 4% DV 1% DV
Vitamin E 40% DV N/A 0% DV
Vitamin K 10% DV N/A 0% DV
Thiamin (B1) 10% DV N/A 0% DV
Riboflavin (B2) 6% DV N/A 0% DV
Niacin (B3) 6% DV N/A 0% DV
Vitamin B6 8% DV N/A 0% DV
Folate 8% DV N/A 0% DV
Vitamin B12 6% DV N/A 0% DV
Biotin 4% DV N/A 0% DV
Pantothenic Acid 8% DV N/A 0% DV
Phosphorus 8% DV N/A 0% DV
Iodine 6% DV N/A 0% DV
Magnesium 10% DV N/A 0% DV
Zinc 8% DV N/A 0% DV
Selenium 8% DV N/A 0% DV
Copper 6% DV N/A 0% DV
Manganese 15% DV N/A 0% DV
Chromium 4% DV N/A 0% DV
Molybdenum 4% DV N/A 0% DV


Candy Bar v. Granola Bar

Candy bar and granola bar fall short on nutrients

The Nature Valley® granola bar contains slightly more fiber and protein as the popular Hershey’s® milk chocolate bar.  However, neither the granola bar or candy bar are nutrient dense.  The Hershey’s® bar has over twice the total fat, slightly more calories, nearly four and a half times more sodium, and over double the sugar.  Other than iron and the calcium in the milk chocolate, these bars do not appear to contain any other vitamins and minerals.

Clif Bar v. Granola Bar

The data comparison above shows that Nature Valley contains slightly more calories, twice the total fat and sodium, and 60% less iron than Clif Bar®, but slightly less sugar. Both contain similar amounts of carbohydrate.  Other than iron, Nature Valley does not state it contains any other vitamins and minerals while Clif Bar contains 9 vitamins and 14 minerals and 70% organic ingredients. It uses organic soy (non-GMO) in the form of roasted soybeans, soy flour, and soy butter.

Clif Bar outscores Nature Valley
Clif Bar outscores Nature Valley

Apple c heart symbol_40x54Fit Tip: Choose Clif Bar over the Nature Valley granola bar for a more nutrient-dense, lower fat energy source.  Be aware that the nutritional facts for the energy bars are based on a 1 oz. serving (28g).  Energy bars are also calorie dense, so watch your portion sizes.  To put this in perspective, a medium size banana (118g) yields 105 calories which is near equal to the calories in a 1-oz. chunk of a Clif Bar, but the banana is almost four times the size.

© 2009 Karen Owoc and The Health Reporter™.  All Rights Reserved.

6 thoughts on “Clif Bar v. Nature Valley Granola Bar

  1. Thank you. A helpful comparison. Funny, but Clif bars taste sweeter to me than a Nature Valley granola bar – interesting to see the facts.


    1. You may be right. Could be due to the proportion of brown rice syrup to the rest of the ingredients. Even though the rice syrup isn’t as sweet as sugar, it’s still the first ingredient listed on the label.


  2. The nutritional value on the Nature Valley bars is incorrect. I have one in my hand and all of your numbers are off… Calories 190… etc


    1. Hi Kyle! Thank you for your comment. In order to compare ‘apples to apples’, the nutritional values of the bars are recalculated to a 1-oz (28 g) serving size. ~Karen


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