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