• Top 10 Best Healthy Snack Bars in the UK 2021 (Kind, RxBar and More) 1
  • Top 10 Best Healthy Snack Bars in the UK 2021 (Kind, RxBar and More) 2
  • Top 10 Best Healthy Snack Bars in the UK 2021 (Kind, RxBar and More) 3
  • Top 10 Best Healthy Snack Bars in the UK 2021 (Kind, RxBar and More) 4
  • Top 10 Best Healthy Snack Bars in the UK 2021 (Kind, RxBar and More) 5

Top 10 Best Healthy Snack Bars in the UK 2021 (Kind, RxBar and More)

Whether you know them as snack bars, cereal bars, or granola bars, these pocket-sized treats are convenient, tasty, and great for eating on the go or when you don't have time for a proper meal. They're also fantastic for putting in lunchboxes for the kids, and are often full of nutritious ingredients such as oats, nuts, and other sources of protein and fibre.

However, the sad truth is that while many snack bars may seem light and healthy, many of them contain high amounts of sugar and calories which can be detrimental to your health or weight loss goals. To help you out, we'll explain the things to look out for when shopping for a healthy snack bar, and include some yummy recommendations from brands like Kind, RxBar, and Larabar.

This post's specialists

Jo Travers
  • Last updated: 20-05-2021
Table of Contents

With Specialist Consultation From Dietitian Jo Travers

With Specialist Consultation From Dietitian Jo Travers

Jo Travers, author of The Bone Strength Plan is a professional, evidenced-based nutritionist in London. She has carried out over 1500 hours of one-to-one consultations with more than 600 clients, as well as the additional hours of workshops, research, and media work with the BBC, Channel 4, The Islam Channel, and more.

You can find her comprehensive catalogue of courses and guides for everything nutrition-related on her website, as well as absolutely delicious recipe ideas on her Instagram, Twitter and Facebook.

How to Choose a Healthy Snack Bar in the UK – Buying Guide

There are so many kinds of snack bars with different health benefits that it can be hard to know which is best. Here are some tips for working out which snacks bars are best suited to your needs, and what really makes a snack bar healthy!

A Mid-Exercise Energy Boost or a Morning Snack? Different Snack Bars Have Different Purposes

A Mid-Exercise Energy Boost or a Morning Snack? Different Snack Bars Have Different Purposes

Different snack bars have various purposes which you should take into consideration. For instance, bars that are high in protein (20 grams or more) are aimed to be eaten after intense exercise, so are perfect for active types. 

Energy bars are supposed to be eaten during long periods of exercise, such as a long bike ride or hike. They, therefore, tend to contain more calories, sugar, sodium, and fat than usual snack bars in order to give a boost of energy.

For usual everyday activity, it's fine to have lower amounts of protein (under 20 g). It's also good to look for bars with a low GI (glycemic index), which means it contains carbs that are digested slowly and thus keep you satiated and energised for longer. A good example of this would be a snack bar containing mostly fruits or whole grains.

Jo Travers
Jo Travers

Nuts are often added for protein and flavour; they are full of good fats and fibre too, as well as micronutrients like selenium, potassium and zinc. Nuts can also lower the glycaemic index of the bar meaning that the carbohydrate gets absorbed more slowly. This can keep you going for longer, but might not be so good straight after a workout when you need to replenish nutrients quickly.

Learn How to Scan the Ingredients Label

An excess of sugar, saturated fat, and sodium can be detrimental to our health, and can increase our risk of various illnesses such as heart disease. Unfortunately, even if a snack bar says that it is healthy, that is not always the case. It is up to you to look at the ingredients and work out how healthy it really is. Here's how!

Pick a Bar Low in Sugar, Ideally From Natural Sources Such as Fruit

Pick a Bar Low in Sugar, Ideally From Natural Sources Such as Fruit

Try to choose snack bars with no more than 10 g of sugar, especially added sugar. If a bar has sugars or syrups listed towards the top of the ingredients list, that is a warning sign that it many not be that healthy after all. 

On the other hand, if all the sugar naturally comes from fruit, it will not be that bad for you. Let’s say that you are comparing two snack bars with the same amount of sugar in grams. One has mostly fruit in the ingredients, whereas the other has less fruit and some added syrups and sugars. 

The sugar in the first bar must have come naturally from the fruit, meaning it is healthier for you than the latter, despite them having the same quantity of sugar.

Jo Travers
Jo Travers

Picking a bar with fruit in it is good for other reasons too. Dried fruit can also be a good source of iron, especially dried apricots and also raisins. Fruit also contains fibre (added sugar doesn't typically have any) which is good for digestion and feeds the bacteria in the gut microbiome. 

Be aware of large amounts of natural sugars like honey and maple syrup because they behave in the body more like table sugar than sugar from whole fruit.

Choose a Low Fat and Low Sodium Bar for a Healthy Body Inside and Out

Choose a Low Fat and Low Sodium Bar for a Healthy Body Inside and Out
When looking at fats, you should focus on the amount of saturated fats: these fats can increase the amount of cholesterol in your blood which can then put you at risk of heart disease and stroke. 

For everyday activity it is best to find a snack bar with under 3 grams of saturated fat, and no more than 5 grams. If weight loss or maintenance is a goal, keeping an eye on the fat will also ensure your bar isn't too high in calories. 

Sodium can also cause various health problems, such as raising your blood pressure, so should be limited to under 140 mg (0.14 g). Many of the most popular snack bars unfortunately have high amounts of sodium, so it's worth factoring them into the rest of your daily salt intake. 

Jo Travers
Jo Travers

Saturated fat in cereal bars often comes from coconut. Although coconut oil is often seen as healthy, it still contains more saturated fat than butter or lard! Having it occasionally isn't a problem, but try to mix things up and choose other bars as well. Sodium is the thing that makes salt taste salty, but it is also a general flavour enhancer and a preservative; even if your cereal bar is sweet, it may still have sodium in it.

Go For Bars With Around 200 Calories Whilst Considering Your Activity Levels

Go For Bars With Around 200 Calories Whilst Considering Your Activity Levels
As for calories, this depends on your diet and how much energy you exert, as well as the purpose of the snack bar. If you are consuming it as a snack, under or around 200 kcal is best, or even less than 150 kcal if you are aiming to lose weight. 

However, if you are eating it to replace a meal, or you have a particularly active lifestyle where you're burning more calories than most, it might be better to consume a bar of over 200 kcal.

Jo Travers
Jo Travers

A bar that contains more than 200kcal, unless it has a lot of nuts in it, is likely to be high in sugar and therefore less healthy in general. The ingredients towards the front of the list will likely be where most of the calories are coming from so beware if the first ingredient is a sugar! Ideally, you want to see oats or nuts at the top of the list.

Look for Bars High in Fibre and Other Nutrients

Look for Bars High in Fibre and Other Nutrients

Once you have found snack bars low in unhealthy ingredients, you should also make sure that it has plenty of nutritious contents to keep you healthy.

You should look for bars with a high amount of fibre in order to keep you full for longer and maintain healthy digestion. Ideally, the bar will contain at least 3 grams of fibre or 10% of your recommended daily fibre intake. A sign that a snack bar has a high fibre content is if it has a lot of ‘roughage’; for example, lots of fruit, nuts, oats and seeds. 

Jo Travers
Jo Travers

Fibre has lots of benefits in the body but most of us get nowhere near enough on a daily basis. In fact, some studies show that most of us may only get half of what we need. Fibre, as mentioned above, is what feeds the bacteria that live in our gut. 

We have a symbiotic relationship with these bacteria: we feed them well and in return, they perform lots of functions like making neurotransmitters and training the immune system. The greater the variety of fibre we eat, the greater the variety of friendly bacteria our gut can support.

Stick to Natural Ingredients, and the Fewer Ingredients the Better

Stick to Natural Ingredients, and the Fewer Ingredients the Better

When comparing different snack bars, those with a small amount of whole, real ingredients are healthier than those with a long list of ingredients with fewer natural contents.

It is also important to see where the sugar, fat, sodium, and calories in the bar have come from. This means that when looking for a healthy snack bar, you should look not just at the nutritional information, but look at the ingredients too in order to work out the healthiness of the sugars, fats, and so on. 

Jo Travers
Jo Travers

The healthiest snack bars will contain mostly fruit, nuts, oats and seeds which between them provide sweetness, protein, fibre and good fats. There isn't really any need to add extra fibre or sugar.

Protein bars may have some additional protein powder added but try to choose bars without too many emulsifiers and so on. Another thing to watch out for is bars with less than 100kcal. They are likely to be full of things without many nutrients in them and are unlikely to fill you up!

Top 10 Best Healthy Snack Bars in the UK

We had a hard time looking for healthy products because of just how much sugar most snack bars contain, but after some digging, we managed to find 10 delicious recommendations that will give you plenty of nutrients and energy without piling on the pounds! 

Serving Size64 g
Protein20 g
Sugar1.9 g
Saturated Fat6.8 kg
Salt0.36 g
Calories239 kcal
Fibre0.6 g
Natural IngredientsNo

The Primal PantryPaleo Protein Bars

Pack of 15


Serving Size55 g
Protein15 g
Sugar20-22 g
Saturated Fat1 g
Salt0.19-0.21 g
Calories196-213 kcal
Fibre2-3 g
Natural Ingredients100% natural
Serving Size52 g
Protein12 g
Sugar14 g
Saturated Fat1 g
Salt0.65 g
Calories210 kcal
Fibre5 g
Natural Ingredients100 % natural
Serving Size45 g
Protein3 g
Sugar15 g
Saturated Fat3 g
Salt0.15 g
Calories210 kcal
Fibre2 g
Natural Ingredients100% natural

Alpen Light Cherry Bakewell Bar

Pack of 10


Serving Size19 g
Protein1 g
Sugar3.4 g
Saturated Fat0.3 g
Salt0.03 g
Calories65 kcal
Fibre4.4 g
Natural IngredientsNo
Serving Size40 g
Protein10.3 g
Sugar4.7 g
Saturated Fat2 g
Salt0.3 g
Calories213 kcal
Fibre12 g
Natural IngredientsNo

KIND Maple Glazed Pecan & Sea Salt Bars

Pack of 12


Serving Size40 g
Protein6.5 g
Sugar5.1 g
Saturated Fat1.6 g
Salt0.25 g
Calories223 kcal
Fibre2.4 g
Natural IngredientsNo
Serving Size20 g (x2)
Protein2.7 g
Sugar7 g
Saturated Fat0.6 g
Salt0 g
Calories85 kcal
Fibre1.1 g
Natural Ingredients100% natural
Serving Size35 g
Protein3.3 g
Sugar15.9 g
Saturated Fat1.1 g
Salt<0.1 g
Calories135 kcal
Fibre2.4 g
Natural Ingredients100% natural

Adonis Low Sugar Nut Bar Coconut Vanilla Acai Berry

Pack of 6


Serving Size35 g
Protein4.1 g
Sugar1.7 g
Saturated Fat4.8 g
Salt0.14 g
Calories168 kcal
Fibre6.7 g
Natural Ingredients100% natural

Compare the Best Healthy Snack Bars

Adonis  Low Sugar Nut Bar Coconut Vanilla Acai Berry 1


Nakd  Cocoa Delight Wholefood Bar  1


Squirrel Sisters  Raw Snack Bars 1

Squirrel Sisters

KIND  Maple Glazed Pecan & Sea Salt Bars 1


Trek Protein Nut Bars 1


Alpen Light  Cherry Bakewell Bar  1

Alpen Light

LÄRABAR Peanut Butter Choc Chip Bar 1


RXBAR Protein Bar  1


The Primal Pantry Paleo Protein Bars 1

The Primal Pantry

PhD  Smart Bar  1



Low Sugar Nut Bar Coconut Vanilla Acai Berry

Cocoa Delight Wholefood Bar

Raw Snack Bars

Maple Glazed Pecan & Sea Salt Bars

Protein Nut Bars

Cherry Bakewell Bar

Peanut Butter Choc Chip Bar

Protein Bar

Paleo Protein Bars

Smart Bar


An Amazing Low-Sugar Snack Bar Made from Natural Ingredients

Convenient Wholefood Snacks to Replace Your Chocolate Bar

Creamy and Delicious Snack With Only 6 Ingredients

An Award-Winning Nut-Packed Bar With Less Sugar

Satisfyingly Nutty and High in Filling Fibre and Protein

A Light Cereal Bar for Calorie Counters

A Healthy Alternative to Chocolate Chip Cookies

Whole Food Protein Bars With Few Ingredients

Vegan, Natural Protein Bars Made Out of All-Raw Ingredients

A Low Sugar and High Protein Post-Workout Bar

Serving Size35 g35 g20 g (x2)40 g40 g 19 g45 g52 g55 g64 g
Protein4.1 g3.3 g2.7 g6.5 g 10.3 g1 g3 g12 g15 g20 g
Sugar1.7 g15.9 g7 g 5.1 g4.7 g 3.4 g15 g14 g20-22 g1.9 g
Saturated Fat4.8 g1.1 g0.6 g 1.6 g2 g 0.3 g3 g1 g1 g 6.8 kg
Salt0.14 g<0.1 g0 g0.25 g0.3 g0.03 g0.15 g0.65 g0.19-0.21 g0.36 g
Calories168 kcal135 kcal85 kcal223 kcal213 kcal65 kcal210 kcal210 kcal196-213 kcal239 kcal
Fibre6.7 g2.4 g1.1 g2.4 g12 g4.4 g2 g5 g2-3 g0.6 g
Natural Ingredients100% natural 100% natural 100% natural NoNoNo100% natural 100 % natural100% naturalNo

How Often Can You Eat Snack Bars?

How Often Can You Eat Snack Bars?
Many people wonder if snack bars can be part of a healthy daily diet, or if they have too many calories. The good news is that, depending on your diet and lifestyle, it's fine to eat snack bars every day

Typical energy bars should not be a substitute for a regular meal and should ideally only be eaten as a treat or if you are being active, due to the high amounts of fat and sugar. Similarly, protein bars are great for after a workout, but may be a little high in sugar for those who are more sedentary. 

Good-quality snack bars or cereal bars are however high in fibre, so are a great healthy snack to have daily if you do not eat enough fruit and veg normally. Just make sure to factor in the nutritional values with the rest of your meals and snacks, and you should be good to go! 

Looking for More Healthy Products?

Looking for More Healthy Products?

Though they are seriously delicious, it may be hard to rely solely on healthy snack bars for your daily fix. Luckily, there's a world of other healthy treats out there, so we've rounded up some of the best options to purchase online – take a look!


Sure, whole fruits and nuts maybe be healthier, but nothing can compare to the convenience and delicious taste of snack bars. After choosing the type that suits your needs, it's important to look for one containing good, real ingredients so you know you're providing your body with the healthy fuel it needs. Happy snacking!

Author: Brigid Bernard

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