How Do I Choose the Best Gluten-Free Bars?

Patti Kate

When choosing gluten-free bars, look for wholesome and nutritional ingredients. Fruit bars contain natural antioxidants and offer good nutrition. Gluten-free health bars made with brown rice offer a crispy texture. You may prefer to purchase organic gluten-free bars, as these are made without additives. Nutritional bars for a gluten-free lifestyle can be found in specialty or health food stores, many of which offer a wide variety.

Some gluten-free bars contain wheat germ.
Some gluten-free bars contain wheat germ.

If you're an athlete or someone who participates in routine physical activity, you may require a snack bar for sustained energy. Many nutritional bars are made and specifically marketed for just this purpose. If you suffer from celiac disease or wheat allergies, look for rice-based gluten-free bars that provide carbohydrates for energy. Choose a bar with at least 8 grams of protein.

Gluten-free bars may be made with flax seeds.
Gluten-free bars may be made with flax seeds.

Some bars are made with added sugar, although fruit-flavored bars shouldn't contain high amounts. The fruit flavor incorporated into the energy bar will provide natural sweetness. Tart cherry will be less sweet tasting than other fruit flavors, although it has extra anti-inflammatory properties.

While gluten-free bars will not contain wheat, some may contain wheat germ with the gluten removed. Read labels carefully to determine the ingredients in each bar. Gluten-free health bars made with flax seed can be a smart choice, as flax seed contains omega-3 fatty acids.

Some people on a gluten-free diet have other food allergies as well. If you are allergic to peanuts, read the labels of any gluten-free bar you are considering. Some bars contain traces of nuts, which can be potentially life threatening to a person with a peanut allergy. These bars are typically labeled with a food allergy warning in bold print.

Consider where the gluten-free nutritional bars are made. Be certain the manufacturing plant does not contain products that can cross contaminate nutritional bars. Other foods that contain gluten should not be allowed in the plant to ensure the energy bars are safely produced.

In addition to choosing a nutritional bar that is gluten free, you might be concerned with calories. Some gluten-free bars could contain extra calories, so if you're watching your calorie intake, compare brands and varieties. Bars that contain 200 calories or less are ideal for a mid-day snack. If you're looking for a meal replacement bar, however, you might do better with one that contains 300 calories. Again, reading the labels can help you make the right choice for your gluten-free energy bars.

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