Gardenburger's Veggie Medley and Trader Joe's Vegetable Masala Burger are healthful options.Photo: i Stockphoto Some dried fruit and nut mixes are stellar sources of fiber, vitamin C, healthy fats and protein, says Sandon.Even better: Opt for granolas that use honey or agave nectar to sweeten their mixes.
So not only can it cause your energy levels to spike and then crash dramatically, but if the sugar is not burned up (through activity), any excess will be stored as fat.
What to look for: Avoid sweet, caloric fillers like whole milk, ice cream, fruit juice blends with added sugar, and sherbet.
Photo: Shutterstock Energy Bars Energy bars were originally developed to give athletes a convenient source of "fuel" (a.k.a. But, over time, they became an on-the-go snack for everyone.
Unfortunately, their nutritional profile wasn't adjusted to meet the much-less-demanding needs of non-athletes; in fact, with the addition of chocolate or cookie bits, most of the newer bars have more calories and/or sugar than ever.
If you eat more than the designated serving size, those fat grams (and calories) can add up.
What to look for: The experts we spoke with agree: It's best to enjoy a small portion of the whole-fat version, which will wreak less havoc on your body than the fat-free version with its flavor-enhancing additives, particularly sugar.But here's the tricky part: In most versions, the fruit is coated with sugar and the nuts with salt.And then there's the highly caloric add-ins, like chocolate or coconut.Photo: Shutterstock Bran Muffins Health experts started touting bran as a heart- and digestive-friendly nutrient in the late 1980s to early '90s, says Sandon. "Depending on the size, a bran muffin can have more calories and sugar than a doughnut," says Joan Salge Blake, RD, LDN, author of Nutrition & You.But when mixed into a muffin, bran's only part of the equation. What to look for: If it's the muffin you're after, Salge Blake recommends whipping up a batch of nutrient-rich muffins yourself, such as these Oat-Bran Applesauce Mini Muffins, which are sweetened with applesauce and honey.She suggests combining the granola with low-calorie, low-sugar cereals to spread out the calories.