Answer: It depends. The answer is a little tricky – most Nature Valley Bars are vegan but some are considered non-vegan because of milk, honey, refined sugar, and similar ingredients.
There is nothing like carrying a delicious snack slipped into one of your pockets or backpack. Whether you are traveling, hiking, going to the gym, or going to work, anytime your stomach feels a little empty, you can take a quick bite. And Nature Valley Bars is one of those quick snack bars.
So is it a vegan snack? The answer is a little tricky because while most Nature Valley Bars are vegan, some are not considered vegan.
The Vegan Nature Valley Bars
Most Nature Valley Bars are vegan snacks because of the ingredients like oats, nuts, fruits, peanuts, etc. And all these are healthy vegan foods, and the granola bars come in different types made of these ingredients.
The Non-Vegan Nature Valley Bars
The non-vegan Nature Valley Bars are slightly controversial. And this is for those of you that are strict vegans who are meticulous with what you eat. The reason for some of these snacks being non-vegan is because of the minute ingredients that are used. So here are five essential elements that strict vegans consider non-vegan:
Some of the Nature Valley Bars have milk as one of the ingredients. And you know very well where milk comes from. So this becomes an issue for many vegans.
Natural flavors are often derived from animals as well. And because these flavors are a combination of different ingredients, most companies do not specify every ingredient in detail. So that leaves you with a dilemma because you do not know the source of the natural flavors.
Surprisingly enough, honey also falls under the non-vegan category. And because it comes from a non-vegan source, many strict vegans find it challenging to consume anything with honey in it.
Unfortunately, refined sugar also makes it to this list. The reason is that natural carbon (bone char) is used in the factories as a decolorizing agent to remove other impurities. And most strict vegans take this seriously, so avoid it.
This one is one of the extreme vegan conditions. Palm oil is all plant-based. However, because natural habitats are destroyed while trying to extract it, strict vegans exclude it from their diet.
General Description Of Nature Valley Bars
So first things first, how does it taste and feel? Nature Valley Bars are crunchy by nature. The moment you open the pack, you can immediately feel the bar looks crisp and crunchy. And when you bite into it, you won’t be disappointed with the taste.
Nature Valley Bars have a well-balanced texture in taste. One of the key aspects of the bar is the well-balanced ratio of sweetness and sugar content. Unlike most snack bars, the sweet taste does not overpower the other ingredients. So you can taste all the elements of the bar and enjoy it with a bit of sweet flavor.
Personally, I like the fact that Nature Valley Bars come in different flavors. And they all offer something new taste-wise. Generally, they come in four different types:
- Layered granola bars
- Crunchy bars
- Fruit and nut bars
- Sweet and salty bars
And all these four types come in different flavors. So you get the option to choose your favorite flavor, which is fantastic. What are the flavor options? Here is a list with short descriptions:
Oats And Dark Chocolate
For those of you, who love chocolate, try the oats and dark chocolate flavor. Instead of going for chocolate bars, you get your fair share of chocolate along with healthy oats.
Oats And Honey
Oats and honey are an excellent combo. Now you can take it anywhere in the form of a granola snack bar wherever you go. The Nature Valley Bar retains the classic taste of this combo.
Almonds are very nutritious because of the protein, healthy fats, fiber, vitamin E, and magnesium. And this Nature Valley Bar has the perfect blend that makes it an enjoyable granola bar with a rich almond taste.
For tropical flavor lovers, you can’t go wrong with this flavor of the Nature Valley Bar. One bite and you feel the fresh coconut taste devour your taste buds. It is a delight.
One of the most loved vegan foods – the peanut butter! This flavor of the Nature Valley Bar lets you savor that classic taste when you take a bite of this granola bar. It is an excellent choice for all peanut butter lovers.
Rich apple taste with a pinch of cinnamon, this Nature Valley Bar will get your taste buds running.
Health Benefits Of Nature Valley Bars
Nature Valley Bars have a lot of health benefits because of the type of ingredients used. And to understand how it helps your health, it is essential to look at the bar’s general dietary contents.
- Proteins: 5-1 gram
- Carbs: 13-23 grams
- Fiber: 4-1 gram
- Calories: 140-200
- Fat: 5-15 grams
- Sugar: 7-13 grams
Note that every flavor of Nature Valley Bar differs slightly on the nutritional contents based on the type of ingredients used.
All these are vital nutritional components that you need irrespective of whether you go to the gym or not.
One of the best things about Nature Valley Bars is the price. It doesn’t cost a lot, and it is small enough to fit in any pocket. And for an affordable price, you get a granola bar packed with nutritious values, which are great for your health. And the well-proportioned size ensures that you do not overeat the snack as well.
The Potential Adverse Effects Of Nature Valley Bars
Two primary ingredients are considered unhealthy by many people – added sugar and artificial ingredients.
As you all know, sugar is notoriously known for health diseases like diabetes, heart diseases, and obesity. And most of the Nature Valley Bars have a significant amount of added sugar to add to the taste. For example, some of these bars have added sugar of about 15 grams, equivalent to about four teaspoons.
For most people, large amounts of added sugar in a small snack bar can cause serious health issues. And in a country like America, obesity, heart diseases, and diabetes are severe health conditions. So if you have any of these pre-existing conditions, Nature Valley Bars are not ideal granola snacks for you.
Artificial ingredients are also linked to health issues. Many of these ingredients use sugar alcohol elements such as sorbitol and xylitol, which causes digestive problems for some people because they are not broken down well after consumption. And although some other ingredients like sucralose and aspartame are FDA approved, the health issues persist.
Consumption of high levels of artificial ingredients comes with serious health risks. These health risks can cause gut bacteria to slow down and cause digestive issues. It can also affect your metabolism, which further results in diseases like diabetes, heart diseases, or even cause a stroke.
Choosing The Vegan Nature Valley Bars
Now that you know all Nature Valley Bars are not vegan, you must know the vegan granola bars to consume them without worrying about the source of the ingredients. So to make things easier for you, here are the Nature Valley Bars that are purely vegan:
- Maple brown sugar
- Peanut butter
- Dark chocolate and nut
- Trail mix
- Pecan apple crisp
- Dark chocolate and cherry
- Roasted almond
- Cranberry and pomegranate
The Non-Vegan Nature Valley Bars
The Nature Valley Bars have a vast collection of assorted flavors, making it difficult for you to separate the vegan from the non-vegan types. Here are some of the non-vegan Nature Valley Bars:
- Oats and honey
- Oats and dark chocolate
- Peanut minis
- Toasted coconut
- Peanut butter dark chocolate
- Peanut and almond minis
- Salted caramel chocolate
- Roasted mixed nut
- Peanut butter chocolate
Try and avoid these flavors because they contain non-vegan ingredients in small amounts.
Nature Valley Bars are excellent snack bars. However, if you do not want to keep reading the description of how and why some are vegan and some are not, you can always try some other alternatives. There are options available for vegan-based snack bars with exciting flavors. You can try other bars like:
- Bobo’s oat bars
- Clif bars
- Kind bars
- Larabar fruit and nut bar