Is Nutri-Grain bars good for weight loss?

Quick Answer

Nutri-Grain bars can be a part of a healthy weight loss diet when consumed in moderation as part of an overall balanced diet and active lifestyle. However, they are higher in added sugars and refined carbs than some other snack options.

What are Nutri-Grain bars?

Nutri-Grain bars are a type of breakfast bar or snack bar made by the Kellogg’s company. They come in a variety of flavors like strawberry, blueberry, cherry, and apple cinnamon. Their main ingredients are whole grain wheat flour, rice flour, oats, sugar, salt, and various flavorings and inclusions like real fruit pieces or yogurt chips.

Some key nutrition facts about Nutri-Grain bars:

  • Around 130-150 calories per bar
  • 15-18g of total carbohydrates, with 12-15g of sugars
  • 2-3g of protein
  • 2-3g of fiber
  • Low in fat, around 1.5-2g

So they provide carbohydrates mainly from grains and sugar, a small amount of protein, and minimal fat. The fiber content helps slow digestion somewhat compared to refined grain snacks.

Nutri-Grain bars for weight loss


Here are some of the potential benefits of Nutri-Grain bars for weight loss:

  • Portion controlled – Each bar provides 130-150 calories, which can help with portion control compared to eating directly from a cereal box or bag of granola.
  • Low fat – With only about 2g of fat per bar, they are a low fat choice compared to many other convenience snacks or desserts.
  • Contains fiber – The 2-3g of fiber can help provide satiety and slow digestion.
  • Contains protein – Having 2-3g of protein can also help provide satiety compared to low protein snacks.
  • Real fruit inclusions – Some varieties contain real fruit pieces, providing extra nutrition.
  • Convenient – Individually packaged bars are portable and require no prep, which may help increase compliance with a diet plan.
  • Variety – The different flavors and varieties can help satisfy cravings for something sweet.

Overall, Nutri-Grain bars can be a convenient portion controlled snack that fits into a weight loss diet when used properly.


However, there are also some potential downsides to keep in mind:

  • High in added sugar – The main ingredients are whole grains and rice flour, but Nutri-Grain bars also contain 12-15g of added sugars per bar which is a substantial amount of their total carb content.
  • Higher glycemic index – Made with refined grains and sugar, they will cause more of a spike in blood sugar levels compared to low glycemic snacks.
  • May trigger overeating – While portion controlled, the sweet taste may increase cravings and risk of overeating for some people.
  • Lack of protein – With only 2-3g of protein, they are lower in satiating protein compared to some other snacks.
  • Low nutrient density – Aside from providing some quick carbohydrate energy, they are not highly nutritious and lack nutrients like healthy fats.

So while convenient, the high sugar content, refined carbs, and lack of protein are downsides to consider. Moderation is key.

Nutri-Grain bars compared to other snack options

How do Nutri-Grain bars compare to some other popular snack choices for weight loss?

Nutri-Grain bars vs. granola bars

Nutrition Facts Nutri-Grain Bar (1 bar) Quaker Chewy Granola Bar (1 bar)
Calories 130 110
Total Carbs 15g 19g
Sugars 12g 12g
Fiber 2g 1g
Protein 2g 2g
Fat 2g 2g
  • Nutri-Grain is slightly higher in calories and carbs overall.
  • The two contain the same amount of added sugars.
  • Nutri-Grain provides 1 extra gram of fiber per serving.
  • Both are low in protein and fat.

So Nutri-Grain bars and chewy granola bars have a very similar nutrition profile. The extra fiber in Nutri-Grain gives it a slight advantage.

Nutri-Grain bars vs. protein bars

Nutrition Facts Nutri-Grain Bar (1 bar) ThinkThin High Protein Bar (1 bar)
Calories 140 230
Total Carbs 24g 16g
Sugars 14g 1g
Fiber 3g 5g
Protein 3g 20g
Fat 2g 8g
  • The protein bar is higher in calories, protein, fiber and fat.
  • Nutri-Grain is higher in total carbs and added sugar.
  • Nutri-Grain has 14g sugar vs only 1g in the protein bar.

Protein bars like ThinkThin contain much more protein and fiber, with far less added sugar. This makes them much more filling and nutritious. But they are higher in calories so portions still need control.

Nutri-Grain bars vs. fresh fruit

Nutrition Facts Nutri-Grain Bar (1 bar) Apple (1 medium)
Calories 140 95
Total Carbs 24g 25g
Sugars 14g 19g
Fiber 3g 4g
Protein 3g 1g
  • The apple is lower in calories and sugar, with slightly more fiber.
  • The apple provides nutrition like vitamin C and antioxidants.
  • But the Nutri-Grain bar does contain more protein.

Overall, fresh fruit is a healthier choice for snacking than a Nutri-Grain bar, providing more nutrients and less added sugar.

Nutri-Grain bars vs. yogurt

Nutrition Facts Nutri-Grain Bar (1 bar) Nonfat Greek Yogurt (5.3oz)
Calories 140 100
Total Carbs 24g 5g
Sugars 14g 5g
Fiber 3g 0g
Protein 3g 20g
  • Yogurt is lower in calories, carbs and sugar.
  • Yogurt provides much more protein, at 20g per serving.
  • The Nutri-Grain bar has more fiber.

Greek yogurt makes for an excellent high protein snack that is rich in calcium. It has far less sugar and carbs than a Nutri-Grain bar.

Should you eat Nutri-Grain bars when trying to lose weight?

Nutri-Grain bars can be incorporated into a balanced weight loss diet in moderation. However, there are some guidelines to follow:

  • Stick to eating just 1 bar per snack, avoiding overeating.
  • Balance them out by also eating snacks like fresh fruit, yogurt and vegetables.
  • Drink plenty of water to help offset their higher sugar content.
  • Make sure to account for their 130-150 calories when planning your total daily calorie goal.
  • Pair them with a source of protein like nuts or cheese for a balanced snack.
  • Pay close attention to how they affect your hunger and cravings. Limit them if you find yourself overeating or having intense sugar cravings after eating them.

The key is moderation – eating Nutri-Grain bars in combination with other whole foods as part of a controlled calorie plan can make them an acceptable snack option when trying to lose weight for some people. But they should not become a dietary staple.

Healthier snack alternatives to Nutri-Grain bars

If you find yourself overindulging in Nutri-Grain bars or want a snack with more nutrition, here are some healthier snack ideas:

  • Fresh fruit like apples, berries, bananas, oranges.
  • Vegetables like carrots, bell peppers, celery with hummus.
  • Low-fat Greek yogurt or cottage cheese.
  • Hard boiled eggs.
  • Nut butters spread on whole grain toast or apple slices.
  • Cubes of cheese.
  • Tuna or chicken salad made with light mayo on whole grain crackers.
  • Protein bars with high protein and fiber and low sugar.
  • Protein smoothies made with milk, yogurt, and fresh or frozen fruit.
  • Small handful of unsalted nuts or natural nut mixes.
  • Air popped popcorn.

Choosing snacks with more protein, fiber and nutrients can help keep you feeling fuller while providing sustained energy.

The bottom line

Nutri-Grain bars can play a role in a weight loss plan when consumed in moderation, but should not be a dietary staple. While low fat and convenient, their high sugar content, refined carbs, and lack of protein are downsides.

When eaten as part of a balanced diet that focuses primarily on whole foods like fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, fiber-rich grains, healthy fats and dairy, Nutri-Grain bars can be a sensible occasional snack. But they are often not the healthiest choice compared to fresh fruit, yogurt, protein bars or other options lower in sugars.

As with any food, portion control and balance are key. Make Nutri-Grain bars one of many balanced choices for snacking within your daily calorie needs, while focusing on whole foods at meals. Moderation and variety are important in achieving weight loss success.

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