Healthy is individual. I always say, one person's "healthy" isn't always the same as the next.
Take, for example, the granola bar.
A client recently asked me if she should eat a 90 calorie granola bar or a 200 calorie granola bar. She was trying to lose weight and assumed the 90 calorie bar was better.
This bar provided only 2 grams of fat and 7 grams of sugar. It had 1 gram each of protein and fiber. Pretty minimal. The 200 calorie bar contained 5 grams of fat, 3 grams of sugar, 20 grams of protein and 3 grams of fiber.
So which bar is better for someone trying to lose weight?
This all depends on the person. How much weight are they trying to lose? What are their lifestyle patterns? Do they have diabetes, high cholesterol or gastrointestinal problems? Is there a pattern of afternoon binge eating or a problem with cravings? So the questions of 'which is better' isn't so simple.
This client had a history of afternoon cravings and high blood sugars, so I recommended the higher calorie, higher protein bar, to be eaten in the morning between meals. This will help her control the afternoon eating habits and fuel muscle maintenance, especially since she exercises in the morning. These things combined will help with her weight loss goal.
For someone looking for a chewy or crunchy mid afternoon add-on, a 90 calorie bar might suffice. If it is part of a snack that has added protein, such as a light string cheese or small handful of almonds, a 90 calorie granola bar is a good option, even for people trying to lose weight. However, granola bars are often eaten on the run, or as a quick "meal." So for most situations, I recommend the higher calorie, more nutrient-dense option.
Being a registered dietitian is ever-changing and involves a lot of science. It's more than knowing the latest trends and reading health magazines.
Is a granola bar going to make or break you? Probably not. But in the big picture, make sure the foods you choose are right for your body and go with it!