We all have days when we find ourselves running out the door with no time to prepare meals or snacks.
When chosen carefully, granola bars can be a nutritious grab-and-go option for even the busiest students and working professionals alike. They’re a convenient way to get much needed fuel on rushed mornings and a trusty choice for fending off hunger between meals.
However, nuts and nut butters are a common ingredient in many nutrition bars, which makes finding granola bars extremely tricky for the 6 million people in the U.S. that have a peanut allergy and the 4 million who have a tree nut allergy (1).
Here is a breakdown of how to choose a healthy, nut-free granola bar plus 5 of the best options you can buy.
While many granola bars contain nuts and nut butters, there are plenty of nut-free options to choose from.
First and foremost, be sure to check product labels when shopping for nut-free granola bars. If nuts or peanuts are used in the product, the manufacturer must list them in the ingredients list.
Regardless of whether peanuts or tree nuts are in the ingredients list, there is also the potential risk of cross-contact. Though they often do, manufacturers aren’t required to disclose whether the product may have come into contact with peanuts or tree nuts during processing. Therefore, your safest option is to choose granola bars made in dedicated nut-free facilities (2).
Besides ensuring your granola bar doesn’t contain nuts, here are some other things to be mindful of:
Based on GreenChoice data from over 1,600 types of granola bars, we’ve selected 5 top-rated granola bars without peanuts or tree nuts — so you can spend more time snacking and less time scrutinizing labels.
At the 88 Acres bakery, no allergies are allowed — including peanuts and tree nuts.
Allergen Information: Made in a dedicated bakery free of peanuts, tree nuts, gluten, dairy, eggs, soy, and sesame.
According to the manufacturer, all MadeGood products are produced in a dedicated nut-free facility.
Allergen Information: Free from the most common allergens
According to the manufacturer, all Enjoy Life Foods are free of 14 common food allergens, including peanuts and tree nuts.
Allergen Information: Free of wheat, tree nuts, casein, egg, sulfites, mustard, shellfish, peanuts, dairy, soy, sesame, lupin, fish, crustaceans.
Although Skout Organic makes products containing nuts in their facility, they abide by careful cleaning and trace level testing procedures.
You can view the threshold trace levels for these tests on their website.
Allergen Information: Made in a facility that also processes peanuts, tree nuts, wheat (gluten), milk, soy, and eggs.
According to the manufacturer, “If peanuts, tree nuts, milk, eggs, soy, wheat, crustaceans, fish, and sesame are not listed in the ‘CONTAINS’ or ‘MAY CONTAIN’ list, it’s because there is none in the product and there is no risk of cross-contact with these allergens at any stage of production, from the farm through product packaging.”
Allergen Information: Contains milk ingredients.
Granola bars can be an easy, on-the-go snack. But what’s not so easy is the process of finding products that are suitable for both your allergy needs and your health.
As you shop for nut-free granola bars, the first step is to double check the ingredient list for peanuts and tree nuts if you are allergic. If you’re concerned about cross-contact, be sure to read the allergen statement — the safest choice is always choosing products made on dedicated nut-free equipment or in 100% nut-free facilities.
If you’re stuck trying to decide between a few bars, consider choosing one that is higher in fiber and protein, with good sources containing more than 10% of the DV of each of these nutrients per serving. Additionally, be mindful of highly processed ingredients such as artificial flavors and colors, as well as the amount of added sugar. Try to limit your total daily intake of to less than 100-150 calories from added sugar per day.
GreenChoice, PBC has evaluated and rated more than 340,000 food & beverage products across hundreds of attributes related to diet, health, and sustainability. Easily find the best products for you, the planet, & your budget. Download the free GreenChoice app for Apple iOS or Android!
The nutrition, ingredient, allergen, and other product information on this site is for reference purposes only.