Quaker is known for oatmeal—and oats are widely considered a health food. Their healthy soluble fiber has been shown to help lower LDL cholesterol. But what about Quaker’s granola bars? Are these “Chewy bars” actually healthy?
Quaker Chewy bars contain healthy whole grain oats, and the bars are small, with only around 100 calories each. However, Chewy bars also have added sugar, oil, and other processed ingredients, which are less healthy. They are also low in fiber and protein, with only 1 gram of each per bar of most flavors.
Below, we’ll look at several Chewy bar flavors in detail. We’ll analyze the sugar, protein, fiber, ingredient quality, and more. We’ll see how Chewy Bars compare to Clif Bars, Nature Valley Bars, and other popular brands. And I’ll suggest a few of my favorite alternatives!
Are Quaker Chewy Bars Good for You?
Below are 7 questions I’ve answered about Chewy bar nutrition. Click to skip to any section, or keep reading for the full analysis:
- What Are Chewy Bars Made Of?
- Are Chewy Bars High in Sugar?
- Do Quaker Chewy Bars Have Protein?
- Do Quaker Chewy Bars Have Fiber?
- Are Chewy Bars Good for Weight Loss?
- Are Chewy Bars Made of Whole Grains?
- Are Chewy Bars Vegan?
1. What Are Chewy Bars Made Of?
Let’s start by looking at the ingredients. There are many flavors of Quaker Chewy bars, but we’ll look at four products, just to get a sample.
Here is a table of Chewy bar ingredients. I’ll share my observations below the table:
|Quaker Chewy Bar Flavor||Ingredients|
|Chocolate Chip||Granola (whole grain oats, brown sugar, brown rice crisp [whole grain brown rice flour, sugar, salt], whole grain wheat, soybean oil, coconut, whole wheat flour, baking soda, soy lecithin, nonfat dry milk), semisweet chocolate chips (sugar, chocolate liquor, cocoa butter, soy lecithin, vanilla extract), corn syrup, brown rice crisp (whole grain brown rice flour, sugar, salt), invert sugar, sugar, corn syrup solids, glycerin, soybean oil, Contains 2% or less of: calcium carbonate, sorbitol, salt, soy lecithin, molasses, tocopherols (to preserve freshness), natural flavor.|
|Oatmeal Rasin||Granola (whole grain oats, brown sugar, brown rice crisp [whole grain brown rice flour, sugar, salt], whole grain wheat, soybean oil, whole wheat flour, baking soda, soy lecithin, nonfat dry milk), corn syrup, brown rice crisp (whole grain brown rice flour, sugar, salt), raisins, oatmeal cookie pieces (whole wheat flour, sugar, whole grain oats, palm oil, cinnamon, salt, baking soda), sugar, corn syrup solids, glycerin, invert sugar, soybean oil, Contains 2% or less of: calcium carbonate, sorbitol, fructose, salt, water, molasses, coconut paste, soy lecithin, sunflower oil, cinnamon, natural flavor, tocopherols (to preserve freshness).|
|25% Less Sugar: Chocolate Chip||Granola (whole grain oats, brown sugar, brown rice crisp [whole grain brown rice flour, sugar, salt], whole grain wheat, soybean oil, dried coconut, whole wheat flour, baking soda, soy lecithin, nonfat dry milk), corn syrup, semisweet chocolate chips (sugar, chocolate liquor, cocoa butter, soy lecithin, vanilla extract), brown rice crisp (whole grain brown rice flour, sugar, salt), sunflower oil, corn syrup solids, inulin, polydextrose, glycerin. Contains 2% or less of: calcium carbonate, invert sugar, salt, molasses, diacetyl tartaric acid ester of monodiglycerides, tocopherols (to preserve freshness), natural flavor, soybean oil.|
|Fruity Fun: Amazing Apple||Granola (whole grain oats, sugar, brown rice crisp (whole grain brown rice flour, sugar, salt), whole grain wheat, soybean oil and/or canola oil, coconut, whole wheat flour, molasses, baking soda, soy lecithin, nonfat dry milk, tocopherols [to preserve freshness]), glucose syrup, glycerin, brown rice crisp (whole grain brown rice flour, sugar, malted barley flour, salt), sugar, apple puree (apples, sugar, water, malic acid, sodium benzoate (to preserve freshness), ascorbic acid), dextrose, vegetable shortening (canola oil, modified palm and palm kernel oils), polydextrose. Contains 2% or less of: invert sugar, dried apples, sorbitol, calcium carbonate, natural flavor, salt, pectin, cinnamon, molasses, malic acid, soy lecithin, tocopherols (to preserve freshness).|
Here’s what I notice about these ingredients:
- Chewy Bars contain whole grains. The oats in Chewy bars have healthy soluble fiber, and they can help lower cholesterol. Most Chewy Bars also have whole-grain wheat and whole-grain brown rice, which are also healthy ingredients.
- Chewy Bars may have other healthy ingredients. Depending on the flavor, some Chewy bars have apples, coconuts, cinnamon, or other healthy plant-based ingredients. However, usually these are not major ingredients.
- Chewy Bars have multiple sugar ingredients. These include brown sugar, sugar, corn syrup, invert sugar, corn syrup solids, molasses, fructose, and glucose syrup. Not to mention, there are flour ingredients that likely add to the glycemic load, too. All these ingredients can cause blood sugar spikes, while adding empty calories.
- Chewy Bars contain processed oil. Most Chewy bars have soybean oil, canola oil, palm oil, or a combination of these. These oils are highly processed, high in calories, and low in nutrients.
- Chewy Bars have many ingredients. This is not necessarily a bad thing… but many of us would prefer to see a short list of simple ingredients. For example, some flavors of RXBARs and Larabars have 5 ingredients or less. That kind of simplicity makes you feel like you’re eating real food—not a big list of chemicals!
Overall, Chewy bars are a mixed bag. They have healthy whole grains, but they also have processed sugar and oil. So, they are not purely good or purely bad.
After reading the ingredients, I feel most concerned about the sugar. So let’s look at that next.
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2. Are Chewy Bars High in Sugar?
Most Quaker Chewy Bars have 5 to 8 grams of sugar per bar. This is low to moderate sugar content for a granola bar. Chewy Bars have less sugar than Clif Bars or Nature Valley Bars. For the lowest-sugar Chewy bars, choose the “25% Less Sugar” flavors.
Below, I’ve made a table showing the “total sugars” in several popular Chewy bars. (Also take note that almost all the sugar in Quaker Chewy bars is added sugar, not from fruit or whole foods.)
|Chewy Bar Flavor||Sugar (Per Bar)|
|Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip||7g|
|25% Less Sugar: Chocolate Chip||5g|
|Fruity Fun: Amazing Apple||5g|
|Chewy Yogurt Bar: Strawberry||11g|
With the exception of the higher-sugar Chewy Yogurt bars, these sugar levels are pretty low. They are lower than Clif Bars, GoMacro bars, Larabars, or Nature Valley Bars. They’re about equal to many flavors of Kind Bars.
The relatively low sugar content of Chewy Bars could be due in part to smaller serving sizes than other bars. But since most people eat 1 bar at a time, “sugar per serving” is still a useful metric to compare.
Overall, I consider Chewy Bars to have low to moderate sugar. But what about protein?
3. Do Quaker Chewy Bars Have Protein?
Most Quaker Chewy bars only have 1 gram of protein per bar. This is less than many other granola bars, which often have protein-rich nuts, nut butter, or protein isolate. Chewy Bars are not protein bars.
The majority of the calories in Chewy Bars come from carbohydrates. Most of the rest is from fat. Only about 5% of the calories come from protein in most flavors.
In fact, Chewy bars have even less protein than Larabars. That’s quite low, as Larabars are mostly just nuts and dates. Here is a table showing the protein in various Chewy bar flavors:
|Chewy Bar Flavor||Protein (Per Bar)|
|25% Less Sugar: Chocolate Chip||1g|
|Fruity Fun: Amazing Apple||1g|
|Chewy Yogurt Bar: Strawberry||2g|
As you can see, the Chewy Yogurt bars have a little more protein—but it’s still not much.
If you’re trying to eat a high-protein diet, you’ll find other bars with far more protein. Here are two vegan options I like with 20 grams of protein in each bar:
- Clif Builder’s Bars
- No Cow Bars (low-carb vegan)
4. Do Quaker Chewy Bars Have Fiber?
Most Quaker Chewy bars only have 1 gram of fiber per bar. This is less fiber than most Clif Bars, Larabars, or Nature Valley Bars have. However, the “25% Less Sugar” Chewy Bars have 3g of fiber per bar, due to added inulin. That is more moderate fiber content.
Although oats have healthy soluble fiber, unfortunately there isn’t really that much in Chewy Bars. Here’s a table showing the fiber content of five Chewy bars:
|Chewy Bar Flavor||Fiber (Per Bar)|
|25% Less Sugar: Chocolate Chip||3g|
|Fruity Fun: Amazing Apple||<1g|
|Chewy Yogurt Bar: Strawberry||1g|
In my view, the higher fiber content of the “25% Less Sugar” bars makes them clearly the healthiest Chewy Bars (from the ones I checked). Fiber is really one of the key nutrients that many people don’t get enough of.
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5. Are Chewy Bars Good For Weight Loss?
Quaker Chewy bars are not perfect for weight loss, as they have high-calorie ingredients like sugar and soybean oil, without much fiber. However, with portion sizes around 100 calories per bar, you can still eat Chewy Bars on a diet. Chewy Bars are not necessarily fattening.
Remember: The most important thing for weight loss is your total calorie balance. And if you want to make weight loss easier, the best things to eat are foods with a low calorie density.
Low-calorie-density foods are typically high in fiber and water. Think vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and beans. They fill up your stomach and help you feel full on fewer calories.
Unfortunately, Quaker Chewy Bars don’t have much fiber or water. Most Chewy Bars only have 1 gram of fiber per bar. That’s less than half the fiber you’d get from just eating the same amount of calories of pure oatmeal.
But luckily, there are only around 90-100 calories in most Quaker Chewy bars. This is pretty low for granola bars. So if you want to have a Chewy Bar from time to time, it’s not going to ruin your diet. Just don’t go crazy and eat the whole box.
- Are Quaker Chewy bars good for weight gain? Chewy bars can be used for weight gain, but it’d be more effectively to choose a higher-calorie bar that has nuts, nut butter, or dates. Such bars could have double the calories of Chewy bars, making it easier to achieve a calorie surplus.
6. Are Chewy Bars Made of Whole Grains?
Quaker Chewy bars contain whole grain oats. However, they also have processed ingredients like sugar, brown sugar, soybean oil, and corn syrup solids. Therefore, Chewy bars would not be “whole foods” overall.
This is a common situation. Many processed foods have a whole grain that makes them look “healthy” at first… but then you realize there’s a bunch of sugar and oil in it, too.
Most store-bought granola bars are this way. Yes, they have healthy rolled oats. But they also have a whole bunch of sugar.
If you want truly healthy granola bars, the best option is usually to make your own. You can use fruit to provide the sweetness. Look up healthy granola bar recipes online.
If you’re looking for a healthy store-bought bar, I think Larabars and No Cow Bars are interesting choices.
7. Are Chewy Bars Vegan?
Quaker Chewy Bars are not vegan, as the granola contains nonfat dry milk. Vegans do not eat nonfat dry milk, as it is a dairy product made from cows.
As a vegan of 14 years, I’ve tried many granola bars, energy bars, and protein bars. Here are some of the most interesting ones I’ve found:
- Larabars – Fruit and nuts
- Clif Builder’s Bars – High protein
- No Cow Bars – Low-carb, high-protein
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