Many of us are looking for healthy things to snack on instead of chips and candy. But, some of the things we think are healthy may actually not be.

As I always say, check the label first. Take for example energy bars. You would think grabbing one of these would be much healthier than grabbing candy bar, but that isn’t always true. Many of the energy bars are filled with vitamins and minerals…and yet some also contain flour, high fructose corn syrup and lots and lots of saturated fats. They may also be low in fiber. Check the label to see how many calories you are consuming too. If you are taking in 300 to 400 calories from this one little bar, you may want to rethink your “healthy” energy bar.

Good energy bars will be between 200 and 300 calories, contain a whole grain (like whole wheat, whole oat flour, or brown rice), and has fewer than 15 grams of sugar. Try to find one too that has fiber (3 grams is good) and 5 grams of protein. The protein in the bar will keep you satisfied for a longer period of time.

Granola is another “healthy” treat you need to watch. Check your granola to see how much sugar it has in it. Some granola has so much sugar that just one cup can contain 600 calories – yikes! And like the energy bars, it may also have very little fiber.

So look for a granola cereal that has more fiber than sugar. If you need more sweetness, add some berries. Or, consider sprinkling granola over non-fat yogurt with berries for a yummy treat.

Finally on the looks healthy but could be bad list (and this one is going to hurt folks) is smoothies. Yes, it has fruit, but it is mostly fruit juice, which has a lot of calories. Also, many smoothies contain sherbet or yogurt, which can be loaded with sugar. Again, you may be looking at 400-600 calories for a drink.

You can assure your smoothie is truly healthy if you make it at home with low-fat yogurt non-fat milk, just a serving of a fruit, and flax seed.

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