I always joke around with my friends that I'm going to turn into a nutrition bar if I'm not careful. I'm always running from class, to work, to the gym, and to meetings, so I need a healthy snack that can keep up with my lifestyle. For a while, I've been on a Quest Bar kick, but they're pretty expensive. So I've been wanting to switch back to my old fave, the Luna Bar. Luna Bars come in a bunch of different flavors that suit any mood and craving I have, but if I'm going to be eating more and more of them, I have to answer one crucial question: are Luna Bars healthy for me?

What Is Healthy?

chocolate, candy
Aoife Leogue

For me, "healthy" can be a pretty specific term, but it's not impossible to achieve. When I think of a healthy food, I picture a short ingredient list, low sodium, and a percentage ratio that has more carbs and protein than fat. Trust me, I'm making the process sound more intense than it really is.

Luna Bars tend to have different macronutrient counts for different flavors, but so long as most of the flavors correspond with my requirements, I think I can offer a resounding yes to the question "are Luna Bars healthy?"

Bar Basics

Most of the Luna Bars on the market, from the LemonZest flavor pictured above, to the more seasonal flavors like Chocolate Peppermint Stick fall between 180 and 190 calories. Definitely not bad for a nutrition bar! But how do the other nutritional facts stack up?

I won't lie to you, the ingredients list is pretty intense on all of these bars. Sure, I wasn't expecting the ingredients list to read like that of a LARABAR, but I was hoping for a list that didn't make up an entire paragraph.

If there's one saving grace here, I can at least pronounce all of the ingredients on the Luna Bar ingredient lists—no weird chemicals here. These ingredients seem to be more or less natural: protein grains, organic dried cane syrup, and unsweetened chocolate are all ingredients that I have no qualms about putting into my body.

Sodium Content

You know that girl who would always put extra salt on her French fries? Yeah, that used to be me. I love a good salty snack, but I've learned over the past few years that it's probably best to reduce my sodium intake when I can to prevent health problems in the future. As such, I really try to look for snacks that are lower in sodium that I can enjoy more frequently.

According to the nutritional info listed on the Luna Bar website, each bar, including one of my personal faves, the s'mores bar, only clocks in between 110 and 130 milligrams of sodium. This counts for about 5% of your daily recommended intake for sodium.

Five percent is such a small number that it's almost inconsequential. With all of the processed junk that Americans eat during the day, 5% is just a flash in the pan. Plus, if you enjoy a Luna Bar before an intense workout, you'll need some sodium back anyway! 

Carb Content

Real talk: does anyone not like carbs? They give you energy, and they taste great! Win-win! Of course, there are "good" carbs and "bad" (refined) carbs, but the strength of whatever carb you choose is def heightened when coupled with some protein.

As far as a carb-protein-fat ration in a Luna Bar, most bars in the line rake up around 25 grams of carbs, 8 grams of protein, and 6 grams of fat (1/3 of which are healthy monounsaturated fats). So they're probably not for people who are trying to bench 300 pounds, but I think this is a pretty decent showing! I can rock with low fat and high carbs to get me through my day. Plus, if you're looking for a higher protein punch, you can always try Luna Bar's new protein bar line.

Raising the Bar

So, are Luna Bars healthy? While each person has different nutritional wants and needs, I think overall this nutrition bar is a pretty safe bet if you need a healthier snack on the go.

Sure, it may look like a candy bar with chocolate drizzles and icings, but there's definitely more than meets the eye with these babies. If you haven't given these bars a try, I say go for it! And, pro tip, they're cheaper than Quest Bars.