Most of us have done it at some point. Looking for a quick snack, we bypass the candy bars and grab something that's supposedly healthier -- like a cereal, granola, or energy bar.

We know they're not perfect, of course. But they've got to be better than that tempting candy bar, right?


I'm not actually going to recommend candy bars, but it turns out that many of the "healthier" snack and energy bars actually pack as much sugar as candy -- and in some cases, they have even more.

The "healthy" Clif's Crunchy Peanut Butter bar, for example, has 21 grams of sugar -- the same amount of sugar you'll find in a Reese's Peanut Butter Cup. The Clif bar has less fat, but it also has more calories.

Some of the other Clif bars have 25 grams of sugar --even more than the 24 grams you'll find in a Hershey's bar.

I don't want to just pick on Clif bar here, because it's not the only offender in the snack bar section. In fact, you'd be hard-pressed to find anything worth eating at all.

Balance Bars have up to 18 grams of sugar, while some of the Odwalla bars have 17 grams. Luna bars have up to 13 grams of sugar, and that old standby -- the Power Bar -- can have a whopping 30 grams of sugar.

That's actually 25 percent more sugar than that Hershey bar I mentioned earlier!

Cereal bars aren't much better, and that includes the ones that trade on supposedly healthy brand names.

Special K, for example, is marketed as a healthy cereal that can even help you to lose weight. In reality, it's just another bowl of empty carbs -- and with 4 grams of sugar per cup, it's not exactly low in sugar either.

But that's nothing next to Special K bars, which can have up to double the sugar of the cereal.

You're better off making your own snacks at home. Sure, they're a little more work, but they will be a lot healthier and a whole lot cheaper, too.