A few things to look for:
1) The fewer ingredients the better
2) The ingredients are listed in sequential order of the amounts used (largest amounts first)
3) You should be able to identify the names of the ingredients
4) It is also smart to check the serving size
Let me explain a little further with some pics...
Nutrition Label #1
The ingredients are very simple; Dates, unsweetened coconut, almonds, cashews, and extra virgin coconut oil. You know by looking at this that dates are the first ingredient so they are used in the largest amount, and then on down the line with the rest of the ingredients. All of these ingredients are recognizable, and the serving size is one bar. This is a clean and healthy choice for sure.Nutrition Label #2
The ingredients are NOT so simple here. I have no idea what isomalto-oligosaccharides are? I don't think you can pick those up at the local farmers market. AKA - processed. The first listed ingredient is the items that make up the coating of the bar...that scares me a little? Again, words I don't recognize. Lastly, there are actually two servings in this one bar. Most people would assume that if it is one bar, the nutrition information would be for one serving. Not so. This is definitely something that throws people off with vending machine food, soda, ice cream, etc. Portion control gets tricky with scenarios like this.
So, clearly we would go with bar #1 if we were choosing which ingredients were better. My challenge to you is to be more aware of the food you are putting in your body. Look to see if you are eating an apple...or an isomalto-olgiosaccharide...whatever that is?