Whoever said the best things come in small packages must have been talking about protein bars. The superstar snack is everything when it comes to convenience–particularly when you're busy working toward a weight loss goal. No time to sit down for breakfast? A protein bar can help hold you over until lunch. Beyond hungry in the afternoon, even after snacking on a ZeroPoint™ apple? Protein bar to the rescue. In need of an easy-to-eat snack to bring with you on a hike? Protein bar. You get the picture.
But what makes protein bars really stand out is their ability to quiet a grumbling belly. Their fill-you-up factor comes from the different types of protein used in protein bars. These include:
Nuts (or nut butter)
The high-protein ingredient can be found in many bars.
You’ll see the soybean-based protein listed as soy protein isolate on nutrition labels.
The dairy-based protein is a byproduct of the cheese-making process.
Meat-based bars get their protein from chicken, venison, and other animals (think protein bar meets jerky).
But Can You Eat Protein Bars on myWW?
One-hundred percent yes. That said, not all protein bars are created equally—one reason why it’s a good idea to check out the nutrition label before digging in. Many bars are sky-high in sugar and calories, which can cost you quite a few SmartPoints®. A number of protein bars also include artificial ingredients, including sweeteners.
Once you find a protein bar that has an ingredient list you can get behind, by all means, enjoy. Just keep in mind that because we tend to eat these snacks on-the-go, it can be more challenging to eat mindfully when chowing down on a protein bar. (And psst, people who eat mindfully are more likely to have lower body weights than those who eat quickly, shows an International Journal of Obesity study.)
Because you don't alway have the time to prepare or sit down for a snack, fend off untimely belly grumbles by tosssing a bar into your gym bag or purse. You can even leave a couple in your car’s glove compartment so you always have a quick bite at the ready.
5 Low-SmartPoints Protein Bars
We asked WW executive food editor Lisa Chernick for her top picks. Here they are, and—bonus: They won't take up too much of your Budget.
For nutty satisfaction:
Protein One Peanut Butter Chocolate Bars, SmartPoints value: 2 (Green), 2 (Blue), 2 (Purple), $32 for 60 bar-value pack at Amazon.com
Peanut butter + chocolate + 10 grams of protein? Bring. It. On.
For savory snackers:
Epic Chicken Sriracha Bar, SmartPoints value: 2 (Green), 2 (Blue), 2 (Purple), $25 for 12 bars at Amazon.com
Bring on the heat! Sriracha adds some kick to this meat-based protein bar.
For chocolate fans:
Think Kids Chocolate Chip Protein Bar, SmartPoints value: 3 (Green), 3 (Blue), 3 (Purple), $17 for 24 bars at Amazon.com
Made for kids but delicious for adults, this protein bar has no artificial flavors or colors and is gluten-free.
WW Snickerdoodle Baked Protein Bar, SmartPoints value: 3 (Green), 3 (Blue), 3 (Purple), $6 for six bars at WW.com
The sweet cinnamon-y goodness of a snickerdoodle cookie packed into a protein bar—what’s not to love?
For something that’s sweet *and* salty:
KIND Minis Dark Chocolate Nuts & Sea Salt Bar, SmartPoints value: 4 (Green), 4 (Blue), 4 (Purple), $28 for 60 bars at Amazon.com
This pint-sized, gluten-free bar gets its protein from almonds and peanuts, which are also the leading ingredients.