These hunger-busting bars are packed with fiber and protein—and you can order them all on Amazon.
It's 3 p.m., lunchtime feels like a hundred years ago, and your stomach is growling. If you don't have snacks stashed in your desk drawer, your options are limited: You can step out to pick up something, or succumb to the temptation of the office vending machine. But it doesn't have to be that way! With just a little forethought, you can make sure you always have a nutritious, filling afternoon snack on hand, to help you power through the last few hours of work (and dodge a major sugar crash).
Bars are the obvious choice, since they're both portable and hearty. With so many options though, it can be tricky to choose a brand that's not just candy disguised as health food. Here, we asked nutritionists and Health staffers to share the protein bars they keep at their desks for those (ever predictable) afternoon cravings.
Health Warrior Chia Bars
Health senior editor Kathleen Mulpeter has tried pretty much every snack bar out there, but she always comes back to Health Warrior bars. Don't let the small size fool you: Each one is packed with fiber, protein, and over 1,000 mg of omega-3 fatty acids, with just 100 calories. "I'm a fan of soft, chewy bars, and love that these are mess-free (read: no crumbs on your desk) and small enough to stash in your purse," she says. "The banana flavor is my favorite, but if you're new to the brand, I recommend starting with one of the variety packs; this pack contains three of the most popular chocolate flavors."
Nutritional profile (for the Dark Chocolate flavor): 5g sugar, 4g fiber, 3g protein
Amrita Protein Chocolate Maca Nutrition Bars
"These vegan, gluten-free bars are soft and delicious, provide 15 grams of plant protein, and are packed with superfood ingredients, including chia, sesame, and sunflower seeds, and organic cocoa powder," says Health's contributing nutrition editor Cynthia Sass, MPH, RD. "They’re filling and satisfying, and keep my energy nice and even to get me through the afternoon productively."
Nutritional profile (for the Chocolate Maca flavor): 13g sugar, 4g fiber, 15g protein
Health assistant editor Anthea Levi swears by GoMacro Macrobars. "I tend to want something sweet in the afternoon, so I often reach for a bar that satisfies my craving and also fills me up," she says, adding that one can tide her over until dinner, thanks to 10 grams of filling protein. "Their newest flavors like mocha chocolate chip and blueberry cashew butter are my favorites right now."
Nutritional profile (for the Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip flavor): 14g sugar, 2g fiber, 11g protein
Primal Kitchen Grass-Fed Collagen Bars
"Most protein bars should be renamed 'carbohydrate bars' because they are loaded with hidden sugars," says Kelly LeVeque, RD, a celebrity nutritionist who works with Jennifer Garner and Jessica Alba, and author of the book Body Love. Not these Primal Kitchen bars, though—they have just 3 grams of sugar. "This helps my clients avoid a blood sugar spike and crash, and prevents more snacking later," LeVeque explains.
Nutritional profile (for the Dark Chocolate Almond flavor): 3g sugar, 6g fiber, 15g protein
Bulletproof Collagen Protein Bars
Packed with collagen and protein, these bars also have LeVeque's seal of approval. "The only bars I recommend turn off hunger hormones because they have a significant amount of protein, fat, and fiber," she says. And with an indulgent-tasting flavor like Chocolate Brownie, you won't be left feeling deprived.
Nutritional profile (for the Chocolate Brownie flavor): 3g sugar, 6g fiber, 11g protein
Rachel Crocetti, Health's SEO manager, is "obsessed" with these bars, citing the short ingredient list as a major draw. "The ingredients are listed right there on the front of the packaging, so you know what you're eating," she says.
Nutritional profile (for the Chocolate Sea Salt flavor): 15g sugar, 6g fiber, 12g protein