A packaged meal by any other name isn’t necessarily lower (or higher)points. I’ve wondered whether the packaged meals by Smart Ones® or Healthy Choice® were really lower in Weight Watchers® PointsPlus® Values (PPV) than the other brands.
I decided to do some investigation and find out. I started with lasagna and here’s what I found:
To make it easier to compare, I figured out the PPV for a 283g portion for each (which is half the larger packages).
Eating Right Lasagna with Meat
9 PPV for 1 package (303g)
15g of protein
8 PPV for 283 g (less than the package)
Healthy Choice Baked Lasagna with Meat Sauce
7 PPV for 1 package (269g)
18g of protein
7 PPV for 283g (more than the package)
Marie Callender's Lasagna, Three Meat & Four Cheese
There can be quite a difference in cost between all the brands, but you can stock up when your choice goes on sale.
The individual serving size packages are going to be better for work and the packages with ~2.5 servings will work for a dinner and a lunch or sharing a meal.
The amount of protein varies. Since I do better with higher protein (it is more satisfying and stays with me longer), I’ll go with the higher protein meals.
There was more of difference in PointsPlus® (and calories) between the “healthier” brands than I expected (or hoped), but most still only ranged from 7-9 PPV with Safeway Select® being a 10
Healthy Choice® is the best choice for PPVs and protein. I will finalize my decision once I taste it.
For 2 more PPV, my Michael Angelo’s® is probably still my choice. The protein is good, it’s tasty and the cost is lower.
What do they taste like?
Will you check out the other brands this week?
Check It Out
Since the serving sizes varied between brands, I created a table that compared the PPV per gram and the PPV for a similar portion size (238g). *PPV is Weight Watchers®’ PointsPlus® Value.
Whether you use PPVs, calories, fat grams, or something else to make your choices, take a look at the Nutrition Facts label and the list of ingredients. Brands and marketing are intended to make you buy, not necessarily to make you healthier. You can learn more about how to read the Nutrition Facts Label at www.fda.gov/Food/IngredientsPackagingLabeling/LabelingNutrition/ucm274593.htm