When you’re on a low-sugar diet, it’s important to take a close look at what you’re snacking on. Something that might seem good for you could be loaded with added sugar that can derail your whole day. That’s why we’ve come up with a list of the best low-sugar snacks on the market. These goodies combine protein, fiber and good-for-you fat without loading you up with the added sugar found in many processed foods and desserts. We’ve made sure that each of our picks fall in the single digits range for added sugar — meaning none contain more than 8 grams per serving.
We’ve also got some tips to help you the next time you head to the supermarket. First, look for snacks made with a real, whole food as the first ingredient (e.g., a packaged snack that lists “apples” instead of fruit juice puree, fruit concentrate or syrup).
Next, make sure it’s as low in total sugar as possible compared to others on the shelf, and that sugar isn’t the first or second ingredient. Sneaky names for added sugar include: brown rice syrup, agave nectar, honey, maple syrup, corn syrup, high-fructose corn syrup, invert sugar, cane sugar, evaporated cane juice, molasses, caramel and glucose or glucose syrup.
Last, if you’re choosing a dairy or fruit-based snack, look for versions labeled “plain, unsweetened” instead of “original” flavor. The latter is meaningless unless the original really has zero grams of sugar added to it or there’s no sugar moniker in that ingredients list.
In general, fresh or frozen fruit or unsweetened and canned produce is always a great bet, especially when paired with nuts, seeds, and legumes to give you a hit of both protein and fiber, which will help you stay satisfied and energized, longer. To help you out, this list contains prepackaged snacks as well as easy snack ideas you can make at home.
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1 Organic Chickpea Tortilla Chips
These chickpea-based tortilla chips pack tons of flavor and nutrients. Even better, a 1-ounce serving provides 3 grams of fiber, 3 grams of protein and just 1 gram of sugar.
2 Whey Protein Snack Bars
Get a protein boost (14 grams!) without a sugar crash — each of these bars has just 5 grams of sugar. It gets a creamy flavor from nut butter and protein from whey.
3 Mini Original Semisoft Cheeses
The original on-the-go cheese bite is a classic for a reason. Babybel minis will give you a little energy boost and help curb sugar cravings between meals. One piece contains 5 grams of protein an no sugar at all.
4 California Pitted Prunes
Prunes are way tastier than you probably realize. They’re naturally sweet (no added sugar!) and filled with fiber and antioxidants. They also pair perfectly with a few walnuts or olives or a slice of grapefruit or Manchego cheese.
5 Carrots with ranch dip
An oldie but a goodie, carrots have lots of fiber and nutrients like beta-carotene. A little dollop of ranch dressing will serve up a flavor kick and a little fat to help you feel full.
6 Black Bean and Green Pea Crisps
Bored of your usual salty treats? These light and yummy bites come in green pea and black bean varieties. The three pictured here all contain 1 gram or less of sugar per serving.
7 Chia Bars
These bars come in fun flavors like apple cinnamon, acai berry and banana nut. Plus, each one is just 100 calories and has only 3 grams of sugar.
RELATED: 13 Best Protein Bars
8 Pepper Jack Cheese Sticks
If you loved string cheese as a kid, you’ll love these cheese sticks from Sargento. They’re the grown-up version of that travel-friendly cheese. One stick has 5 grams of protein and no sugar.
9 Better Cookie, Almond Butter
“This treat tastes like a yummy oatmeal cookie and only has 7 grams of sugar total for two cookies,” says Stefani Sassos, M.S., R.D.N., C.S.O., C.D.N., registered dietitian nutritionist at Good Housekeeping. “I love the soft, chewy texture.”
Grapefruit provides all the antioxidants of citrus fruits in a heartier, juicier form. Plus, it’s a low-glycemic index fruit, which means it’ll have less of a blood-sugar-raising effect. Pair a half grapefruit with a 1-ounce piece of cheese (like a stick of string cheese) for an even more filling snack.
11 Mango Probiotic Fruit Bar
“Vegan probiotic sources can be hard to come by, but this vegan and non-GMO Project Verified choice has a traditional chewy fruit bar flavor and probiotics to support gut health,” says Sassos.
12 Pistachio Chewy Bites
Pistachios are a great source of fiber and protein. Cranberries, blueberries and coconut add some sweetness to these bites. A two-bite serving will give you 4 grams of fiber, 5 grams of protein and 8 grams of sugar.
13 Popped Sorghum
If you haven’t heard of sorghum yet, get ready! This grain is becoming popular as a snack food, especially among popcorn lovers. None of the three varieties shown here contain any sugar.
14 Hard-Boiled Eggs
15 Cinnamon & Sugar Popcorn Mini Cakes
“This is a staple in my home!” says Sassos. “They have the perfect touch of cinnamon spice and are free from artificial ingredients.” One serving (20 “cakes”!) has 3 grams of protein, 4 grams of fiber and 3 grams of sugar.
16 Butternut Squash Stalks, Cinnamon
Real Food from the Ground Up
Cinnamon gives these “straws” a hint of sweetness without the need for tons of sugar. There are only 3 grams of sugar per serving.
17 Hummus with vegetables
Hummus is made of chickpeas so it has lots of fiber and it goes well with nearly any veggie: cucumber, celery, carrots and bell pepper are favorites.
18 Cranberry Almond Thins
The right biscotti can be a healthy treat. “These are crunchy, lightly sweet and delicious!” says Sassos.
19 Peatos Crunchy Puffs Snacks
When you need a bold flavor, Peatos have you covered. Choose from classic cheese, fiery hot, zesty ranch, classic onion and fiery onion.
20 Ancient Grains Superfood Teff Tortilla Chips
These air-popped triangle-shaped barbecue chips are made from teff, a protein-rich grain. Each serving touts 5 grams of protein and just 2 grams of sugar.
21 Organic Sweet Potato Crackers
A serving of 16 of these gluten-free crackers contains just 2 grams of sugar. Pair a few with a bit of cheese and you’ve got a well-rounded afternoon snack.
22 Berries With Cottage Cheese
All fruit is a great choice since the sugar is naturally occurring versus added, but berries particularly are both low in sugar and super high in dietary fiber, which can help you feel fuller, longer. Mix a cup with a 1/2 cup of cottage cheese for a sweet and slightly tart midday treat.
23 Nut Butter Filled Snack Bars
Get your candy bar fix with this nut butter-based snack, which has a mere 8 grams of added sugar compared to the 20 grams you’d find in a traditional version. They’re protein-packed and provide fiber from real, whole food ingredients you’ll love, like almonds and oats.
24 Salted Peanuts in the Shell
What’s better than a classic ballpark snack like peanuts?! These legumes are loaded with 4 grams of fiber, 8 grams of protein and key minerals and antioxidants that make them as good for you as they are filling.
25 Less Sugar Greek Yogurt
This line of lower-sugar Greek yogurts can help you fill up and satisfy that creamy craving for a total of 8 grams of sugar per serving. Since dairy has naturally occurring sugar, that’s only about a teaspoon or less of the added type.
26 Dark Chocolate Cocoa Almonds
These lightly-coated almonds come in multiple flavors and portable packs so you can fill up on a satisfying snack with 5 grams of protein per serving. These have just a mere 6 grams of sugar per ounce, while chocolate-covered peanuts contain upwards of 22 grams!
27 Granny Smith Apple With Peanut Butter
This diabetic-friendly combo will help you fill up from the high-fiber content and satisfying, energy-boosting protein you’ll get from the peanuts. Mix and match with other nut butters (like almond or cashew) for variety.
28 Roasted and Salted Pistachios
Antioxidant-packed pistachios also provide fiber, protein and good-for-you fat, which makes them super filling. Plus, taking ’em out of the shell helps you slow down while you snack, so you may eat less overall (rather than mindlessly grazing).
29 Peanut Butter Nutter Puffs
Made from peanut butter, corn and peanut flour, these puffs are the perfectly crunchy semi-sweet, semi-savory snack that ticks off all the boxes. A total 5 grams protein and just 1 gram of added sugar per serving makes them both filling and nutrient-packed.
30 Himalayan Pink Salt Organic Popcorn
One serving of this delicious popcorn has up to 5 grams of fiber, which makes it super filling and loaded with antioxidants. Crunch up to 4 cups for a high-volume snack with staying power.
31 Bada Bean Bada Boom
Made from broad beans and seasoning, these savory snacks are as simple as they are delicious. One serving has 7 grams of protein plus 5 grams of fiber and just 1 gram of added sugar. Use them as a snack on their own or swap for croutons in soups, salads, and stews.
32 Steamed Artichokes
Another simple (but ultra gourmet-seeming) idea: steamed artichokes, which you can make quickly and mess-free in the microwave. Flavor with lemon juice and seasoning, like salt and pepper or chili flakes. Then dunk into a hearty 1/3 cup of hummus or Greek yogurt-based dip.
33 Gourmet Garlic, Herb and Olive Oil Almonds
Blue Diamond Almonds
These gourmet-style almonds have just a mere gram of sugar — and come loaded with flavor, fiber, and 6 grams of protein per 170 calorie serving. Have them with cheese and unsweetened dried fruit for an easy appetizer or stand-alone snack.
34 Cheddar Cheese Crisps
Whisps pack up to 8 grams of protein for zero grams of sugar. Add them as a topping, pair with fruit or enjoy on their own for a filling, cheesy snack that’s also shelf-stable.
35 Pumpkin Seeds, Dry Roasted and Salted
Try these savory or spicy seeds for an easy topping or all-star snack. Each bag has zero grams of sugar but comes loaded with flavor — plus 4 grams of fiber and 8 grams of protein.
36 Sugar Shock: The Hidden Sugar in Your Food and 100+ Smart Swaps to Cut Back
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Want to learn more about how to identify hidden sugar traps in your food while reducing your sugar intake, losing weight and improving your overall health? Check out this easy-to-use guide to help you understand and gain control of the amount of added sugar you consume.
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