Kseniya OvchinnikovaGetty Images
Editor’s note: Weight loss, health and body image are complex subjects — before deciding to go on a diet, we invite you gain a broader perspective by reading our exploration into the hazards of diet culture.
Are your snacking choices contributing to a healthy diet or doing the opposite? Snacking on nutritious foods can be a great option for tiding you over in between meals, but the snacking landscape at the grocery store is often filled with highly processed foods that sneak in excessive amounts of calories, fat, sodium and added sugar.
“The main goal of a snack is to provide energy and help us stay full until our next meal, but it’s important that we find something that satisfies our tastebuds too,” says Chicago-based Registered Dietitian May Zhu, MBA, RDN, LDN for Setton Farms. Zhu recommends finding an option that provides a combination of lean protein, healthy fats and fiber. “These components can help you feel more satisfied for longer,” she adds.
Nutrition experts and Registered Dietitians in the Good Housekeeping Institute Nutrition Lab add that the quality of your snack is just as important as the quantity too. Snacks that are naturally rich in fiber and protein will help keep you full and keep portion sizes in check which can support healthy weight loss. Whether you’re looking for something crunchy or savory, we’ve rounded up the healthiest snacks to incorporate into your routine:
1 Tropical Smoothie Bowl
This fruity smoothie bowl is bursting with vibrant flavor and is a rich source of fiber but only has 180 calories. Top it with chopped almonds and shredded coconut for even more fiber and a dose of healthy fats to help keep you full.
2 Kale “Chips”
These crispy “chips” are the ultimate low-calorie and low-carb snacking option but are packed with nutrients and fiber. Munch on the chips by themselves or pair them with low-fat buttermilk ranch. If you are choosing the store-bought kind, look for as few ingredients as possible. Kale chips (similar to potato chips) should contain just kale, oil, salt, pepper and some seasoning like garlic and onion powder.
3 Spinach & Yogurt Dip
This protein-packed dip uses Greek yogurt for a creamy smooth consistency. At only 120 calories per serving, it’s perfect with a toasted multigrain flatbread or your favorite pita chips.
4 Avocado Deviled Eggs
“Regardless of whether you like them hard-boiled or scrambled, eggs are a versatile and excellent snack that provides protein and fats to help stabilize your blood sugar. One large egg provides less than 100 calories and 6 grams of protein,” says Zhu. We like hard-boiling them, then scooping out the yolk and filling it with guacamole or mashed avocado and a sprinkle of everything bagel seasoning.
5 Steamed Edamame
“This is a great option for a filling snack since it has both protein and fiber. It’s also a complete source of plant-based protein, which provides all the essential amino acids our bodies only obtain through food,” says Zhu. One cup of shelled edamame only contains 188 calories. Sprinkle on a bit of coconut aminos and toasted sesame seeds for even more flavor.
6 Raspberry Chia Jam with Yogurt
This fruity chia seed jam only has 4 ingredients. Per tablespoon, it only has 20 calories but packs in 2 grams of fiber. Spoon a tablespoon or two on your favorite low-sugar yogurt for an irresistible snack packed with fiber and protein.
7 Veggie Rolls
These beautiful rolls are delicious, simple and refreshing. Plus, they’re super easy to prepare and are veggie-packed to support healthy weight loss. Use low-fat cream cheese and enjoy any of the flavorful recipe variations, from red pepper-basil to zippy pear.
8 Roasted Pumpkin Seeds
This delicious and festive snack is packed with plant-based protein. These pepitas are loaded with tons of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. Plus, you can easily make your own at home.
9 Open-Faced Rice Cake Sandwiches
Rice cakes are a light, crunchy, and low-carb base for any sort of sandwich. Top with nut butter for a healthy fat and protein source to keep you full, and then add fresh berries instead of jelly for a naturally sweet twist. You can even mash the raspberries first and then spread them on top for a jam-like texture.
10 Veggie “Fries” & Hummus
Veggies are always a good idea! You don’t need to only opt for the usual veggie sticks like celery. “Pair hummus with water-rich vegetables like carrots, bell peppers, or sugar snap peas to satisfy your craving for something crunchy while getting an extra serving of vegetables (and fiber!) in,” says Zhu.
11 Zesty Beet Dip
This vibrant, earthy dip only has 115 calories per serving but packs a serious nutrition punch. The star ingredient is beets, which get their rich red pigment from betalains that function as antioxidants and ease inflammation. Try it with pita chips or veggie sticks for dipping.
12 Feta Watermelon Stacks
This refreshing snack from the Good Housekeeping Test Kitchen is bite size and features a great balance of flavors. Cut 1 small seedless watermelon into 1-inch cubes (about 40). Top with 1 (1-pound) block feta cheese, cut into 1-inch squares (1/4 inch thick) and 1 cup basil leaves; secure with toothpicks. Transfer to platter; sprinkle with 3 tablespoons olive oil and 1/4 teaspoon each salt and pepper. Serves 10
13 Seaweed Snacks
These popular seaweed sheets are roasted and lightly salted for crunchy, savory goodness. You can typically find them in the cracker and pretzel aisle. They are naturally low in calories and some brands season them with teriyaki or wasabi for extra flavor.
14 Cauliflower Popcorn
15 Cucumber Medallions
Cucumbers are made up of over 95% water, making them a healthy hydrating snack option that offers a satisfying crunch. Simply top cucumber rounds with hummus, a sprinkle of crumbled feta, black pepper and basil for a last-minute healthy snack option.
16 Smooth and Creamy Artichoke Dip
You’ll love this delicious fiber-packed dip developed by the Good Housekeeping Test Kitchen. In a blender, puree 14-oz artichoke hearts (rinsed and patted dry), 1 packed cup baby spinach, ½ cup canned white beans (rinsed), 1 scallion, 2 tsp grated lemon zest and 2 Tbsp lemon juice, ¼ cup grated Parmesan and 1/2 tsp pepper until finely chopped. Serve with your favorite veggie sticks.
17 Fruit Crisps
Tired of fresh fruit just sitting in the fridge? Fruit crisps are a shelf-stable option that can help you meet your produce quota. Look for dehydrated or air-dried fruit crisps with no added sugar. Eat as a snack on their own or add to trail-mix for a fiber boost.
18 Cowboy Caviar
Enjoy this healthy and hearty make-ahead dip with your favorite whole-grain veggie chips or use bell peppers as the perfect veggie “chip” for scooping.
19 Loaded Celery Sticks
Celery is a low-calorie, water-rich veggie packed with vitamins and minerals. Fill the sticks with low-fat cream cheese, then sprinkle on Everything Bagel Seasoning for extra flavor. You can even do this with other vegetables like bell peppers.
20 Charred Salsa
At only ten calories per serving, this salsa delivers bold flavor and a ton of nutrition and antioxidants thanks to its star ingredient the tomato. Make a batch and enjoy it as a snack with veggies and some whole grain chips and spoon some on your meals like grilled chicken or grain bowls throughout the week for extra flavor.
21 Greek Turkey Roll Ups
You’ll love this simple, low-carb turkey roll-up that takes just a few minutes to assemble. Lay one slice of deli turkey breast on a plate and spread 1 tablespoon hummus over it. Sprinkle 1 tablespoon feta on top, then add 2 baby spinach leaves and 1 sliced tomato. Roll up the turkey breast, cut in half and enjoy!
22 Ranch Seasoned Popcorn
Believe it or not, popcorn is considered a whole grain and is a good source of fiber. Opt for air-popped or lightly oil-popped varieties. In a separate small bowl, mix together ½ teaspoon each of garlic powder, onion powder, dried dill and dried chives. Then, add a pinch of salt and pepper to taste. Sprinkle on your popcorn for a ranch-inspired twist.
23 Fresh Fruit & Nuts
We like to call fruit nature’s candy; it’s packed with wholesome fiber and tons of natural nutrients. If you can’t go for a full piece of fruit, opt for something small like little clementines or miniature Rockit apples. These mini fruit options are also a great healthy snack for kids. Add a handful of nuts for added protein to help keep you full.
24 Spring Crudites with Herbed Cheese Dip
This aromatic herbed dip is filled with parsley, mint, chives and lemon zest for serious flavor at only 105 calories per serving. Pair it with fiber-packed and water-dense veggies like radishes, carrots, endive, snap peas and cucumber for the perfect crunch.
25 Chocolate Filled Raspberries
All berries are nutritious, but raspberries have higher fiber counts than any of its berry counterparts. Portion out a tablespoon of mini dark chocolate chips and fill each raspberry with a piece for a tasty treat.
26 Nutty Oatmeal
“One serving of oatmeal is right around 150 calories and also provides around 3-4 grams of fiber to support healthy digestion. I love adding a tablespoon of nut butter for an extra source of healthy fats that helps with both overall satiety and flavor,” Zhu says.
27 Simply Seasoned Avocado
The perfectly ripe avocado can make for a yummy and creamy snack option. Plus, a half is about 160 calories and is packed with healthy fats and filling fiber. Slice one in half, and sprinkle on lemon or lime juice, pink Himalayan salt and fresh cracked pepper. Enjoy with a spoon!
28 Roasted Artichokes with Caesar Dip
This delectable recipe from the Good Housekeeping Test Kitchen only has 135 calories per serving and 9 grams of carbs but boasts 4 grams of both protein and fiber. The cheesy mustard Caesar-inspired sauce makes for yummy dipping.
29 Roasted Shelled Pistachios
“I love that pistachios are a complete source of plant-based protein that contains fiber and healthy fats as well. Plus, one serving is around 49 pistachios (the most out of any tree nut),” says Zhu. Just having to crack the shell open on pistachios can help you slow down and eat a bit more mindfully, which can lead to better portion control.
30 Strawberries Dipped in Vanilla Yogurt
Yogurt-covered pretzels and raisins may seem like a healthy choice, but they actually tend to contain more sugar than even chocolate-coated options. Opt for a portion-controlled handful of pretzels or a few pieces of fruit (like strawberries) and dip it into vanilla yogurt for a far less sugary option than the yogurt candy varieties.
31 Chickpea Nuts
“There are so many versatile ways to eat chickpeas – in the whole form by itself, as an addition to salads, or turned into hummus! Chickpeas can also help with satiety since it provides both protein and fiber. Protein and fiber work together to slow down digestion, which helps promote fullness,” Zhu notes.
32 Zucchanoush with Veggie Sticks
This summery twist on baba ganoush swaps out eggplants for zucchini and features other bright fresh ingredients like fresh lemon juice and mint leaves. At only 125 calories per serving, this dip pairs great with assorted veggie sticks or your favorite crackers.
33 Vegetable Soup
34 Greek Yogurt with Berries
“This is a great high-protein option that can help you stay full – pair it with some berries (or your favorite fruits here) for extra fiber and some natural sweetness from fruit,” says Zhu. A sprinkle of cinnamon will help add some flavor too.
35 Savory Cottage Cheese
This protein powerhouse is extremely filling and can have a great savory flavor. Just opt for a low-sodium variety. Sprinkle on za’atar and grated cucumber or chopped roasted peppers and garlic infused olive oil for a savory twist.
36 Endive with Beet Tapenade
Zesty beet tapenade is the perfect sweet pairing to bitter endive in this healthy flavorful snack from the Good Housekeeping Test Kitchen.
From 1 orange, grate 1/4 teaspoon zest and squeeze 2 tablespoons juice. In a food processor, pulse 2/3 cup pitted green olives; 1/4 cup packed basil; 1 clove garlic; and orange juice and zest until chopped, scraping. Add 4 oz. cooked beets, blotted dry and chopped; 1/4 cup olive oil; 1/8 teaspoon salt; and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Pulse until just chopped, scraping. Makes 1 1/4 cups. Refrigerate, covered, up to 1 day.
37 Frozen Grapes
“One cup of grapes clocks in at just under 70 calories and fits into any lifestyle goals, including weight loss. This is the perfect option for when you’re craving something cold and sweet. Plus, frozen grapes take a little bit longer to chew, so this might help you slow down while you eat to promote mindfulness and tune into our natural hunger and fullness cues,” Zhu adds.
38 Rainbow Rolls
A refreshing blend of carrot, bell pepper, avocado and mango is wrapped in rice spring roll wrappers and features a seriously delicious dipping sauce. Mint and cilantro leaves brighten the flavor even more for only 160 calories per serving.
39 Jump-Start Smoothie
This low-calorie smoothie clocks in at only 90 calories but is filled with vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. Plus, low-fat yogurt adds creaminess and some protein too.
40 Apple Fauxnuts
This fruit is extremely fiber-rich and filling. Slice them laterally into rings, then core out the center so it mimics a donut shape. Top with a hit of protein and healthy fat, like almond butter with pomegranate seeds and chia seeds or cottage cheese with pineapple and unsweetened coconut flakes.
41 Looking for more healthy snack ideas?
This content is created and maintained by a third party, and imported onto this page to help users provide their email addresses. You may be able to find more information about this and similar content at piano.io