Best Healthy Snacks Reviewed
If you are anything like us, snacking is one of the reasons we even get out of bed in the morning! Some people will tell you that if you want to get lean and cut, snacks are the very first thing that has to go. That cannot be further from the truth! Many healthy snacks out there on the market are not only low in calories, but many are packed with macronutrients to give you energy and actually make you feel better.
The most important thing to consider when looking at healthy snacks lies in the entirety of the nutritional information. It’s important that you not only look at the calorie count but also the sugars, fat, protein and carbohydrates.
In this guide, we listed some of our very favorite healthy snack ideas to give you something to look forward to in between meals throughout the day!
In a Hurry? Top healthy snacks after 15 hrs of research
High in protein
Tastes like Doritos
Top-Rated Delicious Healthy Snacks to Buy
1. Quest Nutrition Protein Chips
High in protein
Tastes like Doritos
Quest Nutrition Protein Chips are the best healthy snacks to buy! Quest is a brand that you may already be familiar with. We love Quest Nutrition because they make products that are incredibly high in protein that is perfect for those that need to amp up their protein intake throughout the day. These tortilla chips are great healthy snack ideas to get that salty fix without empty calories.
We selected the Chili Lime flavor because it is one of the most popular flavors of chips. It offers a hot salty flavor with very few calories. Users love that one bag of these gluten-free corn-based chips offer up to 20 grams of protein (which is similar to one of their protein bars!)
The reason this is our favorite healthy snack is that it is a salty treat that does a great job of making you feel satisfied between meals. This is due in part to the high protein count that is derived from milk and whey protein isolate which is found in many protein powders.
If you are in the market for a little bit of salt and crunch in between meals that will help you travel from meal to meal without feeling famished, Quest Nutrition is an excellent brand! It will keep you from getting hungry without killing your macros for the day.
2. Daily Fresh Healthy Mix
High in protein
Hard to open
This healthy snack mix from Daily Fresh delivers all of the crunch that you want from your snacks, but none of the things that you don’t want. Each bag has a balanced assortment of various nuts, with a few raisins tossed in for extra sweetness. If you want something that is healthy and filling above all else, these snack packs are worth checking out.
Sometimes trail mix is filled with a lot of calorie-laden ingredients to help it taste better so that you eat more. What we liked about these individually portioned bags is that they are gluten-free and non-GMO. What we liked most is that the nuts aren’t salted, which means no uncomfortable water retention.
What users love most about these packs is that they are small enough to stash in your gym bag, office desk, or your backpack. Plus, due to the protein content of each bag, this snack actually satisfies your hunger to keep you from being ravenous come mealtime.
If you love any and all types of nuts, you are bound to love these healthy snack ideas. It consists of all of the good nuts like pecan, hazelnuts, almonds, walnuts, and cashews for crunch, and a few raisins for a little bit of sweetness. These are simply one of the best healthy snacks to buy in 2019.
3. Seapoint Farms Dry Roasted Edamame
High in protein
Edamame is a really great way to get your salty fix while keeping an eye on your macros. These soybeans have been dried and roasted for a great crunch, and coated in a thin layer of sea salt to please your salt tooth. What we love about Edamame is that is it a plant-based protein that is actually quite filling.
If you are working on building muscle at the gym, edamame is your best-kept secret. One serving of these crunchy beans packs an impressive 13 grams of protein with only 130 calories per serving. This makes it a perfect snack for muscle gain while still keeping the calorie count low.
As far as the taste is concerned, it is important to keep in mind that these are a plant-based healthy snack. This means that they definitely taste green! Some users simply do not like the taste of edamame because it has a little bit of a bitter kick to it like you would find in leafy greens. The good news here, however, is that they are incredibly crunchy and some users find them to be a little too salty.
For those that want something that is as crunchy as a nut without all of the added fat and salt that often comes along with nuts, this is an excellent alternative. It has a high source of protein (which is perfect for all the vegetarians and vegans as well as weight lifters) and it is a gluten-free vegan healthy snack!
4. GoMacro Cherries + Berries Bar
Only 4 Grams Of Fat
No Added Sugar
May Contain Cherry Pits
GoMacro is another brand that prides itself on plant-based nutrition products, and their Cherries + Berries Bar is one tasty option for an energy bar. And, for a bar that’s 200 calories, with only 4 grams of fat, we love that it’s still full of fiber, iron, and antioxidants. This healthy snack is a solid option that has no gluten, and is all vegan goodness, and is sure to fuel you through your next workout, long afternoon at the office, or hike to the top of a peak!
Many energy bars from popular brands can have added sugar as their carbohydrate to give you energy. The GoMacro Cherries + Berries bar has none of that, pulling its source of carbohydrates from the natural organic cherries and other organic fruit to sweeten the bar, and provide energy to fuel you. This bar also has 4 grams of plant-based protein, which can help you go longer with more focus during the day.
The GoMacro brand is also a mother/daughter owned business, and they’re certified in several things including USDA organic, kosher, non-GMO, vegan, soy-free, and others! This duo has promised to deliver the best product to the market using clean ingredients to help your body get the most of macronutrients as well as micronutrients like Vitamin C. So the next time you feel a bit sluggish and need a quick boost or re-charge, try out one of GoMacro’s healthy snacks like their Cherries + Berries bar! If you prefer some other flavor such as mango or coconut Health Warrior Chia Bar might be your better choice.
5. PopCorners Flex
Light and crisp
Buffalo is too spicy
What we liked most about this healthy snack from PopCorners is that it is low in calories but high in protein. This means that you will get a good deal of protein to give you a little kick at the gym while really satisfying your hunger. Plus, it is made from plant-based ingredients that you can feel good about eating.
These chips are made from soy protein, which is one of the best ways to add a little protein to your diet without all of the extra calories. In fact, one pack of this healthy snack only has 90 calories- which is one of the lowest-calorie options of any protein snack we found out there on the market.
It is offered in barbeque and buffalo flavor options that previous users really love. Each chip is light and airy for a great crunch that isn’t too dense. If you want something that has a similar texture to your favorite potato chip, this healthy snack idea from PopCorners is worth checking out.
With a high protein count and low calories, we feel this is a really great healthy snack that will keep you from getting too hungry in between meals. Each pack is small enough to store in your gym bag to keep handy the very moment that you need to tame that snacking monster.
6. Angie's Boom Chicka Pop
So, let’s say that your snacking monster is a little out of control. No matter what you eat, it doesn’t seem like you will ever be able to tame it. If that’s the case, you want to check out Angie's Boom Chicka Pop. This popcorn doesn’t offer a lot of protein, but one full cup has only 70 calories!
You get a good bang for your buck with one serving of this popcorn. If you love binging through Netflix and want a snack that will last an evening without a lot of calories, Angie is your gal. What we love most about this popcorn is that it helps to really satisfy your salt tooth with natural ingredients you can feel good about.
Each bag of this healthy snack has four simple ingredients: popcorn, sunflower oil (which is used to pop the kernels), cane sugar, and sea salt. This means you know exactly what you are putting inside of your body, and you can feel good about it! While it doesn’t offer any additional protein, it is a great way to snack without feeling guilty.
Many healthy popcorn options often feel a little dry or do not taste very salty. What we love about Angie’s Boom Chicka Pop is that it tastes really great and is just salty enough to satisfy your salt tooth without leaving you parched. If you are looking for a perfect snack pairing for your next Netflix binge without destroying your diet, this healthy snack is one of your best options.
7. Frooze Balls Energy Balls
All Natural Ingredients
Serving Size Is One Ball
Over 200 Calories Per Pack
This tasty little treat from Frooze Balls is perfect for the purist foodie looking for a snack to keep them going. And, with an option to purchase a variety flavor pack of 6, or single flavor pack of 8, you’re certain to find one you prefer and love. Each flavor is made from plant-based products, making it vegan friendly as well. Read on for the tasty details of this bite size healthy snack!
With flavors like cranberry, dark forest, maple, mango, lemon, and chocolate each energy ball is crafted with ingredients that are vegan friendly, dairy free, gluten free, and free of GMO. Ingredients consist mainly of nut butters, fruits, seeds, and coconut, so any sweetness you taste you know comes from fruits or coconut, and not artificial or added sweeteners. Raisins, dates, or sweet-tart cranberries are what give the flavor punch to this healthy snack.
This healthy snack also has no added caffeine or preservatives, so it may not last like other snacks containing preservatives, but your body will love them. Little bite size balls make them great for an after school or snack on-the-go. They’re a tongue tantalizing option of a healthy snack, and great for those who do have allergies to gluten, lactose, or need a kosher snack. If you’ve not yet tried Frooze Balls, pick up a pack today for your next hike!
8. Zone Perfect Dark Chocolate Almond Bars
All Natural Ingredients
30 Bar Pack
19 Vitamins And Minerals
Under 200 Calories
A Little Dry
There are a lot of snack, breakfast, and protein bars on the market today, and while each of us may have our personal preference for different reasons, we really enjoy Zone Perfect’s Dark Chocolate Almond Bars. At just under 200 calories, it packs 12 grams of protein, and only 6 grams of fat, unlike other bars where higher protein count can come with increase levels of fat. Similar to many other bars, it has just over 20 grams of carbs, making it a great option for a pre-gym snack.
In each pack of Zone Perfect’s bars, you get 30 bars, setting you up for a full month of snacks to fuel your workouts. The Dark Chocolate Almond bar is great for anti-oxidant fighting properties and boosting energy, due to those two ingredients in particular. Packed full of 19 vitamins and minerals to keep you going, your body may not know this tasty treat is actually something good for you too! And, unlike some bars or snacks, no artificial sweeteners taint this snack.
Another thing we love about this healthy snack, is that it’s made with real almonds and cocoa, and it won’t give you a chalky texture like some other protein or energy bars can do. The taste is simply rich and sweet, with a pleasant nutty texture to give it some crunchy appeal. Its smaller individual bar packaging makes it great for a snack on the go as well. Simply slip this into your purse, bag, or pocket, and you’re good to go.
9. BRAMi Lupini Beans
Very small serving
You may have never heard of Lupini beans before, but if you have ever traveled to Italy, you are probably very familiar with them. They are one of the most popular healthy foods. These yellow legumes are a great way to sneak in a little protein that is also low in calories.
One serving of this healthy snack offers up 9 grams of plant-based protein and only 80 calories. This is about the same nutritional value as a hard-boiled egg (without the cholesterol!). If you love edamame, you may want to check out this Italian equivalent.
The beans alone do not have very much flavor, but BRAMI offers up some really unique flavoring options that users really love. Flavors include sea salt and vinegar, chili and lime, and garlic and rosemary. The beans come in small serving sizes, but are a great way to get your crunchy and salty fix!
What we loved most about these Lupini beans from BRAMI is that they are an excellent alternative to your traditional snacking. Plus, they are something that is a little bit different than all of the other healthy snack ideas out there on the market. If you are looking for something that is a little bit different, this healthy snack is worth checking out.
10. Sahale Snacks Cashews
High in calories
So, your snacking monster is craving something that is more sweet than salty? If that’s the case, you will want to check out this healthy snack from Sahale Snacks! What we loved about this sweet treat is that it has all of the nutrition of cashews with a sweet bonus that is derived from natural sources.
One pack of these cashews provides you with 7 grams of protein per every 220 calories. This snack has quite a bit more calories than most, but it is sure to leave you satisfied until you make it to your next meal. It also has 4 grams of protein as well, making it a great snack if you are diligently counting your macros.
The glaze that coats each cashew is very unique. Sahale Snacks uses a glaze that is made from tapioca syrup and real cane sugar that you can feel good about eating. The fruit flavor is derived from natural fruit juices, and the use a special blend of spices to deliver a truly unique flavor.
If you are tired of the same old salted cashews, we recommend giving this healthy snack a try. It is made from natural ingredients that you can feel good about. Plus, it leaves you satisfied so that you aren’t as hungry in between meals.
Criteria Used for Evaluation
The ingredients in all of the healthy snacks that we selected were the very first thing that we considered.
When you eat healthily, you want to know exactly what you are putting inside of your body. We made sure to select healthy snack products that kept things simple so you don’t feel weighed down. Below we have listed some of our favorite ingredients and why you want to eat them.
Pea protein: This is a great base for any type of chip. Pea protein is plant-based, so there are no animal by-products which makes it perfect for vegetarians or vegans. Many of the leading meat substitute products opt for pea protein because it has a similar protein content as meat, but without the fat.
What makes pea protein ideal is the higher protein count. By snacking on food that is high in protein, it will keep you from getting as hungry in between meals. Potato chips have a high carbohydrate count. Carbs make you feel full at first, but they burn up in your body much more quickly than protein.
Nuts: We love nuts! The great thing about nuts is that they aren’t processed. When you buy a pack of nuts, you know exactly what you put into your body. When selecting the best nut options, we tried to steer clear of options that used peanuts.
While peanuts are a great source of protein (and are generally more affordable than other types) they come up a little short in the long run for a healthy snack. Peanuts actually have more fat per ounce than nuts such as cashews, almonds, or pistachios. Plus, other nuts have a lot more nutrients than your traditional peanut, which promotes an overall feeling of wellbeing.
Legumes: Another powerhouse in the healthy snack world is the much-overlooked legume. One of the most popular and trendy legumes is edamame. Edamame is a soybean in its basic form. Soy is an excellent source of protein while being low in fat and calories.
When legumes are roasted and coated with sea salt, they provide an excellent crunch that satisfies any salt tooth. We love munching on legumes as a healthy snack because they are high in all of the macronutrients you need to cut fat and they are an excellent addition to diets catered to building muscle and burning fat as well.
Of course, we wanted to make sure that we selected products to help you stay on your diet.
Not everyone snacks in the same way, so we picked healthy snacks that cater to everyone. We kept an eye on the calorie count, but more importantly, we checked out those super important macronutrients!
We were taught when considering a snack that we should first look at the calories. Most nutritional labels suggest that we stick to a 2,000 calorie diet, so checking calories is a natural assumption. However, there is so much more to look at rather than calories!
Nuts, for instance, have an incredibly high-calorie count. You may have written nuts off completely because of even a small amount of nuts packs in a lot of calories. However, it may be time to give nuts another chance. What we love about nuts is that they have a higher protein content than any other snack out there on the market.
Foods that are rich in protein help build muscles, and they also keep you from getting as hungry, making them a great healthy snack. Potato chips, for instance, are low in protein and high in carbohydrates. Carbohydrates are needed for energy, but they burn up very quickly in your system.
Think of your body as a campfire. When you eat carbohydrates, you are basically throwing pages of the phone book onto the flames. Sure, those pages will catch fire, but they burn up pretty fast. When you eat protein, it is like putting a dense log onto the fire. This log burns for longer periods of time, and it really helps feed the flame.
That’s why we made sure that we selected healthy snacks that were higher in protein than most. This means that it will keep you from getting as hungry by mealtime. If you want to lose a few pounds, it is important that you don’t let yourself get too hungry throughout the course of the day.
No good decision was ever made by a hungry person!
Healthy eating means clean eating.
When selecting healthy snacks for our list, we made a beeline to the list of ingredients. Some of the best products out there on the market have very simple ingredient labels.
For instance, Angie’s Boom Chicka Pop uses very view ingredients. They simply use popcorn kernels, sunflower oil, cane sugar, and sea salt. If you want your body to run to it’s fullest potential, you need to know what you are putting into it.
It was also important to us that we selected brands that were non-GMO. While there isn’t definitive proof that products that were modified pose any harmful side effects, it is always best to err on the side of caution. When you want to eat better and more cleanly, keeping foods and healthy snacks simple is one of the best methods for staying happy and healthy.
When you are snacking, simplicity is one of the most important things to keep in mind. Process foods might taste better, but sometimes they can have unwanted side effects. That’s why we loved healthy snacks like roasted edamame, nuts, and chips made from pea proteins.
It is important to note that almost all of the products that we selected for our list are gluten-free and vegan. Often, when we eat products that have animal by-products in them, we are also consuming whatever the animal ate as well. When you eliminate animal products from your diets (or healthy snacks, at least), you can feel good taking the mystery out of what you are eating.
Eating food from an unknown mystery brand is a scary concept.
We made sure to include a few well-known brands that you probably already have in your pantry- such as Quest Nutrition- but there are a lot of brands you may not have heard of that make healthy snacks. However, that doesn’t mean that these lesser-known brands aren’t worth a look.
When considering a product for our list, we first scanned the package and approved the ingredients listed as well as the macronutrients. Once a product passed our test, we then set out to research the brand that manufactures the product.
You can rest assured that we did a lot of research on each and every brand that made our list.
Seapoint Farms, for instance, is a brand that most have never heard of before. They were originally founded in 1996 as one of the first manufacturers of edamame in the United States. Seapoint Farms is a participant in the Non-GMO Project, and they are the leading brand on Edamame in most supermarkets in the United States.
Angie’s Boom Chicka Pop is another lesser-known brand that has been picking up a lot of popularity in recent years. They were founded by Angie and her husband Dan making popcorn in their garage in Minnesota. They are dedicated to making good quality products you can feel good about eating, as well as helping out their community.
These lesser-known brands may not have the same initial recognition as Lay’s or Doritos, but their dedication to making healthy snacks makes them worth checking out!
When we talk about size, we are talking about serving size.
Any seasoned snacker knows that the longer you get to snack, the happier your snacking monster becomes. When it comes to healthy snacks, a lot of brands offer up a tiny little teacup per serving. We made sure to really read each label to ensure you don’t fall victim to this unfortunate trick!
There are a few schools of thought when it comes to serving size. Light and crispy snacks are made to each in abundance, while denser options such as nuts are meant to be savored. We made sure that all of the light and crisp snacks came in a serving size that did not agitate your hunger without bedding her back down.
One of the best options for snacking in abundance that we found was Angie’s Boom Chicka Pop. Not only was this healthy snack made from simple ingredients, but it has had the largest serving size of any of the other healthy snacks out there on the market. Keep in mind, however, that snacks that have a larger serving size don’t have as many macronutrients than those higher in protein and fat.
Healthy snacks such as nuts and legumes (edamame and lupini beans) typically have a lower serving size. This is because they are higher in macronutrients that will make you feel full and satisfied until dinner time.
Take into consideration what you want from your healthy snack. If you just love to crunch, light and crispy chips and popcorn are a great solution. If you want to get a lot of macronutrients that satisfy and keep you from getting as hungry, nuts are the way to go- but the serving size will be much smaller.
Expert Interviews & Opinions
Calories are simply a unit of energy. The more calories a food has, the more energy that it will give you. To determine if it good energy or bad energy, you must read further on down the nutrition label!
Nuts are an excellent healthy snack to have between meals! We love nuts because while they may be a little high in fat, they are in an excellent source of protein and healthy fats to give your sluggish afternoon a little boost.
To make sure that you never go long periods of time without eating, be sure to pack a snack in your bookbag or gym bag. If you find yourself getting too hungry between meals, a few extra calories in between will help you from eating too much come mealtime.
Other Factors to Consider
Sometimes when you hear the word diet, you think you have to give up all of the foods that you love. However, the key to any diet is thoughtful moderation. If you keep yourself from getting hungry throughout the day, you are less likely to sit down to a meal like a hungry bear after a long hibernation.
Stashing a few healthy snacks into your tote or gym bag is a great way to fight off hunger in the middle of the day. Well-timed and thoughtful snacking is often the key to a successful diet.
Be sure that you read the entirety of the nutrition label and not just the calories. Macronutrients such as protein, carbohydrates, and fat are the best tools for burning fat, building muscles, and fending off hunger!
If you want to lose a few pounds, the journey is what you make it! Find a workout routine that you love and gets you excited- such as a fun Zumba class, and be adventurous with our food choices! Find new and different foods that will get your excited for mealtime, and always keep an emergency healthy snack close at hand!
Frequently Asked Questions
q: Why makes a snack healthy?
So, you want to shed a few pounds and get healthy. There are two things that are key to success: a good, healthy breakfast, and smart snacking. You may be under the impression that dieting means giving up your beloved snacks, but that couldn’t be further from the truth!
Well-timed healthy snacks throughout the course of the day actually prevent you from overeating. If you only eat at every meal, you are bound to be ravenously hungry when the time comes. When you are incredibly hungry, you are more likely to eat faster which will cause you to eat more. Plus, it means you will be pretty grumpy leading up to mealtime.
Packing a healthy snack into your gym bag when you start to get a little hungry will squash that hunger monster in its tracks. Plus, who doesn’t love a tasty snack in the middle of the day?
By including a few healthy snacks as you travel throughout your day, you will have more control over your hunger. When you are in control of your appetite, you are more inclined to make better food choices come mealtime.
q: What are macronutrients?
You may have heard us drop that five-dollar word quite a few times when talking about healthy snacks. Basically, macronutrients are the three big nutrients that you want to make sure you include in your diet. Building muscle means getting proper nutrition, and that include the three big macronutrients.
Macronutrients include protein, carbohydrates, and fat. These are the three big building blocks to ensuring you build muscle, fight off hunger, and burn fat. You may have noticed that many of the healthy snacks that we selected for our list contain a lot of protein.
Foods that are high in protein are key to building muscle, and they also help to keep you from getting as hungry as fast. Carbohydrates burn up quickly, which makes them a great tool to eat when you need quick-burning energy before hitting the treadmill or heading out for a run.
Believe it or not- fats are also key to burning fat and building muscle. Fat actually helps your body absorb nutrients better (such as protein), and promotes cell growth. If you are hitting up the gym to build muscle, it is important to maintain a healthy level of fats as well!
q: How can I eliminate my snacking monster?
You can’t. Snacking monsters cannot be vanquished, they can only be tamed.
q: What should I look for in a nutrition label of these healthy snack ideas?
Our biggest piece of advice that we can give you is to not stop reading if you notice that the calorie count is a little high! Many dieters assume that calories are evil, but they are only a unit of measurement. One calorie equals the amount of energy required to raise the temperature of the water up by one degree. Simply put, calories are a measurement of energy.
The most important things to look at on a nutritional label lie below the calories. When looking for a healthy snack, first consider the protein content. A high protein content means it will help you stay fuller and satisfied for longer periods of time.
Secondly, consider how much fiber is in one serving. While fiber isn’t necessary for muscle development, it is an important tool for your overall health. A healthy dose of fiber actually serves to slow the rate the sugars are absorbed into your system. This is a great tool to keep you from getting hungry and cranky!
Another aspect of the nutritional label that is often overlooked is the sodium content. To reduce water retention and lower your blood pressure, it is important that you select products that have a lower sodium content. Sodium is important in any diet, but only in smaller quantities.
q: What should I eat while snacking in front of the television?
If you are dieting, it’s hard to do simple things like watch television without a snack in hand! The good news here is that you do not have to leave your beloved pastime behind in your quest for looser jeans. There are a few really great choices that allow you to binge on a snack while binging on your favorite show.
Our favorite binging snack is popcorn! You really get a lot of bang for your buck with this healthy snack. One cup of Angie's Boom Chicka Pop salted popcorn (not the kettle corn), for instance, only has 35 calories per cup! Plus, it is made from all-natural ingredients that you can feel good about eating out of a bucket!
q: Should I have a healthy snack before or after I workout?
There are benefits to having a quick snack before and after your workout. If you want to fuel your body before a brutal CrossFit training session, we recommend eating anywhere from 1-3 hours before lacing up your sneakers. This time frame allows you to absorb the nutrients from the snack and properly digest them so your stomach doesn’t get upset form bouncing around!
Having a snack after your workout also has its own set of benefits. After your workout, your body has used up the nutrition from your body to fuel your exercise, and it is primed and ready to be replenished! To ensure that your tired muscles absorbed the nutrients from your snack, we suggest that you eat it at max 1 hour after you towel off.