Dietitians' Top 10 Healthy Snacks

Walking down the snack aisle might be confusing. From new-to-market treats derived from the vegetable of the moment (cauliflower anything!) to front-of-package health promises like "low sugar," it can be hard to tell what's beneficial for you and what's just marketing.

However, snacking can greatly affect your day. "If you're going more than four to five hours between meals, snacking can curb hunger," says Samantha Cassetty, M.S., RD. Protein, fiber, and fat (or at least two of the three) make a filling snack between meals. See our top 10 weight-loss foods.

Numerous nutritionists we consulted choose this potent combo as a snack for good reason. "Apples and pears contain fiber, especially if you eat the skin, and nuts are packed with a mix of plant-based protein, healthful fats, and fiber, so they do a great job of satisfying your appetite while managing blood sugar," he says.


1. Apple or Pear with Nuts or Nut Butter

A craving for crunch? "This high-fiber whole grain is the ultimate snack," explains Kelsey Pezzuti, M.S., RD. "It's inexpensive, easy to prepare, and packs the perfect crunch," she says. Whole grain snacks like popcorn contain fiber, B vitamins, and iron. Jody Bergeron, M.S., RN, BSN, CEN, says replacing processed grains with whole grains may improve cholesterol, especially LDL and triglycerides.


2. Popcorn

"Fiber, protein, and slow-digesting carbs make chickpeas a satisfying snack," says Sharon Palmer, MSFS, RDN, The Plant-Powered Dietitian. A cheap can of chickpeas makes numerous snacks. Like popcorn, roasted chickpeas satisfy a crunch appetite and can be sweetened with cinnamon and maple syrup or savory with herbs and spices. "You can also include pureed chickpeas in dips, hummus, and even as an ingredient in homemade bars," he says. 


3. Chickpea

Beet chips, perfect for dipping, are a fun way to eat more vegetables than raw vegetables. Beets contain inorganic nitrates, which reduce blood pressure and improve cardiovascular health, as well as fiber, B vitamins, vitamin C, and potassium. Beet chips are beet-based, unlike many vegetarian chips and straws.


4. Beet Chip

Need afternoon cheer? Take a handful of nuts. Walnuts may reduce depression and increase mood, according to research. While all nuts and seeds are healthful snacks, "walnuts stand out because they're the only tree nut that is an excellent source of the omega-3 fatty acid ALA," adds Cassetty. They also have fiber and protein to keep you full between meals.


5. Walnut

Cottage cheese, a neglected dairy product, is healthful and satisfying. It's high in protein, calcium, B vitamins, and selenium. Due to its high sodium content, consider how it fits within your day.


6. Cottage Cheese with Fruit or Vegetable

Busy days call for bars as a quick snack. Many "healthy" bars have as much sugar as candy bars. Choose ones made largely from whole foods, with 5g or less added sugar, protein, fiber, and healthy fats, whether you make them or buy them.


7. Energy bar

You may only think of yogurt for breakfast, but it's a terrific snack. "It's filling because it's high in protein and it also contains calcium," he says. Lease enjoys basic Greek yogurt with nuts or seeds for healthy fat, while Lisa Andrews, MEd, RD, LD, Owner Sounds Bites Nutrition suggests frozen berries. 


8. Greek Yogurt

In the warmer months, there are few things more refreshing than a popsicle. Popsicles can boost hydration and, if made with fruit juice, add important nutrients like vitamins, minerals and antioxidants to your day.


9. Popsicle

Small seeds offer huge health benefits. Chia seeds contain 9 grams of unsaturated fat (including omega 3s), 11 grams of fiber, 4 grams of protein, calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, and several antioxidants in one ounce (2 tablespoons). High fiber consumption may balance blood sugar, improve intestinal health, and lower cardiovascular disease risk.


10. Chia Pudding

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