Tips for Choosing Healthy Snacks

Today, it's easier than ever to find a version of your favorite brand or type of snack food that is lower in fat or sodium--or both--than the "regular" version. With a bit of comparison shopping, you'll find snack foods you can enjoy even if you are on a restricted diet because of high blood pressure or another medical problem. Listed are some of the descriptors to look for on the front of the package:

  • fat-free: less than 0.5 grams (g) of fat per serving


  • low-fat: 3 g or less per serving (if the serving size is 30 g or less or 2 tablespoons or less, no more than 3 g of fat per 50 g of the food)


  • light: one-third fewer calories or half the fat of the "regular" version


  • low-sodium: 140 milligrams (mg) or less per serving (if the serving size is 30 g or less or 2 tablespoons or less, no more than 140 mg of sodium per 50 g of the food)


  • lightly salted: at least 50 percent less sodium per serving than the "regular" version


  • reduced: when describing fat, sodium or calorie content, the food must have at least 25 percent less of these nutrients than the "regular" version.
For more, please visit the Nutrition Center.

Some of the above information has been provided with the kind permission of The Food and Drug Administration (www.fda.gov).
Last Editorial Review: 1/28/2003