Snacking has a bad reputation for causing unwanted weight gain. But when you choose the right foods, snacking can actually help you lose weight.
Eating a healthy snack every 3 hours or so can help keep your blood sugar levels steady throughout the day and prevent you from overeating during mealtimes. The best snacks are those that are rich in protein, fiber, and omega-3 fatty acids while being low in sugar and salt.
Here are 32 of the best healthy, low-calorie snacks recommended by nutritionists.
32 low-calorie snacks that are healthy and delicious
- Baked tortilla chips with ½ cup of salsa: This snack is healthier than fried potato chips with dip because the chips are baked and salsa is typically low in calories. Ten tortilla chips have roughly 74 calories and ½ a cup of salsa has about 20 calories.
- ½ wholewheat pita and ¼ cup of hummus: Half a medium-size whole-wheat pita contains 75 calories, and a ¼ portion of hummus contains 100 calories. Whole grains are high in fiber and hummus is high in protein.
- ½ English muffin and 2 tablespoons of cream cheese: Half an English muffin has 66 calories, 2.5 grams of protein, and 1 gram of fiber. Two tablespoons of cream cheese have 100 calories.
- ¼ cup of almonds, cashews, or pistachios: Almonds, cashews, and pistachios are high in protein, fiber, healthy fats, and several vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients. According to the National Institutes of Health, almonds are a good source of vitamin E, an antioxidant that is important for immunological function. Almonds have 214 calories per ¼-cup serving, cashews have 190, and shelled pistachios have 186. Because nuts are high in calories, however, you must maintain portion control.
- Two large hard-boiled eggs: Two eggs contain 12 grams of protein and 149 calories and will keep you full for a fairly long period of time. Eggs are rich sources of choline, an essential nutrient that aids in fat metabolism, DNA synthesis, cell structure and messaging, and nervous system maintenance.
- Fat-free chocolate milk: An 8 oz glass of fat-free chocolate milk can be a rich, enjoyable snack that only contains 166 calories. Milk has a significant quantity of protein and calcium, with one cup containing 8 grams of protein and 315 mg of calcium, which accounts for 24% of the daily value (DV). You will get 451 mg of potassium (10% of the DV), a mineral that is necessary to keep a proper fluid balance in the body.
- Toasted pumpkin seeds: Pumpkin seeds are rich in protein and other nutrients that play a role in bone health. You can toast them after tossing them in salt, pepper, and oil. One ½-cup serving contains about 143 calories.
- Plain Greek yogurt with strawberries: Sliced strawberries contain just 53 calories per cup, providing 3 grams of fiber (12% of the DV) and 97.6 mg of vitamin C (108% of the DV). Meanwhile, plain nonfat Greek yogurt has 23 grams of protein and just 141 calories per cup. Combine the two for a satisfying snack.
- Sandwich with turkey and mustard: Two slices of whole wheat bread provides about 140 calories and 4 grams of fiber (15% of the DV), whereas a deli turkey slice has 30 calories. A teaspoon of mustard has just 10 calories. This gives you a snack with only 180 calories in total.
- Fruit, yogurt, and milk smoothie: A smooth blend of a cup of frozen blueberries (70 calories), ¾ cup of nonfat milk (68 calories) and ¼ cup of plain, nonfat Greek yogurt (about 35 calories) to make a smoothie (173 calories in total). Rich antioxidants from berries, calcium, and proteins from milk and curd make it a tasty and highly nutritional snack.
- ½ of cottage cheese with mandarins: One ½-cup serving of low-fat cottage cheese has approximately 91.5 calories, 12 grams (24% of the DV) of protein, and 251 mg of calcium (10% of the DV). One cup of canned or juiced mandarins has about 72 calories and 64 mg (71% of the DV) of vitamin C. This combination of food is high in protein and calcium.
- Homemade granola bars: Making granola bars allows you to control the amount of salt, fat, and sugar in your snack. Peanut butter and honey oats bars have 175 calories per bar, 3 grams of fiber, and 6 grams of protein. A combination of ? cup of peanut butter, ½ cup of honey, one tablespoon of coconut oil, ¼ teaspoon of cinnamon powder, and 2 cups of oats can make 16 bars. These can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
- Nut butter and banana: One small banana has about 85 calories, and a tablespoon of nut butter has about 90 calories. This snack provides you with fiber, protein, and healthy fats.
- Carrot sticks with 2 tablespoons of dip: One cup of carrot sticks has just 50 calories and is high in fiber, beta-carotene, potassium, and vitamin K. When coupled with a creamy dip made with healthy fats, such as guacamole, hummus, or tzatziki, this combination of fiber and fat is delicious, satiating, and may help reduce subsequent overeating.
- Multigrain crackers and low-fat cheese: Cheese is a high-protein, calcium-rich snack that goes well with fiber-rich multigrain crackers. The fiber in multigrain crackers slows digestion and helps you feel fuller for longer.
- Low-carb cheese quesadilla: By using a low-carb tortilla, low-fat cheese, and spray oil, you can significantly cut the total calories in a quesadilla and stay under 100 calories.
- Chicken lettuce wrap with low-fat cheese: One ounce of grilled chicken has about 55 calories. Making a wrap with lettuce, low-fat cheese, and vegetables such as tomatoes, peppers, or onions keeps this tasty snack under 100 calories.
- Mediterranean baked ricotta muffins: Mediterranean baked ricotta muffins are rich in proteins (6.7 grams) and have 101 calories per muffin. This makes an ideal post-workout snack.
- Air-popped popcorn: Air-popped popcorn is a great snack because 3 cups contain only 100 calories. Popcorn is high in fiber, which helps keep you full, and it contains magnesium, which helps regulate muscular function.
- Cheddar cheese: Cheddar cheese is a nutritious low-calorie snack. One ounce contains 114 calories. While cheese is heavy in saturated fat, eating a small portion occasionally can help keep your cravings in check.
- Homemade popsicles: Orange juice and Greek yogurt can make creamy popsicles. You can also take crushed watermelon drizzled with lemon juice and freeze in a mold to create an ice pop.
- Strawberries with chocolate: Dark chocolate contains less fat and fewer calories than milk chocolate and contains antioxidants that are good for heart health. Melt some dark chocolate and dip strawberries in it for a tasty treat.
- Golden milk: Golden milk is milk with spices, many of which are strong in polyphenols and antioxidants. Turmeric contains the active flavonoid, curcumin, which is known to have over 150 medicinal qualities, including anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. Golden milk made from coconut milk and ½ teaspoon of honey contains about 90 calories.
- Baked spiced chickpeas: Chickpeas are abundant in fiber and protein, as well as minerals such as folate, iron, and manganese. Combine a tin of chickpeas with 2 teaspoons of coconut oil and some spice powders and bake them. Each serving contains 100 calories and 5 grams of protein. You can store them in a glass jar for a few days. Re-bake them for 5-10 minutes to restore the crunch before serving.
- Cottage cheese and cantaloupe: Cottage cheese is high in protein, with a ½ cup providing 14 grams. Low-fat cottage cheese can be eaten alone or with a side of fruit. A small melon slice takes the total calories to 100.
- Banana: Banana is high in fiber and makes an excellent on-the-go snack.
- Baked apple: Baked apples taste like a dessert but contain the same vitamins and fiber as fresh apples. You can top with cinnamon without adding calories.
- Guacamole: Avocados are a good source of fiber and fat, and ¼ of a midsize avocado has about 80 calories. To make guacamole, add one lime (juiced), 1/3 cup of red onion (minced), 1 garlic clove (mashed), 1 tablespoon of cilantro (chopped), and salt and pepper (to taste) to the mashed avocado. This snack has less than 100 calories and can be paired with non-starchy vegetables or a few low-calorie chips.
- Kosher dill pickle: Three large dill pickles contain 42 calories, 4 grams fiber, 1.2 grams protein, and 0.9 grams fat. According to studies, acidic meals can enhance the pace at which the body burns carbohydrates by up to 40%.
- Sunflower seeds: Sunflower seeds are rich in linoleic acid, a polyunsaturated fatty acid that decreases body weight, body mass index, total fat mass, and waist-to-hip ratio. A single spoon of sunflower seeds has 50 calories, 4.8 grams of fat, 1 gram of fiber, and 1.4 grams of proteins.
- Bacon: A slice of bacon in the morning is a flavorful protein boost. One slice of bacon contains 43 calories, 3.3 grams of fat, 137 mg of sodium, and 3 grams of protein. However, since processed meats can be harmful to overall health, portion control is crucial.
- Miso soup: Miso soup contains probiotics, which help promote intestinal health and can lower the risk of inflammatory bowel disease and other digestive issues. One ½-cup serving of miso soup contains 29.5 calories, 1.5 grams of fat, and 2.9 grams of protein.
What to keep in mind
When it comes to snacking, practicing mindfulness and portion control is key. Chew slowly and savor what you are eating. After eating a serving, give your body time to digest before reaching for another.
Healthy snacking habits take a while to adopt, so avoid getting discouraged if you have a few setbacks here and there.
Health Solutions From Our Sponsors
Cronin MM. What Does a 100-Calorie Snack Look Like? Healthy Women. https://www.healthywomen.org/your-wellness/nutrition--movement/what-does-100-calorie-snack-look
Hungry Hobby. 32 Healthy Trader Joe’s Snacks. https://hungryhobby.net/32-healthy-trader-joes-snacks/
WebMD. 25 Super Snacks With 100 Calories or Less. https://www.webmd.com/diet/ss/slideshow-100-calorie-snacks
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