Well planned, healthy snacks are a great addition to any weight loss plan or healthy eating pattern. Choosing a healthy snack between mealtime helps to keep you full by managing hunger.
Healthy snacks can help to reduce the chance you’ll eat too much at a later meal (6).
A good guide is to choose snacks that are between 100 and 200 calories. The best snacks provide the body with energy, provide important nutrients, and keep you feeling full (1).
What Is the Best Snack for Weight Loss?
An excellent healthy snack option is fruits and veggies. Big portion sizes of fruits and vegetables can help to fill you up while keeping the calories low.
One serving of both fruits and vegetables typically provide less than 100 calories. Fresh and frozen both works as healthy options.
Planning is key to healthy snacking.
Making snacks fit into a healthy eating pattern takes a little bit of planning ahead. Keeping fruits and vegetables stocked can help make it easy to include these in a healthy snack.
Avoid keeping unhealthy snacks like chips and cookies in the house. If they aren’t around you won’t be tempted to grab them.
Be prepared by planning and preparing some healthy snack options ahead of time. For example, cut up fresh fruit the night before or portion out a serving size of nuts before going to work (1, 6).
So after knowing all of this, what are some good choices? Find healthy snack ideas and recipes below.
25 Healthy Snack Ideas
1. Hard-boiled eggs
Hard-boiled eggs make a great high protein filling snack. With just 77 calories and 6 grams protein, and only 5 grams of fat per egg, eggs are the perfect low-carb snack. This easy snack also contains healthy fats and essential vitamins and minerals like iron and b vitamins.
2. Grass-Fed Beef jerky
Jerky – whether it’s pork, beef or turkey jerky, it is a healthy low carbohydrate and high-protein snack. The protein content in jerky makes it very filling and satisfying.
If you need a healthy low-carb mess-free snack for on-the-go, beef jerky is a great option for a midday snack.
3. Greek Yogurt
Not only is this smart snack choice is full of good-for-you bacteria, but it is a great source of calcium and protein.
The carbohydrates in Greek yogurt provide a quick energy boost for an afternoon slump while the protein helps to keep you full until your next meal.
4. Dark Chocolate
Chocolate with a high cocoa content (70% or more) is full of antioxidants, minerals, and nutrients. It can provide a quick source of energy in a snack.
That’s because the seeds from the cacao tree is a rich source of antioxidants, soluble fiber, and minerals.
100g (about the size of 1 bar) of dark chocolate comes with:
- 7.9 g protein (16% DV)
- 11 g fiber (44% DV)
- 12 mg iron (67% DV)
- 1.8 mg copper (89% DV)
- 2.0 mg manganese (98% DV)
It also contains omega 3s and 6s, potassium, zinc, and calcium, making it a healthy indulgence that won’t ruin your health or weight loss diet.
Dark chocolate provides the most benefit when combined with a source of healthy fat or protein.
Try this healthy snack in a homemade trail mix recipe:
1/4 cup 70% cacao chocolate chips, 1/4 cup almonds, and 1/4 cup dried cranberries.
Though dark chocolate can be healthy, be sure to eat in moderation as it’s also a source of sugar.
Stay conservative on the serving size and break a bar into pieces and eat a few at a time.
Also known as garbanzo beans, chickpeas are a good source of fiber and protein. Protein and fiber work together to slow digestion and help keep you feeling full.
Chickpeas are delicious when roasted.
Follow this simple recipe:
- Drain canned chickpeas and roast in 400F oven for 40-50 minutes 2.
- Toss with olive oil and your favorite flavor-boosting spices such as paprika and garlic powder.
High in fiber and low in calories, popcorn can be a great snack choice.
One single serving is more than 3 cups, provides a serving of whole grains, and is around 110 calories. Be careful to stay away from added butter and salty toppings.
Add 1/4 cup dark chocolate chips to your popcorn for some extra vitamins and minerals.
This healthy plant protein is a great source of healthy fats and fiber. Edamame comes fresh or frozen.
Easy edamame recipe: add edamame to boiling salted water, cook for 5 minutes, drain and toss lightly with sea salt and coconut oil.
8. Trail Mix
Trail mix can be full of protein, fiber, omega-3 fatty acids, and vitamins if you choose the right one.
Look for whole nuts ( walnuts, almonds, pistachios) and low sodium options. Nuts are known for their heart health benefits.
Perhaps the best option is to make homemade trail mix. Try a homemade recipe of 1/4 cup of your favorite nuts, 1 tablespoon coconut flakes, 1 tablespoon raisins, 1 tablespoon pumpkin seeds.
9. Ants On a Log
This classic recipe combines celery with natural peanut butter and raisins. Celery is very low calorie and is rich in vitamins, minerals, and fiber. Choose peanut butter with no additives.
10. Cottage Cheese
With 13 grams of protein per 1/2 cup, cottage cheese is an excellent snack. Cottage cheese is also a good source of calcium and potassium.
Try 1/2 cup berries and a drizzle of honey for a satisfying snack.
11. Nut Butter
Peanut butter, almond butter, and cashew butter are just a few great options. Top an apple with your favorite nut butter like almond butter for a high protein, fiber-rich snack.
12. Kale Chips
Kale may earn one of the top spots for the healthiest leafy greens vegetables. Baking kale tossed in avocado oil is an excellent way to include healthy fats and vegetables into an afternoon snack.
Grab our kale chips recipe here.
13. Homemade Granola Bars
The ideal granola bar for healthy snacking is full of fiber, protein, healthy fats, vitamins, and minerals.
But many granola bars are full of added sugars and are more like a candy bars than nutritious snacks. Look for granola bars that are made from whole, minimally processed ingredients and contain very little added sugar and salt.
14. Feta Dip
Mix Greek yogurt, feta, and herbs for a quick, healthy, protein-packed vegetable dip (celery sticks, cucumber slices.
15. Avocado Toast
Healthy fats in avocado make it a filling and nutritious snack. Choose 100% whole grain bread to ensure slow, steady energy.
For added flavor, experiment with different seasonings and toppings such as paprika, sesame seeds, and olive oil. I like to sprinkle a little bit of parmesan cheese on top.
Grab the avocado toast recipe here.
Homemade guacamole is easy to make with just a few ingredients. It’s a source of healthy fats with very little carbs.
Avocados also help your body absorb nutrients, maximizing your healthy eating efforts for weight loss.
To make one serving, mix 1/4 avocado, lime juice, salt, and pepper. To add a kick, mix in a splash of hot sauce or a few slices of jalapeno pepper. Enjoy with a handful of baby carrots r sliced bell pepper.
17. Peanut Butter Protein Balls
This recipe is great for on the go and packs a heavy punch on the nutrition scale from nutrient-dense chia seeds and dried fruit.
Recipe: combine 1 cup peanut butter, 1/2 cup rolled oats, 3 tablespoons chia seeds, 1/4 cup honey, and 1/4 cup dried cranberries. Stir to combine before rolling into bite-sized balls. Refrigerate and store for up to 14 days.
18. Fresh Fruits
Sometimes the healthiest thing is the simplest thing. You don’t always have to head to the kitchen to cook up healthy snacks.
Fresh fruits are nutrient-dense and uber-healthy. They require no cooking or heating. Fruits like apples, bananas, and grapes are portable as is and need no prep.
Other healthy, weight loss friendly fruits like mango, pineapple, watermelon, and peaches can be cut up ahead of time and stored in airtight containers.
19. Hummus Dip
Dip fiber-rich carrots, bell peppers, and cucumbers in creamy hummus for a satisfying, energy providing snack.
20. String Cheese
If you are looking for some portable healthy snack options, string cheese is one of the best. It comes pre-packaged, light, and compact.
It can fit into your purse or anywhere. Unlike conventional sugary energy bars, string cheese is a low-sugar, low-carb option that’s fit for weight loss.
21. Egg muffins
With egg whites, spinach, sliced red pepper, and a muffin pan, you can make easy make-ahead egg muffins that are high in protein and low in carbs.
They not only make an excellent energy-boosting breakfast but also a filling, savory snack that’ll last you for hours.
22. Black Bean Dip
Fiber is a nutrient essential in any diet and black beans have tons of it. To enjoy them as a snack, my favorite is to make black bean dip with some lemon juice, cilantro, adobo sauce, and sour cream. Enjoy them with a side of pita chips or tortilla chips.
Olives are a good source of many good-for-you nutrients and vitamins. It’s partly why they are a staple food in the Mediterranean diet.
Olives contain a high dose of biophenols. It’s one of the antioxidants that prevent the build-up of bad cholesterol. This makes olives a healthy snack that’ll be armed with heart health benefits.
What’s more these savory bites are full of vitamin E and other antioxidants that’ll further protect you osteoporosis and more.
Pair them with a side of mozzarella cheese and some nuts to create a foodie snack worthy of a cocktail party.
24. Stuffed Cherry Tomatoes
Cherry tomato is not necessarily a snack staple, but by stuffing them with cream cheese filling makes them a savory snack you can’t resist.
To make two servings, prepare 8 cherry tomatoes and cut them in half. In a small bowl, simply mix 1oz cream cheese, 1 tsp mayonnaise, and 1 tsp of chopped herbs like chives and dill.
Stuff the tomato halves with the cream cheese filling and enjoy.
You can also add a dash of lemon juice for a refreshing taste. It’s only 77 calories per serving.
25. Protein Shake
A protein shake is a good snack option for when you need something substantial and feeling until your next meal or after a workout
Studies show that protein can help you lose weight and gain muscle while losing fat and improve body composition.
There are many great protein powder supplements available on Amazon. Look for types without preservatives and added sugar.
Here’s a protein shake recipe that’s under 350 calories and provides 20 grams plant-based protein.
- 1 cup (225 ml) of unsweetened almond milk
- 1 scoop (20 grams ) VEGA ONE® ALL-IN-ONE SHAKE
- 1/3 banana
- 1/2 cup of frozen blueberries
For this recipe, combine all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. Enjoy
The Final Word
When it comes to snacking, there are a few things to remember to stay healthy. A combination of carbs, protein, and healthy fats are best for keeping you full and providing energy (1).
Protein is an especially important part of keeping snacks healthy and satisfying (3).
Keep in mind that planning ahead is key for healthy snacking. By having healthy choices on hand can, it can help be a lot easier to stick with your weight-management plan (6).
Going too long between meals can cause some to overeat. Snacking between meals is a great way to prevent overeating in these situations (6).
Healthy fats and protein help curb your appetite between meals. To keep snacks healthy think whole foods and a combination of nutrients (2).