Well-planned, nutritious snacks are a great addition to any weight management plan or healthful eating pattern.
Choosing a nourishing 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 (1).
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 like protein and fat, and keep you feeling full (2).
When combined with carbs, protein, and fat helps you stay full for longer.
A good rule of thumb is to look for snacks that are high in protein and are full of nutrients (3).
What Is the Best Snack for Weight Loss?
An excellent snack option is fruits and veggies.
Big portion sizes of fruits and vegetables can help to fill you up while keeping the calories low (1).
One serving of both fruits and vegetables typically provides less than 100 calories. Fresh and frozen both works as great options.
Planning is a major key to healthful snacks.
Making snacks fit into a nutritious 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 making some nutritious 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, 2).
So after knowing all of this, what are some healthy snacks? Find ideas for healthy snacks and recipes below.
50 Healthy Snack Ideas for Weight Loss
1. Hard-Boiled Eggs
Hard-boiled eggs make a great protein-dense and filling snack.
With just 77 calories and 6 grams of protein, and only 5 grams of fat per egg, hard-boiled eggs are the perfect low-carb snack.
This easy snack also contains good 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, is a great choice for nourishing low carbohydrate and high-protein snacking.
The protein content in jerky makes it very filling and satisfying (3).
Look for grass-fed varieties which are higher in good for your fat and richer in nutrients.
If you need a low-carb, mess-free bite 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.
The best bet is to choose a Greek yogurt with no added sugar.
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.
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 bar 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.
Grab the recipe here.
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 from 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 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 of 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
26. Cinnamon Oatmeal
The complex carbs and fiber found in oats provide the body with sustaining energy. Plus, oats are a great choice for heart health (1).
Tip: be careful what you put into your oatmeal; not all additions are created equal.
Avoid excess sugars and saturated fat by sticking with high-quality toppings.
Topping oatmeal with a lean protein and heart-healthy option ups the nutrition factor to make the most of your bowl of oatmeal.
Try cinnamon plus 1/4 cup sliced apples and 1/4 cup Greek yogurt.
27. Spelt Pretzels
Spelt is considered an “ancient grain” and is full of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and fiber.
Plus, it’s slightly higher in protein than traditional pretzels, providing about 5 grams of protein.
These nutty-tasting pretzels are a perfect alternative to potato chips you’re in the mood to nibble.
Spelt pretzels would be great with 1 tablespoon of peanut butter.
28. Veggie Crackers
Vegetable crackers can easily deliver some of the benefits of eating vegetables in a snack format that’s convenient and tasty.
Low in calories and high in fiber, veggie crackers can be a helpful snack when trying to lose weight.
As another alternative to potato chips, veggie crackers can be bought in a ready-to-eat package or you can make them at home with leftover veggies.
29. Overnight Oats
This snack is super easy to prep ahead of time and the flavor combinations are endless.
Boost the nutrient content by using flax seeds as a topping; both toppings increase the protein content of this choice and add fiber.
A good rule of thumb is one part oats, one part liquid, 1/2 part yogurt, or additional liquid.
A few awesome combinations:
- peanut butter + banana
- cocoa powder + strawberry
- almond butter + granola
- coconut yogurt + almond extract + cherries
- blueberries + mango + vanilla almond milk
20. Chocolate Covered Raspberries
These sweet treats are a perfect sweet low fat, low-calorie snack to satisfy your afternoon craving for sweets.
Both dark chocolate and fresh raspberries are excellent sources of antioxidants and micro-nutrients.
Bonus: low sugar chocolate has been shown to be beneficial to one’s heart health.
Here’s all you need to make this Valentine’s Day inspired treat:
- 6 oz. dark chocolate
- 1-2 pints of raspberries
- 1 tsp. coconut oil
31. Homemade Ice Cream
Skip the store-bought ice cream and try a homemade recipe.
Lower in saturated fat and higher in protein than regular ice cream, this is one of the easiest healthy snacks to customize.
With just 4 ingredients, this homemade ice cream is less than 150 calories per serving and provides 10 grams of protein.
Try this basic recipe:
- 4 cups of frozen fruit
- 1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 3 Tablespoons honey
Blend together using a food processor and store for up to 1 month.
32. Ranch Dip
Ranch dip made with yogurt is a quick and simple recipe made with basic ingredients you probably already have on hand.
Stir it together in minutes, and enjoy the dip with some carrot sticks and celery for extra fiber.
Nuts are high in fiber, protein, fat, and antioxidants.
Pistachios are an especially nutritious choice with their high B vitamin content.
Various studies have linked pistachios with weight reduction and heart health (11).
To help you slow down when nibbling and lose weight, choose pistachios with shells on.
34. Amaranth Popcorn
Amaranth is a naturally gluten-free snack that is especially high in protein and calcium.
While amaranth is technically a seed, it tastes and acts like a grain (11).
When gently heated, this ancient grain puffs up like popcorn. Use it as a snack on its own, or as a crunchy, nutty, topping for a parfait, granola, or cereal.
35. Chickpea Cookie Dough
This version of cookie dough is lower in both calories and saturated fat than regular cookie dough while providing you with satiating protein.
Eat it with a spoon or use it as a dip to satisfy your sweet tooth.
As mentioned above, chickpeas are a good source of fiber to aid in digestion and promote healthy weight loss (6).
Try this simple recipe:
- 1 can chickpeas (15 oz.), rinsed and drained
- 1/4 cup creamy almond butter
- 1/3 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
- 2 tbs maple syrup
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
Combine all ingredients except for chocolate chips in a food processor; blend until smooth. Add low sugar chocolate chips before serving chilled.
There are tons of different options for granola out there.
To find one that offers the most bang for your buck, check out the ingredient list and nutrition facts. Steer clear of excess sugars and ingredients you can’t pronounce (12).
Top ingredients include
- Oats, which are high in fiber to aid in lowering cholesterol and to promote digestive health
- Nuts provide potassium, protein, fiber, and magnesium and are low in saturated fat
- Seeds, which are a good source of good fats and antioxidants
Stick to one serving size after checking the label. Granola can be high in calories, sugar, and fat (12).
37. Seasoned Avocado
A simple way to include healthy fats from avocado is to use spices.
A sprinkle of salt and pepper tastes great. To mix it up try paprika, cayenne pepper, or lemon juice.
38. Chia Seed Pudding
Chia seeds are often referred to as a “superfood”. They contain several components that may prevent the development of a wider range of chronic diseases.
Of note, they are also high in omega 3 fatty acids, making them a heart-healthy, satiety-promoting snack (13).
This nutrient-dense snack is high in fiber, protein, calcium, phosphorus, zinc, and omega-3 fatty acids. Two tablespoons are just under 150 calories and low in saturated fat.
Mix 2 tablespoons of chia seeds with 1/2 cup of almond, oat, or cow’s milk.
Experiment with different toppings such as coconut flakes, fresh fruit, or a touch of maple syrup.
39. Beet Chips
Antioxidant-rich beets are a great alternative to chips when you’re craving a salty, crunchy snack.
Thinly slice beets and toss with a thin layer of olive oil.
Bake in 350F oven for 20 minutes until crispy. Top with sea salt and enjoy this option that is naturally low in calories.
40. Pineapple Salsa
Get in a serving of fruits and veggies by combining fresh pineapple, jalapeno, chopped red onion, bell pepper, and cilantro.
Dip in whole-grain pita chips or choose sliced avocado for healthy fat and added fiber.
41. Simple Peanut Butter Balls
Whip up this simple recipe and you’ll have healthy snacks for the week.
These healthy alternatives to chocolate chip cookies are low in sugar and saturated fat.
You may already have all ingredients you need on hand:
- 1 1/2 cups old fashioned rolled oats
- 1/2 cup peanut butter
- 1/3 cup pure maple syrup
- 1/3 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
These couldn’t be easier to make. Just stir all the ingredients together, chill for about 30 minutes, then pat into balls. These sweet treats are high in protein and good-for-you fat.
42. Mini Mexican Roll-ups
Use whole-grain tortillas and black beans for a high fiber pick-me-up.
Prepare roll-ups with shredded chicken to have snacks on hand that keep you feeling full.
For added protein and to minimize saturated fat, use Greek yogurt in place of sour cream.
43. Carrot and Coconut Popsicles
These super-simple cold treats are perfect healthy snacks during the summer.
Carrots are loaded with vitamin A and antioxidants while coconut yogurt offers good for-you fats (2).
In a blender, combine all the ingredients and a touch of honey. Use 1/2 cup of pineapple for added sweetness.
Place mixture into Popsicle molds and freeze until firm. Enjoy these tasty snacks with a light dusting of cayenne pepper to kick up the heat.
44. Spicy Avocado Deviled Eggs
Mix in avocado and red pepper to jazz up boiled eggs.
The creaminess and healthy fat from avocado add extra richness and flavor to deviled eggs that make these snacks extra satisfying.
Eggs are a rich source of iron, omega-3 fat, and protein.
45. Mango Fruit Roll-ups
Making your own fruit roll-up means you satisfy your sweet tooth without extra added sugar. These tropical, make-ahead treats are super easy for an on-the-go snack.
Pulse mango in a food processor until it becomes a pulp-like consistency.
Spread mango in a thin layer on a baking sheet; bake in a 160F oven for 2-4 hours until set.
46. Mini Caprese Salad
Top 1 whole sliced tomato with a drizzle of oil and a pinch of sea salt.
A few sprigs of basil and 1 ounce of feta cheese on top adds a little tang to this low-fat, protein-rich snack.
47. Super Food Bars
Simple superfood bars can be made with oats, nuts, seeds, and dried fruits to give you sustaining energy and fiber while keeping these snacks under 150 calories.
There are countless combinations to try out, but some of my favorites include steel-cut oats, pumpkin seeds, flax, dried cranberries, and honey.
Want to up the nutrient density?
Try these superfoods, which are known to pack a punch with their high concentration of antioxidants (14):
- Acai berries
- Dried blueberries
- Brazil nuts
- Sunflower seeds
48. Shrimp and Cocktail Sauce
Shrimp has a variety of health benefits.
This shellfish is high in a variety of vitamins and minerals, and is an excellent source of protein; just 3 ounces of shrimp provide almost 20 grams of protein and less than 150 calories.
Including shrimp in your diet may also promote heart and brain health due to the omega-3 fatty acids, antioxidants, and low saturated fat content, (15).
Pack thawed shrimp and a small container of cocktail sauce for a quick snack that is doesn’t require heating.
49. Chocolate Milk
Chocolate milk is an excellent snack choice for a variety of reasons.
Not only does the protein and fat in milk tide you over between meals, but the carbs provide an energy source.
A single 8 oz. serving provides 8 grams of protein and just 160 calories.
Even better, the fluid and electrolytes in chocolate milk make it one of the best snacks to boost hydration.
It’s also one of the best choices for snacking because chocolate milk is highly portable, cheap to buy, and easy to find.
50. Dark Chocolate Banana Pops
Easy to customize and portable, chocolate-dipped bananas with crushed peanuts are a sweet and salty snack.
Dark or semi-sweet chocolate is full of antioxidants and minerals and provides a quick source of energy for an afternoon slump (4).
Nuts add protein, fat, and fiber for a filling snack (2).
Simply cut bananas in half, stick on a popsicle stick, and dip in melted chocolate. Freeze for later and you have a cool bite to eat for a snack.
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.
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).
- American Heart Association. (2016, September 20). Healthy Snacking. https://www.heart.org/en/healthy-living/healthy-eating/add-color/healthy-snacking
- Weisenberger, J. (2015, June 29). What Science Says about Snacking. Food and Nutrition. https://foodandnutrition.org/july-august-2015/science-says-snacking/
- Webb, D. (2015, June). High-protein Snacking. Today’s Dietitian. https://www.todaysdietitian.com/newarchives/060415p22.shtml
- American Heart Association. (2019, February 12). Are there health benefits from chocolate? https://www.heart.org/en/news/2019/02/12/are-there-health-benefits-from-chocolate
- Harvard Health Publishing. (2014, December). Easy ways to fit more fiber into meals and snacks. Harvard Medical School. https://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/easy-ways-to-fit-more-fiber-into-meals-and-snacks
- Mayo Clinic, Healthy Lifestyle. (2018, November 17). High Fiber Foods. Mayo Clinic. https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/nutrition-and-healthy-eating/in-depth/high-fiber-foods/art-20050948
- Choose My Plate. TIPS: Make half your grains whole grains. The United States Department of Agriculture. https://www.choosemyplate.gov/eathealthy/grains/grains-tips.
- Palmer, J. (2014, December 15). Avocados are Packed with Nutrients for your Health. The University of New Hampshire. https://www.unh.edu/healthyunh/blog/nutrition/2014/12/avocados-are-packed-nutrients-your-health
- Debicka, M. (2018, March 19). Potential Health Benefits of Olive and Plant Polyphenols. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5877547/
- Klein, J. (2017, August 24). Are Protein Bars and Shakes Good Sources of Protein? UC Health. https://www.uchealth.org/today/are-protein-bars-and-shakes-good-sources-of-protein/
- Nutrition Stripped. Foundational Five, Amaranth. https://nutritionstripped.com/food-index/amaranth/.
- Shortsleeve, C. (2018, October 29). Is Granola Healthy? Here’s What Experts Say. Time. https://time.com/5435934/is-granola-healthy/
- Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. Chia Seeds. Harvard Medical School. https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/food-features/chia-seeds/
- UC Davis. What Makes Super Foods so Super? https://www.ucdavis.edu/food/what-makes-superfood-so-super/.
- Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. (2013, April 3). Eat Seafood the Healthy Way. https://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/eat-seafood-the-healthy-way