While healthy snack ideas are nice in theory, it may be hard to put them into practice. We live in a world that's equal measures go-go-go and all about convenience, meaning that it's usually so much easier to grab something rather than whip up a healthy snack yourself. But here's a little weight-loss secret: Preparation is everything, especially when it comes to snacks . While you might have all your healthy meals set in stone, if you go too many hours in between them without eating, you leave yourself open to becoming ravenous and hangry, then housing a box of cookies in the blink of an eye when you hadn't actually meant on indulging. Healthy snack ideas and recipes are essential for avoiding those moments, which is why we're here to help you out.
Of course, healthy snacks are only part of what you eat in a day, and what you eat in a day is only part of what it takes to lose weight in a healthy, sustainable way. If that is your goal, there are other things you need to think about in order to get there. (If it's not your goal, that's cool—all this advice and all these snacks are helpful ways to eat and be healthier overall.) To lose weight you need to be thoughtful about your physical activity, your stress levels, how much sleep you get, and any confounding medical issues. Food is just part of the equation. The truth is, losing weight is a different experience for every person. What might work for your best friend might not work for you, and that's fine. And if you have a history of disordered eating , it's a good idea to check in with your doctor before changing your eating habits.
These healthy snack ideas are intended to supplement healthy meals. They can help you take care of yourself in the spaces in between—to keep you full and fueled and feeling your best, all day, every day.
If you want to sate a salt craving, eat…
1. 23 almonds (161 calories). Almonds serve up healthy fats , which play a big role in making food both tasty and satisfying.
2.Brami Lupini Beans (35 calories). These edamame-like beans contain 4 grams of fiber and 4 grams of protein per serving, both of which are key in helping you stave off hunger. As if that weren't good enough, they also contain no added sugar.
3. 3 tablespoons hummus and 5 large baby carrots (125 calories). Given that hummus is made of chickpeas, it's a snacking star, packing in protein and fiber to keep you full. Plus, it's a pretty tasty vehicle for getting in your daily recommended 2 1/2 cups of vegetables per day .
4. 2 cups sliced bell peppers and 2 tablespoons guacamole (108 calories). What a delicious way to eat the rainbow —bell peppers offer fiber, plus a whole host of vitamins (A, B6, C, K, and folate, in particular). When paired with the healthy fats in guacamole, you've got a satisfying snack that'll go the distance.
5. 1 ounce of Salt Of The Earth Popcorners (110 calories). These popcorn-based chips are free of added sugar, contain healthy fats, and make a great substitute when you're craving typical potato chips.
6. 1 Wasa Wholegrain Crispbread topped with 1 tablespoon avocado and 1 tablespoon hummus (80 calories). Whole grains are a key part of a healthy diet. As complex carbohydrates, your body has to work hard to break them down, meaning they help to keep you full. Plus, whole grains contain fiber, too, for a satiating cherry on top of this healthy sundae.
7. 10 steamed medium asparagus spears topped with 1 tablespoon toasted almond slivers (114 calories). Fragrant pee aside, asparagus offers nutritional benefits like fiber, protein (yes, really!), and potassium , while the almonds add some healthy fats to keep your stomach happy.
8. 1 small potato cut into 1/2-inch-thick slices, tossed with 1 teaspoon olive oil and a pinch of finely chopped rosemary, baked at 450 degrees for 30 minutes, then dipped in 1/4 cup plain 2 percent Greek yogurt (206 calories). Potatoes have a bad reputation, but they're actually a healthy carb—as long as they're topped with the right things. In this snack, the olive oil and Greek yogurt provide fat and protein to keep the potato's carb content from spiking your blood sugar.
9. 1/4 cup black beans combined with 1 tablespoon salsa, 1 tablespoon cottage cheese, and 1 tablespoon guacamole; eat with 4 celery stalks (101 calories). Black beans provide a good dose of fiber , the salsa adds some veggies, cottage cheese contributes some helpful protein, and the avocado in guacamole brings healthy fats to the table.
10. 1/4 cup 1/4-inch-thick cucumber slices, tossed with 3 ounces plain 2 percent Greek yogurt, 2 teaspoons chopped cashews, 1 teaspoon lemon juice, and 1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh dill (107 calories). Cukes are a water-rich vegetable, which can help them boost your hydration levels. People often think they're hungry when they're actually just thirsty , so keeping up with your water intake is a major part of avoiding unnecessary snacking.
11. 1 slice whole-wheat toast brushed with 1/2 teaspoon olive oil, topped with 1 tablespoon plain 2 percent Greek yogurt and a mixture of 3 tablespoons diced tomatoes with a pinch of chopped garlic and basil (130 calories). This lightened-up bruschetta serves up the antioxidant lycopene, thanks to the tomatoes, some protein, courtesy of the Greek yogurt, and some healthy carbs from the bread (plus, of course, a lot of delicious flavor).
12. 1 Laughing Cow Swiss Original wedge and 6 Triscuits (170 calories). Such a simple snack, but it packs a nutritional punch, with a mix of protein, healthy carbs, and even some calcium, to boot.
14. 1 ounce buffalo mozzarella, 1/2 cup cherry or grape tomatoes, fresh basil (94 calories). Um, yum. Although this snack is low in calories, it feels pretty indulgent, which is convenient, since finding healthy foods you enjoy is the cornerstone of weight loss.
15. 1 stick Sargento Natural String Cheese + a kiwi (126 calories). Adding some creamy, cheesy goodness helps keep the kiwi's sugar content (7 grams per fruit, FYI) from spiking your blood glucose levels, which can create a cycle that throws your appetite out of whack.
16. 1 ounce Habanero Lime Peeled Snacks Peas Please (120 calories). Does anything scream "healthy" like munching on some baked peas as a snack? These have no added sugar, plus 5 grams of fiber and protein each per serving.
17. 1 cup unshelled edamame (189 calories). Edamame has a delightful surprise: Its protein content comes in at 17 grams in each cup. Eat it on its own, or use it in one of these high-protein snack recipes if you're feeling a little fancier.
19. 1/2 cup Lightly Salted Wonderful Pistachios (160 calories). These nuts can aid your weight-loss efforts thanks to their hearty helpings of healthy fats, fiber and protein. Plus, the act of removing them from their shells forces you to slow down , a helpful habit when you're trying to lose weight.
20.SeaSnax Toasty Onion Roasted Seaweed Sheets , 2 ounces canned tuna, and 1 ounce avocado (170 calories). These are easy to whip up, but still feel complex enough to pat yourself on the back. To give all these healthy fats and protein some zing, drizzle lemon on top.
21. 2 pieces prosciutto, 4 dried figs (154 calories). Pretend you're lounging in an Italian villa with this snack, which pairs protein and fruit-based carbs in a pretty luxe way.
22. 1 6" Subway turkey breast sandwich on whole-wheat (162 calories). The protein and carbs are a great base for a veggie-loaded sandwich. This one's perfect as a large post-workout snack after an intense bout of exercise.
23. 1/2 piece whole-grain toast, topped with 1 scrambled egg and 1/4 avocado (197 calories). This Instagram-perfect snack has a foundation of carb-y deliciousness that you finish off with protein and creamy healthy fats.
24. 1 whole-grain English muffin, 1 ounce plain Greek yogurt, and 4 chicken breast slices (208 calories). Protein-rich Greek yogurt is a great stand-in for mayo, and it gets a lift from the added protein in chicken breast slices, helping to avoid hunger pangs. And thanks to the English muffin's carbs, you'll enjoy an energy boost, too.
25. 1/2 cup pumpkin seeds in the shell (143 calories). To make these healthy fats taste even better, sprinkle whichever spices your heart desires on top.
26. 1/4 cup Saffron Road Wasabi Chickpeas (130 calories). These roasted chickpeas are filled with 5 grams of fiber and 6 grams of protein per serving, so eat up!
27. 1 ounce Enlightened Sriracha Roasted Broad Beans (100 calories). Every ounce of these little guys is loaded with 7 grams of protein and 5 grams of fiber —perfect for preventing any impulsive trips to the office vending machine.
If you're trying to satisfy a sweet tooth…
28. 8 ounces plain 2 percent Greek yogurt with 1/2 cup fresh raspberries (234 calories). You get protein and healthy fats, plus a dose of antioxidants.
29. 20 frozen grapes (40 calories). This snack is sweetness epitomized—expect a boost of energy thanks to those tasty carbs.
31. 10 strawberries and 1 inch Brie cheese (97 calories). Strawberries provide fiber, while even a small amount of the brie can help keep you full because of its fat content (plus it feels like a real treat—always a good thing).
32. 1/2 banana rolled in 1 tablespoon frozen semisweet chocolate chips (123 calories). When you want a sweet healthy snack, turn to bananas. The possibilities are basically endless, as evidenced by this mix! As an added bonus, potassium is a helpful debloater.
33. 1 cup uncooked oatmeal prepared with 1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk and topped with 1/2 banana (218 calories). Oats are another one of those carbs that can help you lose weight thanks to all their fiber. To add some calorie-free sweetness besides the banana, experiment with spices like cinnamon and nutmeg.
34. 1/2 an apple and a Justin's Classic Almond Butter Squeeze Pack (238 calories). How fitting that this snack contains the word "classic"—does it get any more old-school than this? Pairing an apple, which has energizing carbs, and a nut butter, with its protein and healthy fats , is a match made in heaven.
35. 1 Cherry Pie LaraBar (200 calories). Although bars are often loaded with ingredients that make them not-so-healthy, many R.D.s are fans of Lara Bars due to their simplicity. This bar kicks weird additives to the curb, with only three ingredients: cherries, almonds, and dates.
36. 1/2 a bar of Alter Eco Deep Dark Sea Salt Organic Chocolate (223 calories). Your answers to the healthy-snack-recipe gods have been answered. Step 1: Get a bar of intense dark chocolate. Step 2: Put some in your mouth. Step 3: Benefit from this superfood's antioxidants and indulgent taste.
37. 2 strips dried mango with 1 ounce macadamia nuts (219 calories). Dried fruit can go overboard in calories and sugar, but there's no reason you can't enjoy small amounts as part of a snack, along with some nuts for healthy fats to prevent a blood-sugar rollercoaster ride.
38. 1 box Horizon Organic Low-Fat Chocolate Milk (150 calories). It seems like chocolate milk and health would be complete enemies, but this drink is actually a winner because it blends protein and carbs in an easy-to-consume way, which is why many R.D.s love it as a post-workout snack .
39. 1 Yasso Cookies & Cream Frozen Greek Yogurt bar (100 calories). Stoke your foodie nostalgia with this healthier version of an ice cream bar, which relies on Greek yogurt to deliver some filling protein under the guise of a delectable treat.
40. 1 1/4 cups Smartfood Sweet And Salty Kettle Corn (140 calories). Sometimes even the biggest sweet tooth wants flavor that's a bit more layered, which is where the hint of salt in this snack comes in. And since popcorn is a whole-grain, these little kernels do your body good.
41. 1/2 a sliced pear with 1 ounce 70-85 percent dark chocolate (220 calories). While you can certainly snack on dark chocolate by itself, sometimes adding in another ingredient makes it even better. Enter: pears, which pack ample fiber in their skins, meaning this snack will help keep your stomach from rumbling before it's time for your next meal.
42. 1 cup apple slices dipped in 2 tablespoons caramel topping (160 calories). Yes, even when you're trying to lose weight, you can still have what basically amounts to a candy apple as long as it's in moderation! Giving yourself the freedom to eat these kinds of sweet treats, instead of banishing them to a "forbidden foods " list, makes it much more likely that you'll be able to enjoy a reasonable portion instead of overdoing it.
43. 1 clementine with 4 ounces plain 2 percent Greek yogurt (123 calories). Clementines' natural sweetness means you can enjoy this protein-rich treat without honey or any other version of added sugar.
44. 1 piece whole-grain toast, 1 tablespoon almond butter, 1/2 banana (251 calories). This simple snack is a breeze to make, but it doesn't skimp on nutrients, offering fiber, healthy fats, and some protein , too.
45. 1 cup warm unsweetened apple sauce (105 calories). Spoon this up for an easy snack with fiber and 52 grams of vitamin C , aka 86 percent of your daily recommendations of this essential nutrient.
46. 1 CLIF Nut Butter Peanut Butter Bars (230 calories). Here's another bar option that rises above typical grocery store energy bars, thanks to its 7 grams of fiber and 27 grams of carbs, which largely come from oats and oat-based flour.
47. 1/4 cup Dark Chocolate Whole Grain Clusters (190 calories). Granola often has a "health halo," as in, it seems like an inherently healthy food when the store-bought varieties are anything but. Luckily, some granola is definitely healthier than others, like this pick, which only has 5 grams of added sugar per serving, but 10 grams of protein, 3 grams of fiber, and 30 grams of energizing carbs .
48. 7 Annie’s Oatmeal Cookie Bites (130 calories). Fuel up while pleasing your palate with these oatmeal cookie bites, which offer 4.5 grams of healthy fats per serving for some stick-to-your-ribs nourishment.
49. 1/4 cup 365 Everyday Value Backcountry Bundle Trail Mix (120 calories). Whether you're on a strenuous hike or just trying to power through a busy day at work, a good-quality trail mix is your friend. The only problem: It can be hard to figure out which ones are actually healthy. Try this one, which features carbs, protein, and healthy fats, thanks to its almonds, raisins, cranberries, pistachios, and sour cherries, plus some sweetness due to a hint of sugar.
51. 1 frozen banana, 1 cup frozen spinach, 1/4 cup plain 2 percent Greek yogurt, and 1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk blended (165 calories). Pre-made smoothies are often brimming with added sugar, so make your own version that gets natural sweetness and creaminess from a frozen banana. The spinach (you won't be able to taste it, promise!) adds fiber and the Greek yogurt contributes protein, so you won't be hungry 2.5 seconds after downing this treat.
52. 1/2 cup blueberries with 4 ounces cottage cheese and 1 teaspoon honey (159 calories). If you happen to love cottage cheese, you're in luck—this divisive food can help you get your daily fill of protein . Mix it with blueberries for fiber and antioxidants and honey for sweetness.
53. 1 brown rice cake topped with 1 tablespoon almond butter and 1/2 cup pomegranate seeds (230 calories). Help yourself to some complex carbs you can get creative with! You can layer tons of different ingredients on top of a brown rice cake, but this combo shines thanks to its healthy fats, protein, and pomegranate-provided antioxidants.
54. 1 Medjool date stuffed with 1 tablespoon peanut butter (160 calories). This is a dietitian favorite for a reason—this easy-to-make snack has protein and healthy fats in spades.