For anyone trying to stay healthy and maintain a balanced diet, finding healthy snacks can be a real challenge. We’re all familiar with “I’ll just grab a handful of nuts” to eventually realize you accidentally ate the entire bag by the end of the day.
To put it straight, snacking is intuitive. When you feel hungry but aren’t ready for a full meal, we naturally look for something to snack on. The hard part is finding snacks that are healthy AND easy to eat in the right amounts. You also have to find snacks that you enjoy eating while fitting your current diet/lifestyle.
That’s why we decided to make this healthy snacking guide! We’ll cover what to consider when looking for snacks, along with examples for different situations.
Things To Consider When Looking For Healthy Snacks
Choosing the right snacks isn’t a one size fits all answer. Someone following a keto diet will have different snack options than someone following a vegan diet. There are also things such as budget, calorie density, and how full a particular snack makes you feel.
Snacking On A Keto Diet
When it comes to snacks that fit the keto diet, there are three things watch.
Make sure the amount of carbs fits your individual carb goal. Be sure you check the serving size as well. You might see a snack with 5g of carbs per serving, which seems low, but the serving sizes could be tiny. The small serving size could make it easy to eat 3 or 4 servings at a time, causing you to eat more carbs than you intended.
Some snacks like Prosciutto are great for a keto diet but can be incredibly expensive. If you snack often, you may need to opt for things that are within your current budget.
3. Calorie Density
A lot of keto snacks are high in fat which leads to them having a lot of calories. This might not matter to you, but if you are trying to lose weight, it's something to watch. For example, cashews are a great keto snack, but a 4 oz serving of cashews contains over 620 calories!
Example Keto Snack OptionsHere are a few keto snack options that you may want to try!
- Beef jerky
- Kale chips
- String cheese
- MCT Collagen Bars
High Protein Snacks
If you’re training multiple days per week or are trying to increase your strength or gain muscle, finding high-protein snacks might be important to you.
Here are a few things to consider when looking for high-protein snacks.
This one is pretty straightforward. You want to make sure you’re getting a solid amount of protein per serving.
2. Protein To Calorie Ratio
This one isn’t as obvious, but you want to make sure that a good chunk of the calories comes from protein. For example, you might find a snack with 12 grams of protein per serving, but each serving contains 320 calories. That means just to get 24 grams of protein; you would end up eating 640 calories. That's a bit high if you’re trying to watch your calorie intake.
High Protein Snack Options
Here are a few ideas for high-protein snacks.
- Greek yogurt
- Hard-boiled eggs
- Protein shake
- Cottage cheese
If your primary goal is weight loss, you’ll want to focus on snacks that are low in calories but also make you feel full.
1. Calorie Density
Be sure to check the calorie count. Don’t just assume a snack like popcorn is low-calorie. Sometimes snacks add flavorings that cause calories to spike. Make sure you look at the serving size too. You might find a “low-calorie snack” that only has 80 calories per serving, but if a serving is barely a handful, it might quickly lead to eating 4-5 servings at a time, causing you to eat more calories than you wanted.
Protein is satiating, meaning it makes you feel full. This is important in a low-calorie snack as it will help prevent overeating.
Fiber is another substance that will help you feel full. High fiber snacks that are also low in calories are going to be a great choice!
Low-Calorie Snack OptionsHere are a few low-calorie snack options.
- Greek yogurt
- Kale chips
- Berries - 3.5 oz of blueberries only contains 57 calories with 2.4 grams of fiber. Even if you end up eating an entire 16-ounce container, you’ll only end up eating 257 calories.
- Shrimp cocktail with low-calorie cocktail sauce.
- Fermented vegetables (sauerkraut, kimchi, fermented carrot sticks)
Cheap Healthy Snacks
If you’re on a budget but also want to find healthy snacks, we have you covered! Here is a list of snacks that are around 1$ per serving.
- Cottage cheese - You can usually get cottage cheese for $0.60 - $1 per 0.5 cup serving.
Greek yogurt - You may have noticed greek yogurt shows up a lot in this guide. Not only does it fit a lot of categories, but you can also get it for around 1$ per serving!
Hard-boiled egg - You can get eggs for around $0.13 - $0.20 per egg.
String cheese - This will cost around $0.25 per stick.
Oatmeal - One of the cheapest options. It usually costs less than $0.20 per serving.
Vegan snacks can remove a lot of snack options, but not to worry. There are still plenty of choices!
Vegan Snack Options
Chips and guacamole
Vegetables and hummus
There you have it! The ultimate guide to snacking. Use this guide to help you look for snacks that fit your lifestyle and any other constraints you may have. Here are a few more guides for more specific situations like eating healthy while working from home and eating healthy on a road trip.
If you follow a low-carb or ketogenic diet, we highly recommend you check out our MCT Collagen Bars! Not only are they some of the cleanest keto-friendly bars on the market, with only 3g of net carbs, but they also contain MCTs from coconuts and 7-8g of collagen per bar!