If you’re a fan of snacking but want to eat healthily, the options in the health food aisle of your favorite grocery store can be deceiving. Many snacks you find there are loaded with fat, salt, and other ingredients you wouldn’t find on a bag of chips. This list was compiled to help the conscious consumer navigate the healthy food aisles with ease.
Not all healthy foods are created equal. Whole Foods’ Nutriferous Snack Packs line is a great place to start when you want a grab-and-go snack that has the vitamins, minerals, protein, and fiber your body needs.
The world of wholesome snack foods is vast, and it encompasses a wide range of tastes and textures. At the same time, it can be tricky to hunt down the best options for your diet, especially if you are following a specific regimen like keto, paleo, or dairy-free.
To finally get what you need for a wholesome snack or preworkout order with a nutritional bang for your buck, we urge you to check out this list of what’s healthy in the snack aisle. But keep in mind that if you aren’t sure you’ll like something on here, the WebMD experts suggest you check in with a local health food store staffer who can help you find something that might suit your lifestyle.
This unsweetened milk comes packed with 5 grams of protein on the sandwich add-in front and comes in at just 90 calories with 6 grams of sugar, making it a healthy choice to finish your meal with.
Add veggies and an exciting twist to your salad with kale or finely shredded cucumbers, anise-flavored picks like parsley, dill or dill seed, or a sprig of mint. The portion is enormous, so it’s easy to put together a healthier salad option at the end of a long day.
Canned tuna is one of the most popular snacks on this pre-workout menu. It’s full of heart-healthy omega-3 fats and protein, like the pea protein mixed with grapeseed oil that gives canned tuna a fantastic taste. You can also turn it into a hearty nut butter by pouring it over a whole-grain or seed salad, making it a strategically balanced snack.
Hemp seeds pack a huge protein punch with 8 grams of protein and 6 grams of unsaturated fats. The upside? It’s rich in omega-3 fatty acids as well as vitamin E, which protects your skin. If you’re susceptible to inflammatory digestive issues, hemp seeds can be a stand-in for the harmful spices.
UNSWEETENED CUCUMBER LADDABA
These crunchy honey-nut-flavored coins have minimal sugar. The nutritional benefit is the same if you replace honey with maple syrup. They also provide healthy fats, like heart-healthy alpha-linoleic acid, protein, and B-vitamins.
HEARTY ALMOND BUTTER
A protein powder is a great way to customize your morning meal or smoothie to be the perfect blend of complex and straightforward. Adding milk or yogurt boosts the nutritional punch. The three cups or sugar-free chocolate milk alternative from the Healthy Harvest line can be paired with your favorite sweetener and some yogurt or whole-grain yogurt for a flavorful boost.
This is where the internet comes in handy.
Mind you, though, while knowledge is power, trying to find the “best” natural food for your body at any given time is fraught with its own set of issues. For this reason, the only advice I’ll give is to give up judging foods by arbitrary standards that have nothing to do with how good they are for you.
To help you get started, I’ve put together a handy reference guide to categorize the healthiest snack foods to hand. Feel free to enjoy, share and comment as you see fit.
Almonds are an excellent source of fiber, antioxidants, and vitamin E. These crunchy bites can be eaten in various ways.
Cashews are another excellent snack for sports nutritionists. Cashews are a good source of protein, calcium, zinc, magnesium, and vitamin B12. Cashews also have a dark chocolate look and flavor, making them a great addition to any recipe that calls for chocolate.
Cashew nuts are readily available and incredibly nutrient-dense when considering their high concentration of essential omega-3 fats and protein. Cashews are generally available year-round, and they are found at their peak around Thanksgiving week. Learn more about how to roast and toast cashews to get the perfect crunch.
But rest assured that these nutrients are worth every bit of that extra “added sugar.” Quickly and easily access some of the best healthy snack options in our health food aisle:
Tip: If your money is limited, remember that bulk foods make a great gift idea!
Protein is essential for many bodily functions, but many of us don’t get enough of it. Unfortunately, a considerable volume of processed snacks and sodas can cause you to miss out on crucial nutrients, according to a study published by the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition in 2016.
By now, you may have realized that many of the snacks in your grocery store already have added sugar. Thus, if you’ve eaten them before, then you may also be familiar with added sugars of higher density.
In general, fruits and veggies should have less added sugar than processed snacks. Therefore, you shouldn’t find cocoa powder, fruit juice, or honey on the list of the best healthy snack options. Instead, look for whole foods like oats, brown rice, quinoa, or full-grain pita chips. Like Kroger’s Simply Light Protein Granola Bars, some brands keep added sugar to a minimum, so grab them for under $2.50 per bar (depending on the store).
The last group of special snack foods on this list comprises the most nutritious options on the market today. Among these are dried fruits and cooked vegetables, with added health benefits. On average, most fruits and vegetables contain about 10% to 13% of added sugars. That’s why it’s essential to the natural fruit and veggie-packed blossom lettuce or cucumbers for a high-succulent return on your investment.
Overeating sugary, fatty, and salty food can increase your risk for heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, and stroke. It also harms your ability to think clearly, sleep soundly and even boosts anxiety. You don’t have to sacrifice the nutritional quality of your food to get enough nutrients.