Last Updated on January 15, 2021 by Lori Geurin
Who can deny that snacking is an American tradition? But what we graze on during the day has a huge impact on our health. What’s your favorite snack food? There’s no judgment here. My snack choices haven’t always been perfect. But here’s some food for thought…As you’ve probably guessed, the healthiest snacks are those packed with nutrients, minerals, and protein, to fuel your body until the next meal. These 20 healthy snacks are perfect for anyone – women, men, teens, toddlers, seniors, athletes, and kids. They’re full of flavor, low in sugar, and even fun to eat!
So keep reading for 20 ways to improve your snacking game, feel more energy, and boost your health! Plus, they’re quick and easy to grab and go if you’re on the run. So no worries about spending time in the kitchen because the average prep time for each of these snacks is 5 minutes or less.
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The 20 Best Healthy Snacks: Quick & Easy
1. Nut Butter
Peanut butter, peanut butter, how do I love thee? Let me count the ways…
But seriously, who can resist the creamy, nutty confection that is peanut butter? And don’t forget the lesser-known nut butters: hazelnut, cashew, almond, and walnut.
You can enjoy a scoop of peanut butter right off the spoon, or spread it on a banana or apple slices.
According to the Harvard School of Public Health Nutrition Source, several large studies over the past few years
“have shown a consistent 30 to 50 percent lower risk of heart attack, sudden cardiac death or cardiovascular disease associated with eating nuts several times a week.”
Plus, 2 tablespoons of peanut butter has 7 grams of protein and 180 mg of potassium. Just make sure to read the ingredient list and avoid added sweeteners and trans fats, especially the dreaded “partially hydrogenated oil.”
Also, don’t bother buying the “low-fat” nut butters. Manufacturers of these products simply replace the fat with sugar.
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2. Cottage Cheese
Once considered a ‘diet food’, cottage cheese is now a fan favorite of weightlifters, other athletes, and health foodies alike. This is no surprise considering the whopping 28 grams of casein protein in each cup of cottage cheese.
A summer favorite of mine is eating a sliced tomato, straight from the garden, topped with cottage cheese and plenty of Himalayan Pink Sea Salt. It may sound weird, but it tastes delicious!
You might also enjoy cottage cheese with fresh pineapple or a diced apple with cinnamon (my hubby’s favorite). So yummy!
And, if you’re looking for a dairy-free option, many stores carry dairy-free cottage cheese. Of course, you could always make your own. Here’s a recipe for Quick & Easy Vegan Cottage Cheese.
Strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, cranberries, gooseberries, and elderberries just to name a few. They’re colorful, juicy, often sweet, and full of vitamins and antioxidants (1).
Enjoy a cup full of berries with a splash of cream for a decadent treat. They’re perfect in smoothies. Plus, if you’re watching your carbs they’re an exquisite fruit option.
4. Whey Protein Shakes
Whey protein can help you gain muscle, lose fat, and increase strength (2). Sometimes I drink one as a meal replacement and I’m amazed how long it satisfies my hunger. You might want to try My Favorite Peanut Butter Protein Shake for a simple, delicious recipe.
Many people tolerate regular whey protein concentrate, but if you have digestive symptoms you might find that isolate or hydrolysate is better suited for you.
My favorite whey protein is Smirk Keto Shake. It’s not only delicious but low in sugar, keto-friendly, and mixes well with water. If you’d like to try it for yourself, be sure, and use my coupon code LORI10 to save 10%.
And, if you’re vegan there are plenty of vegan protein powder options too, like pea protein, pumpkin protein, and brown rice protein.
Eggs are highly nutritious.
They’re basically the perfect food – high in protein, healthy fats, and amino acids.
Yes, they’re also high in cholesterol, but despite what you may have heard in the past, eating high-cholesterol foods does not increase serum cholesterol in most people (4).
6. Plain Greek Yogurt
It’s creamy and rich in protein and probiotics. Yogurt can also decrease your appetite and help with weight loss (5). If you’re sensitive to dairy, you might want to try coconut yogurt (my favorite!) or other dairy-free options.
You can add berries, chia seeds, other chopped fruit or nuts to raise the vitamin and fiber content. And you can even add locally grown honey or liquid stevia for sweetness. Here’s a high-quality organic Liquid Stevia we use.
Cheese has many vitamins and minerals, including calcium, zinc, and vitamin K2. Eating it can help prevent osteoporosis and heart disease (6). And the fat in cheese can help you feel full longer, preventing cravings and helping you make it to the next meal.
Plus, cheese is a low-carb, keto-friendly food, if that’s something that is important to you.
Also, what’s a charcuterie board with cheese? Again, you can look for dairy-free options if you don’t do dairy.
Jerky is meat, such as veal, beef, turkey, or venison which is dried and cut into strips. It’s low in carbohydrates and high in protein.
The healthiest kind is made at home. Many of the jerkies you see at the grocery store have added preservatives and sugar so please keep this in mind.
Thrive Market offers excellent Grass-Fed Beef Sticks that are keto and Paleo-friendly and oh, so delicious. Without any of the artificial stuff.
9. Dark Chocolate And Pecans
Are you surprised chocolate made it to this list of healthy snacks? Chocolate is rich in antioxidants and makes a decadent snack (in small amounts). Especially when paired with a few savory pecans, almonds, or walnuts.
Choose dark chocolate with a minimum of 70-85% cocoa content. Any less and you’re looking at a lot of sugar. You might want to try these yummy Dark Chocolate Almond Butter Cups.
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10. Deli Rollups
Simply take a slice of (nitrate-free) meat, such as turkey and a lettuce leaf or slice of cheese. Roll it up, and voila! You have the perfect grab and go snack.
Also, try spreading hummus or a little plain yogurt on the turkey and wrap it around a dill pickle or asparagus spear for a delicious treat. You can slice it lengthwise first, or simply eat it as is.
11. Canned Salmon Or Tuna
Canned fish is another high-protein snack and a great choice if you’re on the go. Just be sure your office buddies are cool with the smell if you decide to pop open a can in the afternoon.
12. Veggies And Hummus
If you’ve never tried hummus give it a go. Some might say it’s an acquired taste, but it’s one of my favorite foods and I make my own at home.
I throw some white beans, garlic, lemon juice, cumin, and olive oil in the blender and it makes the most creamy and delicious hummus in no time. Here’s a similar recipe you might like to try: Super Easy Hummus
13. Protein Bars
Homemade ones are best. Like these no-bake protein bars. There are so many easy recipes for homemade protein bars using your favorite protein powder. But if you like having prepackaged ones on hand I recommend trying one of the following:
- Built Bar comes in 9 amazing flavors (and actually tastes good).
- Bison Bacon Cranberry Bars yum!
- Luna Bars
- Kind Bars
- Quest Nutrition Bars
14. A Piece Of Fruit
Simply delicious fruit. You can grab it and go. It’s a healthy remedy for a sweet tooth.
Plus, there’re so many options…bananas, pineapple, plums, kiwi, guava, and so many more. Hope you love making this Honey Lime Rainbow Fruit Salad as much as I do!
Related: Top 20 Healthiest Fruits You Can Eat
Pumpkin, sunflower, hemp, flax, and chia seeds give you quick, long-lasting energy and satiety. They can be eaten alone or in smoothies, oatmeal, or granola. One serving of pumpkin seeds (pepitas) has 7 grams of protein.
Here are some delicious, high-quality, nutritious seeds to try:
16. Unsweetened Coconut
The amazing coconut offers several healthy snack options. One of my favorites is dried unsweetened coconut flakes.
But, don’t forget coconut butter and coconut water too. Just make sure to read the labels so you know exactly what’s going into the products.
Related: 81 Uses For Coconut Oil
Olives are rich in healthy fats and antioxidants, including Vitamin E.
They’re a staple in the Mediterranean for good reason. They’re not only delicious but they may also help lower blood pressure and cholesterol.
18. 4-Ingredient Peanut Butter Energy Bites
Liv over at Healthy-Liv.com posted this yummy recipe for peanut butter energy bites.
Our family loves them and my daughter requests them before her sports events. But let me warn you, it’s hard to eat just one. Enjoy!
19. Frozen Grapes
The perfect sweet treat! Plus the anthocyanins and resveratrol in grapes reduce inflammation and lower your risk for disease (9).
If you have sensitive teeth or just don’t like them frozen, eat them chilled instead.
20. Homemade Guacamole And Raw Veggies
My personal favorite. I can eat an entire bowl of freshly made guacamole…it’s that’s good!
Here’s my favorite recipe:
Summary – 20 Best Healthy Snacks
As you can see from the list of healthy snacks above, there are so many delicious healthy snack options to choose from. And the best ones are those that help you maintain your health and fitness goals, providing high amounts of nutrition and low levels of sugar and preservatives. Plus, they taste great and are quick and easy to grab and go.
Many of these snacks are perfect if you’re watching your sugar intake or following a low-carb or keto diet. Snacks are a great way to add nutrition to your eating plan and boost your energy when you’re in a slump.
As always, listening to your body is crucial. Practice mindful eating. Pre- and post-workout snacks can benefit your muscles and recovery time. Focus on nutrient-dense snacks made from real food and you can’t go wrong.
What are your favorite healthy snacks?
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Also, check out this video below for more great healthy snacks.
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