Snacking can get you into a lot of trouble with your waistline. Even the most health-conscious meal planners can sometimes fall into a pattern of mindless snacking, and 9 times out of 10, what’s right in front of you isn’t going to be that doctor-recommended handful of almonds. You’re going to eat some candies from the bowl at the receptionist’s desk or “sample” one of those cupcakes your co-worker brought in because you didn’t have time to grab lunch in between conference calls. Or you’re out running errands on the weekend and don’t have time to sit down for a salad so that bag of Doritos will have to do.
Snack planning is as essential as meal prepping, whether you’re on a weight loss journey or just trying to maintain. And while we know it’d be even better if you made your own snacks at home — we hear you habitual clean eaters out there — sometimes that’s just not realistic. And we’d much rather you took advantage of these healthy, pre-packed, on-the-go snacks below, which probably aren’t on your radar, than grab another handful of m&ms from that co-worker you don’t really like when you’re hangry. So check out these 7 options below for happy, healthy snacking.
Get whatever image you have of snapping into a Slim Jim out of your mind.; this is not your ’90s jerky. I began snacking on jerky during my weight loss journey because, like most people, I love carbs, and, again, like most people, what I really needed was protein. But at some point, I couldn’t down another protein bar or shake, I wanted something meal-like and that’s when I turned to jerky.
While there are a number of options available, what’s great about Laura’s Lean Beef Jerky is all beef from the brand is raised without antibiotics or added growth hormones. And with 80 calories in a 1 oz serving and just 1 gram of fat, 6 grams of carbs and 12 grams of protein, it’s a great option for those looking to reduce carbs and fat and build muscle with healthy protein. And it comes in three great flavors — Original, Teriyaki, and Peppered. The latter is my fave!
I live for chips and dip of any and every variety, but most chips and their accompanying cream-based dips are not conducive to my health goals. Yumami, however, is. The brand’s Go-Dip Snack packs were practically made for people like me, featuring a pouch with their Nori Popped chips, which are made of Rice, Corn, Flax Seed, Quinoa, Chia Seed, Nori, Sea Salt, on one side, and a 3.5 oz serving size of edamame, Adzuki Bean, Lentil, or Black Bean Dip on the other, which are packed with bean protein and fiber to keep you full. The flavor is the freshest taste you’ll find for a packaged dip.
I won’t pretend to be a raw olive fan, but I know enough people who are. Plus, I know the antioxidant and iron-rich benefits olives offer. Unless you’re my cousin, you’re probably not going to carry around a jar of these babies in your purse, but you can keep Pearls Olives To Go on hand, thanks to their non-liquid, easy-to-open snack cups that are just 100 calories and completely Gluten-free, dairy-free, sugar-free, cholesterol-free, trans-fat-free, GMO-free, vegan, and Kosher. Feel free to eat them with a whole wheat pita or dip them in hummus.
Speaking of hummus, I would be nowhere without Sabra Singles. Chickpeas, which are the base of hummus, are a great source of protein and fiber, which is what snacking should be all about. It’s not a meal, it’s something to hold you over until your next real meal, and unless the food has a good nutrient makeup you’re just going to keep snacking and snacking and snacking until you have to loosen your pants. Let’s not do that when you you can buy these singles in combo packs with pretzels and knock out that craving, or just buy a pack of hummus singles and dip into them with carrots or celery to make the snack even more nutritious.
I know sometimes you just want something sweet when a snack craving hits and so does Kur, the makers of the Scandinavian bite-size bar that gives you just enough of a treat to satisfy your sweet tooth. But instead of loading you up with added sweeteners, Kur uses the natural sweetness of 100% raw and organic ingredients like dates, nuts, cashew butter, and cacao to make its bars which come in flavors like Brownie, cacoa mint, and coconut cashew. The brownie bars are just 90 calories with 4.5 grams of fat, 12 grams of carbs, and 2.5 grams of protein.
So we all know — or should know — chocolate with at least 70% cocoa is healthiest for you, but how many of you actually like how dark chocolate tastes? If you’re going to have something sweet you should enjoy it, and you can with Lankato chocolate bars which are 55% cacao. The great thing about these sugar-free bars, as the brand’s website will tell you, is they deliver “numerous superfood benefits of dark chocolate with the smooth, rich taste of milk chocolate—and without the dairy!” All I can add is that it is creamy deliciousness.
Now that summer is upon us, you’ll probably be dishing on more fresh fruit, but when that’s not an option — or you want something a bit more crisp — Crunchies are a great option. The fruit used for these snacks is sourced from trusted farmers and nothing else is added before its freeze-dried. Whatever produce you see on the front of the pouch is what shows up on the ingredient list, making for a snack that’s conveniently conscious.