Low-Calorie Snacks for Every Craving
The Optimal Snack Equation
Let’s face it: No nosh is perfect. But some come close. When choosing a snack, try to hit the nutritional targets below.
About 200 calories: This is enough to keep your metabolism humming, says Bethany Thayer, a registered dietitian in Detroit.
At least 3 grams of fiber: Fiber is digested slowly and helps sustain your energy. It also absorbs water and expands in your stomach to keep you full.
At least 5 grams of protein: “Protein releases a hormone in the body that increases satiety,” says Elisa Zied, a registered dietitian in New York City.
No more than 12 grams of fat: This will help ensure that you don’t get more than 20 to 35 percent of your daily calories from fat, which is the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s recommendation.
For even more healthy options, see 24 Nutritious (and Tasty) Snacks.
Snacks for the Car
These quickie eats are easy to toss into a sandwich bag or fit nicely in a cup holder.
Sahale Snacks Tuscan Almonds With Parmesan + Herbs (¼ cup)
140 calories, 3g fiber, 5g protein, 11g fat
Note: The name-brand snacks mentioned throughout are available at supermarkets and natural-food stores.
Seapoint Farms Dry Roasted Wasabi Edamame (¼ cup)
130 calories, 7g fiber, 14g protein, 5g fat
2 clementines and 7 walnut halves
163 calories, 3g fiber, 3g protein, 9g fat
Annie’s Homegrown Organic Cheddar Snack Mix (½ cup)
140 calories, 0g fiber, 3g protein, 5g fat
1 hard-cooked egg mashed with 1 teaspoon light mayonnaise plus a pinch of celery salt and 1 slice whole-wheat bread
163 calories, 2g fiber, 10g protein, 8g fat
Vitalicious VitaTops Deep Chocolate muffin top
100 calories, 9g fiber, 4g protein, 2g fat
Soy nuts (¼ cup) plus 1 tablespoon chocolate chips
190 calories, 6g fiber, 12g protein, 9g fat
3 cups popped popcorn with 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan plus chili powder and a pinch of cayenne pepper
136 calories, 4g fiber, 7g protein, 4g fat
Yogi Granola Crisps Mountain Blueberry Flax (½ cup)
110 calories, 2g fiber, 3g protein, 3g fat
Kind Peanut Butter & Strawberry bar
190 calories, 4g fiber, 7g protein, 11g fat
Starbucks Grande Nonfat Caffe Latte
130 calories, 0g fiber, 13g protein, 0g fat
1 Kashi TLC Happy Trail Mix Soft-Baked Cookie
140 calories, 4g fiber, 2g protein, 5g fat
Grapes (½ cup) plus 1 stick light mozzarella string cheese
102 calories, 1g fiber, 7g protein, 3g fat
Snacks for Your Desk
These keep well in a drawer or are quick to make in the office kitchen.
Emerald Breakfast On the Go Berry Blend (1.5-ounce bag)
180 calories, 3g fiber, 4g protein, 9g fat
Small bowl of Amy’s Organic Lentil Vegetable soup (1 cup)
160 calories, 8g fiber, 7g protein, 4g fat
Roasted chickpeas (¼ cup tossed with 1 teaspoon olive oil, cumin, and chili; roasted at 375º F for 35 to 40 minutes)
222 calories, 9g fiber, 10g protein, 8g fat
Bear Naked Peak Energy Cranberry Almond Trail Mix (¼ cup)
140 calories, 2g fiber, 4g protein, 7g fat
1 packet plain instant oatmeal (made with water) plus ½ cup blueberries
162 calories, 5g fiber, 5g protein, 3g fat
Half a cucumber, sliced, plus 3 tablespoons hummus
98 calories, 4g fiber, 5g protein, 4g fat
Low-fat vanilla yogurt (½ cup) with 2 tablespoons canned pumpkin plus a pinch of pumpkin pie spice
114 calories, 1g fiber, 6g protein, 2g fat
1 Luna Chocolate Dipped Coconut bar
190 calories, 3g fiber, 9g protein, 7g fat
14 Wheat Thins Cinnamon Kick Crunch Stix with one 3.9-ounce cup Mott’s Healthy Harvest Granny Smith applesauce
180 calories, 3g fiber, 2g protein, 4g fat
A 1.25-ounce package Beanitos Black Bean Chips plus a 3.5-ounce cup Chi Chi’s Mild Salsa
205 calories, 7g fiber, 6g protein, 8g fat
1 cup low-fat kefir and 1 peach
168 calories, 2g fiber, 12g protein, 2g fat
1 bag Figamajigs Original Bites (fig pieces coated with dark chocolate)
150 calories, 3g fiber, 2g protein, 4g fat
Barbara’s Puffins Peanut Butter & Chocolate (¾ cup) with ½ cup nonfat milk
152 calories, 3g fiber, 6g protein, 1g fat
2 carrots (cut into sticks) with 1 tablespoon peanut butter
144 calories, 4g fiber, 5g protein, 8g fat
Snacks for the Couch
Grab ’em when you have more prep time or want to sack out in front of the TV.
5 Triscuit crackers dipped in ½ cup cottage cheese sprinkled with garam masala
181 calories, 3g fiber, 16g protein, 4g fat
Pita pizza (1 small whole-wheat pita, 1 tablespoon marinara, 1 ounce part-skim mozzarella, oregano, and basil)
160 calories, 3g fiber, 10g protein, 6g fat
Bell & Evans Breaded Chicken Breast Tenders (4 ounces)
210 calories, 2g fiber, 20g protein, 10g fat