The best healthy snacks for weight loss are going to be high in protein so they keep you full until your next meal and low in sugar. They should be easy to make and easy to consume if you’re on the go. Meaning they don’t require much prep time, and you don’t need to spend much time cooking/baking them to make them ready to eat. If they take to long to make, you’ll be more likely to reach for something that’s already prepared, and most likely less healthy.
I personally can’t or don’t like to stick to 3 meals a day. I need to snack on something in-between meals. A healthy snack will prevent you from feeling groggy, and you’re less likely to grab something unhealthy for your next meal if you’re not starving.
Below are some EASY snacks you can keep around at home, or at your desk during the week that will allow you to add some protein to your diet.
15 Ideas For Healthy Snacks: Adults & Kids
- Almonds – studies show almonds are linked to reducing your risk of heart disease. Almonds can be high in fat but are very filling. There are about 180 calories per 1 oz. When I’m on the go or out traveling I’ll grab a bag of them, but when I’m at home, I find it best to hit the bulk bins.
- Greek Yogurt – I get on a kick with these, as they are relatively inexpensive to purchase, have high protein, and taste good. Some like to mix cinnamon or berries with it. I’m lucky because I like the taste of plain yogurt. I cup of yogurt contains about 100 calories.
- Cottage Cheese – another dairy that I happen to like that taste of. If I’m eating sandwiches for lunch I almost always have a side of cottage cheese. This makes snacking on it very convenient since I already have it around. There are about 220 calories in a serving.
- Kale Chips – I’m putting this one on here because they are healthy. For me, the taste is pretty bland, but I do know that with some seasoning and spices, they can be tastier. A single cup of kale can provide 100% of your Vitamin A, C, and K. Not bad. I’ve made these before, and though they were good, I prefer to just get a healthy version at the store. It’s up to you which one floats your boat.
- Dark Chocolate – This one should make people smile. Dark chocolate is ripe with flavonoids which are associated with lowering your blood pressure and reducing the risk of heart disease. The kicker here is you need to be consuming chocolate that is at least 70% cocoa. There are about 155 calories per oz. I love the kind that you can just break off a square or two and snack on them or use them as dessert after a meal. Check these out.
- Hummus – Cucumbers or carrots are popular with hummus. Hummus is made from chickpeas, olive oil, and garlic (typically) which is high in protein and is known to reduce inflammation and may improve heart health. If you have the time and energy you can make your own hummus. For me, I just pick out a healthy brand at the store and call it good. The hummus should contain about 25 calories per tbsp.
- Hard-boiled Egg – this is another one that I do almost every day. I boil up a handful of them on the weekend and snack on them throughout the week. In the past eggs were said to give you high cholesterol, but more recent research has indicated that mild consumption is just fine. 1 egg contains about 70 calories and has about 7 grams of protein. I love them because they are filling and prevent me from consuming more calories than I need.
- String Cheese – Cheese is filling because of the protein content and it tastes good. Again, it prevents me from consuming additional calories. A 2 oz, piece of cheese has about 14 grams of protein and about 200 calories.
- Protein Shakes – from my other posts you might know that I drink a protein shake almost every day. They are delicious (make sure you’re getting one low in sugar) pack around 25-30 grams of protein and are very filling. Some people use them as entire meals. I personally don’t like to do this, but I can see how adding a few extras items, could keep you full for hours. There are a ton of flavors out there, so just grab a flavor you like and stick with it. I personally like the cookies and cream. I’ve tried the chocolates and vanillas, but I keep coming back to this one.
- Beef Jerky – this is another one that can be great for you, but if you don’t read the labels, the health benefits might not be that high. If you can, find a grass-feed beef jerky. Again make sure the sugar content is low (no more than 12-14 grams) and enjoy about 7 grams of protein per ounce. The bad thing about jerky is, while it is delicious, it can be expensive. If the budget can afford it, I say throw it into your snack repertoire.
- Edamame – here’s one that I don’t consume often, and I don’t have a good reason for it. Great for vegetarians and packs about 17 grams of protein and only 180 calories per cup. I think most people sprinkle a bit of salt or seasoning salt on them, to give them a bit of flavor. If you want the prepared kind, here’s a great option.
- Apples – an apple only has about 100 calories or less, and they taste great. If you can get in the habit of getting a handful of apples at the beginning of the week and eating 1 per day, your body will thank you for it. Better yet, they are pretty darn cheap. A possible addition is to chop them up a bit and scoop a bit of natural peanut butter with them. Try to use the no sugar added peanut butter. Now you’ve added a protein source, which will help you feel full until your next meal.
- Bananas – every once in a while a banana tastes great to me. They do have a bit of natural sugar, but they are high in fiber, potassium (which is really good for women who have potassium deficiencies), and manganese. This is a perfect 2 pm pick me up. Bananas top out around 120 calories for 1 banana.
- Protein Bars – most protein bars have a good mix of protein (weird), carbohydrates, and fats. This makes them a great snack. Similarly to protein shakes you need to find one that isn’t filled with sugar. A good protein bar should have less than 200 calories and no more than 15 grams of sugar. If you’ve never tried RX bars, give these a try. You won’t be disappointed.
- Avocados – avocados belong in the healthy fats category. I have one coworker that dices them up and eat them plain. If this isn’t your style, they are a great ingredient for a couple of other simple snacks. Cut one in half and fill in with tuna, or a cooked egg. Others like to wrap them up deli meats. A lot of options to add an avocado to your mix.
What To Look For in Healthy Snacks
There are only two things that you need to be aware of when it comes to finding a healthy snack that won’t add inches to your waistline. They should contain some protein and be low in sugar. Some fruits have natural sugar in them that will push them in the 15 grams range, but these kinds of snacks are fair game. If you’re buying snacks like protein bars, protein shakes (Are Meal Replacement Shakes Good For You), jerky, or any other prepared items, you need to be looking at the sugar content.
Conclusion of Snacks for Kids and Adults
Snacks are snacks because they need to tide us over until our next meal. If you have to stop and prepare them or go through steps in preparing them, you’re inclined to just grab a muffing or something off the store shelf.
Not all prepackaged snacks are bad for you, but they’re typically loaded with preservatives, sugars, and several ingredients of questionable health value. The above-mentioned snacks are very easy to make, they’re convenient and some of them you can just make at home, making them budget-friendly.
What is your favorite healthy snack? Leave a comment below.