There are many health benefits of snack foods for weight loss including providing you with an enormous supply of energy. If you want to learn more about these health benefits, then read this article and we will give you a brief overview. The snacks listed below are those which have proven to be among the best for weight loss.
Healthy snacks that can help you lose weight,
- Healthy snacks for weight loss are nutrient-dense, portion-controlled, and balanced.
- Some examples are an apple with peanut butter, a banana and almonds, or a protein bar.
- You can also try hummus and carrots, fruit and plain greek yogurt, and homemade trail mix.
If you and your doctor have decided that losing weight is the best course of action for your health, then lifestyle and dietary changes are likely necessary.
That may mean replacing high-calorie snacks that lack nutrition, like potato chips, with healthy ones, like fresh fruits and veggies.
“Unfortunately, a lot of American snacks are highly processed, high-calorie and low-nutrient value. These types of snacks can leave you feeling sluggish and lead to weight gain,” says Amber Ingram, a registered dietician at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center.
On the other hand, she says a healthy balanced snack can boost your energy and provide your body with the necessary nutrients. Ingram says some rules of thumb for healthy snacks are that they are:
- Nutrient-dense, meaning they contain a nice mix of vitamins and minerals.
- Portion controlled, like a single apple or orange.
- Balanced, meaning ideally it contains protein and a complex carbohydrate — which helps keep you full. A healthy fat can be a great addition, too, but it isn’t necessary for a balanced snack.
- Around 150-250 calories
1. An apple and natural peanut butter
- One medium-sized apple: 95 calories
- One tablespoon of natural peanut butter: 95 calories
- Total calories: 190
Snacks that incorporate protein can help you feel fuller longer, which may reduce overeating and subsequent weight gain.
Natural peanut butter is a great plant-based protein source, and apples are high in soluble fiber, which studies suggest may aid weight loss as well as reduce the risk of cancer, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease.
2. Cottage cheese and pineapple
- One-half cup of 2% milk cottage cheese: 90 calories
- One-half cup of pineapple: 41 calories
- Total calories: 131
In addition to the protein which helps keep you full, cottage cheese is also packed with calcium which can help support bone health.
You can pair it with pineapple, which contains bromelain — a compound with anti-inflammatory benefits that can also aid digestion, says Ingram.
Plus, a sweet, healthy fruit like pineapple, cantaloupe, or mango is perfect to add a burst of flavor to a snack.
3. Fruit and plain Greek yogurt
- One cup of strawberries: 53 calories
- One container of plain Greek yogurt: 100 calories
- Total calories: 153
While yogurt may seem like a healthy choice, many flavored varieties are loaded with added sugar. Added sugars can easily lead to excess sugar consumption which is linked to obesity.
You can avoid added sugar by opting for plain Greek yogurt, says Alicia Beltran, MS, research dietitian at Baylor College of Medicine.
Incorporate flavor and sweetness by adding your fruit of choice. Berries, including strawberries, blueberries, and blackberries, are a great option because they’re loaded with antioxidants, which help reduce the risk of conditions like kidney and cardiovascular disease caused by free radical damage.
Plus, Greek yogurt contains probiotics, which may have benefits like maintaining a healthy microbiome and cardiovascular health.
4. Hummus and carrots
- Two tablespoons of hummus: 60 calories
- One cup of raw carrots: 50 calories
- Total calories: 110
The benefits of this snack are twofold: One, the hummus is a good source of protein and fiber, both of which help you feel full and satisfied, says Beltran. And two, carrots contain beta-carotene, which is converted into vitamin A by your body. Vitamin A can benefit your eyesight, immune system, and cholesterol.
Plus, eating more vegetables can aid general weight loss because veggies are more satisfying which can help with hunger control, according to a 2014 study of overweight adults.
5. String cheese with a side of cashews
- One light mozzarella string cheese: 50 calories
- One-fourth cup of cashews: 197 calories
- Total calories: 247
The combination of string cheese and cashews contains healthy fats and protein, which won’t cause a blood sugar spike that could later leave you tired and sluggish, says Allison Childress, PhD, dietitian and assistant professor in the Department of Nutritional Sciences at Texas Tech University.
Opting for light or low-fat versions of snacks like cheese can help you easily cut back on fat and calories as you’re on your weight loss journey.
Plus, nuts like cashews, almonds, walnuts, and macadamia nuts are heart-healthy and may help lower “bad” cholesterol levels.
6. A banana and almonds
- One medium-size banana: 105 calories
- One-fourth cup of almonds: 207 calories
- Total calories: 312
“This snack combines the carbohydrates from the banana with the fat, fiber, and protein from the almonds to create a well-balanced snack that will fill you up,” says Childress.
The banana is high in potassium, and dieticians recommend bananas as a weight-loss snack. This is because bananas contain pectin and resistant starch, which keeps you full.
Note: This snack is a bit higher in calories than the others on this list, so it may not be a snack you want to reach for every day.
Best Healthy Snacks For Weight Loss
Vitamin C Tropical Green Smoothie
You don’t have to wait until sick season to whip up this vitamin C smoothie, but it would definitely help ward off the plague once it starts going around the office. Plus, it just looks pretty!
Per serving (⅕ of recipe): 283 calories, 7.1 g fat, 53 g carbs, 11.7 g fiber, 8.2 g protein
“If you’re craving something salty and crunchy, roasted beans are a much better option than chips thanks to their combo of protein and fiber, says Jessica Levinson, RD, the author of the 52-Week Meal Planner: The Complete Guide to Planning Menus, Groceries, Recipes, and More.
Make it: Rinse and drain a can of chickpeas, then toss them with 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil, salt, pepper, and whatever spice you want. Roast at 400° F for 30 minutes. Let cool slightly, then eat. One batch makes three servings.
Per serving: 160 calories, 8 g fat (1 g saturated), 17 g carbs, 2 g sugar, 292 mg sodium, 4 g fiber, 5 g protein
Avocado Chocolate Mousse
Got ripe avocados? Tired of making guacamole? Put those avocados to unconventionally good use by mixing them with chocolate for this healthy, creamy, totally-doesn’t-taste-like-avocados mousse.
Per serving: 146 calories, 13.1 g fat, 11.1 g carbs, 7.2 g fiber, 3.1 g protein
Almond Butter Crackers
“Peanut butter crackers serve as a quick option for people on the run, but the pre-packaged snack can have many hidden ingredients and calories,” says Shamera Robinson, RD, of The Culture of Wellness. DIY it instead.
Make it: Spread one tablespoon almond butter (or any nut or seed butter) between one ounce whole grain crackers.
Per serving: 233 calories, 12 g fat (2 g saturated), 23 g carbs, 2 g sugar, 227 mg sodium, 5 g fiber, 8 g protein
Fruit Salad with Citrus Mint Dressing
We know fruit salad can get B-O-R-I-N-G when you’re eating it day after day. This recipe jazzes up beautiful berries and banana slices with the bright flavors of citrus and mint to make your boring fruit salad a bold one.
Per serving (¼ of recipe): 117 calories, 0.8 g fat, 28.8 g carbs, 5 g fiber, 1.7 g protein
“Popcorn is a great snack to fill up on,” says Robinson, thanks to all the fiber. And you don’t have to stick with the plain stuff either. “Try sprinkling garlic powder and dried rosemary (or Italian seasoning) for extra flavor,” she suggests.
Make it: Pop three tablespoons of popcorn kernels in 1/2 tablespoon canola oil in a large saucepan on the stove. Top with your favorite herbs or spices.
Per serving: 161 calories, 6 g fat (1 g saturated), 28 g carbs, 0 g sugar, 15 mg sodium, 5 g fiber, 4 g protein
Banana Mocha Smoothie
Now you don’t have to choose between your midday moccachino and something nutritious—this smoothie combines cold brew coffee with frozen bananas and cocoa powder for a healthy snack option with a jolt of caffeine.
Per serving: 288 calories, 7.2 g fat, 46.9 g carbs, 4.9 g fiber, 14.3 g protein
DIY Ranch Dip with Veggies
“Greek yogurt is a great high-protein snack that is usually sweet. However, you can easily turn that into a savory snack by adding ranch-dip seasoning mix,” says Kamaria Mason, MPH, RDN, the owner of Kam’s Kitchen.
Make it: Stir one tablespoon ranch seasoning mix (such as Hidden Valley) into 1/2 cup low-fat Greek yogurt. Use a cup carrot or cucumber sticks for dipping.
Per serving: 142 calories, 3 g fat (1 g saturated), 18 g carbs, 9 g sugar, 395 mg sodium, 4 g fiber, 9 g protein
Garlic Dill Sunflower Dip
If you’re not into chickpeas, but you’re craving the texture of hummus, give sunflower dip a shot—it’s made basically the same way, but with seeds instead of chickpeas. And, just like hummus, it tastes great with raw veggies.
Per serving (¼ cup): 212 calories, 19.5 g fat, 7 g carbs, 2.5 g fiber, 5.7 g protein
Cottage Cheese with Almonds and Honey
“This creamy-crunchy-sweet combo is second to none,” says Robinson. The cottage cheese is rich in protein, while almonds add crunch and healthy fats. And a hint of honey makes things sweet without going overboard on added sugar.
Make it: Top 1/2 cup low-fat cottage cheese with two tablespoons slivered almonds and a teaspoon of honey.
Per serving: 196 calories, 10 g fat (2 g saturated), 12 g carbs, 10 g sugar, 363 mg sodium, 2 g fiber, 17 g protein
Golden Milk Snack Bites
If you have no clue what golden milk is, you’re missing out. This dairy-free drink, usually served hot, is loaded with anti-inflammatory turmeric and ginger—and now you can enjoy the flavors (and health benefits) of golden milk in portable little snack bites that are low cal, low carb, and low fat.
Per serving (1 bite): 96 calories, 6.5 g fat, 7.5 g carbs, 1.6 g fiber, 2.9 g protein
Healthiest Snacks to Eat for Weight Loss
Skinny Dipped Chocolate Covered Almonds
PER SERVING, ESPRESSO FLAVOR: 150 calories, 12 g fat (3 g saturated fat), 90 mg sodium, 11 g carbs (3 g fiber, 6 g sugar), 5 g protein
Now that’s an ingredient list we love looking at when we’re picking our favorite healthy snacks to buy. Every bag of Skinny Dipped Almonds contains almonds, chocolate, organic maple sugar, sea salt, cocoa powder, and real powdered flavor (either espresso beans or dried raspberries)—none of that “natural flavor” stuff! Skip out on sketchy snacks to have this sweet treat instead.
Vega Protein + Shake
PER BOTTLE: 170 calories, 5 g fat (1 g saturated fat), 230 mg sodium, 14 g carbs (4 g fiber, 7 g sugar), 20 g protein
Jim White, RD, ACSM, and owner of Jim White Fitness and Nutrition Studios recommends getting at least 20 grams of protein after you’ve been working hard in the gym. With a shake like this, you can knock that out in just a few gulps.
ProBar Bite Mixed Berry
PER BAR: 140 calories, 6 g fat (0 g saturated fat), 80 mg sodium, 22 g carbs (6 g fiber, 4 g sugar), 5 g protein
Over 20 percent of your daily value of digestion slowing fiber in one bite? Yes, please.
RX Nut Butter, Peanut Butter
PER PACK: 180 calories, 14 g fat (4 g saturated fat), 110 mg sodium, 8 g carbs (2 g fiber, 3 g sugar), 9 g protein
Your average peanut butter packet has between 5 and 6 grams of protein — this one has 9. Perfectly portable, you can eat RX Nut Butter alone or squeeze on top of a banana for a post-workout snack.
Vital Farms Hard Boiled Eggs
PER 1 EGG: 70 calories, 4.5 g fat (1.5 g saturated fat), 60 mg sodium, 1 g carbs (0 g fiber, 0 g sugar), 6 g protein
These are pasture-raised eggs, cooked, peeled, and ready to eat. Make a complete snack by spreading hummus on whole-wheat toast and slicing the hard-boiled egg over the top.
Terra Exotic Harvest Vegetable Chips
PER SERVING: 130 calories, 6 g fat (0.5 g saturated fat), 145 mg sodium, 18 g carbs (3 g fiber, 5 g sugar), 2 g protein
This fun mix of carrots, blue potatoes, and kabocha squash boasts 40 percent less fat than potato chips and enough fiber to take the edge off your hunger. (Plus they look pretty on the chip ‘n’ dip platter.) These are some of the most colorful healthy snacks to buy that you can’t miss!
Athenos Hummus Original
PER SERVING: 60 calories, 3.5 g fat (0 g saturated fat), 170 mg sodium, 4 g carbs (1 g fiber, 0 g sugar), 2 g protein
Made with real olive oil, which lends an authentic flavor and more heart-healthy fats, this hummus bests a flavor like, say, Sabra’s Roasted Pine Nut Hummus, which is made with “soybean and/or canola oil.”