10 Foods That Are Surprisingly Good For You

Cheddar Cheese (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Do you begrudgingly pick up skim over whole milk because it’s supposed to be the better choice? Do you always order the chicken? Then this list is for you! In my list of 10 delicious foods that are surprisingly good for you, you may just find out that your favorites do more for your body than you thought.

1. Potatoes

When they’re not fried or covered in mayonnaise, potatoes are actually very healthy for you. Cynthia Sass, MPH, RD, author of the New York Times best seller S.A.S.S! Yourself Slim recommends potatoes because they’re relatively low in calories, especially red potatoes at 88 calories each, and are packed with fat burning carbohydrates. Sass explains, “When you cook & cool a potato they form what’s called resistant starch, which is like a fiber you don’t absorb. It fills you up, you don’t have to worry about burning it off, and it triggers your body to burn more fat.” One study found that replacing 5% of your carb intake with resistant starch burned 20-30% more fat in the hours after the meal.

2. Corn

A lot of people consider corn a throwaway vegetable but it’s really a whole grain, says Sass. 90% of Americans don’t get the recommended 3 daily servings of whole grains, and corn can be a great mix-in for salads, and vegetable side-dishes to add a boost to your daily diet. Another benefit of corn is that it’s packed with antioxidants. One study even found that corn has twice the amount of antioxidants found in Apples. In America, corn is in peak season in October and November; try it for your fall diet.

3. Horseradish

You may know it as the ridiculously spicy sauce on the side, but horseradish is actually from the same family as broccoli and Brussels sprouts. Horseradish has significant amounts of glucosinolates, which improve digestion, boost liver function and may even suppress the growth of tumors, according to a 2005 study by the University of Illinois.

4. Red Wine

We had to get alcohol on here somewhere! Moderate amounts of red wine have a lot of benefits, including raising your good cholesterol (HDL) levels and helping to prevent blood clots and plaque formation in arteries. Red wine is also rich in flavonoids and resveratrol, the antioxidants that are said to help prevent cellular damage. Recent studies even suggest red wine can lower the risk of heart disease! For a choice of red, I love Charter Oaks wine because they use no chemicals in the fermentation process or through secondary fermentation, which makes the wine much more natural than the larger commercial and industrial wineries. Get all of the benefits with none of the chemicals from

5. Cheddar Cheese

Did you know that a cube of cheddar after a meal neutralizes the acids in your mouth and increases saliva production? Cheddar can actually help prevent tooth decay by helping clear food from your mouth! It also provides 25% of the calcium needed in your day and is high in zinc, which can boost the immune system and helps maintain healthy skin, teeth and bones. Like whole milk, cheddar cheese has a high fat & calorie content and should only be eaten in moderation.

6. Coffee

Regular coffee drinkers can get more than a morning boost. There is consistent data that higher consumption of coffee is associated with decreased risk of Parkinson’s, according to Dr. Frank Hu, professor at the Harvard School of Public Health. People who drink coffee regularly also have a decreased risk of Type 2 Diabetes. Skip the sugar entirely for a low-calorie drink that just may keep you healthier in the long run.

7. Whole Milk

Want to lighten up that coffee? Whole milk may be the way to go. Whole milk contains large amounts of vitamins A and D naturally – skim and low-fat milk are fortified with synthetic versions of these vitamins. In small amounts, a few extra calories may amount to a lot of extra vitamins. The extra fat, in moderation, may even help long-term weight loss. A Swedish study of 19,000 over 9 years found that women who had one serving of whole milk or cheese a day put on less weight than women who ate the same foods less often.

8. Duck

Duck fat fries are NOT a health food, no matter what the trendiest restaurants say. However, duck itself has been shown to have some of the healthiest animal fats of all meats, according to Dr. Freny Mody, a cardiologist in Los Angeles. Though it’s still a significant source of saturated fat, in duck it contains 63% unsaturated fat, beating out beef in the health category. Duck has also been compared to bacon in tastiness by many foodies, and a small portion could be a better alternative to a steak at your next dinner celebration.

9. Nutella

Even though it may not seem healthy, Nutella does contain some great ingredients. It has lecithin, a soy extract with high amounts of protein, calcium and iron that can help your bones, boost energy and make you feeling full for longer. While it’s packed with sugar and shouldn’t be part of your everyday diet, Nutella on whole-grain toast can be a great alternative to satisfy a chocolate craving.

10. Pork

Though known for being packed with sodium when turned into ham and bacon, fresh cuts of tenderloin can be as healthy a choice as lean chicken for protein, with 29 grams of protein in a loin chop. Fresh loin cuts of pork have a ton of B vitamins like B-6, and niacin, which can help lower cholesterol levels. Avoid fried and cured pork, like ham, bacon or ribs – the only thing you’ll get from these kinds of pork are inches to your waistline.

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There are some foods that have a solid reputation for being unhealthy, so if you are adhering to a healthy diet, you most likely avoid them. But some of these foods get a bad reputation when in actuality they aren’t that bad for you when consumed in moderation.

Instead of living in regret, or denying yourself some of these foods, let us outline some popular unhealthy foods and reveal to you how they can actually be healthy.

8 not-so-healthy foods that can be healthy

Cookies: Cookies is a broad term that encompasses both healthy and unhealthy cookies. If you’re craving a cookie, then opt for Graham or Animal cookies because these tend to be low in sugar and sometimes have chocolate chip varieties. Another good alternative is a biscuit with nuts because they contain small levels of healthy fat and protein to sustain you for longer.

Chocolate: The higher the cocoa content, the better chocolate is for you. Even some milk chocolate varieties contain 50 percent cocoa, which doesn’t make it too bad for you. So, pay attention to cocoa content when you’re craving chocolate for a healthier variety.

Cheese: Cheese isn’t an unhealthy food – unless you eat too much of it. This is where the problem lies because it seems that we can’t control ourselves when it comes to eating cheese, which turns this normally healthy food to unhealthy. Cheese contains calcium and research suggests it has anti-inflammatory properties, so just regulate your intake when enjoying it.
Ice cream: Similar to cheese, many of us don’t know our boundaries regarding ice cream. Ice cream is a good source of calcium and helps curb your sweet tooth. But don’t bother with low-fat varieties as they tend to be higher in additives. Enjoy a simple good quality ice cream every now and then.

Beef jerky: Beef jerky has no sugar, is lean, and is a source of protein. So why do we deem it unhealthy? That’s because it can be high in sodium, which is particularly dangerous for those with hypertension. Making your own beef jerky or opting for a low sodium variety is your best option.

Popcorn: Sodium and butter are the primary things that make popcorn unhealthy. Popcorn is a great snack that is filling, provides fiber, and is low in calories – only 100 calories in three cups! Make popcorn at home so you can dress it healthier with olive oil, coconut oil, or different salts. Even at the movies, ask for fresh popcorn as there is less butter.

Salted nuts: As long as you don’t suffer from high blood pressure, salted nuts are still a healthy snack. As with any nuts, though, you do want to limit your intake as nuts are high in calories.

Cold cereal: Many nutritionists paint cold cereal as being sugar-filled, but when it comes to cereal, there are several different varieties, meaning you don’t need to opt for the sugary type. Regardless, if you had to choose between Lucky Charms or a piece of cake, it’s still better for you to opt for the cereal as it contains some whole grains.

As you can see, by making the right choices, you don’t need to feel guilty about giving into your cravings after all.

Related: This superfood good for your stomach

8 Foods That Are Surprisingly Good for Weight Loss

Losing weight doesn’t always have to be about deprivation and denial. In fact, it shouldn’t be. Successful, sustainable weight loss is far more attainable when you focus on the quality of food rather than the quantity. Eat wholesome, nutritious, (and even calorie-filled) foods and you’ll be far more satisfied and content on less. Many of the foods people think are off-limits when it comes to losing weight are the very foods that have the ability to actually help us reach our goal. Here are eight foods that cannot only help you reach your weight-loss goal, but help you keep it off for good.

Drink skim and stay slim? Not always so when it comes to dairy. A recent study published in the American Journal of Nutrition found that more than 18,000 women who consumed more higher-fat and whole-milk dairy products had a lower risk of being overweight.

How can this be? Some essential fatty acids are stripped when milk is skimmed — the very component that may help you feel fuller sooner and stay full longer with full fat products. Several studies have found that when people reduce the amount of fat in their diet, they tend to replace it with sugar and refined carbohydrates, which can have a worse effect on overall health.

Bottom line: Eat a variety of dairy and worry less about how much fat it contains. Limit high-sugar ice cream treats, and buy plain yogurt with no added sugars, which tend to pile up in the flavored and fruited varieties.

In addition to healthy fats, nut butters contain an impressive amount of protein and fiber, too. Peanut butter boasts a plentiful 8 grams of protein per 2 tablespoons along with 2 grams of fiber.

A study from Harvard School of Public Health found that regular nut consumption among a group of more than 51,000 women was associated with a lower risk of weight gain and obesity. A similar study in the Journal of Nutrition found that weight changed very little among people who consumed a normal versus nut-enhanced diet. In other words: Nuts and nut butters can be a healthy addition to your diet, even when trying to lose weight. Try snacking on nut butters in between meals to sustain your appetite. A 200-calorie cashew or peanut butter snack is far more satisfying and filling than say, 200 calories of crackers or pretzels.


Shopping tip: Skip the reduced-fat versions, which ironically tend to have more calories, sugar, sodium and preservatives than regular nut butter. Buy those that list nuts — and maybe a bit of salt — in the ingredient list, and use them as a way to eat more whole grains, fruits, and veggies. What’s not to love about an apple smeared in almond butter?

Pasta is surprisingly low on the glycemic index — a ranking of carbohydrates on a scale of 0 to 100, based on how quickly they raise blood-sugar levels. The lower the number, the longer it takes to digest, leaving you with a steadier source of fuel to support energy levels. Whole-grain pasta falls in the 32–37 range (about half that of white bread), while white pasta averages in the mid-40 range — still much lower than that slice of white bread. And because pasta is traditionally tossed with other wholesome foods like seafood, vegetables and olive oil, a healthy pasta meal is far from off-limits for those concerned about their weight.

Pro tip: Stick to whole-grain varieties, double up on veggies and skip the super cheesy, cream-based sauces.

Rich in high-quality protein, healthy fats and essential vitamins and minerals, eggs are a low-calorie, nutrient-dense choice when it comes to snacks and meals. At just 70 calories per egg, there’s no reason not to enjoy the entire egg, yolk and white combined. Yes, egg yolks are a source of dietary cholesterol, but recent studies now prove that dietary cholesterol has less of an effect on blood cholesterol than we once thought. The evidence says eating whole eggs in moderation is safe, and some studies even show they may aid in weight loss when eaten in place of refined carbs.


Bonus: Eggs are super cheap and cook quickly — a perfect solution for busy, time-crunched mornings. Cook your eggs in olive oil and use them as a vessel for sautéed greens and vegetables, then serve them over whole-grain toast for a complete, well-balanced, weight-conscious meal.

What most people fail to realize is that per ounce, dark meat chicken or turkey (from the leg and thigh) only has about 5 extra calories and 1g of fat more than white breast meat. The skin is where most of the fat lies — skip that on any part of the bird for a far more calorie-conscious choice. Dark meat poultry tends to be more tender, juicy and rich in flavor than white meat — requiring not only less butter and oil to cook with, but also less sauce or creamy condiments to make it palatable than breast meat. It’s a great source of lean protein that may leave you more satisfied at meal time, and less likely to overeat later.

Dark meat contains more myoglobin, an oxygen-carrying protein that gives it a gray-reddish color, as well as more iron and zinc — two immune-boosting minerals.


Portion tip: Thighs are about half the size of the breast, making them a far more portion-savvy option than today’s 9- and 10-ounce breast halves. Double bonus: They’re cheaper, too.

When it comes to weight loss, limiting liquid calories can be the key to success. Alcohol carries 7 calories per gram, which not only adds up quickly, but goes down quickly, too. But giving up our occasional cocktail at the end of a long day is non-negotiable for some.

Red wine may be more beneficial than white, according to one study from Washington State University, which found the polyphenols in red wine (including resveratrol) may even prevent obesity by aiding in metabolism. The heftiest boost of polyphenols comes from whole grapes, but wine certainly carries a portion of those benefits.


Bottom line: Alcoholic beverages won’t necessarily aid in weight loss, but they do help us relax and wind down from stressful days. In moderation, alcohol is good for the heart, too. Drink responsibly (not on an empty stomach), limit your intake and choose a 120-calorie glass of wine over sugar-loaded cocktails and carbohydrate-dense beer for better weight-loss success.

Your daily cup of joe may do more than just help you roll out of bed each morning. It stimulates the brain and nervous system, and contains antioxidants that may help improve glucose metabolism — which not only helps suppress the appetite, but also lowers the risk of Type 2 diabetes. Caffeinated coffee may also stimulate thermogenesis, and the body’s ability to burn more fat stores, improving performance in endurance exercises like running and biking.

While the effects of coffee on weight loss are likely minimal, the overall health benefits are reason enough to enjoy a cup or two each morning as part of your daily routine. A 2014 systematic review and meta-analysis of 36 studies found those who drank their morning cups of coffee were actually at the lowest risk for heart problems.

A cup of advice: Not all coffee is created equal — most of the benefits associated with coffee are singular to black coffee — not the cream and sugar-filled coffee beverages from drive-thrus and coffee boutiques. Limit the flavored (and over-priced) lattes to a rare treat.

Just one or two bites of rich, satisfying chocolate can not only reduce stress levels, but help curb cravings for other sugar-loaded treats, too. High stress levels can lead to cortisol hormone spikes, which increase the appetite and emotional eating behaviors.

The benefits of chocolate are specific to the concentration of cocoa flavonoids, which have been shown in studies to have multiple health benefits, such as improving blood flow to the brain and reducing the risk of heart disease by lowering cholesterol levels, blood sugar and blood pressure. The higher the percentage of cacao, the greater the benefits.

Buying tip: Skip the convenience store and check-out lane chocolate bars, which contain a lot of added fats and sugars — which can counteract some of cocoa’s health benefits. Look for bars with at least 70% cacao or higher, with a short, simple ingredient list … and indulge in just an ounce or two. Eating too much will work against you.

30 Healthy Packaged Snacks You Can Feel Good About Eating

Forget everything you thought you knew about packaged snacks…

Sugary cookies, fattening potato chips, and salt-bomb beef sticks are not the only items that come wrapped for your convenience. There are plenty of healthy packaged snacks out there, too!

Companies, both new and old, are pulling out all the stops to bring you convenience, flavor, and nutrition in ridiculously handy packages. Snack your way through this list of healthy packaged snacks to feel good all day, every day.

1. 40% Off Healthy Packaged Snacks

Do you want healthy packaged snacks shipped to you every month? For a limited time you can get 40% off your first Love With Food Deluxe Snack Box! Plus – for every box you purchase they’ll donate a meal to a local food bank on your behalf. Get 40% OFF your first box here!

2. Nothing But The Fruit – Real Pressed Fruit

You can probably guess what’s inside these healthy packaged snacks—nothing but fruit that’s pureed and pressed into bite-sized pieces that will remind you of the fruit snacks of your childhood.

These versions are so much healthier though, made without added sugar or other weird stuff. These snacks are also naturally vegan and gluten-free.

3. Stacey & Mom Lotus Root Chips

These healthy packaged snacks deliver lotus root in chip form, providing you with a rare and nutritious treat as well as the chance to try the nutrient-dense lotus root, which you might be hard-pressed to find anywhere else.

These powerhouse vegan chips are free of genetically modified organisms (GMOs), nuts, soy, gluten, and monosodium glutamate (MSG). They provide 7% of your recommended daily value of fiber and 15% of your recommended daily value of iron.

4. Krave Black Cherry Barbecue Pork Jerky

Krave is revolutionizing the world of packaged meat snacks. Their Black Cherry Barbecue Pork Jerky sounds like something you would find at a high-end smokehouse, and it tastes just as good as you would expect.

In addition to good taste, this jerky is actually good for you. It’s made of pure and simple ingredients and has no strange additives. One serving has only 80 calories.

5. GoMacro Everlasting Joy Bar

This healthy snack bar provides all the childlike joy of a candy bar in a better-for-you package.

It features coconut, almond butter, chocolate chips, and pea protein, and it gives you 12% of your recommended daily value of fiber and 20% of your recommended daily value of protein. The bar is also vegan, non-GMO, and free of soy.

6. Rhythm Superfoods Kale Chips

Pass on those greasy potato chips and go for kale chips instead!

Rhythm Superfoods makes it easy by providing healthy packaged kale snacks in lots of cravable flavors, including ranch, honey mustard, and zesty nacho. The chips are dried instead of fried, making them low in fat and high in nutrients, including vitamin A, vitamin C, and iron.

7. Matt’s Munchies Fruit Snacks

The founder of Matt’s Munchies invented his fruit snacks to fulfill a dream of finding the perfect snack for a healthy lifestyle.

Matt’s Munchies fruit snacks steer clear of anything artificial, a simple truth you’ll be able to taste in any of the delicious fruit flavors they sell. The snacks are also naturally vegan and USDA-certified organic.

8. Beanfields Nacho Bean and Rice Chips

We’re so glad Beanfields started packing wholesome beany goodness into tasty chips filled with good things, including fiber, protein, and iron.

There’s no corn in these chips, a rare and pleasant feature to discover in a packaged snack. Munch on these chips alone or with your favorite salsa for a feel-good snack with enough good stuff to fuel your day.

9. Pirate’s Booty Carrot Snacks

Your favorite corn puffs collide with baby carrots in Pirate’s Booty Carrot Snacks. These tasty puffs are non-GMO Project Verified.

They’re free of artificial colors, flavors, preservatives, and gluten, and one serving has only 130 calories.

10. Seven Sundays Muesli Squares

Seven Sundays packs all the nutrient-rich goodness of muesli, a beloved Swiss mix of grains, nuts, and fruits, into squares and wraps them in a pretty package for our healthy snacking enjoyment.

The Muesli Squares contain no gluten or refined sugar, and they’re made of 100% whole grains. Grab a square any time you need a healthy dose of fiber and energy.

11. Skinny Pop Naturally Sweet Popcorn

Light and filled with fiber, popcorn makes a great healthy snack. Skinny Pop offers pre-popped, packaged corn that tastes as fresh as any homemade variety.

Their Naturally Sweet flavor has just a kiss of sugar to bring out the natural sweetness of the corn and satisfy any cravings you might have for sweeter, less healthy snacks, like cakes and cookies.

This delectable popcorn has less than one gram of total sugar per serving.

12. Off the Cobb Sweet Corn Tortilla Chips

These healthy packaged tortilla chips capture all the wholesome flavors of corn on the cob.

Made with organic ground whole corn, sunflower and/or safflower oil, and sea salt, these chips have a robust sweet and salty crunch that doesn’t even need any dip or salsa to count as a well-rounded snack.

Off the Cob uses only non-GMO corn to ensure each chip is filled with the finest golden grains available.

13. Unreal Dark Chocolate Crispy Gems

The trailblazers of the Unreal brand were inspired to make candy out of the “good stuff” when their parents refused to let them have the “bad stuff.” We’re so glad their parents were strict.

This brand has perfected the art of better-for-you candy. Their Dark Chocolate Crispy Gems are made from organic dark chocolate with 72% cacao, organic quinoa, carrot juice, beet juice, and lots of other good ingredients you’ll recognize.

They also do their best to buy fair-trade certified ingredients whenever possible. Now that’s how you make wholesome candy!

14. Go Raw Raspberry Vinaigrette Salad Snax

Don’t you hate it when you just want a salad, but you’re too busy to get one? Well good news: Go Raw Salad Snax puts all the goodness and flavor of your favorite salad at your fingertips—to enjoy in the car, on the run, at your desk, or anywhere else.

Go Raw tosses together salad ingredients, including kale, cabbage, spinach, carrots, and seasonings, and gently dries the mixture. Then they package it for your snacking pleasure.

15. Yomms Crunchy Joy

Thinly sliced and glazed, Yomms special pecans deliver pure joy and good health in one colorful package. Yomms doesn’t use artificial colors or flavors in their snacks—the premium pecans they source don’t need any additives to taste amazing.

16. Nature’s Bandits Blueberry Apple Veggie Fruit Sticks

Make like a bandit and steal Mother Nature’s best un-kept snacking secret—fruit! Nature’s Bandits Blueberry Apple Veggie Fruit Sticks are made with the purest fruit and vegetable ingredients, including kale powder and purees of apples, blueberries, cherries, pumpkins, and carrots.

These snacks have intense fruit flavor that will satisfy your sweet tooth.

17. Hawaiian Sweet Maui Onion Rings

Fulfill your cravings for fatty fried onion rings with Hawaiian Sweet Maui Onion Rings, a better-for-you packaged snack made from corn, potato, wheat, and lots of drool-worthy seasonings.

One serving has 6 grams of fat, 130 calories, and enough delicious flavor to stop an entire luau in its tracks.

18. Skinny Dipped Dark Chocolate Raspberry Almonds

While almonds and dark chocolate are healthy enough snacks, most chocolate-covered almonds available have more chocolate than almond.

Skinny Dipped is changing that up, covering their premium almonds in a light layer of dark chocolate that compliments the nut’s naturally delicious flavor instead of concealing it.

The Dark Chocolate Raspberry flavor adds a tart berry zing to the rich mix of almonds and chocolate to create one unforgettable healthy snack.

19. Made in Nature Cranberry Pistachio Figgy Pops

Figgy Pops are delightful balls made from figs, seeds, nuts, spices, and a variety of other fruits.

The bites are sweet and almost cakelike, but they contain absolutely no added sugar. The Cranberry Pistachio flavor brings tart cranberries and rich pistachios to the mix to create a flavor sensation even a pastry chef would drool over.

One bite and you’ll want to ask, “Are you sure there’s nothing bad in this?”

20. Sahale Grab & Go Korean Barbeque Almonds Glazed Mix

This perfectly portioned snack mix features cashews and almonds infused with the flavors of your favorite Korean barbeque sauce.

Add dried pineapple and toasted sesame seeds to the mix, and you’ve got all the flavors and nutrition of a complete meal in a super-convenient package.

21. Skratch Labs Ginger & Miso Anytime Energy Bar

This savory energizing bar delivers tons of stuff that’s good for you and nothing extra.

It features a delicious nut-and-seed butter blend, coconut nectar, red miso, candied ginger, savory shiitake powder, and lots of other real ingredients.

The flavorful, plant-based ingredients deliver sustained energy to help you power through or finish off your day in style.

22. Mediterranea Seawater Kettle-Cooked Potato Chips

Delicious and healthy potato chips are popping up on grocery shelves everywhere.

Mediterranea’s Seawater Kettle-Cooked Potato Chips have lots of beneficial minerals. Plus, the chips are soaked in seawater to absorb flavor, and no salt is added in the cooking process. That’s right, there’s no dehydrated salt flaking off of these golden goodies.

23. Grab the Gold Peanut Butter and Jelly

This packaged snack has all the flavor of peanut butter and jelly and all the energizing power ingredients of your favorite protein bar.

Packed with 11 grams of protein and 7 grams of fiber, the Peanut Butter and Jelly snacks are made with organic oats, rich peanut butter, non-GMO soy flour, and lots of other good stuff. Eat one anytime you need a food-based boost to carpe diem.

24. Go Organically Tropical Fruit Snacks

These fruit snacks are exactly as honest as they seem.

They have no preservatives or artificial colors and flavors, and they’re created simply to highlight the real-fruit flavors of tangerine, strawberry, kiwi, mango, pink grapefruit, and pineapple.

One serving of these fruit-forward gems has only 70 calories.

25. Eden Foods Tamari Almonds

Organic tamari soy sauce boosts the flavor of already-delicious premium almonds. This packet provides the perfect portion of good-for-you almonds with unmatched savory flavor.

Despite all the salty goodness of these almonds, they’re still low in sodium. Keep these pouches everywhere you need to be prepared for cravings.

26. Turbana Plantain Chips

Sweet and salty plantain chips make a perfect alternative to greasy potato chips.

Plantains are naturally and deliciously sweet and nutritious. Turbana makes their chips with just-harvested plantains that are lovingly hand-peeled and prepared to make these delightful packaged snacks.

27. Taos Mountain Maple Praline Bars

This sweet, artisan-crafted bar has more grams of protein than grams of sugar. It’s made with only the best ingredients, including almonds, pecans, coconut sugar, and chia seeds.

Taos Mountain takes bars seriously, lab testing each new recipe before it hits the market. So basically, this bar is scientifically proven to be absolutely delicious.

28. Living Intentions Activated Sprouted Trail Mix – Spicy Mango

Sprouted almonds, pumpkin seeds, and sunflower seeds blend perfectly with mango, habanero, and goji berries to make this no-nonsense packaged trail mix.

Living Intentions uses sprouted nuts because of their active enzymes, which are believed to aid in digestion and boost energy. This organic mix is also packed with vitamin A, magnesium, and iron.

Tossed together in a convenient package, this mix is good for snacking both on and off the trail.

29. Manitoba Harvest Original Hemp Heart Bites

If you’ve been sprinkling your hemp hearts in yogurt and on salads, you might be thrilled to find out that you can eat them in super-healthy, conveniently packaged bites.

These delightful bites add a touch of vanilla, brown rice syrup, and cane sugar to superfood hemp hearts to create a bite-sized square that’s easy to eat.

30. Soul Sprout Almond Butter Truffles

These superfood truffles might taste like they came straight from a heart-shaped candy box, but they have so much more good for you stuff than any cream caramel delight. The truffles contain sprouted almonds to deliver bioavailable nutrients and enzymes.

A rich, chocolatey flavor comes from antioxidant-rich cacao nibs, and a delectable sweetness comes not from refined sugar, but from organic date paste and coconut syrup.

Go ahead and have a truffle. You deserve it, and this one happens to be really good for you.

(PS – Don’t miss out on 40% OFF your first Deluxe Box of delicious & healthy snacks!)

It’s smart to try to eat clean by avoiding processed foods that have ingredient lists that read like a novel. But crazy schedules can make prepping healthy snacks almost impossible. I always tell my clients that they shouldn’t beat themselves up for eating something out of a bag or box instead of making it themselves. If you make good decisions at the grocery store, you can keep your healthy eating habits on track and have time to do other things besides cook. Check out these seven packaged goodies that are my go-tos.

Portioned Nuts

Nuts are my favorite healthy snack. Some studies have shown that monounsaturated fats aid in weight loss, and the protein and fiber keep you satisfied and full. But since it’s easy to overdo nut portion sizes, buying them in packs can help you keep an eye on how much you eat. When picking up pre-packaged nuts, avoid not-so-clean ingredients, like cottonseed oil, canola oil, and sugar. Try to stick with products that only contain nuts and sea salt.


Hummus is an uber-healthy food packed with antioxidants, filling plant protein, and satiating healthy fats, all of which are great if you’re trying to drop pounds. And since there are so many clean versions of this dip in your grocery store, you can save yourself the guilt trip. The best kind will contain a combo of chickpeas, tahini (ground sesame), oil of some kind (olive oil is the best option), and herbs and spices.

Canned beans

If you’re trying to up your intake of plant-based protein, beans are your best bet. Keep a few BPA-free cans (brands like Amy’s, Eden Foods, and Trader Joe’s are good choices), and be sure to give them a rinse before you mix them into a dish. That little trick can reduce the amount of sodium, which will nix any potential bloating.


This high-protein packaged snack has come a long way, baby. Just steer clear of the highly processed varieties from your childhood (sorry, Slim Jims). Instead, try new versions that don’t contain nitrates, preservatives, hydrolyzed corn gluten, or nitrites. Some brands even use a preservation process that doesn’t load their jerky with sodium and sugar, which aren’t great for your waistline. Two of my favorites are Krave and Epic Hunt and Harvest.

Frozen Produce

Whether they come from the farmers’ market or your freezer, nutritious, low-calorie fruits and veggies are your BFF when you’re trying to slim down or just eat healthy. Bags of frozen produce are perfect for making a quick smoothie or for adding some greens to your dinner. Frozen veggies’ ingredient list should read like this: “Ingredients: broccoli.” That’s it! Skip frozen varieties that come in sugary or buttery sauces to get the most weight loss-friendly produce in the frozen food aisle.

Shrimp and Tuna

Frozen, pre-cooked, and peeled shrimp are always in my freezer for a quick, healthy din option. Although the fresh stuff is good, you can be totally landlocked and still get all that lean protein from frozen shrimp. Like frozen fruits and veggies, pass on the stuff that comes in sauces.

Canned tuna is perfect for topping a salad or having as a midday snack. Just be sure to go for plain chunk light tuna, which studies show has less mercury than other types. And if you prefer tuna in oil, don’t be afraid of the extra fat. That healthy fat makes the tuna more satisfying, and you can skimp on salad dressing if you use it to top off your greens.


Greek yogurt is a great snack option if you’re trying to slim down because it comes in portion-controlled containers and is loaded with satisfying protein. Plus, the probiotics found in some yogurt helps you maintain a healthy balance of bacteria in your gut to keep you regular and bloat-free. But try to avoid yogurts with artificial sweeteners, added sugar, and carrageenan (a thickener). The ideal ingredient list should contain just milk and probiotics. Basic Greek yogurt is great as a base for salad dressings or as a replacement for mayo and sour cream, and it tastes delish with fruit or a sweet topping.

The 50 Best Healthy Snacks to Buy for Weight Loss

Yes, you read that headline correctly: You can snack and lose weight doing it. And, no, you don’t have to resort to making evegoodrything from scratch just to meet your nutritional requirements. There are more healthy food brands than ever, which means there are more than enough healthy snacks to buy.

(But if you’re more into the DIY route, try your hand with these healthy snack ideas that you can make yourself!)

How snacking can help you lose weight.

Eating healthy snacks throughout the day is actually one of the best ways to avoid an expanding waistline. In a recent Journal of the American Dietetic Association study, researchers found that participants who ate more snacks daily weighed less than those who snacked less.

Why? Consistent snacking helps maintain blood-sugar levels, keeping you full and preventing your body from storing excess fat.

Why these are the best healthy snacks to buy for weight loss.

As editors of Eat This, Not That!, we get to try hundreds of new products every year. Not only do the following picks pass our taste bud test, but they also meet some strict nutritional requirements.

  • Each snack is under 250 calories.
  • No healthy snack has more than 13 grams of sugar.
  • Every snack is made with good-for-you, whole-food ingredients; you won’t find any artificial ingredients, unpronounceable additives, or weird preservatives here.

We included a mix of high-protein snacks, low-sugar snacks, low-carb snacks, and high-fat snacks because everyone’s weight-loss needs will differ. Some people are following low-carb diets while others are simply trying to increase their protein intake.

To reach your weight loss goals faster, close your eyes and pick any of these essential 50 best healthy snacks to buy for weight loss, compliments of the experts here at Eat This, Not That!


Sargento Balanced Breaks

Natural White Cheddar Cheese with Almonds and Dried Cranberries

Per 1 Tray (43 g): 180 calories, 11 g fat (4.5 g saturated fat), 180 mg sodium, 14 g carbs (2 g fiber, 8 g sugar), 7 g protein

Don’t be afraid of fat in your healthy snacks as long as it’s coming from a healthy source—in this case, almonds. This Sargento product features white cheddar cheese and dried cranberries as well, which all adds up to a low-cal, high-protein option that will cut cravings.



Bumble Bee Sensations

Lemon Pepper Tuna With Crackers

Per pack with crackers: 160 calories, 3 g fat (0 g saturated fat), 385 mg sodium, 15 g carbs (1 g fiber, 1 g sugar), 19 g protein

Looking to lose weight and build muscle? Look no further than tuna fish. This fatty fish is full of anti-inflammatory, heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids that will help to fight back against waist-widening inflammation. Plus, the 19 grams of protein will be sure to help you tone up and blast fat when paired with exercise.



Siggi’s Icelandic Non-Fat Yogurt

Orange & Ginger

Per 1 container (150 g): 120 calories, 0 g fat (0 g saturated fat), 55 mg sodium, 12 g carbs (0 g fiber, 9 g sugar), 17 g protein

We don’t just love Siggi’s Icelandic yogurt flavors because each carton is non-fat and packs on the protein, but because they’ve all got your daily dose of gut-healthy probiotic strains. Grab a spoon and dig in!



Good Health Eat Your Vegetables

Himalayan Salt Veggie

Per 1 oz (4 pretzels): 100 calories, 1.5 g fat (0 g saturated fat), 320 mg sodium, 20 g carbs (1 g fiber, 0 g sugar), 2 g protein

How many vegetables does it take to make a Good Health pretzel? In this case, five! Yes, you read that right. Each crunch you take of these sour cream and onion chips will include broccoli, beets, tomatoes, spinach, and carrots. We love healthy snacks that pack on this much vitamin A, C, E, and B6 all in one go.



Angie’s BOOMCHICKAPOP Light Kettle Corn

Per 3-¼ cups: 120 calories, 4 g fat (0 g saturated fat), 110 mg sodium, 21 g carbs (3 g fiber, 5 g sugar), 2 g protein

Sneak this into the theater next time you see a movie for some guilt-free munching. You can eat over three cups of light kettle corn and only set yourself back 120 calories and 110 milligrams of sodium. But don’t worry, Angie’s doesn’t sacrifice on flavor for such nutritious snack stats.



HIPPEAS Organic Chickpea Puffs

Sriracha Sunshine

Per bag (28 g): 130 calories, 5 g fat (0 g saturated fat), 170 mg sodium, 17 g carbs (3 g fiber, 2 g sugar), 4 g protein

Jalapeno and paprika team up for a satisfyingly spicy chickpea puff that will have you reaching for that water bottle. You’ll get the crunch of the chip, but you’ll find that each Hippeas bag is lower in fat and calories than most other brands. And did you notice those 4 grams of protein in these healthy snacks too?



Purely Elizabeth Cauli Hot Cereal

1 CONTAINER (40 GRAMS): 200 calories, 12 g fat (6 g saturated fat, 0 g trans fat), 20 mg sodium, 18 g carbs (3 g fiber, 8 g sugar), 8 g protein

You eat your cauliflower in pizza crust, so why not in your oatmeal? Purely Elizabeth launched these Cauli Hot Cereal cups, which are hot breakfast cups made with diced, freeze-dried cauliflower and sweetened with coconut sugar.



I Heart Keenwah Chocolate Puffs

Dark Chocolate Himalayan Pink Salt

Per 1 oz: 140 calories, 8 g fat (5 g saturated fat), 125 mg sodium, 16 g carbs (2 g fiber, 6 g sugar), 3 g protein

I Heart Keenwah wants you to “heart yourself with a handful” of their chocolate sea salt puffs, and we think you should listen! With organic ingredients and a stand-up nutrition label, digging into these is a snack sesh you can feel good about.



Munk Pack Protein Cookie

Oatmeal Raisin Spice

Per 1/2 cookie (42 g): 160 calories, 7 g fat (1 g saturated fat), 125 mg sodium, 18 g carbs (3 g fiber, 8 g sugar), 9 g protein

Make your dessert do you a favor next time around by indulging in a Munk Pack Cookie. The oatmeal raisin spice flavor is full of 18 grams of protein at just 320 calories, which isn’t bad for a sweet treat like this.



GAEA Kalamata Olive Snack

Per 6 olives (15 g): 35 calories, 3.5 g fat (0.5 g saturated fat), 130 mg sodium, 0 g carbs (0 g fiber, 0 g sugar), 1 g protein

Who doesn’t want olives that are pitted and packed without any additives or preservatives? And it gets even better. Gaea’s kalamata olives are 100 percent natural, and for every six you pop in your mouth, you’re consuming less than 50 calories.



Purely Elizabeth Oatmeal Cup

Cranberry Pumpkin Seed Ancient Grain

Per 1 container (57 g): 240 calories; 7 g fat (2 g saturated fat); 40 mg sodium; 35 g carbs (6 g fiber, 5 g sugar); 9 g protein

Dig into one of Purely Elizabeth’s oatmeal cups for breakfast or have it as a satiating snack. With organic oats, quinoa, amaranth, chia seeds, dried cranberries, and pumpkin seeds, this flavor is a great source of protein and fiber.



Nugo Fiber D’Lish Cinnamon Raisin

Per 1 bar (45 g): 130 calories, 3 g fat (0 g saturated fat), 30 mg sodium, 32 g carbs (12 g fiber, 11 g sugar), 3 g protein

This is the closest thing to a guilt-free oatmeal raisin cookie and contains 48% of your daily fiber. Talk about healthy snacks!



Kashi Ripe Strawberry Cereal Bars

Per 1 bar (35 g): 130 calories, 3 g fat (0 g saturated fat), 90 mg sodium, 25 g carbs (3 g fiber, 10 g sugar), 2 g protein

The fruity interior provides a fresh burst of sweetness, and the whole-grain exterior counters it with a nutty flavor that reminds you that you’re still eating real food.



Wonderful Salt And Pepper Pistachios

Per 1/2 cup (30 g): 160 calories, 14 g fat (1.5 g saturated fat), 290 mg sodium, 8 g carbs (3 g fiber, 2 g sugar), 6 g protein

We’re not sure how they got the flavor inside the shell, but we do know it’s totally addictive. Good thing the shells prevent you from wolfing them down too quickly.



Cucina Amore, Artichoke & Roasted Peppers

Per ½ cup: 130 calories, 5 g fat (0.5 g saturated fat), 350 mg sodium, 18 g carbs (5 g fiber, 1 g sugar), 4 g protein

Whether you throw it in the microwave or eat it cold, you’ll fall in love with these filling, flavorful, healthy snacks. We recommend the artichoke and red peppers rendition since it’s lower in calories than the other options, but doesn’t skimp on taste.



Rind Straw-Peary Blend Skin-On Superfruit Snack

1.5 oz (43 g): 150 calories, 0 g fat (0 g saturated fat, 0 g trans fat), 0 mg sodium, 36 g carbs (5 g fiber, 16 g sugar), 1 g protein

If you like dried fruit but don’t want to go overboard with sugar, Rind snacks is your solution. Unlike other dried fruit snacks, Rind leave the peel on—which retains more micronutrients. This Straw-Peary Blend variety packs slices of skin-on pears, apples, and strawberries.



Kind Raspberry Cashew & Chia

Per 1 bar (40 g): 190 calories, 11 g fat (1.5 g saturated fat), 20 mg sodium, 21 g carbs (2.5 g fiber, 10 g sugar), 4 g protein

Almonds and cashews bring in a major haul of monounsaturated fats, and the chia seeds round it out with omega-3s. That’s a lot of nutrition for such a tiny package. And keep that waistline toned and tight with these essential 14 Ways To Lose Your Belly In 14 Days!



Alter Eco Dark Salted Almonds Organic Chocolate, 70% Cocoa

Per 5 sections (40 g): 240 calories, 18 g fat (9 g saturated fat), 95 mg sodium, 14 g carbs (4 g fiber, 10 g sugar), 4 g protein

Want to satisfy your sweet tooth without widening your waist? Look no further than this Ecuadorian dark chocolate. At 70 percent cocoa, it’s decadent but not diet-derailing.



Barnana Toasted Coconut Organic Crunchy Banana Brittle

Per 1 oz (28 g): 140 calories, 7 g fat (5 g saturated fat), 100 mg sodium, 17 g carbs (2 g fiber, 10 g sugar), 2 g protein

If this isn’t one of your healthy snacks staples, you’re missing out. Barnana’s organic brittle is a crunchy craving-cutter that will take you to tropical places during a munchies break with its delicious banana coconut flavors.



Planter’s Nutrition Heart Healthy Mix

Per 28 g: 170 calories, 15 g fat (1.5 g saturated fat), 35 mg sodium, 2 g carbs (3 g fiber, 1 g sugar), 6 g protein

Inside this can is an awesome blend of heart-protecting peanuts, almonds, pecans, pistachios, hazelnuts, and walnuts. Consider it a great base for homemade trail mix.



Peeled Snacks Much-Ado-About Mango

Per 1/3 cup (40 g): 130 calories, 0 g fat (0 g saturated fat), 0 mg sodium, 29 g carbs (2 g fiber, 21 g sugar), 2 g protein

Think of Peeled Snacks’ Much-Ado-About-Mango like a Fruit Roll-Up for adults. It contains no added sugars or artificial ingredients, just organic mango. That’s how each bag ends up with nearly a third of your day’s vitamin A.



Chobani Low-Fat Mixed Berry Greek Yogurt Drink

Per 10 fl oz (296 mL): 200 calories, 5 g fat (3 g saturated fat), 115 mg sodium, 26 g carbs (2 g fiber, 22 g sugar), 14 g protein

With almost 15 grams of protein, this is one of the lowest-calorie bottles in the cooler. Thank the mix of blackberries, blueberries, and raspberries for their help in contributing big flavor, and a boatload of antioxidants.



Skinny Dipped Chocolate Covered Almonds

Espresso Flavor

Per 1 oz (28 g): 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.



Go Raw Organic Sprouted Superfood Pumpkin Seeds

Per 1/4 cup (28 g): 180 calories, 15 g fat (2 g saturated fat), 190 mg sodium, 5 g carbs (2 g fiber, 0 g sugar), 7 g protein

Not only are they loaded with protein and healthy fats, but pumpkin seeds are also one of the world’s best sources of magnesium, a mineral that helps strengthen bones and improve blood circulation. Bonus points for being sprouted, which means they’re teeming with active enzymes.



RX Bar Coffee Chocolate

Per bar (52 g): 210 calories, 9 g fat (2.5 g saturated fat), 160 mg sodium, 23 g carbs (6 g fiber, 13 g sugar), 12 g protein

This is a near-perfect load of post-workout protein. Maximize your gym time by tossing one of these in your gym bag and grabbing it on your way out the door.



Vega Protein + Shake

Per 1 bottle (325 mL): 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.



V8 100% Vegetable Juice, Low Sodium

Per 8 fl oz (240 mL): 50 calories, 0 g fat (0 g saturated fat), 140 mg sodium, 10 g carbs (2 g fiber, 7 g sugar), 2 g protein

Each cup counts as two servings of vegetables, making this a wise beverage to drink in the wake of a produce-less lunch. Hey, gotta squeeze in those veggies however you can.



Smucker’s Natural Chunky Peanut Butter

Per 2 tbsp (32 g): 200 calories, 16 g fat (2.5 g saturated fat), 90 mg sodium, 6 g carbs (2 g fiber, 1 g sugar), 8 g protein

You’ll find no added oils, sweeteners, or fillers in this jar—just peanuts and salt. Stay within the snack-size calorie range by eating one tablespoon with crackers or two tablespoons with baby carrots or celery.



Maranatha Organic Raw Almond Butter, No Salt, Creamy

Per 32 g: 180 calories, 16 g fat (1 g saturated fat), 0 mg sodium, 6 g carbs (4 g fiber, 2 g sugar), 7 g protein

Almond butter has more heart-healthy monounsaturated fatty acids than peanut butter, and it’s just as convenient. Try smearing some over apple slices for a tasty blend of sweet and savory. As far as healthy snacks to buy goes, this is a classic.



OJAS STUDIO Date and Grain Bite in Ginger, Cinnamon, and Chia

Per 4 pieces (30 g): 130 calories, 6 g fat (1 g saturated fat), 30 mg sodium, 18 g carbs (3 g fiber, 8 g sugar), 2 g protein

Filled with dates, whole grain oats, and delicious mix-ins of warming spices and superfood ingredients, OJAS STUDIO date and grain bites are a healthy snack dream. They’re made with real fruit and no artificial sweeteners, too. They’re perfect for eating on the go when you just need a few bites to tide you over till your next meal. Our favorite flavor is Ginger, Cinnamon, and Chia, but they also come in Cardamom, Cinnamon, and Walnut and Coconut, Fig, and Orange Peel varieties, too.



Halo Top Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Ice Cream

Per ½ cup (66 g): 90 calories, 3 g fat (1 g saturated fat), 120 mg sodium, 16 g carbs (3 g fiber, 7 g sugar, 5 g sugar alcohol), 5 g protein

If you need more low-cal protein-rich ice cream in your diet—let’s be real, who doesn’t?—don’t miss out on Halo Top. They’ve got a whopping 25 flavors, but this chocolate chip cookie dough option is one of our faves.


Food Should Taste Good Sweet Potato Tortilla Chips

Per 12 chips (28 g): 140 calories, 7 g fat (0.5 g saturated fat), 80 mg sodium, 18 g carbs (1 g fiber, 3 g sugar), 2 g protein

Part chip, part cracker, and all good. These nibbles provide 20 percent of your daily dose of vitamin A, and they’re gluten-free.



Terra Exotic Harvest Vegetable Chips

Per 16 chips (28 g): 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!



Vea World Crisps, Andean Quinoa & Spices

Per 18 chips (31 g): 130 calories, 4 g fat (0 g saturated fat), 180 mg sodium, 23 g carbs (n/a g fiber, 2 g sugar), 2 g protein

The new breed of “potato” chip finds new brands experimenting with bold new ingredients—quinoa, potato, and corn. These baked beauties have a nice crunch and great flavor.



Newman’s Own Organics Spelt Pretzels

Per 18 pretzels (30 g): 120 calories, 1 g fat (0 g saturated fat), 240 mg sodium, 23 g carbs (1 g fiber, 0 g sugar), 4 g protein

Spelt is a grain related to wheat but with more fiber and protein, and the fact that it’s organic is just a bonus. Pair these with a hunk of cheddar to rope even more protein into your healthy snacks break.



Athenos Hummus Original

Per 28 g: 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.”



Wholly Guacamole

Per 2 tbsp (30 g): 60 calories, 5 g fat (1 g saturated fat), 105 mg sodium, 3 g carbs (2 g fiber, 0 g sugar), 1 g protein

With so many faux-guacamoles at the supermarket, it’s important to find one good brand and stick to it. So let us introduce you to Wholly, the supermarket’s most reliable purveyor of authentic, avocado-based guac. Oils, starches, and artificial colors are nowhere to be found in this package.


Good Culture Cottage Cheese

Per 1 container (150 g): 150 calories, 6 g fat (3.5 g saturated fat), 450 mg sodium, 4 g carbs (0 g fiber, 3 g sugar), 19 g protein

Cottage cheese is famous for its abundant supply of complete protein, and this package contains almost 20 grams of the stuff in just one serving. Top your curds with the best fruit for weight loss for ultra-sweet and healthy snacks (or desserts!).


Horizon Organic Mozzarella String Cheese

Per 1 stick (28 g): 6 g fat (3.5 g saturated fat), 200 mg sodium, >1 g carbs (0 g fiber, 0 g sugar), 7 g protein

Each stick has a fifth of your day’s calcium intake, and Horizon keeps the fat down by using part-skim milk. The creaminess of the cheese pairs particularly well with an apple and the duo just so happens to make one perfect snack-size portion.



Eggland’s Best Hard-Cooked Peeled Eggs

Per 1 egg (44 g): 50 calories, 3.5 g fat (1 g saturated fat), 55 mg sodium, 0 g carbs (0 g fiber, 0 g sugar), 5.5 g protein

These are natural 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.


Pacific Organic Steel-Cut Oatmeal Apple & Cinnamon

Per 1 container: 180 calories, 2.5 g fat (0 g saturated fat), 250 mg sodium, 36 g carbs (3 g fiber, 10 g sugar), 4 g protein

Don’t confine oatmeal to the breakfast table. A bowl of steel-cut oats makes a perfect snack. They’re higher in fiber and have a lower glycemic index than other oat varieties, which translates to keeping your belly full and satisfied for hours after eating.



Field Trip Cracked Pepper Turkey Jerky

Per 1 oz: 80 calories, 1 g fat (0.5 g saturated fat), 380 mg sodium, 10 g carbs (0 g fiber, 8 g sugar), 8 g protein

No snack on the planet offers such a reliable dose of protein in a more convenient package. Consider this one of the best healthy snacks to buy on days when you’re too busy to be bothered with snack-time complications.



Cal-Organic Carrot Dippers Snack Packs With Ranch Dip

Per 1 snack pack (64 g): 110 calories, 9 g fat (1.5 g saturated fat), 170 mg sodium, 5 g carbs (1 g fiber, 4 g sugar), 1 g protein

These baby carrots come with just enough ranch to kick up the flavor without burdening you with a nutritionally nullifying load of fat, and each serving has 60 percent of your day’s recommended vitamin A.


Seapoint Farms Edamame Organic Shelled Soybeans

Per 1/2 cup (75 g): 100 calories, 3.5 g fat (0.5 g saturated fat), 15 mg sodium, 8 g carbs (6 g fiber, 1 g sugar), 10 g protein

Consisting of nothing but fresh soybeans, edamame makes a great snack. Each bean provides a nourishing mix of protein, fiber, and omega-3 fats. If you’re eating out, just ask for your bowl unsalted and add a small pinch at the table. And for another savory treat, check out one of the Best Burgers For Weight Loss.



Snapea Crisps

Per 28 g: 110 calories, 4.5 g fat (0.5 g saturated fat), 50 mg sodium, 17 g carbs (4 g fiber, 1 g sugar), 5 g protein

“A handful of Snapea Crisps provides a whopping five grams of protein and four grams of fiber for a mere 110 calories. Plus, these healthy snacks are non-perishable so they can be easily eaten just about anywhere.”—Lisa De Fazio, MS, RD, Los Angeles-based Registered Dietitian



Go Raw Flax Crackers

Spicy Fiesta

Per 1 oz (28 g): 180 calories, 13 g fat (1 g saturated fat), 240 mg sodium, 10 g carbs (5 g fiber, 1 g sugar), 5 g protein

“When I’m looking to get a little leaner, I reach for raw flax crackers topped with avocado. I prefer raw flax crackers over the wheat variety because they don’t contain gluten, which can make me a little puffy. They are also intensely rich in omega-3s, which helps produce radiant skin and a faster brain!” — Dana James, nutritionist and founder of Food Coach NYC



Skinnypop Popcorn

Per 1 package (18 g): 100 calories, 6 g fat (0.5 g saturated fat), 45 mg sodium, 9 g carbs (2 g fiber, 0 g sugar), 2 g protein

Volumetrics is an eating plan championed by Barbara Rolls of Penn State University, and it’s based on getting more mileage out of low-density foods. For example, a huge salad—or in this case, nearly 4 cups of popcorn—will leave you more satisfied than a square of chocolate, and for far fewer calories. If you’re someone who gets depressed by measly portions, reach for healthy snacks that have a high water content like fruits, veggies—or our favorite crunchy munchie: popcorn. For a pre-popped variety, we love SkinnyPop because it’s free of additives and tasty without being too salty.



Kashi Cinnamon Harvest

Per 28 biscuits (55 g): 180 calories, 1 g fat (0 g saturated fat), 0 mg sodium, 43 g carbs (6 g fiber, 9 g sugar), 6 g protein

Aside from the touch of cane juice, the only ingredients are whole wheat and cinnamon. Another healthy snacks winner! The wheat delivers protein and fiber, and the cinnamon helps counteract the cane juice’s impact on blood sugar.



Triscuit Original

Per 6 crackers (28 g): 120 calories, 3.5 g fat (0.5 g saturated fat), 160 mg sodium, 20 g carbs (3 g fiber, 0 g sugar), 3 g protein

Snackable and stackable healthy snacks, these classic crackers are a great standby at home or in the office.



Fage Total 2% Greek Yogurt

Per 1 cup (227 g): 170 calories, 3 g fat (0 g saturated fat), 75 mg sodium, 9 g carbs (0 g fiber, 9 g sugar), 23 g protein

Greek yogurt has more than double the protein of standard American-style, making it the clear-cut winner of the best yogurts for weight loss title (as well as one of our favorite healthy snacks to buy). Make it a simple parfait by adding fruit, nuts, seeds, or granola.


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Clint Hild

Ladies and gents, awards season is upon us, but if you’re not Emma Stone or Ryan Gosling, what may be more important to you is the dreaded diet season (AKA that start-of-the-year phase when many of us resolve to finally lose a few pesky pounds). Lucky for you, US News & World Report recently ranked 38 major diet plans and gave out its own “awards” to the best of them. A panel of diet, nutrition, obesity, food psychology, diabetes and heart disease experts vetted them all, combining their own research with studies and government reports to determine which ones would take top honors.

Here are the ones awarded the top five spots, though — spoiler! — there were quite a few ties.

1. Weight Watchers

Proving that classics are classic for a reason, Weight Watchers took home the most coveted spot. Weight Watchers newest program, Beyond the Scale, is designed to help people eat better and exercise more, thus helping followers create a healthier lifestyle that will have a lasting effect. The program doesn’t count calories, but rather assigns foods SmartPoints based on their nutritional value (higher points = less healthy), so that healthier food “costs” less and becomes more attractive.

With the point system, people tend to eat food that is lower in calories, saturated fat, and sugar but higher in protein, making it easy to lose about 2 pounds per week (or so they claim).

Pros: No food off-limits, flexible diet plan

Cons: Can be expensive, depending on the program you choose

Progressive Grocer

2. Jenny Craig (tie)

Another oldie but a goodie, Jenny Craig, also scored high. The theory behind this diet is that in order to lose weight you have to restrict fat and calories and eat smaller portions — with the help of a specified meal plan and counselor. Dieters on this plan have to follow a personalized meal plan made up of Jenny Craig pre-packaged foods and recipes, as well as fresh fruits, veggies, and dairy.

The diet is also big on giving its followers support through weekly counseling with a Jenny Craig consultant (FYI, these consultants are not nutritionists, but generally people who have gone through the program.) Like Weight Watchers, Jenny Craig claims you can lose 2 pounds per week.

Pros: Packaged meals are delivered to you

Cons: Home-cooked meals and restaurant food will be a thing of the past; it also gets pretty pricey

2. Volumetrics Diet (tie)

Tied with Jenny Craig is the ingenue, the Volumetrics Diet, which as its name might suggest, has a lot to do with, well, volume. This diet functions by making you eat fewer calories without having to eat less food. How, exactly, does that work? By eating low-density foods. In other words, foods that are low in calories but high-volume, such as fruits and veggies. Low-density foods are filling but low in calories, so you’ll feel fuller longer without overdoing it (or snack-binging later).

The diet is not a structured program, like Weight Watchers or Jenny Craig, but rather an approach to eating that divides food into four categories:

  • Category 1: very low-density (things like non starchy fruits and veggies, and nonfat milk)
  • Category 2: low-density (grains, breakfast cereal, low fat meats)
  • Category 3:medium-density (pizza and ice cream)
  • Category 4:high-density (chips, chocolates and cookies)

If you stick to Categories 1 and 2 and steer clear of the higher/ more delicious categories, you should lose about 1 or 2 pounds per week.

Pros: Nothing is off-limits; you rarely feel hungry

Cons: Lots of meal prep — and lots of eating soup

Getty Images

4. HMR Program

The HMR program, or Health Management Resource program, revolves around the idea that weight loss is achieved by reducing calories through meal replacements with added fruits and vegetables. Followers of the diet replace their regular meals with shakes, meals, nutrition bars, and multigrain hot cereals, as well as lots of fresh fruits and veggies, to stay full and eliminate high-calorie foods.

The program is also big on exercise and encourages followers to work out at least 10 to 20 minutes per day. Automatic meal deliveries make it easy to follow and make it possible to lose 1 to 2 pounds per week, according to reports.

Pros: Meals are delivered right to you; fast initial weight loss

Cons: Shakes could get boring; eating out will be hard

5. Biggest Loser Diet (a five-way tie!)

If you’re a big fan of the show, maybe it’s time you try the diet yourself. The Biggest Loser Diet is based on six weeks of eating healthier (i.e. less calories) and exercising, much like contestants do on TV. Also like on the show, this diet is a choose-your own-adventure type of plan in that there is no one way to follow the diet but rather, it depends on what book from the franchise you choose to follow (they’re all based on the same core principles though).

No matter what book you choose to follow, you’ll learn all about the Biggest Loser Diet pyramid, which suggests 4 servings per day of fruits and veggies, 3 of proteins, 2 of whole grains, and no more than 200 calories of extra — oh, and you’ll definitely work up a sweat with all the working out you’ll be doing.

Pros: No food is off limits

Cons: Lots of sweating involved; kind of expensive

5. The Flexitarian Diet

No, Flexitarian is not a Dr.Seussian creation, it’s an actual diet — we promise. The word comes from the merging of “flexible” and “vegetarian” and alludes to the way the diet works — by being mostly vegetarian but flexible enough to allow for a delicious steak every now and then.

Rather than taking food away, the diet works by adding 5 food groups: “new meats” such as tofu, beans, and lentils; fruits and veggies, whole grains, dairy, and sugar and spices. The diet also has a 5-week meal plan that follows a 3-4-5 model, 300 calories for breakfast, 400 for lunch and 500 for dinner (you can also have 2 snacks per day at 150 calories each). According to the diet, by eating meals that revolve around plant proteins, followers weigh 15 percent less than more carnivorous dieters, so if you’ve ever considered going vegetarian but just couldn’t think of a life without BBQ and burgers, maybe this diet will convince you to live that tofu life.

Pros: Flexible (it is in the name after all), lot’s of recipes

Cons: Emphasis on home cooking; veggie lovers only

5. Raw Food Diet

The raw food diet is basically the diet gods’ gift to people who hate getting in the kitchen, because it calls for you to only eat raw fruits and veggies, berries, and nuts. That means you never have to preheat an oven, although you can cook foods up to 115 degrees if you just can’t handle the thought of raw broccoli.

The diet is pretty clear on what you can and can’t eat: Fruits, veggies, nuts, and grains are ok (even sashimi makes the cut), but pasteurized or processed foods, refined sugars and flours, table salt, and *gasp* caffeine are completely off-limits. Though prepping all those veggies might be a pain in the *ss, followers of the diet typically consume half the calories of those on a cooked diet, so the extra chopping and blending might actually be worth it.

Pros: Nearly guaranteed weight loss

Cons: Lots of prep and rules to follow

5. Slim-Fast Diet

Remember back in the day when everyone you knew was downing those Slim-Fast shakes to lose some extra inches? Well, Slim-Fast hasn’t disappeared, and it’s apparently still a good diet. Like most diets, the philosophy behind Slim-Fast is that portion control and calorie reduction leads to weight loss, and the way to do that on this diet is through meal replacements (like those famous shakes) to get you the right amount of nutrients.

On the diet you’ll get 1,200 calories from three snacks of your choice, two Slim-Fast meal replacements, and one self-prepared 500-calorie meal per day to escape the monotony of prepared meals (but let’s be real, at 500 calories, you won’t even be able to get close to that burger you want). Slim-Fast claims that you’ll lose 1 to 2 pounds per week and is best for people who need to lose more than 20 pounds, so if you’ve got a lot to lose it might be right for you but if you value solid foods, maybe try losing the weight a different way.

Pros: Grab and go, so it’s pretty convenient

Cons: So. Many. Shakes.


5. Vegan Diet

Ah vegans, you probably know at least one person who’s vegan and won’t shut up about it because, well, they just have to let you know. Whether the vegan in your life is cool or a total obsessive bragger, they might be on to something with that no-animal product diet. If you’re not familiar with a vegan diet, it basically is extreme vegetarianism in that it cuts out all animal products, including crowd favorites such as cheese, eggs, and even yogurt.

However, by cutting down on animal products, vegans typically eat more grains, fruits, and veggies, and coincidentally eat fewer calories.

Pros: Filling meals; good for the environment

Cons: Restrictive, expensive, and you can say au revoir to eggs benny at brunch


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We’ve all been told to eat lots of whole foods—like fruits, veggies, meat, poultry, and dairy—and to watch our intake of processed foods. But let’s be serious: Most of us aren’t about to blend up our own mayo. Avoiding supermarket aisles stocked with jars, bag, cans, and boxes just isn’t always doable.

When we buy food from a bag, box, or jar, it can be tricky to tell just how healthy (or unhealthy) it really is. After all, plenty of packaged foods contain terrifyingly long lists of ingredients, which often include preservatives and additives we don’t recognize and can’t pronounce. (What the heck is ‘dextrin,’ anyway?) Not to mention, many packaged foods come with a boatload of extra calories—on top of added sugars, fats, and sodium, says Toby Amidor, M.S., R.D.N.

To save you from spending 20 minutes trying to pick between two jars of tomato sauce or boxes of crackers, we asked dietitians for their supermarket navigation tips.

1. Check the sugar content.

Natural sugars that are found in whole foods like fruit and dairy have a place in a healthy diet, but sugars added to many packaged foods and drinks can lead to weight gain and health concerns, , says Amidor. So how much sugar a food contains—and whether it’s naturally-occurring or added—is something you’ll want to look at.

The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends limiting added sugars to just five percent of our total daily calories, which is 100 calories or 25 grams. So if a food contains more than 10 grams (or 40 calories) of added sugar per serving, it should probably be a no-go, Amidor says.

And don’t expect that added sugar to reveal itself willingly in the ingredient list: “Added sugars can show up on food and drink labels under names like anhydrous dextrose, brown sugar, cane crystals, cane sugar, corn sweetener, corn syrup, corn syrup solids, crystal dextrose, evaporated cane juice, fructose sweetener, fruit juice concentrates, high-fructose corn syrup, honey, liquid fructose, malt syrup, maple syrup, molasses, pancake syrup, raw sugar, sugar, syrup and white sugar,” says Amidor. Yikes.

Related: Is Sugar Really All That Bad For You?

That said, you don’t necessarily have to nix a food because it contains a little added sugar. If the other ingredients are simple and offer health benefits like fiber or other nutrients, you can cut yourself some slack.

2. Feel out the fat.

One of the reasons packaged snacks can be so dang addicting: They contain added fat for enhanced flavor, says Amidor.

And while fat can be healthy (think of the unsaturated fats in avocados, nuts, and olive oil), many packaged foods are higher in saturated fats and contain trans fats.

Trans, or ‘hydrogenated’ fats have been linked to heart disease and should be avoided as much as possible, says Amidor. Meanwhile, the USDA 2015 Dietary Guidelines recommend limiting saturated fat to 10 percent or less of your daily calories, since excess consumption can affect cholesterol, she says.

So when you’re deciding between two packaged foods, compare the amounts of saturated fat per serving and go with the product that has less. Stay away from anything that contains 15 percent of your total daily allotment of saturated fat, Amidor suggests.

3. Beware insane amounts of salt.

The recommended daily max for sodium is 2,300 milligrams, or about one teaspoon of salt, but many packaged foods are bursting with the stuff, sometimes packing half your daily allowance in one serving.

4. Count the ingredients.

To keep your eats as clean as possible, pick packaged foods that contain as few ingredients as possible, says White. A food with few ingredients is less processed, and often healthier, than one with a long laundry list, he says.

And, since ingredients are listed in order of the amount contained in the food (high to low), looking at the first three can tell you a lot about what you’re eating, White adds. If one of the food’s first three ingredients is a sweetener, non-whole-grain flour, or oil, it’s probably not a great choice.

5. Do some quick nutrient math.

To make our snacks and meals as filling and waistline-friendly as possible, make sure they pack two things: fiber and protein. (You generally want at least three grams of fiber and seven grams of protein, White says.)

To figure out if a packaged food has enough of this good stuff to outweigh the bad stuff that may also be lurking, add up the grams of protein and fiber on the Nutrition Facts. Then add up the grams of total fat and sugar. If the total grams of protein and fiber are higher than the total grams of fat and sugar, you’re good to go, White says.

6. Look for added nutrients.

According to the 2015 Dietary Guidelines, there are four nutrients in particular that Americans fall short on: vitamin D, calcium, fiber, and potassium. (Vitamin D, calcium, and potassium are found in milk and many dairy products, while potassium and fiber can be found in fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and legumes, according to Amidor.)

Related: 9 Nutrients You May Be Short On If You Don’t Eat Dairy

But since so many of us miss out on these four nutrients, they’re often added to packaged foods (like breakfast cereal) to help us get our fill. So if a food packs a boatload of these important nutrients despite having some rather unappealing qualities—like some added sugar—it might still be worth eating, she says. Just make sure the food provides at least 10 to 19 percent of your daily value of one or more of these nutrients per serving.

7. Cut out artificial colors and flavors.

You’ll want to avoid as much artificial anything as possible, and nixing artificial colors and flavors is a good place to start. “Color additives are used for aesthetic purposes, and do not provide any nutritional value to the food,” says Amidor. The same goes for artificial flavors. So go ahead and leave that cupcake icing colored with ‘blue number whatever’ or artificially-flavored nacho chips on the shelf.

8. When in doubt, use an app.

If you just can’t decide whether to put a product in your cart or leave it on the shelf, let your phone do the thinking for you. An app like the Environmental Working Group’s Food Scores, gives you quick feedback on the overall quality of a food, says White. “The app gives a rating for thousands of foods based on their nutritional value, ingredients of concern (like additives), and the extent to which they’re processed,” he says. The closer to a rating of ‘1,’ the more worthy the food.

Written by Maia, President & Founder

My kids are big snackers, and they probably get it from me: I often skip dinner entirely (not good, I know!), and then spend the rest of the evening snacking—a bowl of cereal, some grapes, toast, or maybe if I’m feeling ambitious, a sliced cucumber with some feta cheese, drizzled with Olea Blue.

I try to encourage my kids to sit down to three meals a day and keep snacking to a minimum, but this is often not realistic. My mom’s most popular post ever is this one, which provides “recipes” for ten super simple, truly healthful snacks for kids. I know this list has been a game-changer for many of us, but what about those times when we don’t even have time to slice a carrot, let alone make kale chips? For modern mommas, there are simply a lot of instances when we need packaged snacks–whether it’s for handing out in the car or stroller or throwing in a lunch box.

Here’s a round-up of my ten favorite, totally guilt-free, packaged snacks. These aren’t just Okay Stuff in my opinion–they are truly the Good Stuff, making me feel great if my kids eat any of them as part of their dinner!

1: Brami Snacking Lupini Beans

With no weird oils or preservatives, Brami’s lupini beans are a Mediterranean snack with more protein and fiber than most beans and nuts (and without the soy concerns of edamame).

2: SeaSnax Roasted Seaweed

Not only are the SeaSnax brand seaweed snacks organic, but (unlike the Trader Joe’s version) they use olive oil instead of canola. Sea vegetables are a great source of minerals, including magnesium, iodine, calcium, selenium, potassium, and zinc.

Buy now from Thrive Market

3: Ruby Rockets Veggie & Fruit Pops

My kids always request Ruby Rockets when they are sick, and I’m happy to oblige. Available in three delicious flavors, Ruby Rockets are the only popsicle I’ve found that doesn’t contain any added sugar, and are packed with hidden veggie purees (not just juice!)–from organic beets to sweet potatoes.

4: Wallaby Organic Greek Yogurt

Since my kids won’t eat completely plain yogurt, I’m always on the lookout for the healthiest flavored version. Thus far, I’ve been unable to find a brand that contains zero sugar, so we like Wallaby’s organic honey variety.

5: Larabar Minis

My kids would live on ZBars if I let them, but those are decidedly sneaky (with lots of sugar, soy, etc.). I love the Larabar Minis for kids: they are made of just nuts, dates, and fruit and happen to be crazy tasty (especially the cherry pie one, FYI). For more on energy bars, check out our Healthy Nutrition Bar Guide.

6: Nature’s All Foods Freeze-Dried Strawberries

When you don’t have fresh fruit on hand or you don’t feel like washing and slicing it, these organic freeze-dried strawberries are the perfect solution to toss in your bag. They are expensive, yes, but are also much healthier than any other “fruit snacks” out there.

Buy now from Thrive Market

7: LesserEvil Buddha Bowl Himalayan Pink Popcorn

Popcorn is a great, whole-grain snack for older kids (because of choking risk), but sometimes we don’t have time to make it in our hot air popper. On those days, I love LesserEvil’s Himalayan Pink Popcorn, which contains just popcorn, coconut oil, and Himalayan sea salt.

Buy now from Thrive Market

8: Rhythm Superfoods Beet Chips

Rhythm’s beet chips DO have sunflower oil (which is better than canola or soy, but not as good as olive, coconut, or avocado), but I don’t consider that much of a compromise if it means watching my kids take down an entire beet in a sitting.

Buy now from Thrive Market

9: The Good Bean Chickpea Snacks

Loaded with folate and protein, The Good Bean’s line of roasted chickpea snacks also contain safflower/sunflower oil, but are a delicious alternative to chips or crackers.

10: Plum Kids Organic Fruit Mashups

Yes, getting your kids to eat whole fruit is ideal, but I like Plum’s Mashup pouches because they don’t contain juices–just purees of organic fruits and berries. What’s more–the plastic used in these pouches is the safest kind out there. For

Please share below which packaged snacks are your go-tos for kids!

Stay sane,

P.S.: You’ll notice in this post that I’ve linked a bunch of snacks to Thrive Market. If you aren’t familiar with Thrive, I encourage you to give it a try. It’s a Costco meets Whole Foods meets Amazon model, with hard-to-find healthful foods delivered, for free, at steeply discounted prices. (And our readers get a free jar of avocado mayo when they join via the link I just provided, since I have an affiliate account with Thrive).

P.P.S.: Wolfie isn’t a huge carrot eater, but when I buy the baby ones in little individual bags, he suddenly loves them. It just goes to show you how much my kids love any and all packaged foods!

You don’t have to make everything from scratch to feed your family right! Take the pressure off with these healthy packaged foods that nourish you right out of the bag or box.

Serving home-cooked meals for your kids is super important. We’ll never tell you otherwise!

But that doesn’t mean you have to make every single item in your kitchen from scratch to eat well and raise healthy kids. In truth, the supermarket is filled with healthy products that come in a bag, box, or can. You don’t have to feel like you’re settling for less when you buy them.

The key to making healthy packaged-food choices is knowing what’s really good for your family, and what’s masquerading as health food, but really isn’t.

And actually, it’s not really so complicated! Here are a few guidelines to help you know the difference.

Healthy Packaged Foods Have LESS (or None) of These:

Sugar or artificial sweetener

Refined grains

Rambling ingredient lists

Healthy Packaged Foods Have MORE of These:


Whole Grains

Fruits and veggies

That’s it. Pretty simple, right? With a little forethought, you can feel proud knowing the packaged foods you buy are improving your family’s nutrition.

AND helping you be a better home cook. (Huh?!)

Really! I can’t tell you how many times having a good stash of packaged food has saved me when I’m trying to get a healthy meal on the table last-minute. (When you’ve got beans, rice, and salsa in your pantry, you’re halfway there!)

If you’re ready to stock your own pantry with some healthy essentials, check out our list of healthiest packaged foods:

25+ Healthy Packaged Foods

  • 100% whole wheat spaghetti
  • Peanut butter
  • Cheese sticks
  • Raisin boxes
  • Whole wheat mac and cheese
  • Granola (lower sugar)
  • Applesauce pouches
  • Larabars
  • Canned tuna
  • Canned lentil soup
  • Beef jerky
  • Popcorn
  • Coconut chips
  • Salsa
  • Dried fruit (look for unsweetened)
  • Corn tortillas
  • Canned beans
  • 100% whole grain crackers
  • 100% whole grain bread, buns, pitas, and rolls
  • Jarred marinara sauce
  • Dry-roasted nuts
  • Brown rice cakes
  • Whole milk yogurt
  • Hummus
  • Freeze-dried fruits and veggies like apple chips, carrot chips, and peas
  • Baby carrots, apple slices, and other pre-cut fresh produce
  • Any bag of frozen fruits
  • Any bag of frozen veggies

Recipes Featuring Boxed and Bagged Foods

30 Quick and Easy Last Minute Dinner Ideas
Ultimate Guide to Healthy, Kid-Friendly Wraps
Peanut Butter Fudge Protein Energy Balls

That’s our list! Do you have a favorite healthy packaged-food staple that we didn’t mention? Share in the comments.

Foods that are surprisingly good for you

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