Healthy snacks are getting easier and easier to come by. Even CVS is hopping on the health food train, stocking their shelves with healthier options daily. With health food trends and superfoods saturating the market — and social media — companies are cashing in on the trends by making food products better than ever.
But with social media and marketing come a lot of buzz words; there’s low-calorie, gluten-free, “all-natural,” to name a few. But some of these flashy titles are actually utterly meaningless. Others are completely contradictory to what really even constitutes a healthy snack.
Take rice cakes, for instance. They’re low-calorie, gluten-free, vegan, etc., but let’s be honest. They taste so bland, and unless you drown them in toppings and other foods to overwhelm the awkward texture and taste, you’re in for an unpleasant snacking experience. Plus, who’s ever felt full or happy after eating a rice cake?
But you don’t want to gorge yourself on trans fats, grease, and ice cream, either.
There is a happy medium. With the right snacks and the right nutritional know-how, you’ll be all set for your best afternoon snack yet.
On this list, there’s nothing but fashion-forward, innovative snack options from companies on a mission to give you the best nutritional bang for your buck. Throw one of these in your bag, pair it with a meal, or munch on it in front of the TV — it doesn’t matter. Your taste buds and your body will love the whole darn thing.
We also love this company’s vegan protein powders, and they’re used in the making of their on-the-go snack bars! They’re soy-free, gluten-free, dairy-free, vegan, non-GMO, and USDA certified organic — but that’s not what makes them healthy. They’re free of antibiotics, hormones, and anything artificial, yet still add 15 grams of protein to your day. All of their ingredients are simple and natural, and all of their flavors sound divine. Peanut Butter & Jelly? Sign us up.
This year, the better-for-you popcorn company made some epic new flavors. Every craving we’ve ever experienced is involved: Dill Pickle, Cheddar Cheese, Real Butter, and Dark Chocolaty Drizzled Sea Salt are some drool-worthy examples. All of their popcorns are made low-calorie with simple ingredients. They definitively prove that popcorn doesn’t need all those chemicals to taste great. We could eat a whole bag in one sitting!
All natural, crunchy, and filled with omega-3s — what more could we want from a snack? These slivers of real coconut are roasted with chia seeds and pineapple juice to infuse each bite with the taste of sweet, tropical heaven. These are perfect for anyone who loves health but hates eating chia.
Chips. Made. From. Beans.
Science has officially done something useful. Beans, unlike the potatoes and starchy flours found in regular chips, are high in protein and fiber. These chips come in a variety of fun flavors like Nacho Cheese and Chipotle BBQ. They’re corn- and gluten-free, and they use all-natural ingredients like sunflower oil and rice flour, in addition to the large amount of beans they pack inside.
Pair them with salsa and you’ve got the zestiest healthy snack of all time.
If you’re going to eat chocolate, it may as well have chia seeds inside. Each serving has 2,250 milligrams of omega-3 — way more than you get from a serving of salmon. We sprinkle these better-for-you sprinkles all over our ice cream, yogurt, and banana bread. But really, you can add them to anything else!
Even the name sounds incredible. Eating Evolved has been producing healthy, clean-eating sweets for ages, and their new coconut butter is taking things to the next level. It has three ingredients: organic coconut butter, organic coconut sugar, organic pineapple. Woah.
What is coconut butter, you ask? It’s simple: puréed coconut meat!
Enlightened, the same company that’s been blessing our freezers with healthy ice cream and our pantries with bean snacks, has kicked things up a notch with healthy marshmallow treats. After tasting these protein-packed goodies, you’ll never crave Rice Krispie Treats again. There’s Original, Birthday Cake, Apple Cinnamon, and Double Chocolate — so all your sweet flavor needs are being met with this product. Fifteen grams of protein per bar, nine grams of sugar — that’s less sugar than a tiny cup of yogurt!
Chips that are good for your gut? Are we dreaming? They taste like pickles, which we love. Plus, the crunch and tang are made with all natural, all organic ingredients — all of which are in plain English, easily decipherable on the label. No chemicals or preservatives in these bags.
They’re vegan, gluten-free, dairy-free, non-GMO, organic, and made with all certified sustainable ingredients. Incredible.
Known for their 100-calorie chia snack bars, Health Warrior is hitting the scene for a second time around with their pumpkin seed-based bars. One of their flavors is a savory one, switching things up for the better: Honey Cracked Pepper with Turmeric. Turmeric is an anti-inflammatory, immensely beneficial superfood; each one of their bars is hiding one of these super ingredients.
If you have a sweet tooth, don’t worry. They sell sweet flavors, too, like your classic Dark Chocolate.
They’re hip. They’re peas. They’re Hippeas: Organic chickpea puffs in bright, sunshine-y packaging that have as many benefits for the Earth as they do for your body. As chickpeas grow, they release nitrogen back into the soil — naturally fertilizing as they thrive. Hippeas also donates to the charity Farm Africa, so you can feel good about every bag you buy.
Have you heard of jicama? It’s a crunchy white vegetable popular in many Mexican recipes. The chips are 100 calories per bag, but unlike your typical 100-calorie pack processed snack, they’re loaded with nutrients. The bag will give you tons of fiber, some protein, and heart-healthy olive oil. The three ingredients? You guessed it: jicama, olive oil, and salt. That means they’re paleo, gluten-free, vegan, and so much more.
Popcorn is one of our favorite healthy snacks, and it gets a major upgrade from this brand. The fabulous flavors? Tandoori Turmeric, Salsa Verde, Cinnamon Twist, and Berry Smoothie. We didn’t know berry popcorn was a thing, but we’re into it.
Superfoods are foods with a high nutrient density — meaning that these popped kernels are stuffed with as much goodness as could fit in each bite.
This popcorn is also infused with probiotics, the healthy gut bacteria you need to maintain good digestion. Some people take their probiotics in pills. We like this option much better.
Their cereal is made out of beans. How do they even do that?! A small family company, Love Grown makes cereals geared towards kids and adults (although we’re adults and love the kids’ flavors). They use a blend of navy, lentil, and garbanzo beans to infuse each crunchy bite with as much nutrition as possible, without skimping on any of the flavor. Comet Crispies and Fruity Stars honestly feel like eating the sugary, nutrition-less cereals of our childhood — except that you also feel amazing after you eat your bowl.
Healthy cookie dough never tasted so good — and never made portion control so easy! This chickpea-based cookie dough comes in single-serve cups, pre-packaged to perfection. There are three flavors to choose from: chocolate chip, peanut butter, and fudge brownie.
They’re vegan, gluten-free, all organic, and filled with healthy foods like chickpeas, nuts, and coconut oil. We could eat one of these every night!
These bars have made it on another one of our lists, too — because they’ve got caffeine! Don’t worry, it’s all natural. The jolt comes from Yerba tea, one of these bars’ vitamin-rich, superfood ingredients. And this bar has lots of those. Each bar has 10 grams of protein, 11 superfoods, and 23 vitamins and minerals. We always like to keep a stash of these around. They’re perfect for any day we need an extra boost of good food energy.
RXBARs have been on our radar for some time, but this new limited-edition flavor is like a breath of fresh, beachy air. Summer tastes so sweet when it’s made of seven whole food ingredients. Egg whites, dates, almonds, cashews, mango, pineapple, and natural flavor. That’s it. And the taste is like a tropical paradise.
These bars are great for an on-the-go snack because they’re filled with the healthy fats and proteins your body craves!
Triple cream means triple the yum. Rich and pudding-like in texture, Siggi’s somehow found a way to make yogurt taste like dessert while only using eight grams of sugar. We’re already impressed, but they also fit nine grams of protein in the tiny container. Made with simple ingredients like cocoa and skim milk, these little yogurt cups are among our favorites!
These chips are paleo. Our cavemen could have eaten these. (Just kidding.) But we’re not kidding about the paleo snacks also being gluten-free, grain-free, non-GMO, dairy-free, soy-free, vegan, and loaded with cheesy flavor.
Their secret is in the use of cassava flour, a plant-based alternative to the typical white flours and emulsifiers. Yeah, nacho-average chips. Give us a bag of these and a bowl of guacamole, stat.
The mix is gluten-free, grain-free, and doesn’t have any soy, corn, dairy, or gums/emulsifiers. They’re also paleo-friendly and non-GMO.
But again: None of this is the reason they’re so healthy. They’re called “simple” for a reason. The cupcake mix only has six ingredients, one of which is salt — so really, five. And the mix only has eight grams of sugar per serving. Isn’t that incredible? Now we can feel great about eating cupcakes, every time.
You know these are healthy because they were literally invented by a dietitian. Mitzi Dulan, RD, CSSD, on our list of nutritionists to follow, started the company when her Pinterest recipe for the snacks went viral. They come in sweet, tempting flavors such as Peanut Butter Honey Almond and Chocolate Covered Cherry, and are crafted using only the best natural, whole food ingredients such as oatmeal and honey — and some chocolate chips, of course!
The iconic healthy popcorn company has expanded their repertoire to include one of our favorite flavors: cheese. The new varieties come in Aged White Cheddar and Pepper Jack, and only carry 47 calories per cup.
This stuff is addicting. When we were done with the bag (which obviously only took one day to devour), we didn’t experience any of the gross feelings of having eaten too much popcorn at the movies. No artificial ingredients involved, and it seriously pays off.
Dairy-ditchers are making a cult of their own, fawning over this yogurt. It’s packaged in adorable mason jars and boosted with gut-healing probiotics before it hits the shelves. Each quart has over 800 probiotics, way more than typical yogurt. The original flavor has two ingredients: organic coconuts and probiotics. We think this is how yogurt should be. It gets right to the point, even with its sweet flavors. The only extra ingredients in the fruity varieties are the fruits themselves!
They sell fava beans, chickpeas, and just plain old peas — but there’s nothing plain about the flavor hiding in these bags. With unique varieties like Balsamic Herb and Habanero Citrus, this new brand is giving the other pea snacks out there a run for their money. They have seven grams of plant protein and three grams of fiber per serving.
Fava beans are a high-protein relative of the typical green pea. World Peas has always made savory, nutritious pea snacks, but this year they broadened their horizons with broad beans.
The crisps come in Ranch, BBQ, and Vinegar flavors. A whopping 40 beans only amounts to 120 calories!
We hear these are at Whole Foods, alongside these other health food products.