When you’re trying to lose weight, diet, keep an eye on how many calories you eat a day, or simply eat healthier overall, snacking can be a tricky challenge. You don’t want to completely ignore your cravings or your body needing food, but you also don’t want to ruin the hard work and progress you’ve made. But sometimes a piece of fruit, for instance, won’t cut it when you’re hankering for a sweet treat. Or you may find it hard to grab something low-calorie on the go if you don’t have time to prepare it for yourself. So what do you do? Thankfully there are now more pre-packaged low-calorie snacks available than ever before. And unlike diet or low-calorie food of the past, these types of snacks don’t have to be tasteless or unsatisfying. Some of them can even contain bits of chocolate, cheese, or other foods you might’ve thought you’d have to give up while trying to lose weight or eat healthily. There are also plenty of low-calorie snacks that will be suitable for certain dietary needs, like for people who eat keto or dairy- or gluten-free. Here are a few types of low-calorie snacks we recommend to help to satisfy your cravings in a healthier way.
What to Consider in Low-Calorie Snacks
Here are a few things to think about before buying low-calorie snacks:
- Type: What type of snacks do you find yourself craving the most? Is there a base flavor you tend to prefer? Sweet? Savory? Salty? Spicy? Sour? Bitter? A blend of two or more flavors? Do you like cheesy snacks? Chocolaty? Buttery? Fruity? Sugary? Do you prefer snacks that require heating or cooling, or does it not make a difference to you? Is texture an important factor? Do you want a snack that is crunchy, smooth, soft, firm, crumbly, or chewy? Do you find you often want specific types of snacks, like popcorn or chips? A lot of traditional snack foods will have low-calorie equivalents. All of these are things to think about to help decide which low-calorie snack is right for you.
- Packs: When you’re looking to buy low-calorie snacks, you may want to consider looking into sets or variety packs rather than a single bag of snacks like cookies or chips. Variety packs can be handy for several reasons. They may be more cost-effective, depending on the size of the set, and they tend to come with serving sizes already measured out in bags. This can be a handy way to prevent overindulging and help with portion control management—both important factors to consider for dieting and weight loss. Variety packs also come with the advantage of diversity. They can offer several different types of snacks in one set or the same snack in several different flavors. For example, a variety pack of low-calorie cookies might offer a mix of chocolate chip, oatmeal raisin, and peanut butter cookies. This gives you the opportunity to buy in bulk while also providing yourself with variety so that you’re less likely to get bored eating the same snack all the time.
- Dietary Restrictions: Finding tasty low-calorie foods may seem like a daunting challenge in and of itself; if you have dietary restrictions, it may feel like an impossible one. Fortunately, thanks to increasing societal awareness of dietary restrictions, choices, and meal plans, you should be able to find a low-calorie snack that caters to your needs. There are gluten-free, dairy-free, soy-free, sugar-free, vegetarian, vegan, low-carb, and even keto-friendly (and more) low-calorie snacks out there that will still taste good and help satisfy your cravings.
Best Cookies: HighKey Mini Chocolate Chip Cookies
If you’re on the keto diet or trying to watch your carb and sugar intake but still want to indulge your sweet tooth every now and then, these mini chocolate chip cookies are an ideal choice. They’re made from almond flour and coconut oil, so they lack much of the carbohydrates and sugar that customarily baked cookies contain. They’re low-carb, low-sugar, soy-free, and grain-free, which ensures that they’re keto-friendly, diabetic-friendly, and gluten-free. They also don’t have any added preservatives, fillers, or sugars and are made with natural sweeteners, making them healthier. Each box comes packed with three bags of cookies, and each bag can be resealed for easy on-the-go snacking.
Best Popcorn: Smartfood Popcorn Variety Pack
Popcorn is a great snack when you’re hankering for something salty and crunchy; it’s widely known as a healthier, low-calorie alternative to potato or tortilla chips. This variety pack is the ideal choice for anyone who wants to have popcorn on hand the next time the craving hits. This popcorn comes pre-popped so that you don’t have to spend time waiting for it to pop in the microwave, but you can simply grab a bag and be on your way or pack it ahead of time. It’s made of 100% whole grain, air-popped popcorn and doesn’t contain any artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives. And since this set is a variety pack, you receive three different flavors: white cheddar, kettle corn, and movie theater butter. This allows you to rotate tastes and flavors in and out to avoid becoming bored with just one. This 40-pack includes 20 bags of white cheddar, 12 bags of kettle corn, and eight bags of movie theater butter. The white cheddar and movie theater butter flavors are both gluten-free. Three other sizes are also available for purchase if a 40-pack is too large or too small for your needs.
Best Fruit Snacks: Stretch Island Fruit Leather Snacks Variety Pack
Fruity snacks can be a great alternative for anyone who wants a little something sweet to eat that is healthier than most sugary treats. These fruit leather strips are made only of real fruit puree, without artificial flavors, preservatives, or coloring. Each half-ounce strip contains 1/4 cup of real fruit and no added sugar. They’re also gluten-free, dairy-free, vegan, and non-GMO. Each box comes with 48 fruit strips in six assorted flavors, cherry, apple, strawberry, grape, raspberry, and apricot. You receive eight strips of each flavor per box. This allows you to circle between flavors, so you don’t need to worry about becoming bored with your lack of choices. Each fruit leather comes pre-wrapped in a single serving, so you can take them anywhere at any time and store them in your pocket or purse without causing the interior to become sticky or becoming damaged. They clock in at a mere 45 to 50 calories per serving.
Best Chips: Whisps Parmesan & Cheddar Cheese Crisps
You may not think of chips or cheese as low-calorie or healthy food, understandably so. These crunchy little cheese crisps will have you reconsidering that stance. Each chip is made with real artisanal cheese, baked with herbs and spices for extra flavor, yet only contains 100 to 110 calories per serving (one bag). Not only are these chips low-calorie, but they’re low-carb, low-sugar, and high in protein and calcium. They also don’t contain any preservatives or artificial ingredients, and the milk they’re made with is free of growth hormones. And to top it all off, these crisps are made in a facility that doesn’t process nuts, and they’re keto-friendly, gluten-free, and lactose-free, so even those who are gluten or lactose-intolerant can enjoy them. Not only do these cheesy bites make an excellent, healthier alternative to potato or tortilla chips, but they can substitute for crackers and croutons in your soups and salads. No matter which of the four assorted flavor combinations you choose, you’ll receive 12 bags of crisps with your purchase.