Obesity isn’t a small problem, it’s actually a life-threatening condition that directly causes a multitude of other illnesses, including diabetes, heart disease, stroke, arthritis, and some cancers (1).
Fat cells also store toxins, so the more fat you have on your body, the more strain your body is under.
Losing weight can be difficult, especially when it comes to eating habits. Things like snacking and portion control can be the biggest challenge between you and your ideal weight.
To help you on your journey, here are 27 healthy snacks to keep on hand if you tend to get hungry.
1. Mixed Nuts
Many people avoid nuts because of how much fat they contain, but this is precisely why you should eat more of them.
Their high fiber, protein, and fat content help you feel full and satisfied after eating just a few. In contrast, junk food contains lots of sugar, which actually makes you hungrier and more likely to snack throughout the day. In fact, eating nuts can actually help you lose weight (2).
2. Red Bell Pepper with Guacamole
Red bell peppers contain powerful antioxidants like beta carotene, capsanthin, and quercetin. They’re also high in vitamin C (5).
Red peppers won’t fill you up on their own, but combining them with heart-healthy guacamole makes for the perfect combination of crunchy and smooth.
To keep your snack low in calories, stick to one whole pepper and 3 oz of guacamole.
3. Greek Yogurt and Mixed Berries
You can also double or even triple your portion and add a few nuts for a well-balanced breakfast.
4. Apple Slices with Peanut Butter
Apples and peanut butter are a classic childhood treat.
Since peanut butter is very high in calories, stick to one tablespoon for 1 medium apple.
5. Cinnamon Flaxseed Pudding
Even though it is a fatty dairy product, cottage cheese has long been considered a high-protein diet food and is commonly used in the bodybuilding community. The secret to its success actually lies in its fat, particularly in its conjugated linoleic acid, which may help reduce body fat (11).
- 1/2 cup cottage cheese.
- 1 tablespoon flaxseeds.
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon.
- Honey (for taste)
- Mix all ingredients together in a small bowl.
- Enjoy immediately.
7. Celery & Dip
Celery sticks are popular with dieters because they contain fewer calories than it takes for your body to digest them. Their high fiber helps keep you full.
Dip your celery sticks in a tablespoon of cream cheese with roasted garlic for the perfect mid-afternoon snack.
8. Kale Chips
One cup of kale contains your daily recommended intake of vitamin A, C, and K and contributes towards a healthy colon and stable blood pressure (17).
- 1 cup bite-sized chopped kale leaves
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1/2 teaspoon Himalayan salt
- Preheat your oven to 350° F
- Mix all ingredients together in a bowl.
- Spread the leaves evenly on a parchment-lined baking tray and bake for 10-15 minutes.
9. Dark Chocolate and Almonds
This tasty treat is perfect for your sweet tooth.
Dark chocolate, on the other hand, helps lower blood pressure and improve cardiovascular health. Plus, it contains high levels of magnesium (22).
10. Cucumber Slices and Carrot Sticks with Hummus
Cucumber and carrots are full of fiber and essential vitamins and nutrients.
Fat increases the absorption of carotenoids, so pair the vegetables with homemade anti-inflammatory hummus.
11. A Piece of Fruit
Instead of reaching for a bag of chips or a candy bar, grab a fruit as you reach for your keys and head out for the day.
Foods like bananas, apples, grapes, nectarines and oranges will satisfy your craving and your hunger without compromising your weight loss efforts.
12. Cherry Tomatoes with Mozzarella
For a quick bite on the weekends or a simple hors-d’oeuvre for your guests, slice a few cherry tomatoes and a bit of cheese and garnish with fresh basil.
For the perfect snack-sized portion, combine 1 cup of cherry tomatoes with 2 oz of mozzarella.
13. Chia Seed Pudding
Chia seeds can be eaten raw, but it’s best to soak them in water to create a gel-like substance you can be used in smoothies, baking, and desserts.
- 1 tablespoon chia seeds.
- 1/3 cup water.
- 1 tablespoon cocoa powder.
- 1 tablespoon peanut butter.
- Honey (per taste)
- Combine chia seeds and water in a small bowl.
- Cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes to let the seeds transform into a gel.
- Stir in cocoa powder, peanut butter, and sweetener and enjoy!
14. Hard-Boiled Eggs
For a quick and filling snack, munch on 2 hard boiled eggs.
15. A Piece of Cheese
Just make sure not to eat more than 2 oz during snack time.
16. Healthy Beef Jerky or Beef Sticks
Jerky can bag rest high-protein snack, as long as it doesn’t contain any preservatives, additives or sugar. Keep in mind that it shouldn’t contain too much sodium either.
For the highest quality jerky, look for organic grass-fed beef at your local health food store or butcher(36).
17. Hemp Protein Shake
Protein shakes feed your muscles and supply clean energy to keep you going in between your meals.
While you can use whey protein or other alternatives, hemp contains omega-3 essential fatty acids, iron, vitamin E and GLA (gamma-linolenic acid) (37).
Plus, hemp protein is less likely to contain sugar or other additives and does not promote inflammation like proteins derived from dairy do.
To use, simply follow package instructions and avoid too close to meals.
18. Canned Fish
If you’re going on a camping trip or simply a long drive, pack some canned fish with you to keep your stomach full. Prioritize wild salmon and sardines over tuna and other heavy metal-rich fish.
This type of snack will feed your body with omega-3 fatty acids, protein, potassium, magnesium, and vitamin B12 (38).
Just make sure to buy from a brand that’s BPA-free.
19. Coconut Milk Ice Cream
This delicious food is full of healthy monounsaturated fats. Coconut is also filled with medium-chain fatty acids (MCTs), which can help boost metabolism and support weight loss.
Grab the recipe here.
20. Marinated Artichoke Hearts and Olives
Forget antipasto, just stick to the artichoke hearts.
21. Pear Slices with Ricotta Cheese
Pears are great on their own, but they’re even better with a bit of crumbled cheese.
The peel of this fruit contains anti-inflammatory polyphenol antioxidants (46, 47). When it comes to ricotta, studies show that its high protein and fat content promote gains in muscle mass and strength when combined with regular exercise (48).
Stick to one small pear and 100 grams of ricotta per snack.
22. Dried Unsweetened Coconut
Since coconut oil and coconut milk aren’t the most portable and enjoyable snacks, stick to unsweetened dried coconut flakes.
23. Turkey Roll-Ups
Instead of making yourself a carb-loaded sandwich, ditch the bread and make these little high-protein roll-ups. The turkey will feed your muscles and keep your metabolism going until your next meal (52, 53, 54).
- 4 slices turkey breast
- 4 teaspoons cream cheese
- 4 pickles
- Place the slices on a large cutting board.
- Spread 1 teaspoon of cream cheese on each slice.
- Place a pickle on the edge of each slice and roll them up.
Avocados are super versatile, but they’re also great to eat on their own, and their high fat and fiber content is sure to keep your hunger under control.
Eat it straight or add a pinch of salt and cayenne pepper.
25. Ricotta Cheese with Cocoa Powder
For a quick and easy dessert that will keep you in fat-burning mode, combine 1/2 cup full-fat ricotta cheese with 1 teaspoon unsweetened of cocoa powder and a teaspoon of honey or maple syrup.
26. Sun-Dried Tomatoes
Stick to no more than 100 grams per snack-sized serving and avoid buying tomatoes that contain extra preservatives or high levels of sodium.
27. Cantaloupe Slices Wrapped in Prosciutto
Prosciutto provides protein and a slightly salty flavor to compliment the fruit. Simply chop up 100 grams of cantaloupe into squares or wedges and wrap each piece with prosciutto.