Who doesn’t love a good snack? They’re essential for staving off hunger between meals and keeping you fueled from your early morning workout until your late night dinner with friends. But small bites can also be a nutritional trap, providing few nutrients and tons of unnecessary calories. A 2012 study examining the diets of nearly 5,000 adults found that almost a third of their daily calorie intake was from “empty,” or nutritionally void, snack calories.

Eating a snack between meals helps curb your hunger so that you don't inhale your dinner when you finally sit down to eat a meal. Snacking can also help you get in all the nutrients you need. On the flip side, grazing all day-particularly on foods with little nutritional value-may result in eating too much. It's a great idea to shop for snacks at the grocery store and pack them for work so you are prepared when hunger strikes. Many of these are also great on-the-go snack options.
Known for being a cheap staple, rice and beans is a classic lazy person’s meal that’s also good for you! Brown rice is packed with hardy nutrients and can be made in large batches to last for a few days worth of meals. If you don’t have the time to cook rice on the stove, opt for using instant. Although the texture will be different, this is still a healthier option for the time-crunched than processed foods and breads. Beans make a killer counterpart to rice as they are incredibly cheap and will keep you full for hours. Black beans, kidney beans, chickpeas or black-eyed peas are all quality options and are easy because you can buy them in a can. Make sure to rinse them well before using. Check out this White Bean Wild Rice Hash or this Cilantro, Lime and Black Bean Rice for either a side dish or a main course, and see Easy Ways to Spruce Up Classic Rice and Beans for more help to those feeling lackadaisical.
They're mini health packets. Fresh herbs are calorie-free and loaded with antioxidants and other healthy ingredients. Basil and mint contain compounds that are potential cancer fighters; rosemary may help fight memory loss; and cilantro appears to slow the growth of certain bacteria that cause food-borne illness. Herbs are also a viable source of vitamins: 2 tablespoons of fresh basil, for example, delivers 27 percent of your recommended daily quotient of vitamin K, and just a handful of chives provides 10 percent of your daily requirement for vitamins A and C.
Did I have you at cheesecake? Made with frozen berries and cottage cheese (which IS indeed keto-friendly), you get the cheesecake taste in a glass with this clever recipe from Lindsay Cotter, the woman behind the gluten-free-dedicated blog Cotter Crunch. You can also cut way back on the sugar by using Stevia or xylitol syrup as a sweetener. Simply add berries, almonds, coconut milk, cashew cream or cottage cheese (for the cheesecake part), and a dash of cinnamon to a blender, and blend until smooth. Pour into cups and enjoy!
Packed with fiber, water, and antioxidants, fruits and vegetables are great choices for diet-friendly snacking. But the standard banana or carrots and ranch dip can get old quick. Instead, try a sliced apple with a lowfat cheese wedge, like Laughing Cow Light. "Having a little extra fat is good in a snack because it sustains you longer," says McLachlan.
If you need your snack to have real staying power, go for a combo of good protein and a little bit of fat. A homemade egg salad is a great choice. Chop up one whole egg and one egg white, then mix with a tablespoon of reduced-fat mayonnaise. The high-quality protein in the eggs will fuel your body for hours, while the fat helps slow digestion, so you'll feel full and energized longer.
This fresh seasonal salad is ridiculously easy to put together and quite versatile. Serve our suggested amount as a side salad with grilled steak, chicken, or fish, or eat a double portion as a main dish. You can also stick with the serving size listed here and add canned oil-packed tuna or sliced rotisserie chicken breast for a filling lunch. Leftovers fare well as is, tucked into tacos, or added to whole-grain salad bowls.
Who doesn’t love a good snack? They’re essential for staving off hunger between meals and keeping you fueled from your early morning workout until your late night dinner with friends. But small bites can also be a nutritional trap, providing few nutrients and tons of unnecessary calories. A 2012 study examining the diets of nearly 5,000 adults found that almost a third of their daily calorie intake was from “empty,” or nutritionally void, snack calories.
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Snacking helps prevent the dips in blood sugar that can make you famished. But in order to avoid overindulging, you need to control cravings. So make sure you are getting all the elements of a satisfying meal: healthy carbs, a touch of lip-smacking fat, and the linchpin — protein. If you switch out snacks (which is fine), don't replace the nuts and dairy with more sugary treats.
“You might assume that you can’t eat pulses like chickpeas, beans, and lentils on the keto diet. But you totally can, especially in smaller portions," says Amy Gorin, RDN, owner of Amy Gorin Nutrition in the New York City area. "Pulses are a good source of satiating protein and an excellent source of filling fiber—and research shows that eating them daily can help your overall health and can even help you lose weight." Roast chickpeas and toss with oil (for added fat) and spices (to amp the flavor).
This fresh seasonal salad is ridiculously easy to put together and quite versatile. Serve our suggested amount as a side salad with grilled steak, chicken, or fish, or eat a double portion as a main dish. You can also stick with the serving size listed here and add canned oil-packed tuna or sliced rotisserie chicken breast for a filling lunch. Leftovers fare well as is, tucked into tacos, or added to whole-grain salad bowls.
Made from just four whole-food ingredients: coconut, sprouted sesame seeds, naturally sweet dates and ginger powder, you can eat a few handfuls of these without breaking the sugar or calorie bank. Admittedly, they don't taste exactly like a traditional ginger snap, but they're not too far off. And they're far better for your waistline, which makes them so worth it.
Ah, i need to make some chz but I’m not sure when. The cheese I have on my mind is tapioca based. Definitely need a soy free cheese because I doubt Mark will eat it (or eat much of it). Its funny because if I make something soy based he’ll eat it so I don’t have to. But if I make vegan cheese he often doesn’t. At least if it has a bunch of nutritional yeast he’ll avoid it.
Don't let the high fat content in pistachios scare you off -- most of the fat is unsaturated or "good" fat. Eat 20 pistachios, and you'll only take in 80 calories and less than a gram of saturated fat. Plus, they're rich in protein, fiber, and several key vitamins and minerals. To avoid an unhealthy dose of sodium, eat them raw or dry roasted without salt.
What about evening snacking? The biggest problem with nighttime snacks is most of us reach for ice cream and chips-not fruit and yogurt. That's not to say you can't have a treat after dinner. Some of your favorite evening snacks may even be on this list (chocolate! popcorn!). One thing to note, if you're always hungry after dinner, make sure your meal is made up of filling and healthy foods and you're getting enough food. If all you're nibbling on is a lackluster salad you may legitimately be hungry and need an evening snack(see our best dinner foods for weight loss). If you love an evening snack after dinner, serve yourself a healthy portion onto a plate or bowl so you're not scooping straight from the container.
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.

Like olive oil, olives are filled with healthy monounsaturated fats that boost heart health and ward off hunger. With just 50 calories for an entire to-go pack, you can't go wrong with Milas Oloves' savory, citrus- and herb-infused snack. Though they're sold at a number of health food stores, most Starbucks locations recently started carrying them (along with some other new healthy snacks), so they're easy to find in a pinch.
If you're craving something sweet and sinful, grab this mini pack of jelly beans. With just 4 calories in each bean, they're the slimmest way to enjoy cotton candy, toasted marshmallows, and strawberry shortcake. As an added bonus: Jelly Belly uses real fruit purees to flavor their beans. It's still candy in every sense, but it's certainly the lesser of many sugar-loaded evils.
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