When it comes to your weekly grocery store trip, it might be tempting to grab a bag of chips or splurge on your favorite chocolate chip cookies (I do this all the time, tbh). But, while these snacks might taste great going down, there’s not doing your bod (or wallet) and good.
To avoid this trap nutritionist share some of their favorite healthy, affordable foods that you can find at the grocery store:
“High in protein and low in sugar, this yogurt is a snack staple because keeps you fuller for longer and comes in great flavors,” says Maggie Michalczyk, R.D.N.
Per serving (raspberry, 0 percent milkfat): 110 cal, 0 g fat (0 g sat), 13 g carbs, 11 g sugar, 50 mg sodium, 0 g fiber, 15 g protein.
Good Culture Cottage Cheese
“Another high in protein and low in sugar snack, one of these cups is great after a workout for refueling without any artificial ingredients or preservatives,” says Michalcyzk. Or add nuts to make a hearty breakfast on the go.
Per 5.3-ounce serving (strawberry chia): 160 cal, 5 g fat (3 g sat), 10 g carbs, 9 g sugar, 350 mg sodium, 1 g fiber, 17 g protein.
If you’re addicted to Cheetos, try this healthy spin made out of baked white beans instead. They have “fiber, protein, calcium and iron, and [are] a lower sodium option compared to chips and Cheetos,” says Colene Stoernell, R.D.N. They also come in a variety of flavors, like Hint of Lime and Honey Chipotle BBQ.
Per 1-oz serving: 140 cal, 8 g fat (1 g sat), 14 g carbs, 2 g sugar, 180 mg sodium, 2 g fiber, 3 g protein.
Harvest Snaps Green Pea Snack Crisps
These protein-packed crunchy crisps come in a variety of flavors and ingredients (peas and both black and red beans), says Stoernell. Plus, “they’re a good source of fiber and have less sodium than chips,” she says.
Per 22-piece serving (lightly salted): 130 cal, 5 g fat (0 g sat), 16 g carbs, 2 g sugar, 75 mg sodium, 5 g fiber, 5 g protein.
Oh Nuts! Green Bean Chips
Green beans are good for WAY more than just a Thanksgiving casserole. “It’s a great healthy snack that you can get in the bulk section of some stores that has iron, fiber, calcium and is lower in sodium than chips,” Stoernell says.
These bars are great for on-the-go meals, like breakfast and snack-time, when you have a bad case of the munchies. “They offer a variety of flavors, simple ingredients and no added sugar, and are a good source of fiber and are gluten-free,” says Stoernell. Try peanut butter and coconut, which are crazy delicious.
Per bar (chocolate sea salt): 210 cal, 9 g fat (2 g sat), 24 g carbs, 13 g sugar, 240 mg sodium, 5 g fiber, 12 g protein.
For when you’re not in the mood for a protein bar, go with a lighter, fruit-forward one that offers a good dose of fiber. They also don’t have any added sugar and have some omega-3 fatty acids to give your brain a boost, says Stoernell.
Per bar (strawberry chia): 110 cal, 0.5 g fat (0 g sat), 25 g carbs, 19 g sugar, 0 mg sodium, 4 g fiber, 1 g protein.
Dave’s Killer Bread
“Bagels are a must, but I cringe at the thought of paying $6.79 for a bagel and cream cheese out everyday! That’s why Dave’s Killer Bread has become a staple in my kitchen,” says Elizabeth Shaw, R.D.N. “With 11 grams of protein and 13 grams of whole grains, I feel fueled and energized to take on the day when I eat them for breakfast,” she says.
Per bagel: 260 cal, 2.5 g fat (1 g sat), 48 g carbs, 9 g sugar, 380 mg sodium, 3 g fiber, 11 g protein.
Green Valley Organics
If the BPA in canned goods skeeves you out (but you don’t want to give up black bean burritos), Shaw recommends switching to cooked, bagged beans from Green Valley Organics instead.
Per 1/2-cup serving: 110 cal, 0 g fat (0 g sat), 20 g carbs, 2 g sugar, 140 mg sodium, 6 g fiber, 7 g protein.
Alden’s Organic Orange Cream Bars
“Purchasing a brand that’s made from wholesome ingredients, with no artificial colors or dyes, is a must,” says Shaw. “That’s why Alden’s single-serve bars are a regular in my cart. Portion control is built in, so I don’t let the mindless munching take over.”
Per bar: 90 cal, 3.5 g fat (2 g sat), 15 g carbs, 12 g sugar, 20 mg sodium, 0 g fiber, 1 g protein.
Bob’s Red Mill
“Plan ahead for your week and make a big batch on Monday so you can serve it up with your favorite toppings for a grab and go option during the week,” says Shaw.
Per 1/4-cup serving: 140 cal, 3 g fat (0 g sat), 23 g carbs, 5 g sugar, 0 mg sodium, 4 g fiber, 4 g protein
A can of tuna can easily turn into a snack or a lunch with a few extra ingredients (EVOO, lemon juice, onions, pita). “Including tuna in your meal plan can be an easy way to eat more seafood,” Shaw says. She likes Safe Catch for its low mercury count.
Per 2-oz serving: 60 cal, 0.5 g fat (0 g sat), 0 g carbs, 0 g sugar, 230 mg sodium, 0 g fiber, 14 g protein.
“I love having popcorn as a snack, and I always recommend buying Skinny Pop’s individual 100 calorie bags since it’s the perfect portion size for a quick snack,” says Brooke Zigler, R.D.N.
Per 100-cal package: 100 cal, 6 g fat (0.5 g sat), 9 g carbs, 0 g sugar, 45 mg sodium, 2 g fiber, 2 g protein.
Alyssa’s Healthy Vegan Bites
“I love these vegan bites because they are made with quality ingredients and are packed with fiber!” Zigler says. “I love keeping these in my pantry for when I want a quick and easy snack at home.”
Per 2 cookie serving: 90 cal, 3 g fat (0.6 g sat), 14 g carbs, 2 g sugar, 10 mg sodium, 10 g fiber, 4 g protein.
Raw Rev Glo Bars
“I always keep these bars in my purse for when I need a snack on-the-go!,” says Zigler. “These bars are low in sugar, vegan, gluten-free, and are also loaded with fiber and protein. The combination of the two provide a steady blood glucose level with sustained energy for hours.”
Per bar (mixed nuts, caramel, and sea salt): 190 cal, 12 g fat (2.5 g sat), 20 g carbs, 5 g sugar, 135 mg sodium, 10 g fiber, 10 g protein.
Rhythm Superfoods Organic Carrot Sticks Naked
“I recently discovered this product and loved the nutrition facts! Compared with other veggie sticks out there, it has way more fiber (11 grams per serving) and is a great crunchy snack for kids (and adults),” says Zigler.
Per bag: 140 cal, 1.5 g fat (0 g sat), 29 g carbs, 6 g sugar, 115 mg sodium, 11 g fiber, 3 g protein.
Banza Rotini Chickpea Pasta
$15 for 2 8-oz boxes, amazon.com
“This pasta is made from chickpeas and is higher in fiber and protein than traditional pasta, which means you will be able to stay fuller for a longer period of time,” says Zigler.
Per 2 oz serving: 190 calories, 3.5 grams of fat (0 g saturated), 32 grams of carbs, 5 grams of sugar, 60mg sodium, 8 grams of fiber, 14 grams of protein.
Simple Mills Crackers
“These are gluten-free almond flour crackers with minimal ingredients. Perfect to pair with cheese or hummus for a wholesome snack combo,” says Julie Harrington, R.D.
Per 17 cracker serving: 150 calories, 8 grams of fat (0.5 g saturated), 17 grams of carbs, 5 grams of sugar, 180 mg sodium, 2 grams of fiber, 3 grams of protein.
Justin’s Natural Almond Butter Squeeze Packs
“A small serving of almond butter contains a generous amount of magnesium, which boosts heart health by promoting the blow of blood, oxygen, and nutrients,” says Harrington. “I always keep these packs on hand to pair with a piece of fruit.”
Per pack (maple almond): 190 calories, 16 grams of fat (2 g sat), 8 grams of carbs, 3 grams of sugar, 65 mg sodium, 2 grams of fiber, 6 grams of protein.
Unlike the old-school 200-calorie frozen dinners that leave you starving an hour later, Harrington says Luvo meals actually give you a full serving of veggies, whole grains, and filling lean protein.
Per meal pouch (orange mango chicken): 310 calories, 9 grams of fat (1 g saturated), 37 grams of carbs, 10 grams of sugar, 470 mg sodium, 3 grams of fiber, 19 grams of protein.
Enlightened Brand Roasted Broad Bean Crisps
“Such a satisfying crunch, and packed with protein and fiber. The best part is that they have flavors to suit your sweet and savory cravings,” says Amanda Li, R.D. Plus, they’re easy to take with you wherever you go.
Per 1-oz serving (sea salt): 100 calories, 2.5 grams of fat (0 g saturated), 15 grams of carbs, 0 grams of sugar, 130 mg sodium, 3 grams of fiber, 7 grams of protein.
Mann’s Stringless Sugar Snap Peas
“Sugar snap peas are such a great veggie to snack on,” Li says. “No need to wash, just eat right out of the bag. They are sweet, crunchy, and packed with vitamin C and fiber.”
Per 3-oz serving: 35 calories, 0 grams of fat (0 g saturated), 6 grams of carbs, 3 grams of sugar, 0 mg sodium, 2 grams of fiber, 2 grams of protein. 23 of 31
Simply Whey Bars
“Say goodbye to chalky, gummy, and artificially sweetened protein bars,” says Li. “These taste like Rice Krispies squares, but each bar provides 15 grams of protein and less than 5 grams of sugar.”
Per bar (coconut): 150 calories, 3 grams of fat (1.5 g saturated), 18 grams of carbs, 4 grams of sugar, 25 mg sodium, 5 grams of fiber, 15 grams of protein.
“Pistachios are very satisfying because they are among the highest snack nuts in protein and fiber,” says Tammy Lakatos Shames, R.D.N. “And 90 percent of their fat is the better-for-you mono and polyunsaturated type—making a trio that can help you feel full longer.”
Per 1/2-cup serving: 150 calories, 13 grams of fat (1.5 g saturated), 8 grams of carbs, 2 grams of sugar, 135 mg sodium, 3 grams of fiber, 6 grams of protein.
KIND Bars Dark Chocolate Nut & Sea Salt
“These KIND bars are sweet and satisfying, but are low in sugar with only 5 grams,” says Lyssie Lakatos, R.D.N. “You can see and pronounce all of the ingredients, which is rare, as most snack bars are very processed.”
Per bar: 200 calories, 15 grams of fat (3 g saturated), 16 grams of carbs, 5 grams of sugar, 140 mg sodium, 7 grams of fiber, 6 grams of protein.
Food To Live Organic Pitted Prunes
“California prunes are sweet and juicy and make a healthy, satisfying fiber-packed snack that quench a sweet tooth craving without added sugar,” says Lakatos. “You can have 4 of them for just 100 calories.”
Per 1.4-oz serving: 110 calories, 0 grams of fat (0 g saturated), 26 grams of carbs, 13 grams of sugar, 5 mg sodium, 2 grams of fiber, 1 grams of protein.
“Nuts are an excellent snack. They have some protein, fiber, and heart healthy fat,” says Elissa Goldman, R.D. Plus, they’re super easy to stash in your bag on your way to work for a perfect midday snack.
Per 1/4 cup serving (dried cranberry and roasted nut blend): 150 calories, 11 grams of fat (1.5 g saturated), 12 grams of carbs, 8 grams of sugar, 35 mg sodium, 2 grams of fiber, 4 grams of protein.
“Simple, real ingredients, and they contain protein and fiber,” Goldman says. They come in tons of different flavors (ranch, honey roasted, and sea salt are a few), so there’s a flavor to settle any sort of craving.
Per 1-oz serving: 130 calories, 4 grams of fat (0 g saturated), 18 grams of carbs, 0 grams of sugar, 160 mg sodium, 6 grams of fiber, 6 grams of protein.
Mary’s Gone Crackers Original Crackers
“These whole grain, gluten-free crackers are tasty and contain flax seeds, which are a good source of omega-3 fatty acids,” says Jill Nussinow, R.D.N. Pair with cheese for some extra protein and calcium.
Per 13 cracker serving: 140 calories, 5 grams of fat (0.5 g saturated), 21 grams of carbs, 0 grams of sugar, 230 mg sodium, 3 grams of fiber, 3 grams of protein.
GimMe Organic Seaweed Thins
“I love the sriracha almond flavor, but they are all quite tasty,” says Nussinow of this seaweed cracker snack, which is loaded with both fiber and protein.
Per package: 100 calories, 7 grams of fat (0 g saturated), 7 grams of carbs, 3 grams of sugar, 130 mg sodium, 6 grams of fiber, 6 grams of protein.