If you choose healthy, whole-food options with a lot of protein and nutrients, snacks can be integral to weight loss. Some can even help keep you full throughout the day and limit your cravings for unhealthy foods.
Here are 9 healthy, weight-loss-friendly snacks to add to your diet.
Nuts are an ideal nutritious snack.
Despite being relatively high in fat, they are very filling. Several studies suggest that eating nuts in moderation can help you lose weight.
Nuts provide the perfect balance of healthy fat, protein, and fiber. They contain 180 calories in a 1-ounce (28-gram) serving, on average.
Because they don’t require refrigeration, they’re perfect for taking on the go.
Red bell peppers are extremely healthy.
Although all bell peppers are nutritious, red varieties are particularly high in antioxidants like beta carotene, capsanthin, and quercetin.
They’re are also rich in vitamin C. In fact, 1 large red bell pepper contains over 300% of the daily value (DV) for this nutrient (7).
Pairing 1 large red bell pepper with 3 ounces (85 grams) of guacamole adds healthy fat and fiber while keeping this snack’s calorie count under 200.
Plain Greek yogurt and berries make a delicious, nutrient-dense snack.
Berries are one of the best sources of antioxidants around. Eat a mixture of differently colored berries to get an array of these powerful compounds.
Combining 3.5 ounces (100 grams) of plain, full-fat Greek yogurt with 1/2 cup (50 grams) of mixed berries provides about 10 grams of protein and under 150 calories.
Apples and peanut butter taste fantastic together.
Apples are high in fiber and polyphenol antioxidants that improve gut health and reduce heart disease risk.
Peanut butter may have additional benefits for heart health. It has been shown to increase HDL (good) cholesterol and reduce LDL (bad) cholesterol and triglycerides.
That said, peanut butter is fairly high in calories. Although it generally hasn’t been linked to weight gain, it’s best consumed in moderation.
A medium apple with 1 tablespoon (15 grams) of natural peanut butter provides a nice balance of sweet flavor with crisp and creamy textures at under 200 calories.
Cottage cheese, flax seeds, and cinnamon each have impressive health benefits. Together, they’re incredibly healthy.
Flax seeds are beneficial for weight loss and blood sugar control. They may also reduce breast cancer risk.
Cinnamon helps lower blood sugar and may improve gut health.
Here’s an easy recipe that provides about 15 grams of protein with fewer than 150 calories:
Cinnamon flax seed pudding
For this recipe, mix the following ingredients in a small bowl:
- 1/2 cup (80 grams) of cottage cheese
- 1 tablespoon (15 grams) of ground flax seeds
- 1/2 teaspoon (5 grams) of cinnamon
- A dash of stevia or other sweetener, if desired
Celery sticks with cream cheese are a classic low-carb, filling snack.
Celery contains luteolin, an antioxidant that reduces inflammation and may help prevent cancer.
Five small celery sticks with 2 ounces (60 grams) of cream cheese harbors fewer than 200 calories.
Kale is incredibly healthy, as it’s loaded with fiber and antioxidants like quercetin and kaempferol.
These compounds decrease blood pressure and may reduce your risk of colon cancer.
A 1-cup (67-gram) serving of raw kale provides more than 100% of the DV for vitamins A, C, and K.
This easy recipe for kale chips provides about 150 calories:
- 1 cup (67 grams) of bite-sized kale leaves
- 1 tablespoon (15 ml) of olive oil
- 1/2 teaspoon (3 grams) of salt
Mix all ingredients in a bowl. Place kale pieces on a parchment-lined baking sheet and bake at 350°F (175°C) for 10–15 minutes. Watch them closely, as they can easily burn.
Dark chocolate and almonds make a rich, satisfying, and portable snack.
Dark chocolate is loaded with flavanols that may lower blood pressure and reduce heart disease risk, provided the chocolate contains at least 70% cocoa solids.
Almonds are high in heart-healthy monounsaturated fat and have beneficial effects on blood sugar control. Studies also show that they can reduce appetite and help you lose weight.
Both dark chocolate and almonds are high in magnesium. One ounce (30 grams) of each provides about 300 calories in total, depending on cocoa content.
Cucumber and hummus go well together.
Cucumbers contain cucurbitacin E, a compound that may have anticancer effects.
Hummus is made from chickpeas, olive oil, and garlic, which reduce inflammation and may improve heart health.
One cup (52 grams) of sliced cucumbers dipped in 3.5 ounces (100 grams) of hummus has about 180 calories.