Preparation is one of the key ingredients of a healthy diet. If you always have healthy meals in mind or even prepped in advance, it’s easier to avoid fast food or a ready meal when dinner time rolls around.
Even if you stick to this resolutely with your main meals, however, snacking can still stymie your attempts to eat healthily. Because when the taste for something sweet or salty strikes, it’s hard to ignore. Fortunately, a bit of prep can once again save the day, because if you load up your cupboard or desk drawer with the snacks below, you can be assured you’re eating something healthier than crisps or chocolate.
Maybe not that much healthier, because for a snack to be satisfying it still needs to hit that sweet or savoury spot, but there will be some kind of redeeming nutritional feature to each of our top snack picks. We promise.
Boundless Activated Nuts And Seeds
Adding nuts and seeds to your diet can bring real benefits, so if trail mix doesn’t do it for you these handy snack packets of those very foodstuffs come highly recommended. We honestly don’t know if the activated (as in, they’re germinating) nuts and seeds Boundless sells are that much better for you, but frankly that’s by the by. The nutritional numbers are solid, with each flavour coming in under 200 calories and packing between 5g and 8g of protein. Unlike their dry roasted cousins, there’s minimal salt here and little saturated fat, which is the one you want to watch (trans fats are the ones you want to avoid). Of the four flavours available we recommend rosemary and cayenne, which delivers an aromatic, herby taste with a little kick in the aftertaste, and the very moreish turmeric and smoked paprika.
Buy from BoroughBox | £17.99 for box of 12 30g packs
The Protein Ball Co
If you’ve got a roaring hunger, these tasty treats will sate the savage beast in your stomach – the whey or plant-based protein will help to fill you up (about 10g of protein with the whey, 5-7g otherwise), as will the healthy serving of fibre (somewhere between 4-6g). There are eight flavours in the original range, with cherry bakewell being our favourite if only for the well-executed novelty factor. There’s also a new breakfast line which adds gluten-free oats to the mix, plus smaller packets that clock in at under 100 calories.
Buy on Amazon | £25.99 for 16 mixed-flavour 45g packs
I Love Snacks
Look, chocolate isn’t inherently bad for you, as long as you eat an appropriate amount. Conversely, nuts – a perennial healthy snack pick – are highly calorific if you inhale multiple servings in one sitting. You can either develop willpower or have I Love Snacks apportion out appropriately-sized servings for you. Of the six options, we’d highly recommend the dark Belgian chocolate (119 calories), the smoked Californian almonds (152 calories) and dehydrated mango (85 calories).
Buy on Amazon | £12-£15.60 for 12 25g packets
There is a lot to like here. From the rip-and-tip (into our mouth) opening on the packet, to the few grams of protein and gram or so of fibre, to the bonanza of micronutrients, to the fact that the 25g packet really does tide you over. The flavours are great, although anything sweet does come with a lot of natural sugars, but you can always opt for the ever-so-slightly salty Sesame Sprinkles (with only 0.2g salt) or Chilli Bites. Beware the latter though – we love spicy foods but these tickled our tonsils something rotten.
Buy from Munchy Seeds | £14 20 25g mixed flavour packets
This is a textbook example of a snack that isn’t exactly healthy, but is sensationally tasty and certainly better than grabbing a Mars Bar. Kind Bars are relatively high in protein and fibre, which will help ensure you won’t need another snack after you’ve finished the first one, and the prevalence of nuts in each means that the fat is mostly of the “good” unsaturated kind. While they are sugary and contain around 200 calories per bar (for reference, a standard Mars Bar is 230), Kind Bars are widely available and a decent option when your snack drawer is empty and you pop to the shops for a mid-afternoon pick-me-up.
Buy from Amazon | £15 for 12 40g bars
The Curators Beef Jerky
As long as it doesn’t go overboard on sugar and salt, jerky can be a terrific snack, and The Curators range of beef jerky sure is terrific. In fact, we’re not sure there is a more satisfying way to munch your way through 88 calories than the slightly spicy Sweet Sriracha flavoured jerky. There’s only 5.1g of sugar and 0.39g of salt a pack. The serving size isn’t huge, but the 11g of protein will help keep you full until your next meal.
Buy from Amazon | £19.98 for 12 30g packs
Rude Health Cornitas Black Bean
Our advice here is to only get the 30g packets of these tortilla chips, which are a mix of black bean (30%) and corn to make them slightly healthier than your standard triangular treats. The reason we’d avoid the 100g packets is that it is impossible to leave any of the chips uneaten because they are so darn tasty. They are a healthier alternative to standard tortilla chips, with less than half the fat, and far more protein and fibre than, say, a pack of Doritos.
Buy on Amazon | £9.99 for 6 30g packs
Well & Truly Crunchy Smokey Paprika
There are several salty options in the Well & Truly range, but forget all others and grab as many bags of these paprika-flavoured Nik-Nak-alikes as you can handle, because they are a taste sensation. They’re not really that much healthier than crisps apart from containing half the amount of fat, but they’re so delicious any relative nutritional benefit really is just a bonus.
Buy on Amazon | £25.55 for 20 100g packs
Bounce Balls are available in pretty much any supermarket nowadays, making them a great option when you’re stuck for snacks. There’s an impressive range of flavours (our top pick is Cacao Orange) and each is high in protein, contains a decent amount of fibre, and has a fat profile that leans heavily towards the unsaturated kind.
Buy on Amazon | £14.86 for 12 42g balls
Yushoi Snapea Rice Sticks
These salty sticks are as winning a combination of rice and green peas as we’ve ever come across. They will mush up and stick in your teeth long after the packet is empty, but that just prolongs the enjoyment. The standout flavour is Soy & Balsamic Vinegar, and in terms of nutrition you’re getting around half the fat and twice as much fibre and protein as with regular crisps.
Buy from Amazon | £15.52 for 24 21g packs
Seven Mexican Fajita Beef Cuts
Delicious little packs of beef jerky (Seven also does chicken cuts, but we greatly preferred the beef variety), each of which contains under 100 calories and a chunky 17g of protein. Sugar and salt are kept well in hand as well, meaning these jerky snack packs get the thumbs-up for taste and nutritional goodness.
Buy from Muscle Food | £6.25 for three 35g packs