Last updated: Mar 02, 2016


Its 3 p.m., and youre face-to-face with the vending machine, desperately mulling over how youll spend those quarters. Some of the snacks on display are healthy, low-cal no-brainers: baked chips, pretzels, granola bars. Or are they?


Weve read all the labels and consulted the experts to discover the best snacks for waist watchers—and some of our picks might surprise you. Each is calorie-conscious and combines fiber, protein, and healthy unsaturated fats. Ask yourself what youre craving (something sweet, chewy, salty, or chocolaty) and check out these Health-approved choices.

Sweet
• Kelloggs Rice Krispies Treats
• Snackwells Creme Sandwich Cookies
• Crunch n Munch Buttery Toffee Popcorn With Peanuts

The best pick: Crunch n Munch Buttery Toffee Popcorn With Peanuts
This candied-popcorn treat has the same amount of fiber and protein as the other two with 80 fewer calories.

Chewy
• Craisins Cranberry Fruit & Nuts Trail Mix
• Nature Valley Chewy Trail Mix Fruit & Nut Granola Bar
• Kelloggs Strawberry Frosted Pop-Tarts

The best pick: Nature Valley Chewy Trail Mix Fruit & Nut Granola Bar
You might think the trail mix is a healthier choice, but it actually has as much total fat as the Pop-Tarts and 90 more calories than the granola bar.

Salty
• Pepperidge Farm Goldfish Baked Snack Crackers
• Original SunChips
• Frito-Lay Smartfood White Cheddar Cheese Flavored Popcorn

The best pick: Smartfood White Cheddar Cheese Flavored Popcorn
Smartfood has 20 more calories than the SunChips, but more protein to keep you feeling fuller longer. The Goldfish have half the fiber and 50 more calories than the popcorn.

Chocolaty
• 3 Musketeers
• Snickers
• Reeses Peanut Butter Cups

The best pick: Reeses Peanut Butter Cups
Surprise! You can have two Reeses for 50 fewer calories than the Snickers and the same amount of protein and fiber. The 3 Musketeers bar actually has 30 more calories than our pick and half as much protein. The Reeses will set you back 230 calories, though, so count them as two snacks.