10 Snacks You Can Buy at Whole Foods That Registered Dietitians Love
These snacks do double duty by satisfying your appetite and delivering nutrition.
This article originally appeared on CookingLight.com.
Shopping for healthy snacks can be overwhelming and confusing—especially in a health food asylum such as Whole Foods. For me, snacks need to fulfill two requirements: offer some nutrition value so I'm not snacking on empty calories, and they need to hit the pleasure centers of salty, sweet, and crunchy (or any combination of the two). I scoured the shelves of our local Whole Foods (read: I stood in the aisle with a notepad dissecting nutrition labels, ingredient lists, and finally snacking my way into a midday nap) to bring you the best choices. These snacks are well worth stocking your refrigerator, snack drawer, and your face with.
Larabar Crunchy Nut & Seed Bars (flavor: Dark Chocolate Almond)
These crunch-tastic bars are made with simple, whole-food ingredients such as sprouted chia seeds (sprouting unlocks more nutrients for you to absorb), nuts, coconut, and cacao. They're just sweet enough to satisfy a sugar craving while only boasting 7g sugar per bar.
Per bar: 200 calories, 45mg sodium, 4g fiber, 5g protein.
Brad's Crunchy Kale Chips (flavor: Vampire Killer)
I know a kale chip is painfully predictable for a dietitian snack roundup, but hear me out: these chips are far superior to any other veggie-based chip I've tried. They're delectably crunchy, exploding with flavor, and pack 5g protein into each serving (which is HALF the container). I can't even with this kale.
Per serving: 121 calories, 116mg sodium, 2g fiber, 5g protein.
Buddha Bowl Avocado-Licious Popcorn
There are two things I love about this light-as-air popcorn: 1. There are only four ingredients (organic popcorn, avocado oil, coconut oil, and Himalayan salt) and no artificial color or flavors (hear that, Orville Redenbacher?); and, 2. It's made with avocado oil, which is rich in heart-healthy monounsaturated fats, as well as vitamins A, C, and E.
Per serving: 120 calories, 190mg sodium, 5g fiber, 2g protein.
Good Culture Cottage Cheese
This new-to-the-market cottage cheese boasts probiotics (which you won't find in other cottage cheese brands) and makes for a protein-packed snack. Good Culture's range of cottage cheese flavors are made with whole milk from pasture-raised, grass-fed cows and are free of stabilizers and additives. Coupled with a thicker, creamier texture than traditional cottage cheese, this brand is worth seeking out.
Per 1 (5.3-oz.) container: 150 calories, 450mg sodium, 0g fiber, 19g protein.
Purely Elizabeth Granola (flavor: Chocolate and Sea Salt)
Lightly sweetened with coconut sugar and baked with coconut oil, this granola offers chocolatey goodness with a probiotic boost to help support a healthy immune and digestive system. Try it as a salty-sweet yogurt topper or simply enjoy it by the handful.
Per serving: 130 calories, 120mg sodium, 2g fiber, 3g protein.
Mary's Gone Crackers (Super Seed Everything)
Basically an everything bagel baked into crunchy, whole-grain snack crackers. Sturdy enough to take on a bounty of toppings, these crackers are best paired with a spreadable cheese wedge, such as Kerrygold Dubliner, hummus, or egg salad.
Per serving: 150 calories, 220mg sodium, 3g fiber, 3g protein.
RXBARs (flavor: Mixed Berry)
With a transparent ingredient list of only seven items and zero added sugar, these bars get their sticky sweetness from dates and provide up to 24% of your daily fiber goal, plus a hit of quality protein (from egg whites and nuts).
Per bar: 210 calories, 130mg sodium, 5g fiber, 12g protein.
Way Better Snacks Black Bean Tortilla Chips
Made with sprouted grains and seeds, these bean-based chips were a staff favorite for many reasons. A toasty flavor with hints of garlic and onion, and a delicately crisp texture make them a delicious dip-less choice. Bonus: each serving boasts over 270mg of omega-3 fatty acids.
Per serving: 120 calories, 80mg sodium, 3g fiber, 3g protein.
Harvest Snaps Snapea Crisps
Kid-friendly (think green Cheetos) and 70% made from whole peas, these light-as-air crisps are perfectly salted and powered by plant protein. If you can't get your daily vegetable quota in any other way, at least keep a bag of these at your disposal.
Per serving: 110 calories, 50mg sodium, 4g fiber, 5g protein
365 Striders Snack Trail Mix
A protein-rich mix of heart-healthy almonds, walnuts, cashews, and hazelnuts await you in this low sugar, sodium-free trail mix. Raisins add just the right dose of sticky-sweetness to counter the crunch.
Per serving: 140 calories, 0mg sodium, 2g fiber, 4g protein.