The 7 Best Low-Calorie Snacks of 2021, According to a Dietitian

Stock your pantry with these healthy bites

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Our Top Picks
Single-serving pouches that are perfect for low-calorie snacking at home or on-the-go.
100 calories per packet, along with 3 grams of fiber (1 gram of which is soluble fiber) and 4 grams of protein.
Made with whole food nuts and seeds—that you can actually see.
Perfectly portioned low-calorie packs of popcorn in a delicious sea salt flavor.
They contain live and active probiotic cultures, which are beneficial for gut health.
An excellent solution to enjoy the taste and health benefits of nuts in calorie-controlled portions.
Sweetened with stevia, a zero-calorie botanical sweetener.

If you are trying to limit your calorie intake to meet certain weight loss and health goals, snacktime can pose a challenge. You want something that’s delicious, satisfying, and exciting, but is also low in calories.

Unfortunately, many low-calorie snacks on the market are filled with artificial ingredients and excess sugars to make up for the loss of flavor when you remove the fat and calories. But, there are many new and exciting snacks on the shelves made from real, whole-food ingredients.

Here, the best low-calorie snacks:

Best Overall: BIENA Chickpea Snacks Sea Salt

Biena Roasted Chickpea Snacks have a nice blend of protein, fiber, and fat, which will help to keep you full. The satisfying crunch and salty flavor hit the spot for your savory snack cravings, but don't worry! This awesome snack comes in two additional flavors: honey roasted and ranch.

Chickpeas, part of the legume family, are one of nature’s best fiber sources and pack plenty of plant-based protein. Biena Roasted Chickpea Snacks have 6 to 8 grams of fiber and protein, depending on the flavor. Their single-serving pouches are perfect for low-calorie snacking at home or on-the-go. Each pouch contains 140 nutrition-packed calories.

Best Budget: Quaker Instant Oatmeal Individual Packets

Oatmeal shouldn’t only be reserved for breakfast—it makes a well-balanced, filling, and low-calorie snack as well. Oatmeal is a great source of soluble fiber, a type of fiber that helps maintain digestive health and can also lower cholesterol levels.

Quaker Instant Oatmeal packets have just 100 calories per packet, along with 3 grams of fiber (1 gram of which is soluble fiber) and 4 grams of protein. There are no added flavorings or sweeteners to these oatmeal packets, so they make an excellent blank canvas for a warm, comforting snack.

If you find oatmeal to be bland on its own, feel free to add some toppings such as berries, cinnamon, or a small handful of nuts. These oatmeal packets are made with 100% whole grains and are Non-GMO Project certified.

Best Bar: KIND Honey Roasted Nuts & Sea Salt Bar

Snack bars are a convenient food to throw in your bag for snacking on-the-go. While some bars are filled with artificial ingredients and additives, KIND bars are made with whole food nuts and seeds—that you can actually see.

The KIND Honey Roasted Nuts and Sea Salt bar is a perfect low-calorie snack when you’re out and about, or don’t have time to prepare something at home. Made with almonds, cashews, and peanuts, these bars will keep you full with plenty of healthy fats, in addition to fiber and protein.

Each Honey Roasted Nuts and Sea Salt bar contains 180 calories, 4 grams of fiber, and 6 grams of plant-based protein. Naturally sweetened with honey, they only have 3 grams of added sugar—which is quite low compared to many other snack bars on the shelves. These bars are also gluten-free and non-GMO.

Best Popcorn: Angie's Boom Chicka Pop Sea Salt Popcorn

Popcorn is the ultimate low-calorie snack if you like a lot of volume when you eat. Since it’s filled with so much air, we can eat a lot of popcorn and feel satiated without consuming tons of calories. Just limit the amount of added butter or oil to keep your popcorn snack low in calories.

Angie’s Boom Chicka Pop makes perfectly portioned low-calorie packs of popcorn in a delicious sea salt flavor. Each bag has just 80 calories, plus 2 grams each of whole grain fiber and protein. The sea salt flavor has only three ingredients—whole grain popcorn, sunflower oil, and sea salt. It’s also non-GMO, gluten-free, and vegan.

If you’re craving some unique and different popcorn flavors, Angie’s Boom Chicka Pop offers various flavors, including white cheddar popcorn, real butter popcorn, light kettle corn, and more.

Best Dessert: Yasso Frozen Greek Yogurt Bar

When you’re craving something sweet for snack time, head to your freezer for a Yasso Frozen Greek Yogurt Bar. These bars seriously hit the spot when you’re craving ice cream but don’t want to indulge in extra calories.

Made with real Greek yogurt, Yasso bars pack 5 to 7 grams of filling, high-quality protein per one bar serving, and each bar has between 80 and 150 calories.

Yasso bars come in a wide variety of flavors, including Fudge Brownie, Sea Salt Caramel, Coffee Chocolate Chip, and Cookies ‘n Cream. And because these bars are made with Greek yogurt, they contain live and active probiotic cultures, which are beneficial for gut health.

Best Nuts: Emerald Nuts 100 Calorie Variety Pack

Nuts are certainly one of the healthiest foods to include in your diet. They contain plant-based protein, fiber, and an abundance of healthy fats. However, nuts are not a low-calorie food, and it can be easy to consume more calories than you’d like to when snacking out of a large container of nuts.

Emerald 100-Calorie Packs are an excellent solution to enjoy the taste and health benefits of nuts in calorie-controlled portions perfect for snacking. Each packet of nuts contains 100 calories and 3 grams of protein.

The variety pack includes packets of roasted almonds, a mix of almonds and walnuts, and roasted and salted cashews, so you can mix up your snack each day.

Best Chocolate: Lily's Sweets Crispy Rice Dark Chocolate Bar

For chocoholics craving a low-calorie treat, look no further than Lily’s Sweets Crispy Rice Dark Chocolate bars. Instead of sugar, this chocolate is sweetened with stevia, a zero-calorie botanical sweetener.

Each serving of Lily’s Sweets Crispy Rice Chocolate bar is just 170 calories—for about half of the chocolate bar. Lily’s Sweets uses gluten-free, non-GMO, and Fair Trade ingredients in their chocolate bars.

You can find Lily’s chocolate products in various flavors, including dark chocolate, extra dark chocolate, milk chocolate, and white chocolate styles. They also make chocolate chips for baking, peanut butter cups, and chocolate-covered nuts—all of which are lower in calories and sugar than traditional chocolates that use sugar as the sweetener.

Final Verdict

When you’re looking for a low-calorie snack that satisfies your urge to munch on something crunchy, salty, and flavorful, Biena Roasted Chickpea Snacks (view at Amazon) come in first place. Packed with fiber and protein, these chickpeas will satisfy all your snack cravings, fill you up, and give you lasting energy until your next meal.

What to Look for in a Low-Calorie Snack

Ingredients:

An ideal snack should contain fiber, protein, and healthy fats. It’s important to look at the ingredient label, so you know what’s in your snack. This is because many low-calorie snack products use artificial ingredients to replace nutrients to make up for the lack of flavor when removing calories from sugars or fats. If the ingredient label has whole foods listed that you recognize, such as almonds, popcorn, or oats, you’ve likely found yourself a healthy option.

Calories:

According to FDA regulatory terms, in order for a food to be considered low-calorie, it must have 40 calories or less for a given reference amount of that food. Choosing low-calorie snacks may help to promote weight loss or weight maintenance. As a general rule of thumb for choosing low-calorie snacks, look for snacks that contain 100-200 calories per serving.

Convenience:

Packaged snacks like the ones on this list are excellent options for busy lifestyles and staying healthy on-the-go, but don’t forget about fruits and vegetables for snacking. Fruits and vegetables are naturally low in calories and provide tons of nutrients like fiber, antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals. When possible, try to combine low-calorie packaged snacks with fruits and vegetables for ideal low-calorie snacking, or keep the packaged snacks for on-the-go.

What Experts Say

“Fiber, protein, and fat are digested slowly and suppress hunger hormones, keeping you full longer. Calories are a measurement of energy so instead of looking for the lowest calories around, look for the right calories—the ones that will keep you full.” —Lainey Younkin, MS, RD

Why Trust Verywell Fit?

As a Registered Dietitian, Alex Aldeborgh takes her product recommendations seriously. Every product has been researched and vetted against her clinical research, product reviews, and personal experience. These are products that she recommends to her clients and also enjoys herself. Her favorite low-calorie snack is apple slices and peanut butter.

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Article Sources
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