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Best and Worst Snacks in Your Supermarket

7 not-so-healthy picks, plus 8 tasty alternatives.

8 Healthy Snacks to Try Instead continued...

3. Light Microwave Popcorn

When you're craving something crunchy, microwave popcorn can be a quick and easy snack solution. There are some lighter options on the shelves.

  • Orville Redenbacher's Smart Pop 94% Fat Free Butter, 7.5 cups popped: 120 calories, 2 g total fat, 0.5 g saturated fat, 4 g fiber, 240 mg sodium
  • Jolly Time 100 Calorie, 2 tablespoons unpopped: 100 calories, 2 g fat, 0 g saturated fat, 7 g fiber, 280 mg sodium
  • Healthy Pop Butter, 5 cups popped: 110 calories, 2 g fat, 0 g saturated fat, 5 g fiber, 210 mg sodium
  • Smart Balance Smart’N Healthy, 5 cups popped: 120 calories, 2 g fat, 0 g saturated fat, 5 g fiber, 85 mg sodium

4. Quick Microwave Nachos (Baked chips with beans and cheese)

This high-protein snack (about 14 grams protein) is easy to put together. Just put an ounce of baked tortilla chips in a microwave-safe bowl and dot the top with small spoonfuls of refried beans right out of the can. Sprinkle some hot sauce or salsa over the top along with a little shredded cheese. Pop in microwave for 30 seconds or so to heat the beans and melt the cheese. Jazz it up if you like by adding chopped tomato, green onions, and a dollop of fat-free sour cream.

  • Baked tortilla chips, 1 ounce, with 1/3-cup Fat-Free Refried Beans and 1 ounce Reduced-Fat Cheese: 252 calories, 8.3 g total fat, 3.5 g saturated fat, 6 g fiber, 652 mg sodium

5. Quesadillas

A quesadilla is quick to fix in the microwave or on the stove. If you use a whole-wheat or whole-grain tortilla and reduced-fat cheese, you'll get plenty of protein and fiber (12 grams protein; 8 grams fiber) for hunger-satisfying power.

You can customize your quesadilla by adding nutrient-rich vegetables such as tomatoes, chopped green onions, peppers, or avocado.

  • 100 Calorie 100% whole-wheat tortilla, 1 oz. Shredded Reduced-Fat Cheddar or Jack Cheese: 172 calories, 6.5 g total fat, 3.5 g saturated fat, 8 g fiber, 560 mg sodium

6. Lower-Sugar Snack Bars

There are lots of types of snack bars out there, from bars made with granola or nuts to bars coated in chocolate or yogurt. Most contain plenty of sugar (usually at least 12 grams). But there are a few (with 8 grams of sugar or less per bar) that dare to emphasize nuts or whole grains instead of sweetness. Note that the grams of fat in some bars will be high due to the heart-smart fats found in the nuts.

  • Nature Valley Roasted Almond Crunch Bar, 2 bars: 190 calories, 8 g total fat, 1 g saturated fat, 2 g fiber, 11 g sugar
  • Clif Mo Jo Mixed Nuts, Trail Mix Bar (1.6 ounces): 200 calories, 12 g fat, 1.5 g saturated fat, 2 g fiber, 190 mg sodium, 8 g sugar
  • Cascadian Farm Organic Dark Chocolate Almond Chewy Granola Bars, 1 bar (1.25 ounce): 130 calories, 4 g fat, 1 g saturated fat, 5 g fiber, 8 g sugar
  • Kashi TLC Peanut Peanut Butter Chew Granola Bars, 1 bar (1.25 ounces): 140 calories, 5 g fat, .5 g saturated fat, 4 g fiber, 5 g sugar
  • KIND Plus Almond Walnut Macadamia with Peanuts + Protein, 1 bar (1.4 ounces): 190 calories, 12 g fat, 1.5 g saturated fat, 3 g fiber, 8 g sugar

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