Reviewed by Christine Mikstas, RD, LD on September 04, 2020
More Options Than You Think
Sometimes, the whole world of snacking seems to be based on the one thing you’re supposed to limit: refined carbs. Even the "healthier" packaged items, like granola bars, smoothies, and crackers, are full of them. If you look past the vending machine, though, you'll find plenty of other tasty options, like these smart snacks. The best part? They're as easy to toss together as they are delicious.
Apples and Cheese
Sweet and salty flavors add up to a great snack. Pair a cup of apple slices with an ounce of mozzarella cheese for about 16 grams of carbs. The combination of protein, fat, and fiber makes it a filling and satisfying nosh.
Avocado on a Crisp
Avocados have a place in your diet outside the guacamole bowl. Mash 1/4 of a ripe avocado and spread it on 2 light rye crisps for a crunchy, creamy snack with about 29 grams of carbs, plus plenty of fiber and heart-healthy fat. It’s like a mini open-faced sandwich.
Yogurt and Cucumbers
Take your yogurt in a savory direction. Use a cup of low-fat, plain Greek yogurt as a creamy dip for 1 cup of refreshing cucumber spears. It adds up to12 grams of carbs and a mega dose (25 grams) of appetite-satisfying protein. It’s like a version of the famous Greek dish, tzatziki.
Deli turkey has uses beyond a sandwich filling. Lose the bread and roll up 1 ounce of sliced turkey in lettuce leaves with mustard. This light, crisp snack has 2.9 grams of carbs and will get you through the afternoon.
Cottage Cheese With Berries
Cheesecake doesn’t make for a healthy snack option, but you can mimic a little of the flavor in a healthier way. Pair a cup of low-fat cottage cheese with half a cup of fresh or frozen blueberries and a little of your favorite no-calorie sweetener. The result? A dessert-like snack with 17 grams of carbs.
Celery and Peanut Butter
Remember eating this snack with your homework after school? It's still a good idea! Fill two medium celery stalks with 2 tablespoons of natural-style peanut butter for a nibble that will take you back to your childhood, with only 10 grams of carbs.
Better Beef Jerky
Jerky has been going upscale in recent years, and there are better options now than the over-processed mystery-meat versions you’ve had before. Look for jerkies made from grass-fed beef, which have big flavor and just 5 grams of carbs per serving (about 1.5 ounces).
Hardboiled Egg With a Kick
Hard-boiled eggs are the original grab-'n'-go power snack. Cut one in half and spread on a little hot sauce (such as sriracha) to make it as full of flavor as it is of protein. That’s a zesty bite for less than 1 gram of carbs.
Mixed nuts are an all-time snack classic for good reason. They're just as satisfying at your desk as they are at a party. One ounce of crunchy, salty, mixed nuts will keep your energy up for hours for only 6 grams of carbs per ounce.
Even kale haters come around when they taste kale chips. Some store-bought varieties have less than 10 grams of carbs. You can cut that number even further by making them at home. Tear the leaves from a bunch of kale. Rinse and dry them. Toss with 1 tablespoon of oil and 1/4 teaspoon of salt. Roast them in your oven at 300 degrees for 20-25 minutes, until the kale is crispy.
Also called steamed soybeans, edamame taste great, are full of fiber and protein, and have just 6.9 grams of carbs in a half cup of shelled edamame. They're easy to make in your microwave, so keep a bag in your freezer.
Hummus and Red Bell Pepper Wedges
Though they're often spotted together, hummus isn’t married to high-carb pita bread. Spread 1/4 cup of hummus onto wedges cut from one red bell pepper for a filling, tasty snack that has 16.4 grams of carbs.
Get the health benefits from tuna without all the carbs that come with your typical tuna sandwich. Pack 3 ounces of canned tuna into a ripe tomato half for a hearty snack with only 3.5 grams of carbs.