Snacking is a necessary part of life, and without healthy snacks you’ll undoubtedly get hungry and start grabbing the wrong foods. Plan ahead and keep these handy for times when a meal isn’t an option.

Also, remember that if you are frequently snacking you may want to add an extra meal during the day so you aren’t going long without a proper meal. 

Healthy snacks to nibble on

1) Fruits

There’s nothing quite as portable as an apple or orange when it comes to eating on the go. Take an apple, orange, pear, or Asian pear and slice it up for a quick, anytime snack. A handful of berries is an equally attractive option.

2) Nuts

Rich in calories but easy to take on the go, one handful of walnuts, almonds or pistachios is equivalent to about 160-200 calories and contains about 4 grams of fiber and 200 mg of potassium. A handful of walnut pieces has the bonus of containing about 1/3 of your daily omega-3 requirement (0.75g).

3) Sweet potato chips

Nothing beats the filling deliciousness of a cooked sweet potato. Make sweet potato chips ahead of time so they’ll be ready when you need them. Slice a sweet potato into ¼ inch rounds, coat lightly in olive oil and spices. Bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes or until tender.

4) Soup

Roasted vegetable soups store excellently in the refrigerator or freezer. Make a pot on the weekend and store in single serving plastic containers. Pop one out for when the cravings hit.

5) Soy nuts

Soy nuts aren’t nuts at all, but rather dry roasted soy beans. Get them unsalted from a specialty grocer or online at nuts.com. A handful has about 150 calories and provides a whopping 13 grams of protein and 6 grams of fiber. 

6) Red pepper

Ever consider eating a whole red pepper just like an apple? A red pepper is a juicy, sweet, delicious snack all by itself. A large red pepper has just 50 calories, 4 grams of fiber, and 350 mg of potassium. You can even have two!

7) Cucumber

Just like a red pepper, consider eating this juicy fruit whole and unpeeled. A large cucumber has just 45 calories and provides over 440 mg of potassium. If eating it whole sounds too “out of the box” just cut into spears for easy eating.

8) Celery sticks

It’s true, it probably takes more calories to eat celery than it provides. A medium stalk has just 6 calories, yet offers 100 mg of potassium. Go ahead, eat the whole bunch!

9) Carrots

The mainstay of dieters everywhere, the carrot stick is the standard of conscientious eating. One cup of carrot slices has about 50 calories, 3.4 grams of fiber, and almost 400 mg of potassium.

10) Hummus

Easy to carry and a great accompaniment to vegetables, hummus is a low-carb dieters dream. Two tablespoons is only 70 calories, although most hummus recipes tend to include sesame oil (high in omega-6) and usually have added salt.

I personally favor Majestic Sprouted Hummus, which is available at specialty grocers like Whole Foods and Jimbo’s. This clever version of hummus is made with olive oil and flax seed rather than tahini. The resulting hummus is high in anti-inflammatory omega-3 and has little to no sodium. It’s worth the extra expense!

If you are trying to lose weight, avoid nuts and stick to fruits and vegetables as snacks.

11) Protein bars

Many protein bars are simply candy bars in disguise. I favor three all-natural bars that include only real fruit and nuts, with minimal to no added salt.

You can find these at natural food stores or online at Amazon: