Everyone loves salty and crunchy treats but Good Housekeeping says don't graze without guidance! There's a ton of ultra-processed, calorie-laden snacks on store shelves, so the magazine taste-tested the best options that met their nutritional standards.
Jaclyn London, Registered Dietician and Nutrition Director for the Good Housekeeping Institute looked for snacks that are made with real food (such as 100% whole-grain wheat, banana or sweet potato) as the first ingredient. Each has about 200 calories, at least 3 grams each of protein and fiber, 230 milligrams or less of sodium per serving, 6 grams or less of added sugar, and 2 grams or less of saturated fat per serving.
TOP PICK: Beanfields Bean & Rice Chips in Pico de Gallo
The "powerful flavor" of these salsa-infused munchies was a hit with panelists, who agreed "It's like salsa's already on them!"
Lab Lowdown: We love the 5 g of protein and filling fiber. (140 calories per ounce)
Simply Tostitos Black Bean Chips
This bean-based take on the usual corn tortilla chip was deemed "so good, it doesn't need dip!" by one lab tester. Another raved, "It's just like refried beans - yum!" (140 calories per ounce)
Artisan Tropic Cinnamon Plantain Chips
Many in our lab were thrilled with the "dessert-like" flavor of this South American-style treat.
Lab Lowdown: Just a serving of these tropical chips delivers 40% of your daily value for fiber. (210 calories per 1.5 ounces)
TOP PICK: Kind Snacks Caramel Popped Bites
The "breakfast-y" combo of caramel-drizzled whole grains and popcorn was a "cereal-like" snack. (110 calories per ounce)
Angie's Boomchickapop Sea Salt Popcorn
This "light," "perfect" pick is better than theater fare.
Lab Lowdown: A serving is four cups! (140 calories per ounce)
Smartfood White Cheddar Popcorn
"Too good to be healthy!" exclaimed one tester.
Lab Lowdown: It's a tad high in sodium, but so yummy and filling, we had to include it. (160 calories per ounce)
TOP PICK: 7-Select Go Smart Sprouted Sriracha Tortilla Chips
These corn-based squares are "bursting with flavor" (and 4 grams of fiber).
Lab Lowdown: Our R.D. was pleased to see broccoli and radish seeds among the ingredients. (170 calories per 1-ounce pack)
Go Raw Spicy Fiesta Flax Snax
One panelist called these seed-based bites a great combo of "spicy and tangy."
Lab Lowdown: They'll tide you over until dinner, thanks to a whopping 5 grams each of protein and fiber. (180 calories per ounce)
Back to Nature Harvest Whole Wheat
This subtle whole wheat treat, lab testers agreed, is "sturdy" and "thick" enough to support a nice big slab of your favorite cheese without overpowering it. (120 calories per ounce)
This category includes peas, beans, lentils and chickpeas--plant-based powerhouses that contain veggie protein.
TOP PICK: Zouq Golden Lentil Snacks
Lab testers agreed: These tiny seed-like treats taste like a "potato chip-and-crisp-rice hybrid."
Harvest Snaps Snapea Crisps in Wasabi Ranch
These were a hit for their wasabi heat and "slightly salty" taste.
Lesser Evil Super Bites in Cheesy Nacho
One Lab tester likened it to mac 'n' cheese, and others also appreciated the "real cheese" flavor of this bean-based bite.