We found the high-protein, nutritionist-approved snack you need to beat afternoon slumps

A nutritionist approves!
/ Source: TODAY
By Tracy Saelinger

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Recently, a good-for-you snack sample landed on my desk that was so delicious, I called up a nutritionist to ask: Are they really as healthy as they sound?

"Absolutely! I love them," Jenna Gorham, registered dietitian, told me, much to my relief. She said that a friend turned her on to them.

They're called WholeMe Clusters, and besides being absolutely delicious, they're pretty much everything the modern person is looking for in a snack: They're convenient, they have a short list of "real" ingredients and they're dense with nutrients.

WholeMe Grain-Free Clusters, $6 to 8, Amazon

Select the different flavors once you're on the Amazon page.

They taste great

They look and taste like all these healthy snack recipes that I keep bookmarking, but never get around to actually making. (Co-founder Mary Kosir came up with the recipe after her husband was diagnosed with diabetes, which may be why they taste homemade.)

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Just like their name sounds, they are clusters of healthy ingredients, in different flavors: There's almond coconut, salted peanut chocolate, lemon berry chia and cinnamon banana chip.

Here's why they're nutritionist-approved, too:

Whole, minimally processed ingredients

"One of the first things I look at in a snack are the ingredients," Gorham said. "These have real, whole food ingredients."

Take a look at the ingredient list on the Almond Coconut flavor: almonds, coconut, honey, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, coconut oil, almond extract and salt.

That's it.

They're also gluten-free, grain-free, soy-free, non-GMO and Paleo-certified.

Low in added sugar

Usually, Gorham looks for snacks with less than 7 or 8 grams of added sugar per serving. WholeMe Clusters have 4 to 5 grams.

High in protein and fiber

"Protein and fiber are going to make things more filling," Gorham said, and she likes how the snack clocks in at 4 grams of protein and 2 grams of fiber per serving. "It helps the energy last, and not contribute to a quick drop in blood sugar. It's a more sustained source of energy."

Convenience

"For most people, it's not realistic to make everything from scratch," Gorham said, so it's "absolutely OK to have a couple of go-to snacks you can trust." She eats them by the handful (the serving size is one-third of a cup), or with milk or yogurt.

As much as we love that they're nutritionist-approved (they made Gorham's list of "Store-bought snacks registered dietitians love"), I mostly love how addictive they are. My favorite flavor (and Gorham's) is the almond coconut, with the salted peanut chocolate a close second.

"I love their natural sweetness," Gorham said. "They hit all my marks."

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