What are the Best Low Calorie Snacks?

B. Miller
B. Miller
Cherries can be a quick, nutritious, low calorie snack.
Cherries can be a quick, nutritious, low calorie snack.

There are many options for low calorie snacks that are both healthy and tasty. When choosing low calorie snacks, one of the best rules of thumb is to choose actual whole foods, not ones that are prepackaged. For example, rather than choosing a package of chips that is marked as low in calories, choose a piece of fruit, or some carrots or celery sticks. The idea is to choose a snack that will contribute to a feeling of fullness, and may also offer a benefit such as protein or fiber without the addition of a lot of unhealthy fat and sugar.

Sunflower seeds are a good low-calorie snack.
Sunflower seeds are a good low-calorie snack.

Choosing the best low calorie snacks sometimes requires some creativity and willingness to take a few extra minutes to prepare something. For instance, a mixed fruit smoothie made with low-fat milk, yogurt and ice, as well as a number of different fresh or frozen fruits, and even a little flax seed or spinach, can make a great snack or even a meal replacement. Plain vegetables such as carrots, celery, or cherry tomatoes can be made more appealing with the addition of some hummus or even low fat salad dressing, or a little bit of pepper. Salt should be used only sparingly.

A hard-boiled egg is a healthy snack.
A hard-boiled egg is a healthy snack.

Plain fruit is another one of the best low calorie snacks, and there are many ways to make it more appealing as well. Frozen grapes, for example, make a great snack and taste similar to frozen dessert treats. Bananas, apples, oranges, and cherries are also popular snack foods that are fairly easy to eat on the go. Some people also enjoy adding peanut butter to a banana or apple for a little extra boost of protein. For people who don't want to snack on fruits or vegetables, there are some other low calorie options as well.

Flax seed oil is sometimes added to smoothies.
Flax seed oil is sometimes added to smoothies.

Whole grain crackers spread with low fat flavored cream cheese, hummus, low fat cheese, or even tuna fish can make excellent low calorie snacks. Even a plain hard-boiled egg can make a good snack that is high in protein, which can help to prevent cravings for other foods. Popcorn, though lacking in much nutritional value, is a food that is very low in calories, as long as it is not coated in salt and butter. A handful of walnuts, almonds, or sunflower seeds is also a good choice; though they are somewhat higher in calories, they are very filling and rich in protein.

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Discussion Comments

croydon

@KoiwiGal - I used to think sushi was the perfect low calorie snack, but I had to give it up for the same reason. Unfortunately, most sushi here isn't made with proper sushi rice and it tends to digest really quickly and leave you hungry again within a couple of hours at the most.

It was the smoked salmon that I really liked anyway, so I try to have a bit of that on some whole grain crackers instead, or something similar with a combination of complex carbohydrates and protein. That keeps me going without needing to stop every five minutes for a snack.

KoiwiGal

@MrsPramm - Fruit in general tends to be the best choice, although I quite like sliced vegetables and dip as well. The only problem is that eating fruits and vegetables tends to make me feel hungry again quite quickly, so I try to have some cheese or something at the same time to prevent that.

That's why I try not to have things like popcorn during the day as well. I think it's just too light and it goes through my system so quickly I end up more hungry rather than less hungry.

MrsPramm

Frozen blueberries are my favorite kind of low calorie snack when I want something that's healthy and sweet and that I'm not going to guzzle down in a few seconds.

I also think that having herbal tea is a really good way to keep yourself busy if you just want to eat out of boredom rather than because you are actually hungry.

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    • Cherries can be a quick, nutritious, low calorie snack.
      By: Harris Shiffman
      Cherries can be a quick, nutritious, low calorie snack.
    • Sunflower seeds are a good low-calorie snack.
      By: eyewave
      Sunflower seeds are a good low-calorie snack.
    • A hard-boiled egg is a healthy snack.
      By: Natika
      A hard-boiled egg is a healthy snack.
    • Flax seed oil is sometimes added to smoothies.
      By: spline_x
      Flax seed oil is sometimes added to smoothies.
    • Canned tuna contains a lot of protein and is a satisfying, low calorie snack food.
      By: Jaimie Duplass
      Canned tuna contains a lot of protein and is a satisfying, low calorie snack food.
    • Bananas are a healthy, low calorie snack.
      By: Celso Diniz
      Bananas are a healthy, low calorie snack.
    • Non-fat Greek yogurt is typically low in calories, but packed with protein.
      By: angelo.gi
      Non-fat Greek yogurt is typically low in calories, but packed with protein.
    • Sliced bell peppers are a good low calorie snack.
      By: valery121283
      Sliced bell peppers are a good low calorie snack.
    • Snacks like popcorn can be low in fats, as long as they are not heavily coated in butter.
      By: sommai
      Snacks like popcorn can be low in fats, as long as they are not heavily coated in butter.
    • Celery is low in fat and calories, and high in several nutrients.
      By: andersphoto
      Celery is low in fat and calories, and high in several nutrients.
    • Crackers usually have few calories.
      By: suksao
      Crackers usually have few calories.
    • Air popped popcorn with no added butter or salt is a low calorie snack.
      By: Przemyslaw Sitek
      Air popped popcorn with no added butter or salt is a low calorie snack.
    • Apples are a nutritious snack option.
      By: volff
      Apples are a nutritious snack option.
    • Smoothies made with water and fresh fruit or vegetables are a healthy low-calorie snack.
      By: Pixelbliss
      Smoothies made with water and fresh fruit or vegetables are a healthy low-calorie snack.