12 Healthy Snacks
Smart Homemade Snack: Dark chocolate with nuts (139 calories)
Benefits: Chocolate contains polyphenols and flavonoids, two types of antioxidants shown to help prevent damage caused by cholesterol in arteries.
Smart Choice: Baked brie with nuts and cranberries, plus whole-wheat crackers for dipping (188 calories)
Benefits: Warm, gooey brie satisfies a craving for creamy foods. Dried cranberries add antioxidants, and walnuts contribute heart-healthy fats and a nutty crunch.
Smart Homemade Snack: Almonds roasted with oil and spices (111 calories)
Benefits: Studies have shown that consuming small amounts of nuts regularly has been linked to reduced risk of heart disease. Plus antioxidants contained in the skin of whole almonds may play a role in reducing oxidative stress as well as LDL cholesterol.
RD-Approved Packaged Snack: True North Pecan Almond Peanut Clusters
Benefits: Satisfyingly crunchy and slightly sweet, contain just seven ingredients: peanuts, almonds, brown rice syrup, pecans, organic sugar, and sea salt. One serving has 170 calories, 11 grams of "good" fat, and just 75 milligrams of sodium.
RD-Approved Packaged Snack: Vitatops
RD-Approved Store-Bought Snack: Whole fruit, in season
Benefits: A great source of fiber, whole fruit helps keep you feeling fuller longer. But don't drink your fruit. When Purdue researchers gave 20 people an apple, applesauce, or apple juice, those who drank their snack were the quickest to report being hungry.
100-Calorie Snack: 3½ cups 94% fat-free microwaveable popcorn
Benefits: Popcorn has a lot of bulk for its calories, so it helps fill you up. Plus, 3½ cups contains one of your three recommended daily servings of whole grains.
100-Calorie Snack: 1 1/3 ounces pitted olives
Benefits: This fruit satisfies a salty craving and supplies a decent amount of heart-healthy fats.
100-Calorie Snack: ¼ cup hummus with 4 carrot sticks
Benefits: Five grams of filling fiber mean you won't go hungry for a while.
Mood-Boosting Snack: ½ cup shelled edamame (100 calories)
Benefits: Folate-rich foods like edamame may even out moods: In a few small studies, people with higher levels of folate in their systems reported less mood variability.
Mood-Boosting Snack: Half a 100% whole-grain bagel with 1 tablespoon peanut butter (240 calories)
Benefits: Carbohydrates trigger the release of feel-good chemicals. Pick quality carbs, like whole grains with fiber, for a longer-lasting high.
Mood-Boosting Snack: 8 ounces of low-fat plain yogurt (140 calories)
Benefits: Several studies link vitamin B12 deficiency to depression. While it's not an antidepressant, B12-rich low-fat yogurt might help lift a bad mood, and its live bacteria are your friends.