Yes, you can buy salted, roasted, flavored, and probably even ones with little faces carved on them, but for us, nothing beats a plain, fresh almond, straight up. Each is about 7 calories, so eat 15 or so for a healthy snack. Savor them, one at a time.
Kashi TLC Crunchy Granola Bars
Don't eat them in a crowded theater — no one will be able to hear the movie. These bars have joined Nature Valley as the go-to granola bar for health and flavor. Two bars (per package) total about 180 calories. Available in Honey Toasted 7-Grain, Pumpkin Spice Flax, or Roasted Almond Crunch.
Special K Savory Herb Crackers
In recent years, Special K has diversified its offerings beyond cereal, and now includes snack bars and crackers. These herb crackers are available in a large box, or in 90-calorie packs containing roughly 17 crackers. They're fairly rich in fiber and protein, and low in sugar, making them a perfect nibble.
Yes, we know…boring! But here's what we have to say to that: Red peppers. Green peppers. Carrots. Celery. Cauliflower. Radishes. Jicama. Green beans. Cucumbers. Asparagus. Still not tempted? How about "eat as much as you want, whenever you want?" Vegetable calorie counts are so low, and nutrition so high, that you can never eat too many veggies. Period.
Apricots are probably the most popular of dried fruit, and we love 'em. But have you tried dried mango or papaya slices? They're marvelously sweet and chewy. Five spears of either total around 150 calories. Too sweet? You can have roughly 10 rings of dried apple for the same calorie count, and they're even chewier.Licorice nibs
Chew slo-w-w-w-wly. Each nib is around 5 calories, no matter the brand. Almost all the calories are from sugar, so we're not talking health food here. But we are talking satisfaction. After 15 nibs, your jaw muscles will be well exercised, and you'll have eaten only 75 calories.
Nature Valley Chewy Trail Mix Bar (Fruit & Nut)
Some of us like our bars crunchy, some like 'em chewy. For the latter, this popular choice from Nature Valley is 140 calories, 25 per cent from fat. It's filled with oats, rice, almonds, sunflower seeds and more, held together with sticky corn syrup.
A half-cup of boiled soybeans is just 100 calories, but immensely satisfying and healthy, with — as they say in the food industry — a great mouth feel. For a twist, sprinkle a little salt on top, and then several grinds of pepper.
A large peach might weigh a quarter pound or more, but it will only be 60 to 70 calories, since it's mostly water. The trick: Buy locally grown peaches, or stop at a farm stand on your next summer road trip (we particularly love Carolina and Georgia peaches). Grocery-store peaches just don't compare.
It's hard to believe that 14 years ago, hardly anyone knew about these marvelous citrus fruits — a form of mandarin orange, actually — that came in little crates from Spain each winter. Today, clementines are being grown far more widely, so expect to see them available more frequently. At 35 calories per fruit, you can eat three and that's still a light snack, calorie-wise.
About half the size of a cherry tomato with thicker skin, less water and more sweetness, grape tomatoes are a wonderful bite, and barely 2 calories each. That means you can eat as many as you can afford to buy. Bars in Asia put bowls of them on tables rather than nuts; a brilliant idea!
Not a creative choice, but always satisfying. An entire medium-size cantaloupe is roughly 200 calories, and that's a lot of melon! Cut a quarter of a melon into cubes, and you'll have eaten just 50 calories.
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If you must have a classic American crunch, go for thin pretzel sticks over potato chips. Why? Pretzels are baked, and have next to no fat; potato chips are fried, making them far more calorie dense. A single thin pretzel stick is around 2 calories; eat 50 for a filling snack that's just over 100 calories. Just be sure to check the package; pretzel size can vary by company.
Dry roasted peanuts
An ounce of peanuts has about the same calories as an ounce of potato chips — around 160 calories — but the similarities end there. Peanuts are packed with healthy nutrition, including the type of monounsaturated fat that is so heart-healthy. And each nut is a burst of flavor.
Baked Cheetos Crunchy 100 Calorie Mini Bites
What you want when you eat Cheetos is that salty cheddar-cheese flavor, and their low-calorie, low-fat version makes good on that promise. No fiber, and 35 per cent of calories still come from fat, but far healthier than the original.
We love the oval shape and bold flavor of these salty Greek olives, and we must admit we love sucking on the pits — it keeps us from eating more! Each olive is 10.5 calories, assuming it's not dripping in olive oil. So 10 of them make a lovely, 105-calorie snack.
Each one is around 4 calories, no worse than a carob- or yogurt-covered raisin. So go for the gusto. Two-dozen of them — which makes a rather nice pile, we think — is just 96 calories. And talk about sweet: Raisins are naturally rich in sugar, and, then there's that luscious milk chocolate — that says it all.
Godiva Gold Ballotin (2 pieces)
For $4, you get two of Godiva's loveliest creations: a dark ganache heart and a praline crescent — presented in a gold box. Instant royalty! Luxurious indulgence for just 120 calories.
Orville Redenbacher's 100 Calorie Kettle Corn
Yes, this is the right category. The kings of microwave popcorn have come up a version that is lightly sugared, as well as salted, to satisfy multiple taste buds. No transfats either.
Cooking fruit brings out its sweetness and amplifies its flavors. Yet relatively few people give it a try. So grill pineapple slices or fruit kabobs; broil mango slices; sauté peach slices; roast pear or apple slices — the possibilities are endless! Serve as dessert or seal in a ziplock bag, and take along a few slices or chunks for a snack.
Spread 1 tablespoon marinara sauce and 2 tablespoons of grated cheese onto half an English muffin, sprinkle with a little oregano and/or basil, and bake in a toaster oven at 350°F until the cheese bubbles. A real treat at just 120 calories!
Amy's Kitchen Mexican Tamale Pie
You'd never guess that this frozen pot pie is a mere 150 calories. The pie is made of pinto beans, corn, zucchini, and crushed tomatoes, topped with polenta. We say, olé!
Garden Fresh Gourmet Mild Guacamole
This nationally distributed dip is made from just six natural ingredients, and tastes homemade. And at 45 calories for two tablespoons, it's perfectly friendly for weight loss. Just don't sabotage your efforts; eat with baked chips or fresh veggies.
Of all the jerky types, buffalo is the leanest; an ounce is 80 calories, compared with 115 for beef jerky, and contains just a half-gram of fat. As to protein, that one-ounce serving is an amazing 15 grams, making this the ultimate snack for those wanting to fuel their muscles. If you buy the peppered variety, a little piece goes a long, long way.
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Peanut butter and celery
A tablespoon of smooth peanut butter is around 95 calories. That's all you'll need to fill a long stalk of celery, which has barely 10 calories. Crunchy, yummy, and very satisfying.
Hummus and pita
Hummus is the peanut butter of the Mediterranean region, but much lower in calories — a tablespoon of this creamy golden spread made from chickpeas is around 26 calories. Have four tablespoons with unlimited raw veggies, or two tablespoons with half a pita bread cut into wedges.
A teacup of oatmeal is around 110 calories, and includes 3 grams of fiber and 4 grams of protein, which is a lot of filling nutrition. Sprinkle with a little cinnamon or nutmeg, and add fresh berries or sliced fruit to make not only more appealing visually, but tastier, too.
They're so easy to make, so delicious to drink, and so thoroughly filling. Improvise with a banana, a cup of berries, a spoonful of low-fat yogurt, a splash of orange juice, and ice. Blend until smooth. A typical smoothie is around 150-200 calories, but you'll feel like you just had a big meal, and you'll have just consumed two or three servings of fruit.
Baked apple with cinnamon
Core a Granny Smith apple, put a sprinkling of brown sugar and a little margarine in the center, sprinkle the whole thing with cinnamon, and microwave, covered, for 3 minutes, or until the apple is soft. Truly delicious, lots of food, and a mere 120 calories.
Most people don't know that instant ramen noodles are often fried in palm oil before being packaged, or that the spice packs are packed with sugar and salt. Make your own healthy alternative at home: Boil roughly one-twelfth of a pound of angel hair pasta strands in low-sodium chicken broth, chop in some carrots and celery, and add a touch of soy sauce and sesame oil for an extraordinary bowl of snack noodles for roughly 200 calories.
Another warm dessert that makes a great snack. Slice a small banana into 1-inch pieces and place in a microwavable bowl. Sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon brown sugar and add 1/2 teaspoon butter. Microwave until bubbly, about 1 minute. Hot, sweet pleasure, and just 115 calories.
Campbell's Select Harvest Light Vegetable Beef & Barley Soup
Campbell's is up to eight choices in its low-calorie Select Harvest Light line. While the sodium levels are still rather high, and some customers say the "light" refers to flavor and substance, this particular variety gets lots of praise from customers. A cup is 80 calories; a can is two servings.
While on the theme of frozen goodness, have you ever tried eating frozen peas? Smart moms have found that kids often love them as a snack, and they're also a wonderful weight-loss food for us grownups. They're chewy, yummy, and packed with fiber, making them very filling. A cup, which is a lot of peas, is 103 calories.
A cup of blueberries is around 80 calories, and so full of nutrients. We love blueberry picking in the summer, then freezing the haul, to be used for the next several months in desserts, smoothies, or as a delicious snack. Frozen, they are wonderful to crunch on…or just let them melt in your mouth.
Chunks O'Fruti Frozen Fruit Bars
Taste testers often put this brand at the top of the list, thanks to its generous amount of real fruit chunks, sweetness, and natural flavor. No fat, no preservatives, and just 90 calories per bar.
McDonald's Fruit 'n Yogurt Parfait
We're never eager to send you to a fast food restaurant, but if your journeys take you to McDonald's, this parfait — layered with low-fat yogurt, low-fat granola, strawberries and blueberries — is a reasonable and healthy 160 calories.