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A snack is a portion of food, often smaller than a regular meal, generally eaten between meals. Snacks come in a variety of forms including packaged snack foods and other processed foods, as well as items made from fresh ingredients at home.

Traditionally, snacks are prepared from ingredients commonly available in the home. Often cold cuts, fruit, leftovers, nuts, sandwiches, and the like are used as snacks. The Dagwood sandwich was originally the humorous result of a cartoon character's desire for large snacks. With the spread of convenience stores, packaged snack foods became a significant business. Snack foods are typically designed to be portable, quick, and satisfying. Processed snack foods, as one form of convenience food, are designed to be less perishable, more durable, and more portable than prepared foods. They often contain substantial amounts of sweeteners, preservatives, and appealing ingredients such as chocolate, peanuts, and specially-designed flavors (such as flavored potato chips).

Beverages, such as coffee, are not generally considered snacks though they may be consumed along with or in lieu of snack foods.

A snack eaten shortly before going to bed or during the night may be called a midnight snack.

What is the Best Healthy Snack for You?

Fruit and Yogurt Low Fat Snack

Get Healthy Snacks Ideas That Fit Your Diet Plan

When you’re looking for healthy snacks, you need to know which types are best for you. Much depends on what type of diet you’re on or what your goal is.

We’re featuring a series of articles on the most popular diets and the best snacks for each, beginning with the low fat diet. If you’re not on a particular
eating plan, read through our suggestions and choose those that make sense to you. What we won’t recommend for any of these diets is unhealthy processed foods.

The types of diets we’ll be featuring:

  1. Low Fat
  2. Low Carb
  3. Diabetic
  4. Vegan
  5. Clean
  6. Paleo
  7. Low Salt

Low Fat Diet

If you’re on a low fat diet, of course you want snacks that have a small percentage of fat in them. But be careful – many low fat snacks contain much more sugar than their higher fat versions. It’s important to read labels and not just grab that low-fat package of cookies or candy. We recommend natural foods that are healthy for your body as well as tasty

Fruits and Vegetables – Of course these are always your best bet. Eat fruit when you’re craving something sweet. Fruits with a lot of water content, like citrus and melons, can help you feel full. Mix fruit with low fat yogurt for a delicious treat.

Raw vegetables satisfy the need for crunchy foods, and because they have a lot of fiber they’ll help fill you up. You can also make low fat dips using Greek yogurt, hummus and salsa.

If you don’t buy organic, wash your fruit and veggies in a mixture of water with white vinegar or a small amount of dish soap added. Prepare them in advance so they are ready when you’re hungry.

Baked Potato – Low in fat and filling, baked potatoes can be a great diet food. Instead of loading them up with high fat sour cream, use the low fat version or yogurt and lots of pepper. My favorite way to eat them is with yogurt mixed with salsa – it may sound strange but it tastes great and is very satisfying

Juice – Buy an inexpensive juicer if you don’t have one. I own this one from Amazon, and it works well. Juicing vegetables is super healthy with no fat. Add a piece of fruit or carrots for sweetness, and half a lemon (no peel) and an inch of fresh ginger for flavor. You can also turn these into smoothies by adding Greek yogurt. There are lots of juicer recipes that are delicious and easy to make.

Popcorn – Air popped popcorn is satisfying and filling. Instead of using a microwave, purchase anair popcorn maker for a much better tasting snack. Instead of butter, use spices and flavorings for extra zest. An easy way to do this is to sprinkle on dry ranch dressing mix, the flavor packet from ramen noodles, or the powder in mac n cheese boxes. (Keep in mind these are all very high in salt.)

Low Fat String Cheese – The low fat variety of string cheese tastes just as good as the full fat version. Take your time, peeling each string off before eating it. Eating slowly and and savoring your food will help you feel more satisfied.

Jerky – If you really want to get some chewing time in, eat high-protein, low-fat jerky. Besides beef and turkey, there are many types of wild game jerky, including alligator, venison and buffalo.

Of course there are other snacks that are healthy, but first ask yourself – is it healthy, is it natural, is it moderate in sugar as well as fat?

Next up – the Low Carb Diet.

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