You are here

FITNESS 2012 Healthy Food Awards: The Best Snacks

  • Claire Benoist

    Best of the Crunch

    Every once in a while (or every afternoon, if you're like some of us!) you just have to have a treat that's crunchy and salty but not greasy. To help you get your fix, we worked with our team of nutritionists to choose eight snacks — after taste-testing dozens — that are totally satisfying yet contain no more than 150 calories and eight grams of fat per serving. Gratification without the guilt? Consider it in the bag.

    What Makes a Winner

    Companies submitted more than 120 new salty snacks to FITNESS. Our experts — Anar Allidina, RD, a dietitian in private practice in Toronto; Keri Gans, RD, the author of The Small Change Diet; and Marissa Lippert, RD, the author of The Cheater's Diet — analyzed the ingredients and nutrition facts to help us determine which ones deserved to move to the next round of judging. Those finalists were sampled in blind taste tests and voted on by dozens of staffers throughout our company.

  • Claire Benoist

    Kettle Brand Bakes Sour Cream & Onion Potato Chips

    Several taste testers used the phrase blast of flavor to describe biting into these substantial chips, which contain 65 percent less fat than fried versions. (120 calories per 20)

  • Claire Benoist

    Kellogg's Special K Sweet and Salty Popcorn Chips

    If you've ever polished off something savory only to reach for candy or cookies minutes later, this best-of-both-worlds pick is for you. "The corn-chip-meets-caramel-corn flavor is unexpected but totally delicious!" one staffer raved. (120 calories per 28)

  • Claire Benoist

    Archer Farms Spicy Six Grain Yellow Corn Tortilla Chips with Ancient Grains

    These triangles, made with protein-packed quinoa and amaranth, were the crunchiest of the bunch. "They're sturdy enough for chunky salsa but have a kick that makes them strong enough to stand alone," one tester said. (140 calories per 9)

  • Claire Benoist

    North Fork Rosemary & Garlic Potato Chips

    These deliver a "big, smoky taste" but about a third less fat than regular potato chips. "They're so flavorful, I don't think I could overeat them if I tried," a staffer said. (140 calories per 19)

  • Claire Benoist

    Food Should Taste Good Salt & Vinegar Sweet Potato Chips

    Sweet potatoes are packed with antioxidants, so it's no wonder a single serving of these "tart and tangy" crisps fulfills 150 percent of your daily vitamin A requirement. (150 calories per 14)

  • Claire Benoist

    SunChips 6 Grain Medley Creamy Roasted Garlic MultiGrain Snacks

    A rippled texture makes these perfect for scooping up dip, but with the cheddar, Parmesan, and Romano cheese in each chip, you may not need it. (140 calories per 15)

  • Claire Benoist

    Late July How Sweet Potato It Is Multigrain Snack Chips

    Testers liked that these hearty, not-too-salty chips "would pair perfectly with hummus or guac," while our nutritionists loved that they had the least sodium — just 65 milligrams — of any of our winners. (130 calories per 9)

  • Claire Benoist

    Orville Redenbacher's Classic Kettle Korn

    Popcorn is a whole grain, so this snack counts toward the three or more servings you should be eating daily. Bonus: Extra-fluffy kernels mean a pumped-up portion size. (140 calories per 2 1/2 cups)

    Originally published in FITNESS magazine, October 2012.