Since February is heart month, I wanted to round up a list of the best low sodium snacks to fuel your body but take it easy on your heart. While you can find an array of “low sodium” snacks, I’m an advocate for consuming as much wholesome foods as possible.
If you’re looking for a snack but want to be mindful of your salt intake, here is my list of the best heart-healthy foods for snacking.
1. Fruits and Veggies
You really can’t ever go wrong with reaching for a fruit or vegetable to satisfy a snack craving. Fruits and vegetables are loaded with nutrients our bodies need in the purest form.
When fresh fruits and veggies aren’t an option, dried fruit is an excellent snacking option – especially when you’re on the go, an easy snack for work, and doesn’t require refrigeration.
Dried fruit means it has simply been dehydrated, removing most of the water content, leaving you with a nutrient-dense snack. When fruit is dehydrated, the sugar is compacted in a smaller package.
Remember to always read food labels, and avoid dried fruit with added sugars.
You can also try dried vegetables. Yes – they exist! I love the dried kale chips from Fluffy Vegans!
The oats from granola can give you a punch of fiber and iron, and nuts and seeds can add a boost of heart-healthy unsaturated fats (the good fats!) and protein. But, like anything, not all granola is created equal.
Some granolas are loaded in added sugars and fillers, so make sure you read the nutrition label to ensure you are consuming the most wholesome nutrients as possible.
Here is a list of the top granola brands from Registered Dietitians:
1. Shady Lane Granola
2. Purely Elizabeth
3. Gustola Granola
4. Lark Ellen Farm Granola
3. Unsalted Nuts and Seeds
Nuts and seeds are rich in healthy fats called omega 3 fatty acids and can give you a brain boost when you’re hungry for a snack, and are great for work. Typically packed with unsaturated fats and protein, nuts like almonds and cashews are a great snacking option.
Sunflower seeds, chia seeds, and pumpkin seeds are all healthy choices as well, as long as they aren’t salted. And a little goes a long way. Just a handful or two at the most is all you need.
4. Whole Grains like Unsalted Popcorn
Air-popped popcorn is a popular snack that can satisfy your craving for something crunchy. Low in calories and high in fiber, unsalted popcorn can give you an energy boost with its carbohydrate content.
Popcorn is certainly a healthy snacking option as long as it isn’t loaded with butter, salt, or sugar.
5. Natural Peanut Butter
Like most nut butters, peanut butter is high in fat and calories, but you get a lot of heart healthy nutrition for just a two tablespoon serving. Nuts and nut butters are a great source of protein, fiber, vitamins, minerals, and phytochemicals.
When shopping for peanut butter, look for a natural-style product with little to no added fat, sugar, or salt. A serving of peanut butter can be a great snacking addition to apple slices, or channel your inner child and make ants on a log!
6. Nutrition Bars like LARABAR
Nutrition/granola bars are a popular packaged snacking option, since it’s easy to toss in a bag and eat on the go, or tuck away in your desk at work. Nutrition bars can be an excellent healthy food if you know what to look for.
I like LARABAR because they use simple and pure ingredients meant to fuel your body with good nutrients. Their bars include a gluten-free blend of fruits, nuts, and spices to give you a delicious snacking option that is heart healthy.
With a variety of flavors, you’re sure to find one the satisfies your tastes.
When thinking about heart health, it’s always best to look for whole foods that contain nothing but natural ingredients. Fresh is always best, but there are plenty of excellent low sodium snack foods out there if you know what to look for.
Hopefully this list gives you an idea of snacking options you can choose when being heart-health conscious.
Looking for a gift for someone with heart-healthy snacks? Our Heart Healthy box features healthy, nutritious, and low sodium foods to help nourish the body! Choose from a variety of sizes to fit your need.
Top 6 Best Low – Sodium Snacks + Links to Recipes!
1. The Very Best Granola by Cookie + Kate
2. Make Your Own Dried Fruit by PopSugar
3. 5-Minute Homemade Peanut Butter by Pinch of Yum
4. Olive Oil Popcorn by Food Network
5. Beet and Berry Smoothie by Blissful Basil
6. Chili and Rosemary Roasted Nuts by The Real Food Dietitians
Low – Sodium Snacks for Heart Health Infographic