7 Healthier Alternatives for Your Favorite Packaged Snacks

As convenient and delicious as packaged snacks may be, they’re the very definition of highly processed food. Often, best-selling favorites are made with enriched flour, high-fructose corn syrup, additives, and artificial flavors. And since they’re lacking any protein or fiber to keep us full, we typically eat far more than a recommended portion. There has to be a better way.

If you’re looking for healthy alternatives for your favorite snacks, these are some swaps you should make.

1. Oreos

chocolate sandwich cookies in a box

Chocolate sandwich cookies are an American favorite. | iStock.com

Since it’s easy to get lost in the world of snacking when eating Oreos, it’s easy to consume more than one serving at a time. If you’re looking for a healthy alternative for the beloved cookie sandwich, try Back to Nature’s Classic Crème Cookies. Although they’re also not exactly nutritious, they’re definitely the lesser of two evils. A serving of two cookies equals 130 calories, 6 grams of fat, 18 grams of carbohydrates, and 11 grams of sugar. Bear in mind, most of this difference has to do with a smaller portion. Still, they’re made with fewer ingredients and don’t contain any corn syrup or artificial flavorings.

2. Lay’s Classic Potato Chips

Pile of potato chips

Potato chips are very unhealthy. | iStock.com

Popchips makes a great alternative to the salty snack and gives you more chips per serving. While sodium, protein, and fiber remain relatively the same, one serving has fewer calories and much less fat than regular Lay’s. They come in a variety of flavors as well, so there’s a lot to choose from.

3. Doritos

Chips coming out of a bag

Doritos are delicious, but definitely unhealthy. | iStock.com

As a much healthier alternative to the cheesy chip, try any of Beanitos’s options. These chips are made out of the namesake legume, meaning each serving comes with protein, fiber, and antioxidants. The regular Nacho Cheese flavor is made with whole navy beans and non-GMO natural flavors, and is packed with 5 grams of fiber and protein each per serving. They’re also gluten-free.

4. Smartfood White Cheddar Cheese Popcorn

Popcorn in a bowl

Smartfood popcorn is super addicting. | iStock.com

Angie’s BoomChickaPop White Cheddar Popcorn is a slightly better option. While one serving of this white cheddar snack looks similar, with 150 calories, 3 grams of protein, and offers just an extra gram of fiber, you get an extra ¾ cup per portion. You’ll even save 10 calories.

5. Cheetos

Cheese puff snacks in a porcelain dish

We all know Cheetos are bad for us. | iStock.com/marilyna

If you crave the puffed snack, opt for another Beanitos product: Baked White Bean Mac n’ Cheese Crunch. A serving of 28 grams (the same as Cheetos), offers 140 calories, 8 grams of fat, 2 grams of fiber, and even 3 grams of protein. Not bad for a snack food.

6. Nature Valley Oats ‘n Honey Granola Bars

oat granola bars

These bars may seem healthy, but they’re not really. | iStock.com

A healthier option is an Oats & Honey with Toasted Coconut KIND Healthy Grains bar. This snack is made with a whole-grain blend that includes oats, buckwheat, and quinoa. It contains 150 calories, 5 grams of fat, and only 6 grams of sugar. If you need the energy and want to grab a snack bar, KIND is the better option.

7. Cheez-Its

bowl of cheese crackers

Skip the Cheez-Its and go for a better option. | iStock.com

A portion of Simple Mills Farmhouse Cheddar Crackers has slightly more calories, but offers 2 grams of fiber and only 180 milligrams of sodium. But what’s most important is these crunchy snacks are made with a blend of seeds and nuts, making them perfect for those avoiding grains. They’re still high in fat, though, so mind your portion size.