Snacks with no salt

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10 Low Salt Snacks for Your Mid-Afternoon Munchies

Posted by Team WCS on 02.04.2019

It’s mid-afternoon. You’ve already eaten lunch but dinner is still a few hours away, and you start to get hungry for a snack. What do you grab? Common convenient snack foods like chips, pretzels, and popcorn all have one thing in common: they are high in salt! Salt, known scientifically as sodium, is needed in your diet to regulate fluid balance, nerve function and muscle function. However, excess sodium intake can raise your blood pressure and increase your risk of developing heart disease, kidney disease and stroke. Substituting in low salt snacks is a great way to begin managing your intake.

The recommended daily intake for sodium is 2,300 mg per day, but the average American consumes much more, around 3,500 mg per day. Where does the extra sodium come from? According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 71% of Americans’ sodium intake comes from highly processed foods or restaurants. The high sodium content in highly processed snack foods (e.g. chips, crackers, salted trail mix, pretzels, popcorn, cookies) can really add up. While convenience foods are easy to grab, eating them regularly can negatively impact blood pressure and heart health.

Snacking with Less Sodium

If you could benefit from lowering your sodium intake, a good first step is replacing highly processed snacks with whole foods, like vegetables, fruits and whole grains, that are naturally low in sodium. This is an easy way to reduce your sodium intake, which can help to lower your blood pressure. These whole foods also contain fiber, which makes for a more satisfying snack that can better manage your hunger between meals. Plan ahead for that mid-afternoon hunger by packing simple, healthy, low salt snacks! Here are 10 ideas to get you started and inspired.

  1. Carrots and hummus
  2. Berries and Greek yogurt
  3. Peanut butter and banana
  4. Unsalted trail mix
  5. Air-popped popcorn
  6. Unsalted edamame (steamed or dry-roasted)
  7. Smoothies made with yogurt or nut butters
  8. Low sodium cheese with bell pepper slices
  9. Overnight oats
  10. Unsalted almonds with dark chocolate chips

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Team WCS

Wellness Corporate Solutions (WCS) is a leading provider of biometric screenings, health coaching, and comprehensive wellness programming. Our mission is to spread wellness in the workplace.

10 Plant-Based No Salt Snacks (You’ll Actually Want to Eat)

Quick Synopsis

Trying to kick your sodium intake but struggling when it comes to no salt snacks? Your snacking days aren’t over — not even close! We’ve rounded up some of our favorite no salt snacks to make your transition to a low sodium plant-based diet easier (and tasty).

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Tips for transitioning to a no salt plant-based diet

Before we start: a special GIFT for you

Here’s an exclusive ebook, The Ultimate Little Guide to Plant-based Eating, made just for readers of this post. Get it below.

Why no salt?

Actually, your body needs salt. But not all that much.

Sodium, a component of salt (AKA sodium chloride), helps us maintain fluid levels in the body. Thanks to sodium, we retain water when we need it and excrete it when we don’t. Athletes, for example, may need to replenish more sodium than less active folks.

But most of us are consuming way too much salt. The average American consumes 3,400 mg of salt daily; more than twice the American Heart Association’s daily allotment of 1500 mg.

What’s the problem with eating all this salt? Well, it’s taking a toll on our health.

Too much salt raises the amount of sodium in your bloodstream and makes it harder for your kidneys to regulate fluid. This extra fluid leads to higher blood pressure and strains the blood vessels leading to the kidneys, which can cause life-threatening conditions — most commonly heart disease and stroke.

The good news is, you can cut your salt intake drastically (and still easily get all the sodium your body needs) by eating a wide array of whole fruits and vegetables…and we’re here to help you get started with our 10 favorite no salt snacks.

10 of our favorite no salt snacks

Ok, you came for the snacks so let’s talk snacks! No salt snacking doesn’t have to be hard…or bland. Here are 10 of our favorite no salt snacks (all plant-based, of course!) to get you started.

1. Veggies and No Salt Hummus

Store-bought hummus can be high in sodium so be sure to read food labels. YOur safest bet for no salt hummus? Make your own! It’s super easy with this no-salt hummus recipe.

2. Apples and Peanut Butter Butter

Apples and peanut butter (or any nut butter, really) is a perfect no-salt snack for the kid at heart. Make sure you grab all-natural peanut butter with no added salt or oil — the ingredients should just say “ground peanuts.”

3. Fresh fruit

Speaking of apples, any and all fruits can be part of your no salt snack routine. Some of favorites to grab-and-go:

  • Clementines or oranges
  • Apples
  • Bananas
  • Fresh berries: blueberries, raspberries, strawberries
  • Pineapple chunks
  • Melon

4. Dates and Nut Butter

Another suggestion for those with a sweet tooth: Medjool dates have a naturally caramel-like flavor and when paired with peanut butter you’ve got one tasty nutrient-dense snack. We recommend pairing with your favorite tea for an afternoon treat.

5. Raw Nuts

A handful or two of your favorite raw nuts (cashews, almonds, walnuts — whatever floats your boat!) is a great snack to satisfy that need to crunch.

6. Smoothies

Smoothies aren’t just for breakfast! They make the perfect afternoon pick-me-up snack. Here are a few of our favorite smoothie recipes:

  • Creamy Green Smoothie
  • Chocolate Peanut Butter Shake
  • Dairy-Free Mango Smoothie

7. Popcorn with nutritional yeast

An absolute must for your no salt plant-based pantry, nutritional yeast has an umami taste that’s both nutty and cheesy — making it the perfect add-on to your bowl of popcorn.

8. No salt granola

The flagship “healthy eater” snack, there’s a reason granola’s a classic: it’s delicious! But store-bought versions are often loaded with added sugars and salt. Good news: MamaSezz makes a no salt granola, naturally sweetened with dates and topped with chia seeds for a satisfying crunch.

9. Chia pudding

Speaking of chia, overnight chia seed pudding is a great alternative to yogurt snacks. Bonus: Chia seeds are packed with omega-3 fatty acids which help reduce inflammation and can improve cognitive performance.

10. No-bake oatmeal cookies

Remember those no-bake cookies your mom made growing up? We gave them a vegan no salt makeover. 4 ingredients, no baking necessary. Here’s the no-bake oatmeal cookies recipe.

Help! I don’t like food without salt

A quick note as you embark on your salt-free journey: you may not love food without salt…at first.

Why? Your taste buds are most likely dulled from years of a high sodium standard American diet. When our taste buds are dulled like this, it’s harder to actually taste food, which then has us reaching for that salt shaker to add flavor — thus, keeping the cycle going.

But here’s the cool part: you can reset your taste buds and break the cycle. And it doesn’t take long at all — just a few weeks!

Tips for transitioning to a no salt plant-based diet

As you wait for your taste buds to reset, we’ve got some tips to help you stick with your no salt or low sodium lifestyle.

  • Get rid of your salt shaker! One teaspoon of table salt has over 2,300 mg of sodium — which is more salt than you need in a day. And 22% of us salt our food before we even taste it. We say scrap the salt shaker altogether so you’re not tempted to add more salt to your food when it really doesn’t need it.
  • Learn how to season without salt. Here are some of our favorite seasonings without salt.
  • Read nutrition labels. A quick and easy trick for understanding if something is high in sodium or not: ideally the sodium mg should be equal to or less than the number of calories per serving size. Here are more tricks for reading nutrition labels.
  • Avoid processed foods. 75% of our salt intake comes from packaged foods! Crazy, right? By cutting out processed foods you’ll set yourself up for no salt success.
  • Cook meals at home. Unfortunately, many restaurants use a ton of salt. 85 out of 102 meals at popular restaurant chains have more than a day’s worth of sodium. Try making meals at home (at least for the first few weeks of your transition).
  • Remember it may take a few weeks for your tastebuds to reset! Give yourself some grace during this transition.

Get No Salt dishes delivered to your door – ready-made with our S.O.S. Free (No Salt) Bundle!

Ready-made meals that give you steady powerful energy throughout your day without the salt, refined sugar, or oil.

Key Takeaways

  • Most Americans eat way too much salt!

  • Over-consumption of salt can lead to hypertension (and stroke), heart disease, type 2 diabetes, obesity.

  • A little bit of salt is necessary to balance fluid levels in the body…but you can get all you need just by eating a well-rounded whole food plant-based diet.

  • You can still get your snack on without salt!

  • Your taste buds may need a few weeks to adjust to life without salt – but once they do, you’ll be able to fully taste (and enjoy) your food again!

  • You can get ready-made salt-free dishes delivered by MamaSezz when you order the S.O.S. Free (No Salt) Bundle

Get your FREE Ultimate Little Guide to Plant-Based Eating

By Ali Brown

Ali is a nutrition and lifestyle writer and editor, with a Plant-Based Nutrition Certificate from the T. Colin Campbell Center for Nutrition Studies.

What you should do now

  1. We have been where you are and we’ve helped thousands of people (just like you) transition to eating a plant based diet. If you are looking for a guide that can help you with some of the big questions, and dramatically reduce your stress, this FREE Ultimate Little Guide to Plant-Based Eating is a great place to start.
  2. If you’d like to learn about plant-based living go to our Heartbeet Journal where you can read hundreds of “How To” articles. If you’d like to learn about plant-based cooking go to our Recipes Section for easy step by step favorites.
  3. If you’d like to work for us—or see why our team members love working for us—then contact us at [email protected] and tell us about yourself.
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12 Healthy Store-Bought Cracker Brands, According to Nutritionists

Crackers can seem so innocent. You crumble them into soup, nibble on them with ginger ale when you’re sick, or top ’em with cheese when sipping a little vino. But when it comes to wholesome ingredients and reasonable nutritional information, healthy crackers can seem nowhere in sight.

That’s because many store-bought crackers are made with refined grains, lack fiber, and are high in sodium. But that shouldn’t deter you from including these snacks in your diet.

“Crackers can be a great way to get a serving of whole grains into the diet,” says dietitian Jenna Appel, MS, RD, LDN, CPT, and owner of Appel Nutrition.

Plus, crackers can be a part of a healthy diet by encouraging you to eat other healthy foods as toppings, such as peanut butter, cheese, olives, smoked salmon, and hummus. Of course, with most nutrition advice, moderation is key: “Be mindful of your cracker toppings as what you consume with your crackers can lead to excess calorie, fat, or sodium consumption,” says Appel.

We know that finding healthy crackers in the snack aisle can be hit or miss. Which is why we asked dietitian nutritionists for their advice on how they pick the healthiest crackers.

How to choose healthy crackers.

When buying crackers, there are a few things you need to consider to ensure you’re buying the best.

  • Make sure “whole grain” is the first ingredient: “You want to make sure that they are 100% whole grain crackers. The first ingredient should be 100% whole grain flour,” says registered dietitian Amanda A. Kostro Miller, RD, LDN, who serves on the advisory board for Smart Healthy Living.
  • Look for crackers with at least 3 grams of fiber. “Another thing to strive for in a healthy cracker is fiber. Look on the nutrition label of your crackers. Strive to search for crackers that have the most fiber compared to other brands. Some of the crackers in the grocery store may only have 3 grams per serving,” Kostro Miller says.
  • Beware of high sodium levels. “When possible, try to choose crackers that have less sodium, because controlling your sodium intake is important for everyone,” Kostro Miller says.
  • There should be little or no added sugar. Most Americans are already consuming a high-sugar diet. You want to make sure that savory crackers aren’t taking on to your daily limit of added sugar. “A little added honey is alright, but it’s usually best to avoid high fructose corn syrup or crackers with more than one type of sugar. If you’re looking for a healthy cracker choice, keep the added sugar in check: no more than 1-2 grams of sugar per serving is best,” says dietitian Caitlin Self, MS, CNS, LDN.

The 12 healthiest store-bought crackers you can buy.

This list of healthy crackers will help you decipher which of the biggest players to choose from when you’re at your grocery store.

1. Best Overall: Nabisco Triscuit Baked Whole Grain Wheat Original

6 crackers, 28 g: 120 calories, 4 g fat (0 g saturated fat), 180 mg sodium, 20 g carbs (3 g fiber, 0 g sugar), 3 g protein

You can’t beat the purity of this recipe: whole wheat, oil, and salt. Period. It’s what led to many dietitians recommending Triscuit as one of the healthiest crackers you can buy. “I recommend Triscuit crackers because they offer lots of different bold flavors,” says Kostro Miller. “Even their flavored crackers like the cracked pepper and olive oil only has 140 milligrams of sodium per serving. Their other flavors as well are very satisfying, and whole-grain wheat tends to be the first ingredient!”

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2. Best Seeded: Mary’s Gone Crackers

12 crackers, 30g: 150 calories, 7 g fat (1 g saturated fat), 220 mg sodium, 18 g carbs (3 g fiber, 0 g sugar), 3 g protein

For a crispbread-like texture in cracker form, Mary’s Gone Crackers are a classic. You’ll almost always see Mary’s Gone Crackers on lists of the healthiest crackers because they taste great, are made with simple ingredients, and check a lot of dietary boxes: gluten-free, organic, vegan, and non-GMO. Dietitian Rachel Fine, MS, RD, CSSD, CDN, owner of To The Pointe Nutrition says these crackers “are another favorite high-fiber option with a mix of fibrous grains and seeds.”

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3. Best for Weight Loss: GG Scandinavian Fiber Crispbread, Oat Bran

1 crispbread, 8 g: 30 calories, 0 g fat (0 g saturated fat), 0 mg sodium, 6 g carbs (4 g fiber, 0 g sugar), 1 g protein

When registered dietitian Brocha Soloff, BS, RD, CDN of iHeartHealth is looking for healthy crackers, she looks for the least ingredients, lowest net carb, and highest fiber: a triple threat for weight loss. Her favorite cracker for health and weight management is this one from Norwegian crispbread company, GG’s. Snack on two of these crispbreads and you’ll get a third of your daily value of fiber in! This Scandinavian snack packs in zero sodium and just two nutrient-dense ingredients—wheat bran and oat bran—for a truly wholesome eat. “Crackers can and should be part of a healthy diet. In fact, they’re better than most bread for weight management,” Soloff says.

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4. Best Tasting: Back to Nature Spinach & Roasted Garlic Crackers

20 crackers, 30 g: 130 calories, 4 g fat (0 g saturated fat), 190 mg sodium, 22 g carbs (2 g fiber, 1 g sugar), 2 g protein

The first two ingredients here are unbleached wheat flour and whole-grain wheat flour. Plus, there’s actually dried spinach in here, which helps boost your iron levels.

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5. Best Gluten-Free: CrunchMaster Multi-Grain Sea Salt

16 crackers, 20 g: 120 calories, 3 g fat (0 g saturated fat), 140 mg sodium, 24 g carbs (3 g fiber, 1 g sugar), 2 g protein

This pick packs in a whole lot of crunch and wholesome ingredients. It’s baked with brown rice flour, oat fiber, sesame seeds, quinoa, millet, and flaxseed. And if you’re looking for a cracker to munch on instead of chips, Crunchmaster makes a great option. “If you’re looking to do some snacking for the purpose of snacking, are great options because they’re low calorie so you can eat more of them. Plus the texture is so crisp it feels satisfying to chomp down on these!” says Lindsey Herr, RDN, LDN, of Your Dietitian Friend.

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6. Best Low-Carb: Cali’Flour FoodsCauliflower Thins, Classic

6 crackers, 14 g: 90 calories, 7 g fat (1 g saturated fat), 50 mg sodium, 2 g carbs (2 g fiber, 0 g sugar), 5 g protein

If you’re on a low-carb or keto diet, these cauliflower-based crackers are your best bet. They’re low in sodium and get their protein punch from almonds and egg whites.

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7. Best Made-with-Veggies: From The Ground Up Cauliflower Crackers

40 crackers, 28 g: 100 calories, 2.5 g fat (1 g saturated fat), 280 mg sodium, 18 g carbs (2 g fiber, 2 g sugar), 2 g protein

These babies are baked with cauliflower flour, lentil flour, and a veggie blend. One serving packs in 10 percent of your daily value of vitamins A, E, B6, B1 D, and C.

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8. Best Paleo Cracker: Simple Mills Rosemary & Sea Salt Almond Flour Crackers

17 crackers, 30 g: 150 calories, 8 g fat (0.5 g saturated fat), 180 mg sodium, 17 g carbs (2 g fiber, <1 g sugar), 3 g protein

The first ingredient in this gluten-free box is a nut and seed flour blend concocted with almonds, sunflower seeds, and flax seeds—so you know a big chunk of the eight grams of fat in each serving comes from heart-healthy omega-3s and vitamin E. “Simple Mills crackers are a great option for those with allergies as they are made with almond flour, rather than wheat flour,” says Fine.

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9. Best Multi-Grain: Ozery Bakery Lavash Crackers, Multi-Grain and Seeds

per 4 crackers, 26 g: 90 calories, 3 g fat (0.4 g saturated fat), 110 mg sodium, 13 g carbs (2 g fiber, 2 g sugar), 3 g protein

The cracked wheat, rye, flax seeds, millet meal, and other whole grains and seeds make this hearty cracker a solid source of fiber and protein. We like that Ozery Bakery keeps the sugar and sodium contents low. Pair it with your favorite hummus for a mid-afternoon pick-me-up.

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10. Best High-Fiber Cracker: Wasa Crispbread Fiber

2 crispbreads, 20 g: : 60 calories, 1 g fat (0 g saturated fat), 90 mg sodium, 14 g carbs (5 g fiber, 0 g sugar), 3 g protein

“These crackers are low in calories and pack in a good amount of dietary fiber to keep you feeling full. Due to the size and shape of these crackers, you can use them as an alternative to bread giving you a satisfying crunch!” says Appel. The wheat germ, bran, and whole-grain rye in these crackers really amp up the fiber content here, while the sesame seeds add in healthy fat. While Wasa is our favorite high-fiber cracker, it can also be used for weight loss. Soloff also recommends Wasa for clients who don’t like the graininess of GG’s.

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11. Best for Kids: Annie’s Whole Wheat Bunnies

51 pieces, 30 g: 140 calories, 6 g fat (0.5 g saturated fat), 250 mg sodium, 19 g carbs (2 g fiber, 0 g sugar), 3 g protein

If you’re looking for a healthy cracker for kids, Annie’s has your answer. “Annie’s Whole Wheat Bunnies are excellent whole grain snacks for kids. I give them to my 5-year-old son. They taste great and packed with nutrients and fiber!” says registered dietitian nutritionist Sandra Murray Gultry, MS, RDN, LDN, CSOWM and owner of It’s All About Choices. This wholesome Annie’s pick packs in organic whole wheat flour, sunflower oil, and a bit of real cheddar for a subtle flavor. You’ll find zero artificial preservatives in this box.

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12. Best Gourmet: Rustic Bakery Handmade Sourdough Flatbread

1 ounce (28 g): 80 calories, 2 g fat (0.5 g saturated fat), 200 mg sodium, 14 g carbs (0 g fiber, 1 g sugar), 2 g protein

Although it doesn’t meet our fiber requirements, Rustic Bakery is a dietitian-approved cracker when you’re whipping up a fancy cheese plate. “Hands down the best store-bought crackers are from Rustic Bakery. The sourdough option is my favorite because the baking involves fermentation, which attracts yeast and bacteria. These live organisms digest the complex starches in the dough. The length of time that the dough ferments is directly related to the break-down of gluten in a process called hydrolysis,” says Laura Lagano, MD, RDN, CDN, integrative & functional nutritionist with an in-person & virtual private practice. Lagano notes that fermented crackers like this can be helpful for people who are sensitive to gluten, but they’re still not best for individuals with Celiac disease.

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The worst crackers for your health.

Most of the crackers that didn’t meet our healthy cracker criteria fell on the worst list because they’re made with refined grains, lack fiber, are high in sodium, or contain added sugars.

1. Worst: Nabisco Wheat Thins Original

PER 16 CRACKERS, 31 G: 140 calories, 5 g fat (0 g saturated fat), 230 mg sodium, 22 g carbs (3 g fiber, 5 g sugar), 2 g protein

Wheat Thins contain a decent fiber and protein content, but the five grams of sugar per serving is simply unnecessary.

RELATED: 150+ recipe ideas that get you lean for life.

2. Worst: Carr’s Table Water Crackers

4 crackers, 14 g: 60 calories, 1 g fat (0 g saturated), 80 mg sodium, 10 g carbs (<1 g fiber, 0 g sugar), 1 g protein

White crackers don’t have much nutritional value, it’s true, but plain crackers are a lifesaver for when you’re sick or just want something to pair a slice of Swiss with.

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3. Worst: Keebler Club Crackers, Original

PER 4 PIECES: 70 calories, 3 g fat (0 g saturated fat), 125 mg sodium, 9 g carbs (0 g fiber, 1 g sugar), 0 g protein

Definitely plain, but not so great. These Keebler Club Crackers pack in sugar and salt without any fiber or protein.

4. Worst: Ritz Roasted Vegetable

PER 5 CRACKERS, 16 G: 80 calories, 3 g fat (1 g saturated fat), 150 mg sodium, 10 g carbs (0 g fiber, 1 g sugar), 1 g protein

While this recipe contains dehydrated vegetables, the main ingredient is still refined flour. Plus, it packs in hydrogenated oils and high-fructose corn syrup, one of the unhealthiest foods on the planet.

5. Worst: Ritz Bits, Cheese

PER 13 PIECES, 31 G: 160 calories, 9 g fat (3 g saturated fat), 160 mg sodium, 18 g carbs (0 g fiber, 4 g sugar), 2 g protein

Soiled with sugar and partially hydrogenated cottonseed oil—you can definitely find a better cracker to nosh on.

6. Worst: Cheez-It Original

PER 27 CRACKERS, 30 G: 150 calories, 8 g fat (2 g saturated fat), 230 mg sodium, 17 g carbs (<1 g fiber, 0 g sugar), 3 g protein

Cheez-Its’ lack of fiber won’t prevent your hunger from soaring minutes after you nosh on these savory bits.

7. Worst: Keebler Club Crackers, Multigrain

PER 4 CRACKERS, 14 G: 60 calories, 2.5 g fat (0 g saturated fat), 140 mg sodium, 10 g carbs (0 g fiber, 2 g sugar), <1 g protein

While it’s marketed as a plain, multi-grain cracker, you’ll find more sugar than fiber in this deceitful pick.

8. Worst: Keebler Town House Flatbread Crisps Sea Salt & Olive Oil

PER 8 CRACKERS, 15 G: 70 calories, 2 g fat (0 g saturated fat), 140 mg sodium, 11 g carbs (<1 g fiber, <1 g sugar), 1 g protein

The 4 grams of fat here come from inflammatory soybean oil. Hard pass.

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Jess Goldman Foung is the author of “Low-So Good: A Guide to Real Food, Big Flavor, and Less Sodium with 70 Amazing Recipes.” Here, she shares her tips on how to set yourself up for low-sodium success.

salt, pepper, sodium, health, msnbc stock photographyfeaturepics.com

A successful low-sodium diet starts with skipping high-sodium prepared or processed ingredients, and cooking meals at home. But that doesn’t mean low-sodium food needs to be laborious or time consuming. If you stock your pantry right, you can avoid sneaky sodium contributors while keeping your meal-prep just as quick and convenient as takeout –not to mention healthier and more flavorful.

Beans, no salt added

Garbanzo, black, pinto, kidney, and cannellini — these days, markets carry a wide array of no-salt-added, ready-to-eat canned beans. Keep a few on hand and with a pop of a lid, you can easily add bulk to salads, soups, and pastas. Use them on meatless Mondays to make homemade veggie burgers or stuffed peppers and zucchini boats. Whip them into a dip. Or spice, oil, and bake garbanzo beans for a guest-ready, happy hour (or anytime!) snack.

Tomato sauce, no salt added

Igor Dutina

Having a few cans of no-salt-added chopped tomatoes or tomato sauce will open up a world of quick dinner options. This low-so pantry item let’s you skip the process of roasting or stewing tomatoes on your own, and will add a rich tomato taste to meals when the fruit is out of season. Simply add your own salt-free spices and herbs, or look for products with added flavors like “fire roasted” and “basil.” Then use the tomatoes as a base for quick salsas or meaty Bolognese, add to curries for a boost of umami, or use them to make a big batch of shakshuka or eggs in purgatory for breakfast, dinner, and last-minute Sunday brunches.

Pureed squash and pumpkin, no salt added

This pantry product is a must, whether you are on a low-sodium diet or just trying to get more vegetables into your family meals. A can of pureed squash or pumpkin makes a flavorful addition to (or stand-in for!) traditional tomato-based pasta sauces. Mix with a little ricotta or yogurt for a quick and healthy dip or spread. And use it to add thickness to stews and chilis. But best of all, with a little doctoring, pureed squash and pumpkin makes a great low-sodium swap for macaroni and cheese, in look and texture. Mix with traditional macaroni spices like mace, nutmeg, and allspice and some low-sodium Swiss, depending on health needs. Add the sauce to noodles, top with nut breadcrumbs (see below!), and dig into this healthy treat.

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Noodles and grains

Ancient grains and healthy organic edible seeds in round stainless steel containers

With an array of different noodles on hand — from no-cook lasagna to ramen — you can whip up anything from baked pasta casseroles to pad Thai. And the same rings true for grains. Use bulk bins to buy a range of varieties beyond rice, like couscous, quinoa, kamut, freekeh, and oats. Each type provides a different texture and flavor, which will help keep repeat meals (beef and broccoli!) fresh and interesting throughout the week. And don’t forget to use noodles and grains to perk up that a.m. routine. Top with a fried egg, sautéed spinach, and Greek yogurt for a savory breakfast twist.

Maya Visnyei

Salmon Rice Bowl

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Chickpea flour

Chick Pea flour in a wooden bowl and scoop; ID 280386014; PO: today-food / Oksana Shufrych

Of course, it is best to always have all-purpose and wheat flour on hand. But for quick meals, make sure you save room for chickpea flour, too. Made from the ground garbanzo bean, chickpea flour can stand in as a low-sodium and gluten-free binder for meatballs and fish cakes. Even better, when combined with water, the flour forms a batter that can be baked into a pizza-like crust. You can make low-sodium pizza in less than ten minutes, especially if you keep canned tomatoes or pureed vegetables on hand. Once baked, you can also cut the chickpea flour tart into triangles and use like crackers for spreads and dips; into cubes to use like croutons in salads or soups; and into large squares for open faced, no-bread sandwiches.

Unsalted nuts and seeds

Hunger will strike. So keep nuts and seeds on hand to make a quick trail mix. Or blend to make your own nut butters and bring to work with apples to satisfy post-lunch cravings. But remember, nuts and seeds can do more than sandwich and snack; they can also stand-in for other high-sodium contributors, like cheese, prepared sauces, and breads. Blend creamy cashews or pine nuts with cauliflower to make a ricotta-like spread. Mix almonds with herbs and greens for a low-sodium, homemade pesto. And crumble toasted walnuts to make a no-bread breadcrumb, which can be sprinkled on top of casseroles and pastas and salads.

Rice crackers, unsalted

Ditch the sodium while keeping that avocado toast routine by using rice crackers in place of high-sodium bread. And don’t forget to save all those rice cracker crumbs at the bottom of the bag. They make a perfect addition to your nut and seed trail mix. They add extra texture as a topping for soups or a morning bowl of yogurt. And when crumbled to a fine powder, they make a great, rice-based coating for popcorn shrimp or fish sticks.

Nori, no salt added

Nori sheets with sticks on the wood background

These days, sushi seaweed can be found in the aisles of almost every supermarket. Which means you can make your own low-sodium sushi at home. But you can also use the sheets to add extra umami, “sea” flavor to your meals. Cut the sheets into thin, confetti like strips and add to egg drop soups, kale and cabbage salads, or even guacamole. Mix with sesame seeds to make your own furikake spice to sprinkle over rice. And best of all, use them as low-sodium replacement for higher-sodium sandwich wraps. Simply fill nori sheets with sticky rice, an avocado or tahini spread, and lots of thinly sliced vegetables and ready-to-eat proteins (like leftover chicken, firm tofu sticks, or low-sodium turkey). Then roll, pack, and enjoy nori rolls while on-the-go.

Molasses and jam

Whether you want the fermented, umami taste of teriyaki sauce or a thick glaze for ribs, these two staples will create quick and flavorful sauces and marinades, with little to no sodium. Add rice wine vinegar and fresh ginger for an Asian-inspired flavor, or smoked paprika, cumin, and honey for a BBQ-ready sauce.

Coconut flakes, unsweetened

Both ready-to-use breadcrumbs and pie crusts can amount to a lot of extra sodium. And while you can make both from scratch, without any salt or baking powder and baking soda, coconut flakes make a simple, stand-in; no utensils, baking, or chilling time required. Use coconut flakes in place of seasoned breading for dishes like pork tonkatsu, tropical fish sticks, or fried shrimp. Or, for something sweet, mix with eggs and bake in bowl shapes to form a coconut-based tart crusts. Then fill with custard, chocolate mousse, or simple whipped cream and berries.

Coconut milk

Coconut vegan milk non dairy in different bottles with copy space

Cow, nut, or hemp — most milks and milk alternatives will contribute over 100mg of sodium per cup to your morning drinks and daily meals. Coconut milk, though, often has less than 15mg of sodium per serving and can be found in both canned and carton form. Talk about convenient! Keep some on hand and add a creamy taste to soups and curries, pasta sauces, creamed spinach and corn, and of course, that morning bowl of oatmeal and cup of joe.

Ray Kachatorian

Coconut Almond Chicken

Laura Prepon

Tea

Cup with green tea on grey wooden background

Having a spectrum of no-salt spices on hand will turn even the simplest meals (rice bowls) into something special (curry rice bowls!). But don’t forget this one secret ingredient: tea! Whether it’s sweet and spice chai, grassy matcha, or earthy genmaicha, tea adds a lot of interesting and unexpected flavors to food. Mix tea into cookies doughs and berry pies. Use in savory rubs for lamb, chicken, and fish. Mix into an herb-based tabbouleh or leafy salad, and use in place of high-sodium instant broth for a DIY microwave noodle soup that you can take and make at work.

#StartTODAY: How to reduce the sodium in your diet

Jan. 25, 201604:02

The Best Healthy Crackers to Buy at the Store

Crackers are a classic snack food, dip scooper-upper and pantry staple. Many of our favorite cheeses just wouldn’t be the same without them. But when you’re trying to pick out healthy crackers, some boxes leave much to be desired.

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We left less-healthy options in the cracker aisle and crunched through 20 nutritious finalists to find the best-tasting and healthiest crackers for cheese, plus these smart shopping tips and numbers to look for.

Must Read: 5 Reasons Cheese Is Actually Good for Your Health

Kashi 7 Grain Sea Salt

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Meet your ultimate crowd-pleaser: this versatile cracker has a subtle, wheaty taste and great crunch. Pair it with: Any cheese. We liked havarti.

Triscuit Thin Crisps Original

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Classic Triscuit taste, but half as thick for the perfect cracker-to-topping ratio. Pair it with: Hard cheeses, like Cheddar.

Finn Crisp Original

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Thin and crunchy with a sourdough bite, this cracker has the most fiber of our picks. A whopping 6 grams! Pair it with: Tangy cheeses, like goat.

Ryvita Sesame Rye Crispbread

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Related: Cheese Appetizer Recipes

Crunchmaster Multi-Grain Sea Salt

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Gluten-free and deliciously salty with a touch of buttery sweetness, this cracker begs for something mellow. Pair it with: Brie.

Read more: How to Build the Perfect Cheese Board

How to Buy Healthy Crackers

Consider this healthy shopping tips the next time you’re strolling down the cracker aisle.

Eye the Serving Size

Most boxed crackers have a serving size of about 30 grams—which can mean you get anywhere from one to 40 crackers, depending on how big they are. But we did find some as low as 11 grams. And a smaller portion like this may trick you into thinking you’re choosing a low-calorie or low-sodium option, but only because you’re getting less food. Since most crackers don’t break the calorie bank-all our picks are under 140-you have room to put something yummy on them. (Most cheeses have around 100 calories per ounce, and we recommend keeping apps to 250 calories.)

Watch Sodium & Sugar

We spotted some varieties as high as 250 mg of sodium per serving—10 percent of your daily recommended intake. Add cheese (Cheddar has 185 mg per ounce) and you’re at nearly 20 percent. We say: go for 180 mg sodium or less. Read labels for sugar too. Do you really need a sweet cracker? Aim to keep it under 2 g.

Go Whole Grain

You know to check the fiber (we set our parameter at a minimum of 3 g), but also look at the ingredients to make sure your cracker is made with whole grains. We like to get products that list them first, but if you want a cracker with a more neutral taste, opt for one that blends whole-and refined-grain flours. To find a gluten-free variety that fits within our fiber recommendations, seek out products made with nuts, seeds and gluten-free whole grains.

Numbers to Look For

Sodium: <180mg

Fiber: >3g

Sugar: <2g

Related: Best Crackers for Diabetes

WATCH: Buy or DIY? Watch how to make your own Multi-Seeded Crackers

Just like a sweet tooth craving that has you seeking out all the dark chocolate in the office, a yearning for something salty can be pretty hard to shake. Yet salt doesn’t have the greatest reputation health-wise (bloating! high blood pressure!). Isn’t it better to just avoid it?

Not so, says registered dietitian Jenna Gorham, RD. “Our bodies do need some salt, but too much sodium can lead to high blood pressure,” she says. The key, she explains, is making sure you don’t go over the recommended sodium intake (1,500 milligrams a day, according to the American Heart Association) and choose snacks that have other nutritional benefits. “Include a source of protein, healthy fat, or fiber,” Gorham says. “These nutrients will help fill you up and keep you full until your next meal.”

With that in mind, rounded up here are 10 salty snacks that are actually healthy. All of them are super easy to make and portable, so you can throw a couple handfuls in a Ziplock bag and take to work—or wherever you tend to crave something a little salty. Keep reading for the full list.

Scroll down for 10 healthy salty snack ideas.

Photo: Brendid

1. Homemade cheese crackers

Salty, crunchy, cheesy…this simple snack checks off so many boxes. Unlike most of the cheese crackers you’ll find at the grocery store, this one from Brendid is completely free of additives, preservatives, or any weird ingredients. Oh, and as for the salt: the recipe calls for a teaspoon, which doesn’t sound like much, but you’ll find that it’s enough to satisfy that craving—especially coupled with the cheese.

Photo: A Spicy Perspective

2. Baked carrot chips

Keeping with Gorham’s advice, this snack from A Spicy Perspective involves adding a little salt (one teaspoon) to something that’s inherently healthy: carrots. The recipe also calls for anti-inflammatory spices cumin and cinnamon to add a bit of depth to the flavor.

Photo: Don’t Waste The Crumbs

3. Sweet-salty energy bites

Get you a snack that does both: This recipe will satisfy your hankering for something salty while simultaneously powering your workout. Made with peanut butter, oats, and milled flaxseed, they’re packed with protein. Wondering where the salt comes in? Ground up pretzels, which adds a satisfying crunch to each creamy bite.

Photo: Love and Zest

4. Sweet and salty trail mix

It’s the perfect balance of sweet and salty that make trail mix a classic snack. Salted peanuts and salted almonds are still included in this dietitian-approved recipe to hit the salty notes, and raisins, cinnamon, and coconut flakes are all included for sweetness. You can include chocolate chips too, just go for dark chocolate.

Photo: Creative Healthy Family

5. Sweet and salty roasted chickpeas

Get some good protein with your salty snack by roasting spiced-up chickpeas in the oven for half an hour. Besides salt, this recipe calls for cinnamon and a touch of maple syrup, so it works to quell a sweet tooth, too.

Photo: A Sweet Pea Chef

6. Sea salt popcorn

This recipe ditches the microwave and calls for popcorn kernels, sea salt, Parmesan cheese, coconut oil, olive oil, and parsley. It’s a step beyond just your basic kernels-and-salt recipe, and the taste is more elevated, too.

Photo: Sinful Nutrition

7. Savory hummus no-bake energy bites

The winning combo of salt and chickpeas strike again, only this time, instead of being roasted, the legumes are blended up and transformed into creamy hummus…and then turned into energy balls. If you find that the dash of salt in the recipe isn’t enough to satisfy your craving, opt for salted seeds when making your bites to get a bit more.

Photo: The Spruce Eats

8. Baked potato chips

If you really want some potato chips and nothing else will do, this recipe is for you. Made with just potatoes, olive oil, and salt, it still has everything you want from a classic potato chip.

Photo: Lemon and Basil

9. Salted roasted green peas

These little salted peas are the perfected savory, crunchy snack. Pro tip: cooking them in coconut oil adds just a touch of sweetness that your tastebuds will love.

Photo: Two Peas In Their Pod

10. Homemade pita chips

Three ingredients and 15 minutes are all you need to make a batch of these salted pita chips. Just grab some hummus and you’re good to go.

For more healthy recipe inspo, check out these 15-minute dinner recipes and these beginner Instant Pot recipes.

Cross N Country – Low Sodium Trail Mix

Low sodium snacks are always on the top of the list of questions I receive from all of you. Snacks good for road trips or just for having during the day to keep energy up in between meals. Snacks are a dangerous area as many are laden with salt and can wreck your milligram count for the day. That is why I wanted to share this low sodium trail mix with you.

Low Sodium Snack Choices

Good ole raisins and peanuts (GORP) is what we called trail mix when growing up. It truly was a way to make raisins into an exciting snack. It was a “healthy” snack according to mom. We didn’t care. It was a way to get peanuts and M&M’s! My brother used to pick out the raisins just to get to the peanuts and chocolate faster.

The great thing about this snack is that a low sodium trail mix can be made easily at home. You just need to mix up equal parts of raisins, unsalted roasted peanuts, and M&M’s. I like to mix it up and occasionally use other dried fruits like apricots and tart cherries (which help with gout). I will also add low sodium cereal, unsalted almonds, and other unsalted nuts. You can also go with Reese’s Pieces or flavored chocolate chips. It can be up to your imagination.

Cross N Country – Low Sodium Trail Mix Review

So, even though I just showed you it can be easily made, I know there are still many of you who will just prefer to grab a low sodium trail mix up from the store. If you do, then this is a good choice. Even though they are not the name brand M&M’s included, the chocolate tastes very similar. This is more important than you think, often the chocolate is an imitation, or Carib. I don’t know about you, but I could never get used to Carib as chocolate. It just didn’t taste right.

These snack mixes from Good Sense have many different blends, and they are always fresh. I like their unsalted sesame and pumpkin seeds as a snack and a salad topping. Let me know in the comments what you put in your trail mix!

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With the holiday coming up, I wanted to share this Heart Healthy Trail Mix that is a great low sodium summer snack. As some of you know from reading my post about my dad’s health scare, my parents have become more conscious about the sodium in their diets. The average amount of salt an adult consumes each day is around 3,400mg. The American Heart Association recommends an ideal limit of no more than 1,500mg per day.

More than 75 percent of the sodium Americans eat comes from some processed, prepackaged and restaurant foods – not from the salt shaker.

Most of the pre-made trail mixes have a ton of added salt, sugar and preservatives in them that to me is no-bueno.

As a reference, approximate amounts of sodium in a given amount of table salt:

  • 1/4 teaspoon salt = 575 mg sodium
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt = 1,150 mg sodium
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt = 1,725 mg sodium
  • 1 teaspoon salt = 2,300 mg sodium

Cutting back on salt

In my personal experience, I used to love salt. After realizing how much it affects our cardiovascular system and water retention in our bodies, I decided to cut back. I went through a couple weeks where I was craving salty things because my pallet was used to it. However, after I got past the initial month or so, I tried a salted pretzel and holy moly was it SAL-TY. My palate almost ‘reset’ itself to recognize how much sodium is in food again. Where I work, I see this almost every day. Some people may think the hospital food is too salty, where others think it’s bland. Lifestyle and what you are used to plays a huge role.

This is my challenge for you. Look at the food you or your family eats, is it too salty? Do you use table salt? Try cutting back for a 2 weeks and see how you feel, see how it effects your palate and your waistline.

This Heart Healthy Trail Mix can be easily portioned out into fifteen servings. It contains no sodium and the only sugars are natural that come from the fruit and no preservatives. Nothing gives me more satisfaction of when I look at a food label and see ingredients I can pronounce and that I’m familiar with.

Time for the ingredient breakdown:

  • Almonds, walnuts and pecans : Its no surprise these nuts are high in antioxidants and have cholesterol-lowering effects on the body. In this study, subjects who ate nuts at least 4x a week showed a 37% reduced risk of coronary heart disease compared to those who never eat nuts. Each additional serving of nuts per week was associated with a 8% reduced risk of coronary heart disease.
  • Pepitas: Aka pumpkin seeds. These little guys are full of minerals phosphorus and magnesium. They are also a good source of zinc and iron.
  • Dried cherries: A powerful antioxidant. I once had a presentation from the registered dietitian for the Red Wings and she said that they all drink cherry extract after each game to help repair any damage done to their tissues/muscles during the game.
  • Dried apples: Make sure to look for dried fruit without sugar added! Dried apples provide a nice taste while giving an extra kick of fiber.
  • Mini dark chocolate chips: lower in sugar and higher in antioxidants than any other chocolate. I like to use mini because then you know you will get a little piece of chocolate in every bite.

Nothing beats making a batch of trail mix, throwing it in the car and hitting the road. Trail mix also makes for a great pick-me-up that satisfies that afternoon craving for sweet and satisfying.

How many of you like trail mix? What’s your favorite mixture? I want to know, share below!

Don’t forget to ‘Pin it’ for later and follow Meals with Maggie on Pinterest!

Description

This Heart Healthy Trail mix makes about 15 servings, is low in sodium and high in antioxidants! Great for snacks or a road trip. | Mealswithmaggie.com #hearthealthy #lowsodium #mealsprep #trailmix #healthytrailmix #pepitas #almonds #mixednuts

Scale 1x2x3x

Ingredients

  • 1 cup almonds (optional to roast them first)
  • 3/4 cup pecan pieces
  • 3/4 cup dried apples
  • 1/2 cup pepitas (( shelled pumpkin seeds) )
  • 1/2 cup crumbled walnuts (( chopped or walnut pieces would work too) )
  • 1/2 cup dried cherries
  • 1/4 cup mini dark chocolate chips

Instructions

  1. Combine all ingredients in a large bowl and mix.
  2. Store in airtight container. Mason jars work well or individually bag them for pre-portioned out snacks for on-the-go.
  3. 1 portion = 1/4 cup

Notes

If you wanted to roast your almonds- place on single layer baking sheet and cook at 350 for 5 minutes. Remove- stir them around then place back in the oven for about 3 minutes. Be careful- they can burn very easily.

Keywords: heart healthy trail mix

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Let’s be real, we all snack. And actually, snacking isn’t “bad” for you if you do it in moderation and make healthy choices. Try these tips to do both!

Yes, we all have long days at work where we start craving something sweet or need something salty to help us snap out of the workday lull, but if you’re smart about how you snack you’ll feel, and maybe even look, better. And who doesn’t want that?

As boring as “healthy snacks” might sound, you’d be surprised at just how tasty they are, all the new things you’ll get to try, and how easy they are to tote around with you on the go. (Seriously, they fit in your laptop bag, purse, workout bag or backpack just as easily as the prepackaged stuff.)

So, let’s toss the excuses aside and run through some of the healthy, nutritious items that you should be adding to the top of your grocery list.

First: Munchies that crunch.

So we’re talking about:

  • Apples and pears
  • Carrot and celery sticks
  • Bell pepper slices
  • Zucchini or cucumber circles (Sounds fancy, huh?)
  • Roasted chickpeas
  • Broccoli and cauliflower florets
  • Popcorn (It’s a whole grain! Who knew?)
  • Rice cakes and whole-grain crackers
  • Nuts and seeds (Hit those good fats!)

Second: Rethink your drink.

Ditch your high-sugar go-to and try:

  • Plain or sparkling water (Not glam enough? Add some fruit and herbs to it!)
  • Fat-free milk or plain soymilk
  • Unsweetened tea or coffee
  • 100% fruit juice (Stick to a small glass)
  • Low-sodium tomato or mixed vegetable juice

Third: Snacks that satisfy.

Guaranteed to fill you right up:

  • Whole-grain toast with peanut or almond butter
  • Cherry tomatoes with hummus
  • Low-fat or fat-free cheese
  • Plain low-fat or fat-free yogurt (An awesome pairing with fruit!)
  • Fruit and veggie smoothie
  • Whole-grain crackers with canned tuna or salmon

And finally (drumroll please): Snacks to curb your sweet tooth.

Give these a try:

  • Canned fruit (in natural juice or light syrup)
  • Thin slice of angel food cake or homemade banana-nut bread
  • Baked apple
  • Raisins, dates, figs and other unsweetened dried fruits
  • Frozen banana
  • Frozen grapes
  • Fresh fruit salad (Use your imagination and get creative when choosing fruits)

We’d be slacking if we didn’t remind you to check out the nutrition label and choose wisely when shopping. Watch for added sugars and salt, and try making healthier versions of packaged snacks at home so you can choose the ingredients.

What other healthy snacking creations do you love? Share them with us using #AddColor on our Facebook and Twitter page! We’d love to see what you come up with!

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