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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.