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Healthy salty snacks

Satisfy cravings without compromising health

Although many people crave salty snacks, not all of them are good for you. This article evaluates 16 healthy options.

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16 healthy salty snacks
Last updated on December 15, 2023, and last reviewed by an expert on August 22, 2023.

Many of us naturally find salt and salty foods appetizing, which explains the occasional craving for a salty snack.

16 healthy salty snacks

While indulging in a salty treat once in a while is generally okay for most, some individuals might need to watch their salt consumption due to health issues such as kidney disease or high blood pressure.

It’s wise to steer clear of overly processed, high-salt foods like fast foods, seasoned chips, and pre-packaged mac and cheese.

The good news? There are plenty of wholesome salty snacks available to quench those cravings.

Here are 16 health-conscious salty snack recommendations.

1. Salted macadamia nuts

Salted macadamia nuts strike a delightful balance with their creamy crunch and enticing saltiness, making them an ideal choice for those salty urges.

Beyond their taste, these nuts are a nutritional powerhouse, brimming with beneficial fats, protein, fiber, vitamins, and minerals.

One standout nutrient in macadamia nuts is manganese, vital for bone health, metabolism, the nervous and immune systems, and reproductive hormones.

Manganese also plays a role as an antioxidant, shielding our cells from harm.

For a harmonious mix of flavors, try combining macadamia nuts with fruit for a tasty sweet-and-salty treat.

2. Sardines

Sardines are a nutritional powerhouse, and they come with a natural salty flavor.

They are loaded with vitamins B12 and D, calcium, iron, and selenium. Not to mention, they’re a prime source of anti-inflammatory omega-3 fats.

Consuming a diet abundant in omega-3 fats has been linked to reduced risks of heart disease and related complications.

Pair sardines with veggies or crackers to add a crispy element to your snack.

3. Homemade sweet potato chips

Evidence suggests that frequently eating fried foods like potato chips isn’t good for your overall health and may increase your disease risk.

Fortunately, there are healthier alternatives when you hankered for salty potato chips.

For example, baking nutrient-dense sweet potato chips at low heat will produce crispy, homemade chips that will satisfy your salt craving.

Slice sweet potatoes into thin rounds, coat them with olive oil, sprinkle them with sea salt, and bake them at 250°F (121°C) for 2 hours, flipping halfway through. You can follow this recipe for more detailed instructions.

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Suggested read: 32 healthy, low-calorie snack idea

4. Olives

Olives are a perfect choice if you’re looking for a salty snack that offers nutritional benefits.

Research shows that olives contain phenolic compounds, including secoiridoids, verbascoside, and flavonoids. Phenolic compounds are antioxidants that help protect cells from oxidative damage and inflammation.

In fact, olives contain 100–400 mg of phenolic compounds per 100 grams of olive fruit, which is about the same amount found in 2.2 pounds (1 kg) of extra virgin olive oil.

Pair olives with some cheese for a low-carb salty snack.

5. Edamame

Edamame beans are immature soybeans that are typically boiled or steamed in their pod.

Edamame makes a delicious, filling snack and can be sprinkled with salt and other seasonings for an extra kick.

Edamame is a good source of plant-based protein, fiber, vitamins, and minerals like folate, magnesium, copper, and potassium.

Dip edamame in soy sauce or sprinkle them with sea salt to satisfy your salty cravings healthily.

6. Whipped goat cheese dip and veggies

If you’re longing for a salty, creamy snack, whipped goat cheese dip makes an excellent choice.

Goat cheese is a filling option because it contains protein and healthy fats. Plus, pairing it with fiber-rich vegetables like carrots, broccoli florets, and celery makes it even more satiating.

7. Veggie chips

Chips are one of the most popular choices for salty snacks. Fortunately, many nutritious veggie chip options are available.

Suggested read: 21 delicious and healthy keto snacks

More and more brands start to offer veggie chips in various flavors, including kale, sweet potato, and carrots, for a nutritious snack.

8. Salted avocado slices or guacamole

Avocados offer a variety of health benefits thanks to their impressive nutrient profile. These creamy fruits contain essential nutrients like folate, magnesium, potassium, healthy fats, and fiber.

For instance, avocado intake has been associated with better diet quality and nutrient intake and a lower risk of metabolic syndrome — a cluster of conditions that increase heart disease and type 2 diabetes risk.

Enjoy sliced avocado on its own sprinkled with sea salt, or mash avocado into guacamole and enjoy it with tortilla chips or veggies.

9. Salted nut butter

You can reach for a jar of salted nut butter when you’re looking for something salty to dip fruit or veggies into.

A couple of tablespoons of salted almond, peanut, or cashew butter will not only satisfy your salty craving. Still, they may also help you feel more satisfied due to nut butter’s high protein and healthy fat content.

Try dipping strawberries or apples into creamy salted almond butter or topping celery sticks with chunky salted peanut butter for an irresistible salty snack.

10. Deviled eggs

Eggs are one of the most nutritious foods you can find, and whipping up deviled eggs makes for a delicious, salty snack.

Even though they’re small, eggs deliver a hefty dose of nutrients, including protein, vitamins B2 (riboflavin) and B12, selenium, phosphorus, zinc, and iron.

Numerous studies show that eggs keep you full, and eating them may help reduce calorie intake later in the day.

Whipping up a batch of deviled eggs can ensure you have a filling, salty snack on hand to enjoy at home or on the go.

11. Parmesan crisps

If you’re tired of your go-to chips, try Parmesan crisps.

Parmesan crisps are thin, crispy chips made from just one ingredient — Parmesan cheese. These protein and fat-rich crisps can be purchased pre-made or prepared at home.

Suggested read: 12 sweet and diabetes-friendly snacks

To prepare Parmesan crisps at home, pour tablespoons of grated Parmesan onto a parchment-lined baking sheet and bake them for 3–5 minutes at 400°F (205℃). Follow this recipe for more detailed instructions.

If you’re not into baking, Whisps and Parm Crisps are Parmesan cheese crisp products that can be found at most grocery stores.

Enjoy Parmesan crisps as part of a charcuterie board or paired with fresh fruit.

12. Roasted chickpeas

Roasted, salted chickpeas are a high-fiber snacking option that’s sure to please even the pickiest of snackers.

Chickpeas are a rich source of folate, iron, manganese, and magnesium — a mineral that’s lacking in many people’s diets.

Magnesium plays many critical roles in the body, and not getting enough of this important nutrient is associated with an increased risk of health conditions like diabetes and heart disease.

13. Soup

Soup is a warm, filling, versatile snack choice that can be enjoyed anytime.

Sipping on a salty cup of bone broth or enjoying a bowl of chicken and vegetable soup is a smart way to keep your salty cravings at bay.

Making your own soup at home is a smart way to prepare a nutrient-dense snack that can be consumed throughout the week. Plus, homemade soup is typically much lower in salt than store-bought, canned, and boxed soups.

Pack your soup with veggies and a protein source like lentils or chicken for the most nutritional benefit.

14. Stuffed dates with nut butter and sea salt

Try nut butter-stuffed dates if you’re in the mood for a sweet, salty, chewy snack.

Dates provide a delicious source of fiber, while nut butter is packed with healthy fat and protein. Combining these two foods makes a balanced and satisfying snack.

Pit whole Medjool dates and slice them down the center. Then, stuff them with a teaspoon or so of your favorite nut butter. Sprinkle with some sea salt and dark chocolate chips for a tasty treat.

Suggested read: 29 healthy snacks that can help you lose weight

15. Veggie-loaded chicken bites

Ensuring your snack has adequate protein can ensure you stay satisfied between meals.

This recipe for veggie-loaded chicken bites is not only loaded with protein but also packs a variety of fiber-rich vegetables.

Season your recipe with herbs and spices, and dip your chicken bites in a homemade honey mustard sauce like this.

16. Herbed popcorn

Popcorn is one of the most beloved salty snacks — for good reason.

Munching on a bowl of salty homemade or store-bought popcorn will satisfy even the strongest salty craving.

Summary

It’s normal to sometimes want salty treats, as our bodies require sodium to operate.

While you can enjoy salty snacks in a balanced diet, it’s important not to go overboard with added salt, particularly if you manage conditions like high blood pressure.

Enjoy salty snacks in moderation, and be mindful of your overall salt consumption for the best health outcomes.

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