The healthiest 16 salty snacks
Humans naturally consider salt and salty foods to be very palatable, which is why most people like to enjoy a salty snack every now and then (1 trusted source).
Although enjoying a salty snack is sometimes perfectly healthy for most people, some people may need to limit salt intake to manage certain medical conditions, including kidney disease and high blood pressure (2Trusted Source 3Trusted Source). While salty foods can be a part of your diet, it is best to avoid highly processed and high-salt foods like junk food, flavored chips, and canned macaroni and cheese. Fortunately for salt lovers, many nutritious salty snacks can be used to satisfy salt cravings.
This article lists 16 healthy salty snacks.
1. Salted macadamia nuts
Salted Macadamia Nuts are the perfect combination of a creamy, crunchy texture and salty taste that is sure to satisfy your craving for salt. In addition to being toasty salty, salted macadamia nuts are packed with nutrients like healthy fats, proteins, fiber, vitamins, and minerals (4).
Macadamia nuts are especially rich in manganese, which is a mineral essential for your bone health, metabolism, nervous and immune system, and reproductive hormone function. It also works as an antioxidant, protecting the body’s cells from damage (4, 5).
You can pair macadamia nuts with a piece of fruit for a balanced sweet and savory snack.
Sardines are one of the most nutrient-dense foods you can eat. Plus it is salty. Sardines are rich in vitamins B12 and D, calcium, iron, and selenium. It is also an excellent source of anti-inflammatory omega-3 fats (6Trusted). People who eat diets rich in omega-3 fats tend to have a lower risk of heart disease and death from heart-related diseases (7, 8).
Enjoy sardines with some vegetables or a cracker for some crunch.
3. Homemade sweet potato chips
Evidence suggests that eating fried foods frequently like potato chips is not good for your overall health and may increase your risk of disease (9 ,10). Fortunately, there are healthy alternatives for when you crave salty potato chips.
For example, baking the nutrient-rich sweet potato chips on low heat will produce crunchy homemade chips that will satisfy your craving for salt.
Cut the sweet potato into thin slices, let it sit in olive oil, then sprinkle it with sea salt and bake at 250 degrees Fahrenheit (121°C) for two hours, stirring midway. You can follow this recipe for more detailed instructions.
Olives are an ideal choice if you are looking for a savory snack that offers nutritional benefits. Research shows that olives are full of phenolic compounds, including securids, verbascosides, and flavonoids. Phenolic compounds are antioxidants that help protect cells from oxidative stress and inflammation (11). In fact, olives contain 100-400 mg of phenolic compounds per 100 grams of olives, which is the same amount found in 2.2 pounds (1 kg) of extra virgin olive oil (11).
Pair olives with some cheese for a savory, low-carb snack.
Edamame beans are unripe soybeans that are usually boiled or steamed in their pod.
Edamame makes a delicious, filling snack that can be sprinkled with salt and other seasonings for an extra boost.
Edamame is a good source of plant protein and fiber, as well as vitamins and minerals such as folate, magnesium, copper, and potassium (12 trusted sources).
Dip edamame in soy sauce or sprinkle it with sea salt to satisfy your salt cravings in a healthy way.
6. Dipping goat cheese mixed with vegetables
If you crave a salty and creamy snack, dipping whipped goat cheese is an excellent option.
Goat cheese is a filling option because it is high in protein and healthy fats. Plus, pairing it with high-fiber vegetables like carrots, broccoli florets, and celery makes it more filling.
You can easily make a goat cheese milkshake at home by following this recipe.
7. Chips vegetarian
One of the most popular options for savory snacks is chips. Fortunately, many nutritious vegetable chip options are available. Rhythm Superfoods offers delicious kale chips in several salty flavors such as Cool Ranch and Zesty Nacho. Likewise, Brad’s Plant-Based produces chips made with a mixture of vegetables like sweet potatoes and carrots so you can pack more nutrients into your snack.
You can also make your own vegetable chips. Check out these recipes for beetroot, potato, and kale chips.
8. Salted avocado or guacamole slices
Avocado offers a variety of health benefits thanks to its impressive nutritional properties. This creamy fruit is packed with important nutrients like folate, magnesium, potassium, healthy fats, and fiber (13 trusted source).
For example, eating avocados has been linked to improved diet quality and nutrient intake, as well as a decreased risk of metabolic syndrome – a group of conditions that increase heart disease and type 2 diabetes risk (14 trusted source).
Enjoy avocado slices on their own sprinkled with sea salt or mash avocado in guacamole and enjoy with tortilla chips or vegetables.
9. Salted nut butter
When you’re looking for something salty to dip fruit or vegetable in, you can come up with a bowl of salted nut butter.
Two tablespoons of salted almond, peanut, or cashew butter will not only satisfy your salty cravings but may also help you feel satisfied due to the high protein and healthy fats content in nut butter (15 trusted source).
Try dipping strawberries or apples in creamy salted almond butter or dipping celery sticks in salted peanut butter for an irresistible, salty snack.
10. Devil’s eggs
Eggs are one of the most nutritious foods you can find, and beating fluffy eggs makes them a tasty and savory snack.
Although eggs are small, they provide a large dose of nutrients, including protein and vitamins B2 (riboflavin), B12, selenium, phosphorous, zinc and iron (16 trusted source).
Several studies show that eggs keep you full, and that eating them may help reduce your calorie intake later in the day (17).
Whipping up a batch of scrambled eggs can ensure you have a salty-filled snack to enjoy at home or on the go.
Follow this recipe to get soaked eggs rich in nutrients.
11. Parmesan potato chips
If you are tired of eating potato chips, try Parmesan Potato Chips.
Parmesan chips are thin, crunchy chips made with only one ingredient – Parmesan cheese. Potato chips, rich in protein and fat, can be purchased ready-made or made at home.
To make Parmesan potato chips at home, simply pour two tablespoons of grated Parmesan cheese onto a parchment-lined baking sheet and bake for 3-5 minutes at 400 degrees Fahrenheit (205 degrees Celsius). Follow this recipe for more detailed instructions.
If you’re not interested in baking, Whisps and Parm Crisps are the crunchy Parmesan products you can find at most grocery stores. Shop for Whisps and Parm Crisps online.
Enjoy parmesan chips as part of a charcuterie bar or with fresh fruit.
12. Roasted chickpeas
Roasted and salted chickpeas are a high-fiber snack option and are sure to satisfy even the toughest of snacks.
Chickpeas are a rich source of folate, iron, manganese and magnesium – a mineral that many diets lack (18Trusted Source).
Magnesium plays many critical roles in the body, and not getting enough of this important nutrient is linked to an increased risk of health conditions like diabetes and heart disease (19).
Roasted chickpeas can be found at the grocery store or made at home by following this simple recipe.
Pietro Carras / Stocksy United
Soup is a warm, hearty and versatile snack option that can be enjoyed any time of the day.
Sipping a salted cup of bone broth or enjoying a bowl of chicken and vegetable soup is a smart way to eliminate cravings for salty foods.
Making your own soup at home is a smart way to prepare a nutrient-dense snack that you can have throughout the week. Plus, homemade soups usually have much less salt than store-bought, canned, and canned soups.
Top up your soup with vegetables and a protein source like lentils or chicken to get the maximum nutritional benefit.
14. Dates stuffed with nut butter and sea salt
If you’re in the mood for a sweet and savory snack, try dates stuffed with nut butter.
Dates provide a delicious source of fiber, while nut butter is packed with healthy fats and protein. The combination of these two types of foods makes for a balanced and satisfying snack.
Medjool dates are engraved and cut down the middle. Then stuff it with a teaspoon or so of your favorite nut butter. Sprinkle with some sea salt and dark chocolate chips for a delicious treat.
15. Chicken pieces loaded with vegetables
Making sure your snack contains an adequate amount of protein will ensure that you feel full between meals.
This vegetable-laden chicken bites recipe is not only loaded with protein, but it also contains a variety of vegetables rich in fiber.
Season your recipe with herbs and spices, and dip the chicken nuggets in a homemade dip, like honey mustard dressing.
16. Popcorn with herbs
Popcorn is one of our most beloved salty snacks – and for good reason. A bowl of homemade or store-bought salty popcorn is sure to satisfy even the fiercest salty craving. Make salty herbal popcorn at home by following this recipe.
The bottom line
It’s normal to crave salty foods sometimes. After all, your body needs sodium to function.
Although salty snacks can be included as part of a healthy diet, it is best not to overindulge in added salt, especially if you have high blood pressure or another medical condition affected by excessive salt intake.
Instead, eat salty snacks like the ones listed above every now and then, and remember to keep the added salt intake in check of optimum health.