Healthy snacks to eat when you get the munchies

Despite the cultural shift away from the harmful diet culture that’s made every man, woman, and child feel bad about their bodies, the benefits of a well-balanced and healthy diet go beyond looking good.

Enter the munchies; a misunderstood phenomenon some believe is caused by a terribly-named hormone called ghrelin that tricks your brain into thinking it’s starving. Nothing ruins a healthy diet like a bad case of the munchies. In the spirit of improving our and ultimately living longer, I asked a bunch of registered dieticians about the best healthy (ish) snacks to eat while high. 

Jenna Appel, MS, RD, LDN, CDCES is a Registered Dietitian and Certified Diabetes Care and Education Specialist who owns and operates Appel Nutrition Inc out of Florida. When it comes to choosing a healthier option for the munchies Jenna says the first thing you should do is read the back of the nutrition label. 

“Avoid snacks with refined sugar,” starts Jenna, “Snacks like pre-packaged pastries, cookies, and granola bars,” says Jenna. “When possible, opt for whole foods such as fruits, vegetables, and whole grains.”

My go-to high snack these days are carrots or baby peppers dipped in Field + Farmer’s Caramelized Onion Party Dip. As a lactose intolerant individual, I know the frustration that comes along with finding a dairy-free dip that doesn’t taste like plastic, but this stuff is incredible. Try the Buffalo dip over chicken breast for a creamy snack that tastes a lot better than it sounds described in an article. 

If you’re on the lookout for a solid on-the-go snack you can take with you on a mid-day park blaze or long walk with a pack of Dogwalkers, Jenna points to sustainability and nutrition-minded brands along the lines of Eaton Hemp, Siete, Lesserevil, and Perfect Bars for taste without the terrible ingredients. 

Cory Ruth is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist, Women’s Health Expert, and the CEO of The Women’s Dietitian whose recommendations for healthy-ish snacks honestly rival the snacks some of us eat when we’re not high. 

“Whisps are crunchy cheese crackers that offer satiating protein with the ability to remedy a serious chip-craving,” says Cory. “Skinny Dipped Almonds are almonds enveloped in rich chocolate that tastes way more sinful than they really are – oh, and roasted chickpeas are kind of like snacking on a handful of chips but full of protein and fiber. Cory and I are both huge fans of the those Everything Bagel flavored Bada Bean Bada Boom snacks as well as these low-sugar, high-protein GFB Gluten Free Protein Bites. 

If you’re dealing with the sort of munchies that bring out that raw animalistic craving for meat, Cory recommends wrapping a strip of bell pepper with deli turkey for an ultra-easy snack free from processed sugar, dairy, or excess carbs. I, on the other hand, usually tear through a couple of these Hatch Green Chile Bitlong Sticks from Stryve when a puny slice of turkey won’t cut it. 

“Try to avoid snacks that are simply just empty carbs,” adds Cory, “They don’t offer the protein, fiber, or healthy fats you need to stretch you from one meal to the next.” 

Christina Towle is a Certified Clinical Nutritionist for the past decade who explained to me how she’s spent the last decade vetting the snack world in search of the perfect go-to snacks for herself and her clients. 

“My new current favorite is very unique,” starts Christina, “I crave seafood constantly but am now trying to lean into more plant-based food. Plant Based Seafood Co.’s scallops, shrimp, and crab cakes are mind-blowing. Each product is gluten-free, 100% plant-based, palm oil-free, non-GMO, and soy-free. Store frozen, I simply and quickly sautée with avocado oil and then I get creative depending on my mood. I may eat alone or throw some shrimp in lettuce with avocado mayo or dip the scallops in vegan pesto. Fancy, filling, and fun.”

Christina also points to ready-to-eat products like GO Buddha (“healthy, ready-to-eat vegan salads, plant-based burgers, and more,” fresh gluten-free pasta from Charlie’s Table, and of course, a pint of Oat’s a Goody’s famous non-dairy Double Rainbow Ice-Cream which Christina lovingly eats as her “pot of gold at the end of a demanding day.”

So, next time you’ve got the munchies try ticking to high-protein foods (like hard-boiled eggs, Greek yogurt, and meat) over highly-delicious – but highly-processed – junk food like drive-thru burgers, cupcakes and the beloved all-dressed potato chips we so desperately crave while high.