Humans naturally consider salt and salty snacks (foods) highly palatable, which is why most people like to enjoy a salty snack now and then (Trusted Source).
Even though enjoying an occasional salty snack is perfectly healthy for most people, some may need to limit their salt intake to manage certain medical conditions, including kidney disease and high blood pressure (Trusted Source).
While salty foods can be a part of your diet, it’s best to avoid highly processed, salt-laden foods like fast food, flavored chips, and boxed mac and cheese.
Fortunately for salt lovers, various nutritious salty snacks can be used to satisfy salty 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’s sure to satisfy your salt cravings.
In addition to being pleasingly salty, salted macadamia nuts are packed with nutrients like healthy fats, protein, fiber, vitamins, and minerals (Trusted Source).
Macadamia nuts are especially rich in manganese, a mineral that’s essential for the health of your bones, metabolism, nervous and immune systems, and reproductive hormone function.
It also acts as an antioxidant, protecting the body’s cells from damage (Trusted Source).
You can pair macadamia nuts with a piece of fruit for a balanced sweet and salty snack.
Sardines are one of the most nutrient-dense foods you can eat. Plus, they’re salty.
Sardines are rich in vitamins B12 and D, calcium, iron, and selenium. They’re also an excellent source of anti-inflammatory omega-3 fats (Trusted Source).
Enjoy sardines alongside some veggies or crackers for some crunch.
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 (Trusted Source).
Fortunately, there are healthier alternatives when you get a hankering for salty potato chips.
For example, baking nutrient-dense sweet potato chips at low heat will result in crispy, homemade chips that will satisfy your salt craving.
Slice sweet potatoes into thin rounds, coat them with olive oil, then 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.
Olives are a perfect choice if you’re looking for a salty snack that offers nutritional benefits.
Research shows that olives are packed with phenolic compounds, including secoiridoids, verbascoside, and flavonoids. Phenolic compounds are antioxidants that help protect cells from oxidative damage and inflammation (Trusted Source).
Pair olives with some cheese for a low carb salty snack.
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.
Dip edamame in soy sauce or sprinkle them with sea salt to satisfy your salty cravings in a healthy way.
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’s high in protein and healthy fats. Plus, pairing it with fiber-rich vegetables like carrots, broccoli florets, and celery makes it even more satiating.
You can easily make whipped goat cheese at home by following this recipe.
7. Veggie chips
Chips are one of the most popular choices for salty snacks. Fortunately, many nutritious veggie chip options are available.
Rhythm Superfoods offers tasty kale chips in several salty flavors like Cool Ranch and Zesty Nacho. Similarly, Brad’s Plant-Based produces chips made with a combination of veggies like sweet potato and carrots so you can pack more nutrients into your snack.
8. Salted avocado slices or guacamole
Avocados offer a variety of health benefits thanks to their impressive nutrient profile. These creamy fruits are packed with important nutrients like folate, magnesium, potassium, healthy fats, and fiber (Trusted Source).
For instance, avocado intake has been associated with better diet quality and nutrient intake, as well as a lower risk of metabolic syndrome — a cluster of conditions that increase heart disease and type 2 diabetes risk (Trusted Source).
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
When you’re looking for something salty to dip fruit or veggies into, you can reach for a jar of salted nut butter.
A couple of tablespoons of salted almond, peanut, or cashew butter will not only satisfy your salty craving but also may help make you feel more satisfied due to nut butter’s high content of protein and healthy fat (Trusted Source).
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 in size, eggs deliver a hefty dose of nutrients, including protein, vitamins B2 (riboflavin) and B12, selenium, phosphorus, zinc, and iron (Trusted Source).
Numerous studies show that eggs keep you full, and eating them may help reduce your calorie intake later in the day (Trusted Source).
Whipping up a batch of deviled eggs can ensure that you have a filling, salty snack on hand to enjoy at home or on the go.
Follow this recipe for nutrient-dense deviled eggs.
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 premade or prepared at home.
To prepare Parmesan crisps at home, simply 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 (Trusted Source).
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 (Trusted Source).
Roasted chickpeas can be found at the grocery store or made at home following this simple recipe.
Soup is a warm, filling, versatile snack choice that can be enjoyed any time of day.
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
If you’re in the mood for a sweet and salty, chewy snack, try out nut butter stuffed dates.
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.
15. Veggie loaded chicken bites
Making sure your snack has adequate protein can ensure that 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 dip like this honey mustard sauce.
16. Herbed popcorn
Popcorn is one of the most beloved salty snacks — and for good reason.
Munching on a bowl of salty homemade or store-bought popcorn is sure to satisfy even the strongest salty craving.
Make your own salty herbed popcorn at home by following this recipe.
If you don’t feel like making your own, plenty of nutritious and delicious popcorn products are available, including Lesser Evil and Pipcorn.
The Take Away
It’s natural 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’s best not to overconsume added salt, especially if you have high blood pressure or another medical condition affected by excess salt intake.
Instead, consume salty snacks like the ones listed above occasionally, and remember to keep your added salt intake in check for optimal health.
Read more about: 9 Resources for Coping with Coronavirus Anxiety