1. Aim for less than 6 grams of added sugar per serving. This is crucial, and the downfall of most snacks. Foods with lots of sugar will raise your blood sugar and that spike can be followed by cravings for more carbs and sugar, and mood swings, Jones tells BuzzFeed. "In the long run, high blood sugar can lead to weight gain, pre-diabetes, and diabetes." Keep in mind that something innately sweet like a serving of fruit will have more than six grams of naturally occurring sugar, but the fiber in the fruit will slow the release of sugar and help minimize those spikes and crashes.
2. Pick a snack with at least 3 grams of fiber per serving. A snack with more fiber is going to be more satiating and help you stay full. At minimum, your snack should have 3 grams of fiber.
3. Look for reasonable serving sizes. You're setting yourself up for excess calories if you start munching on a bar where the serving size is a quarter of the bar, because you're less likely to simply consume a quarter. And keep this in mind when you're reading the nutrition label: Whatever numbers you're seeing have to be multiplied by the number of servings the item contains if you want to eat the whole thing.
4. The less processed the better. Generally speaking, the less processed something is, the more nutritious and the lower it will be in added sugar, sodium, and other additives. The fewer ingredients you see listed on a label, the less processed the product will be.
5. Balance is best. Pick a snack with a good balance of carbs and protein, carbs and healthy fats, or protein and healthy fats — this'll keep satiated you for a longer amount of time (e.g., cheese and crackers, or apples and peanut butter.)