Tips for Low Cal Salty Snacks

 If you’re lusting for potato chips you can have some—just not too many. Check out this guide for smart selections and perfect portions.

Tips for Choosing Crackers

Looking for great taste and the benefits of fiber and low fat? Try lavosh, or rye wafers. Generally of Scandinavian or Middle Eastern origin, these are made with whole wheat or rye, meaning there’s more fiber to fill you up and very little fat. Enjoy them plain or topped with hummus, roasted pepper dip, peanut butter, or reduced-fat cheese.

Spicing Up Popcorn

First, pop it on the stove or in a regular corn popper, adding a couple of tablespoons of vegetable oil to help heat up the kernels and prevent them from burning. Most of the oil stays behind in the pot, but enough gets onto the kernels to help salt and other seasonings stick. Next, sprinkle lightly with salt (if desired) and your choice of seasonings. Try chili powder, Italian seasoning, or a sprinkle of Parmesan cheese, or create your own flavor combos. Devoted to your air-popper? Coat popped kernels very lightly with oil or cooking spray and then toss with seasonings.

Baked Versus Fried

Many brands of crackers and potato chips boast that they’re “baked, not fried.” The implication, of course, is fewer calories. But the calorie difference isn’t always that great. The baked brands still use some fat, and their calorie count is often close to the fried products. So don’t simply buy because the label says “baked.” Look for brands that supply at least 1 gram of fiber and less than 3 grams of fat per serving.

The Perfect Portion


Potato chips: 12

Tortilla chips: 8

Baked tortilla chips: 10

Corn chips: 15


Rye wafers (such as Ryvita): 4

Wheat Thins (reduced fat): 15

Ritz Bits: 25

Triscuits: 4

Peanut butter-filled crackers: 2 sandwiches

Rice cakes: 2 regular size


Pretzels: 20 thin sticks

Soft pretzel: about 1⁄3 of a pretzel


Air-popped popcorn or popcorn popped in a pot: 3 cups (three handfuls)

Microwave popcorn (butter flavor): 1 cup (handful)

Cheddar cheese popcorn: 1 cup

Popcorn cakes: 2