Running errands, traveling for work, or for a long road trip vacation can all lead to being hungry when on the road. It can seem like there are no good options while on the road for snacks that support weight loss goals, as gas stations are notorious for having snacks high in sugar, and calories and low in nutrients.
However, the good news is it can be possible to avoid running on E without sabotaging weight loss efforts. Gas station candy, candy bars, and chips are not the only gas station snack options!
Curious about which healthy, macro-friendly snacks can be found at a gas station? Check out these surprisingly best gas station snacks for weight loss!
8 Healthy Gas Station Snacks When Fuel Is Low
Yes, it can be possible to find healthy gas station snacks. It may take some perusing of the aisles, and keep in mind every gas station may be a little different. Top picks for healthy snacks from a gas station include fresh fruit, Greek yogurt, nuts, and more!
1. Fresh Fruit
Most gas stations have some sort of fresh fruit option such as bananas, oranges, or apples. Keep in mind they may be near the checkout counter if not found amongst the food aisles.
Choosing fresh fruit as a snack can check the box for a sweet craving without added sugar and is a healthier snack choice than candy. As a bonus, fresh fruit also provides a good source of fiber, vitamins, and minerals.
2. Greek Yogurt
Many gas stations will have single-serve Greek yogurt in the refrigerated section of the store. Greek yogurt is a good source of protein which can help keep you full after eating, making it a healthy snack idea to support weight loss.
For the ultimate satisfying combo, pair yogurt with a piece of fruit rich in fiber.
3. Dried Meat Snacks
Craving something salty for a snack? Instead of chips, choose a higher protein snack that will tide over hunger longer.
Dried meat snacks can hit the spot for something salty and are high in protein which can be helpful for weight loss. While jerky can be high in sodium, some jerky brands offer lower-sodium options.
Look for turkey jerky if available, as it will typically be lower in sodium compared to beef jerky. Same with dried meat sticks or other packaged dried meat products - look for poultry options if possible for the healthiest choice.
4. Nuts or Nut Butter
Even though nuts are higher in calories and heart-healthy fats, nuts in moderation are not associated with weight gain. They can make a healthy, filling snack since they are a combination of protein and fat. Various nut options can be found at the gas station. For the healthiest snack choice, choose nuts that do not have added sugars and are lighter in sodium.
Single servings of peanut butter and other nut butters can also be found at some gas stations. These can make a weight loss-friendly snack with being pre-portioned out. They can be eaten as is or paired with an apple or banana for a more filling snack.
5. Granola or Protein Bars
Protein or granola bars are not created equal. They may be a healthy snack choice, but they can also be higher in calories and added sugar.
Therefore, finding the best snack choice at a gas station may take some further looking at labels. Ideally, the best bar snack options will have less than 10 grams of added sugar, at least 5 grams of fiber, and at least 5 grams of protein.
6. String Cheese
Besides Greek yogurt, string cheese may be found in the refrigerated section of gas stations. This can serve as a portable, low sugar, higher protein snack option that is also a good source of calcium.
7. Dark Chocolate
If chocolate bars are a go-to while stopping at the gas station, consider choosing dark chocolate instead for a healthier option. Dark chocolate, compared to milk chocolate, is higher in cocoa flavanols which can provide antioxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits.
According to WebMD, a serving size for dark chocolate should be 1-2 ounces per day. Eating more than this may increase the risk for weight gain, so keep portion size in mind to keep it a healthy snack supportive of weight loss.
8. Pretzels and Hummus
Individual servings of pretzels and hummus can be found at gas stations which can make a plant-based, healthy snack balanced with carbohydrates, fiber, and protein.
The handy individual serving size can also help keep portion sizes appropriate for a snack.
Healthy Gas Station Snacks Recap
At first glance, gas stations can be tough to find healthy snack options. On the other hand, candy, soda, chips, hot dogs, ice cream, and fried foods are easy to find.
Despite this, healthy gas station snacks that support weight loss can be found - it just may take some extra attention to find them. Looking at labels may still be necessary to determine the healthiest snack options for nut packages, dried meats, and bars, as some of these snacks may be healthier than other options.
Individual snack packages - like Greek yogurt, pretzels with hummus, string cheese, and nut butters - can help keep portion size in check for a healthy snack. Also, look for fruit as a healthy option that may be around the cash register or end caps of aisles.
Naftulin J. 11 healthy gas Station snacks you can find practically anywhere. Cooking Light. Published May 10, 2017. https://www.cookinglight.com/eating-smart/healthy-travel-snacks.