7 Low-Sugar Snacks Nutritionists Always Buy from Trader Joe’s
There’s no denying it — Trader Joe’s can do it all. From pre-made lunch options, frozen dinners, and fresh produce to baked bread, fresh-cut flowers, and hearty sides, Trader Joe’s has you covered. Perhaps unsurprisingly, the popular grocery store chain is also an excellent resource for low sugar snacks. This is helpful, especially if you have diabetes or are just looking to cut back on your sugar intake.
Although delicious, according to 2016 research published in Nutrients, eating excessive amounts of added sugar has been linked to several chronic diseases, including diabetes, cardiovascular disease, obesity, and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease. It also can cause a laundry list of mental health issues, including mood swings, impaired cognitive function, increased anxiety, and a reduction in the ability to manage stress.
Thankfully, there are a large number of low sugar snacks available at Trader Joe’s that taste great. Whether you are a fan of crunchy crackers and chips or are looking for a low sugar ice cream alternative that doesn’t skip on taste or texture, Trader Joe’s is the way to go. Ahead, we rounded up some nutritionist-approved low sugar snacks that are must-buys during your next grocery haul.
1. Slightly Coated Dark Chocolate Almonds
If you love chocolate, give these slightly coated dark chocolate almonds a try. They have 3 grams of added sugar per serving and taste great, eaten alone or thrown into a cup of plain Greek yogurt with chopped bananas, shredded coconuts, and sliced strawberries.
“I love these dark chocolate almonds when I’m craving something sweet and filling!” shares Kelsey Sackmann, MS, RD, owner of Kelsey P. RD. “These goodies combine protein, fiber, and good-for-you fat without loading up on added sugar to prevent blood sugar crashes, unlike most sugary snacks.”
Hummus to the rescue. This delicious dip — which Trader Joe’s carries in a range of flavors, including kalamata olive and red pepper — is the perfect low-sugar snack to whip out during get-togethers and weekend hangs.
“You could go for hummus paired with something to dip, like dried veggie snacks or crispy okra, or go for fresh carrot sticks or celery,” explains Emily Van Eck, MS, RDN. “There are so many other great nutritious items for dipping, like rice crackers or the multigrain pita bites.”
3. Chili & Lime Flavored Rolled Corn Tortilla Chips
A good alternative to sugary cookies that will still give you a satisfying crunch are these chili and lime flavored rolled corn tortilla chips.
“These taste like branded Takis but have less sodium!” shares Chrissy Arsenault, RDN, MBA, Registered Dietitian at Trainer Academy. “Additionally, for about 15 chips, they only contain 17 grams of carbs and 0 grams of added sugar — the carbs are from corn — making it a great snack for those watching their sugar.”
4. Mini Hold the Cone Ice Cream Cone
Just because you’re trying to eat less sugar doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy ice cream. “Sometimes we just want a real deal ice cream cone, and these are the perfect option when you’re watching your sugar consumption,” says Nourish dietitian Ellie Stamerjohn, MS, RDN, LD.
Stamerjohn explains that one cone has approximately 93 calories and 6.5 grams of added sugar. “Even if you had two, it would still be lower in sugar content compared to several other typical ice cream treats,” she adds.
5. Seed Almond Bars
How good do these Trader Joe’s seed almond bars look? Part granola, part biscotti, these tasty snacks contain nourishing seeds, including flax, sesame, poppy, and sunflower, as well as filling ingredients like oats and almonds. “These are like biscotti, but with added healthy omega-3 fatty acids for heart health and not as sweet as other breakfast cookies,” shares Arsenault.
Arsenault especially loves these because they only contain 8 grams of total carbs and 6 grams of added sugar, making them a good choice for those looking to keep an eye on their sugar intake. “I take these with my coffee in the morning and pretend I’m in Italy enjoying some biscotti,” she shares.
6. Cornbread Crisps
Cornbread fans gather around — these delicious crispy cornbread crisps from Trader Joe’s are a great snack if you love cornbread but want to steer clear of sugar-filled versions. Even better? These pair wonderfully with TJ’s dips, spreads, and soups, including the turkey chili and tomato feta soup.
“We all love the sweet and salty flavors of cornbread,” mentions Arsenault. “This snack is a gem that delivers the flavors of cornbread in a chip/crisp form — with only 4 grams of carbs per 8 crisps and 3 grams of that being added sugar, it is well suited for those watching their sugar intake.”
7. Contemplates Inner Peas
These crunchy baked snap pea snacks are perfect for those looking for a healthier alternative to greasy, sodium-packed chips and also want something low in sugar.
“Crisp and salty, they’re made from peas and are high in protein and fiber with zero grams of sugar,” explains Sackmann. “Enjoy them straight out of the bag or pair them with a tzatziki dip for an even more filling snack.”
Read next: 6 Healthy Trader Joe’s Frozen Foods Under $5