Healthy Snacks for Work: 21 Health Experts Share What They Eat at the Office

It’s hard to eat healthy snacks at work.

Especially if your company provides free sugary snacks that call to you at a weak moment.
That bright pink sprinkled doughnut that you want to devour like Homer Simpson. Just tempting you to give in.

But, what you decide to snack on directly affects how you feel and your productivity at the office.

Why You should have healthy snacks at work:

We aren’t going to get all sciencey… There’s an interesting article by Buffer titled, How your productivity is determined by what you eat that I’d recommend if you want learn more. It’s an easy, interesting, researched backed read on work snacking, you should check it out.

Here’s an important bit from the article:

“[the ideal level of glucose] For your brain researcher Leigh Gibson found…

‘The brain works best with about 25 grams of glucose circulating in the blood stream — about the amount found in a banana.’

And this is the tricky part: the way you can get those 25 grams of glucose into your blood stream is pretty easy. You can eat a donut. Or you can eat a small bowl of oats. There is virtually no difference in the very short term for your brain activity.”

But, depending on what you snack on, you’ll see amazing differences between how you feel and your level of focus and productivity over an 8 hour day.

The sugary snack will release glucose quickly and give you about 20 minutes of alertness. After that, your productivity quickly goes downhill because of the drop in glucose level.

“It’s like putting the foot down on the gas pedal until you’ve used all your fuel.”

So you know that you should be snacking at work and it should be on something healthy.
We’ll get to the suggestions in just a sec. But wouldn’t it be even better if it wasn’t on your dime…


The business reason for giving employees free healthy snacks at the office…

(ie. How & why you should convicnce your boss to give you free snacks):

  • Full-time employees are 11% more likely be very happy with their jobs when the office provides free food.
  • Healthier employees cost the company less money both in lost productivity from sick days and in medical expenses.

    Eating well can play a big role in moving employee wellness in the right direction. An HEB study estimates that moving 10% of its employees from high- and medium-risk to low-risk status yields an ROI of 6 to 1.

  • The business is likely to attract more and better employees.

    USA Today reported that in an employee survey “48% of all respondents said that they would consider food perks in the decision-making stage of a job search.”

  • You’re more likely to retain good employees.

    According to a recent WorkSphere survey conducted by Harris Poll on behalf of the staffing agency Spherion, if you want a happy worker, then feed them. Around 30% of respondents said the availability of food throughout the day contributes to their workplace happiness.”

Then again just providing free snacks isn’t going to make a bad job suck much less or have much of an impact on a mediocre company culture.
Still, it shows that an employer cares. And of course, everyone is happier when you’re not hangry :)

We reached out to 21 health experts to find out what snacks they eat to stay productive and focused at work.

We asked them:

What are your favorite healthy snacks to keep at the office (or wherever you work) and why?

Here’s a quick summary of the top 5 healthy office snacks (as voted on by 21 experts!):

Nuts were the unequivocal winner with (9 votes)
7 experts specifically favoring Almonds

Yogurt and Beef Jerky, Fruit and Vegetables rounded out the rest of the top 5.

Each expert has their favorite office food. Check them out (and steal the ideas for yourself).

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Homemade trail mix

My favorite healthy office snack is homemade trail mix. I love to buy nuts, seeds and dried fruit in bulk and then customize my trail mix exactly to my liking. It’s great on it’s own when I get a snack craving or added to plain Greek yogurt for a little crunch.

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Raw Vegetables

My favorite healthy office snack would have to be raw vegetables. I love eating raw peppers, cucumbers and carrots. These vegetables are high in fiber and nutritiously rich. For those of you who crave something crunchy, raw vegetables are your best bet. PS for added flavor try some hummus on the side. Enjoy!

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My favorite healthy office snack is an apple. If I find that I’m getting too hungry and it’s not quite time to eat yet then I’ll eat a whole apple. An apple has a low energy density, but lots of fiber and water. It is a very handy snack that can make you feel full

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Greek Yogurt and Almonds

My favorite and easiest snack to bring or keep at the office is greek yogurt and a bag of semi salted (sea salt) or non salted almonds.

The reason I chose these is because they are very easy to carry around and transport and they are not very messy. The second reason why I chose these is because of the health factors.

Health and nutrition trumps everything to be honest, but when it comes to office snacks I need something that is Easy and leaves no mess.

Vitamins Minerals and Protein are the Three main things i am looking for and thee two items provide all of that.

Greek yogurt which provides almost double the amount of protein as regular yogurt plus probiotics which help your digestive system.

Almonds provide vitamin E, manganese, biotin, and copper and they are a good source of magnesium, molydenum, riboflavin (vitamin B2), and phosphorus and zinc.

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Raw Vegetables and Macadamia Nuts

A sandwich bag of raw vegetables and a handful of macadamia nuts. This snack is rich in fiber, a powerhouse of nutrients, portable, satiating and a smart choice for health. The vegetables may not always be the most attractive snack, but when hungry enough, I will eat them all.

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Greek Yogurt with Fruit and Cereal

I love keeping low fat plain greek yogurt at the office, I bring some high fiber cereal/fruit & mix it together for a snack! It’s high in fiber, high in protein and low in sugar so it keeps you feeling full and doesn’t give you a sugar high/crash!

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Brown Rice Cakes with Almond Butter

One of my very favorite office-friendly snacks is brown rice cakes with almond butter (or your favorite nut butter).

The rice cakes give you enough healthy carbohydrates to keep you energized and focused, and the nut butter helps fill you up and keep you from getting so overly hungry you end up grabbing an unhealthy snack like a candy bar or soda. Both are portable and easy to keep at your desk for an easy snack in between meals!

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Beef jerky & Quest bars!

Beef jerky & quest bars! Clean protein and balanced nutrition bar as options to choose from.

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Nuts and Fruit

Nuts and fruit are good – if you can avoid overeating the nuts! I keep them in the next room so they are not so accessible.

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Fresh Fruit, Dried Fruit, or Nuts

The contents of my snack pack are unsurprising: fresh fruit, dried fruit, or nuts (almonds, walnuts) are the standard choices. I want a snack to be rich in nutrients, devoid of any nutritional mischief, satisfying, and a source of lasting energy.

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Beef Jerky

My favorite quick and healthy snack is beef jerky because it’s tasty and very high in protein. Protein has not only been shown in the research to:

  1. Help you maintain and gain muscle while
  2. Increasing thermogenesis – a metabolic process during which your body burns calories to produce heat, but it also
  3. Increases satiety more than the other macronutrients.

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Eggs & Coffee

I rarely have much idle time during my work day, so I tend to favor quick and easy snacks. When I used to spend more time personal training, I’d grab handfuls of trail mix, eat a protein bar, or kick back a protein shake between clients. Nowadays while I’m working on my site I’d whip up some eggs and chase that with coffee.

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Mixed Nuts

I’ll pick almonds, mixed nuts or peanut butter & pair it with an apple. Complimentary protein, good fats & quality carbs

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Onnit Warrior Bars

Onnit Warrior Bars. Solid macros, great flavor, and reasonably filling.

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I have a bag of almonds. Give’s me the boost I need w/out the sugar and “empty” calories. Good nutrition=better performance!

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almonds always need some healthy fat in the diet

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Raw Nuts

Love the raw nuts, especially almonds, cashews, Brazil nuts and sunflower seeds.

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Hemp hearts with Oatmeal

I always have hemp hearts with oatmeal or cashew butter and a banana

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Almonds are one of my go-to snacks!

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Kind Plus Bars

Kind Plus Bars – 10g of protein, super clean, low sugar, great to satisfy hunger cravings, and actually contains ingredients you can see and pronounce!

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Unsalted Peanuts & Pistachios

Unsalted Peanuts & Pistachios

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