Lifestyle

The Best Healthy Snacks at Costco, According to Nutrition Experts

Jerky, guacamole, hummus, protein bars, and more.
By Will Price
December 13, 2023

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Hypothetically, we snack to fill in the gaps between meals and ensure we don’t overindulge. But we all know that’s ridiculous. We snack because we’re bored. We snack because we’re hungry, but not that hungry. We snack because we don’t know what to do with our hands. We snack because, well, we feel like it. For Costco shoppers, this is where things get dangerous; the aisles of a Costco grocery warehouse are stuffed to the brim with snacks—many not healthy with even the most generous definition of the word. To remedy this, we spoke to nearly a dozen experts—dietician nutritionists, personal trainers, nutrition scientists, and more—and asked them a simple question: what are the best healthy snacks at Costco? Here’s what they had to say. 

Why You Should Trust Us

Hone Health is a team of health-obsessed journalists, editors, fitness junkies, medical reviewers, and product testers. We spoke to dietician nutritionists, personal trainers, nutrition scientists, and sports scientists to come up with this list of healthy snacks at Costco—nearly a dozen experts in total. Every snack included comes as a direct recommendation from one of these experts, as well as a justification for the pick. 

GROCERY SHOP HACKING

The Healthiest Snacks at Costco

Editor’s note: not all products listed are available at every Costco (nor through Costco’s website) due to different stocking practices in different parts of the U.S. 

Country Archer Grass Fed Beef Sticks

One of the most recommended snack categories—snackegories?—by our lineup of experts was jerky. The reasoning is pretty simple, according to Angie Asche, Centr Dietitian, MS, CSSD: simple protein.“These individually packaged beef jerky sticks are rich in protein and make the perfect snack when paired with some fiber-rich fruit or a handful of almonds for healthy fats,” Asche says. These jerky sticks include no added sugars or preservatives and are available at Costco and elsewhere.

Organic Valley Stringles String Cheese

“Many people don’t realize how much protein is in just one string cheese stick,” Asche says. Asche suggests pairing a Stringle or two with a piece of fresh fruit or some raw veggies for a fiber- and protein-rich snack that involves zero cooking or prep work. Organic Valley Stringles are available in most Costcos, but can be found at other grocery stores and online as well.

Kirkland Signature Organic Greek Yogurt

Most people today know Greek yogurt—and yogurt generally—is pretty good for you. It’s rich in protein and versatile enough to be eaten on its own, dressed up with some granola and fruit, or used as the base of a protein shake. Dietician Asche says many people sleep on the essential minerals it’s full of as well. Kirkland Signature—Costco’s famous in-house brand—makes excellent (and affordable) Greek yogurt for a perfect fridge snack staple.

Kirkland Signature Sunsweet Dried Plums

Sometimes (perhaps too often) we crave sweetness from our snacks. Asche broadly recommends fruits when the urge comes, but especially these prunes. “With polyphenols, 3 grams of fiber per serving, and no added sugar, prunes make the perfect snack when you’re craving something sweet,” she says. There’s also research to support eating five or six prunes daily can help prevent bone loss and support cardiovascular health. Asche recommends chopping them up and eating them with a bowl of yogurt.

Gourmet Kitchn Spinach Egg White Frittatatas

Most snacks Brittany Werner, MS, RDN and Director of Coaching at Working Against Gravityrecommends—like these breakfast egg white bites—lean on protein and moderate calorie counts to fuel a healthy workout regimen. Each egg bite carries 5g protein, 5g carbohydrates, and 4g fat, making them an easy, portable, savory small breakfast or snack.

Kirkland Signature Protein Bar

Werner calls Kirkland Signature protein bars a staple for a reason. “With 22g of protein per bar and only 190 total calories, these bars will help keep you full and satisfied while not blowing your daily calorie budget,” she says. A high-quality protein bar that tastes good and is easy on the wallet belongs in every pantry, and we tend to agree with Werner on Costco’s—it’s solid, cheap, and easy to throw in your cart every trip to the store. If you want a slight upgrade that’s also available at Costco, look for Pure Protein Bars, which have more or less the same nutritional value but taste a bit better.

Kirkland Signature Turkey Jerky

Kirkland’s Signature Turkey Jerky is a quick and easy high-protein snack when you’re on the go. A single one-ounce serving has 10g of protein, which helps keep hunger at bay and minimizes cravings throughout the day. “Turkey Jerky is one of my clients’ favorite high-protein snacks. It’s easy to take with you and paired with fruit or other carbohydrates; it makes a balanced snack,” Werner says.

RXBAR

“I love grabbing an RXBAR when I’m in a pinch for time but still want a healthy snack,” says Catherine Karnatz, MPH, RD, owner of Nutrition Education RD and OLIPOP Nutrition Partner. “I also appreciate that RXBAR uses simple nutrient-dense ingredients, like egg whites and dates.”RXBARs are an absolute classic for anyone looking for a quick, high-protein bite that punches above its weight class when it comes to feeling full.

That's It Mini Fruit Bars

That’s It mini fruit bars are the perfect portable snack to help you eat more plants. The brand comes in a few different flavors (Karnatz prefers mango) with a comically short ingredient list for each: apples and the fruit flavor of your choice. Literally two ingredients, max. Plus, fiber.“Each mini bar contains 2 to 3 grams of fiber. Fiber helps keep you full in between meals and stabilizes blood sugar levels,” Karnatz says.

Simply Protein Crispy Bars

Registered dietitian nutritionist Sheri Berger, RDN, CDCES and nutrition consultant for Health Insiders likes Simply Protein Crispy Bars for the same reason she likes all low-sugar protein bars: they’re great when you need a filling snack bar that is not loaded with added sugar. Simple Protein’s Crispy Bars have one distinct advantage, and it’s pretty obvious—they’re crispy. If you’re a texture person there is a good chance you find the somewhat gummy texture of traditional protein bars off-putting. These are the exact opposite, and bring a whopping 7g of fiber to the party.


Kirkland Signature Organic Apple Sauce

Here’s to feeling like a kid again. Berger prefers Kirkland’s Organic Apple Sauce Packets as a part of a larger snack—preferably some nuts, string cheese, or some other protein source—but generally recommends the packets as a convenient dose of fruit without added sugar. It helps that they stow away into a lunchbox easily, too.

Nature's Garden Organic Trail Mix Snack Packs

If you don’t feel like doing any prep at all, trail mix blends—when they bring the right balance of nutrients—are unbeatable. These Nature’s Garden Snack Packs, which are individually portioned, are exceptional in this regard. “[Nature’s Garden Organic Trail Mix Snack Packs] are the perfect portion of nuts and dried fruit for a nourishing on-the-go snack that has protein, fiber, and healthy fats,” Berger says.

Kirkland Signature Organic Hummus

We should all be eating more beans, says Samara Sterling, Ph.D., RD, a nutrition scientist with expertise in the use of plant-based nutrition for the prevention and treatment of chronic diseases (and the Research Director for The Peanut Institute). Chickpeas, also called garbanzo beans, i.e. the base of hummus, are a source of soluble fiber, giving us the added benefit of lowering cholesterol. In addition, hummus delivers vitamins and minerals, including manganese, copper, folate and iron, that may help reduce inflammation, support heart health and aid in blood sugar management. Both chickpeas and tahini are sources of calcium which help build strong bones and teeth, too.

Skinny Pop Popcorn

Popcorn may not be the first snack you think of when taking “healthy” into account, but popcorn that’s not doused in butter and salt and whatever else really doesn’t have much going against it, says Yelena Wheeler, MPH, RDN.“It’s a gluten-free and nut-free snack that is relatively low in sodium. For a small bag, it contains 50 milligrams of sodium, no cholesterol, 100 calories, and 2 grams of fiber. It also does not have any added sugar and only 10 grams of carbohydrates,” Wheeler says.

Autumn's Gold Grain-Free Granola Bar

Granola bars are almost better served when you’re really hungry, or you’re eating a high-calorie diet because they’re usually quite calorie-dense—AKA filling. That said, Wheeler likes Autumn’s Gold’s grain-free bars because they’re paleo, gluten-free, and, well, grain-free. There’s very little sodium, not much sugar compared to other granola bars, and a decent amount of both protein and fiber to boot.

KIND Bar

If you like the simplicity of RXBAR but hate the texture, consider these Kind Bars, which are similarly robust, nutritionally speaking, and made without much fuss. “These are crunchy and satisfying snacks that are gluten-free and made with whole grains, nuts, and seeds,” James Cunningham, health and performance coach with Total Shape, says.”They are also high in fiber and protein, which help me feel full and energized. I like to eat them plain, with yogurt, or with milk.”

Jongga Kimchi

“If you’re not eating kimchi, you are missing out on all the health benefits,” says Jonathan Valdez, RDN, owner of Genki Nutrition.Valdez likes kimchi for its probiotic properties, which can help with all sorts of health matters (weight management, cholesterol control, immune system support, etc.). He does note that all kimchi—including his pick here—is typically high in sodium, so just keep that in mind when meal planning for the day.

Golden Island Korean BBQ Jerky

Again with the jerky. Valdez promises you will “obsessed” with this particular Korean-style jerky, especially if you’re into Korean BBQ. Just 3 ounces of this jerky is a solid 270 calories, 21g protein, 6g total fat, and 30g carbs—that is an exceptional value per bite. Valdez notes that it’s a handy pre-workout snack to munch on before you hit the gym.

Wonderful Pistachios

Emily Norman, a registered dietitian and nutrition consultant for Health Insiders is all-in on these pistachios. “These little nuts can be a great midday snack choice. Besides their nutritional value, the act of shelling can help to promote mindful eating, enhancing the overall snacking experience,” she says.Like all nuts, pistachios offer a body-pleasing mix of protein, fats, carbohydrates, fiber, and nutrients most of us could use more of.

Wholly Guacamole Classic Organic

Somewhat similar to having a hummus snack, these individually portioned guacamole cups offer a load of “heart-healthy fats, potassium, and iron,” Norman says. Skip the tortilla chips for veggie sticks or a multigrain cracker as a dunking tool.