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The Healthiest Delicious Snacks for School, Home, and Office

Lessons from years of being overly curious about nutrition labels

This article requires a bit of backstory. One of my partners’ girlfriend got our office a motion-sensing candy dispensing machine for Christmas. Once it was opened and working, I donated what was left inside my bag of shelled pistachios. Once the nuts jokes started getting old, we brainstormed the idea of what else we could put inside. What indeed?

As a little caveat before we go into the list, we’re going to define “healthy” here in terms of numbers and ratios because I studied engineering and numbers are unbiased, so “healthy” will be based on (calories from protein)/(total calories) and the higher this ratio is, the better.

Healthiest Nuts

Winner: Tie between Pistachios and Almonds. Healthiness ratio: 0.15 or 15% of calories are from protein

Pistachios and almonds are both healthy for you, and depending on the kinds of almonds you get, they are even purported to slow aging. Pistachios are also healthy because of the omega-3 fatty acids that boost memory. Additionally they have fiber, boost the immune system, and promote a healthy heart

Most Delicious Nuts

Winner: Pistachios

This is a personal preference, but if something is healthy and delicious, why not? Just be sure you get shelled ones like these wonderful pistachios. The convenience is worth the price.

Healthiest Candy

Winner: Resee’s Pieces. Healthiness ratio: 0.10 or 10% of calories from protein.

It has been tough trying to find a candy that meets even a 10% healthiness threshold, and resee’s pieces finally does it! And it’s delicious to boot. It actually contains more peanut butter per ounce than the peanut butter cups (yes, even the jumbo sized ones). The thick chocolate coating in the peanut butter cups adds a lot of calories from fat and carbs.

Most Delicious Candy

Winner: Jelly Belly Jelly Beans

When searching on Amazon for snacks, I did not expect jelly beans to be one of the selections, but one of the reviewers on Amazon convinced me otherwise. I have never heard someone rave so hard about jelly beans before. Here is an excerpt: “Not a big jelly bean fan… I was visiting my neighbor and she poured a small handful… I am now buying the 3 pound jar and going to Walgreens tomorrow to get some until my order from Amazon arrives.”

After getting the jelly beans, we were all impressed with the flavors. Naturally there will be flavors that people love or hate (ex: licorice, root beer, or cinnamon), but all of the other flavors were good, and literally could not be hated on. I tried.