Snacking is a favorite American pastime. Grocery store shelves are lined with crunchy, salty, sweet, and savory treats to gnaw on between meals or to quickly quiet a grumbling stomach. But despite the attention-grabbing packaging brands use to encourage consumers to purchase their products, the captivating appearance of supermarket snacks isn't always related to their nutritional quality.
The good news is, if you can find healthy snacks, intentional snacking can be a key strategy in augmenting a healthy diet between meals, recovering from a workout, or providing a boost of energy when your reserves seem lacking. Most healthy snacks prominently feature nutrient-dense ingredients like fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, whole grains, lean proteins, and low-fat dairy. Adding these foods to your diet can help you feel full until your next opportunity at a sit-down meal.
Sam's Club, the membership-based warehouse known for its bulk offerings, is a haven for those seeking variety, value, and nutrition in their snack choices—especially since you can buy healthy options in large quantities. Boasting an extensive selection of products, Sam's Club should be one of your go-to destinations for stocking up on healthy snacks, but note that not all of their options are good for you.
Here, we have rallied up some of the best and worst Sam's Club snacks to help you navigate healthier (and not-so-healthy) snack fare.
6 Healthiest Snacks at Sam's Club
Best: Glenda's Farmhouse Whole Natural Unsalted & Unroasted Cashews
This one-ingredient Sam's Club snack is nonperishable and portable for running between errands or just for noshing when you're on the couch. It also has a good dose of unsaturated fat and protein. Raw cashews, such as this product, which are neither salted nor roasted have a creamier taste than their salted/roasted counterpart. Blend them with milk, garlic, and nutritional yeast to make a creamy sauce for dressings, dips, or spreads.
Best: Oikos Triple Zero Blended Greek Yogurt
These easy on-the-go cups of yogurt hit the mark for good nutrition and taste. These yogurts contain no added sugar, use stevia as the only sugar substitute, are low in sodium, and include two cultures (S. Thermophilus and L. Bulgaricus) which may help with digestion, particularly certain types of diarrhea.
Best: Larabar Apple Pie & Lemon Bar Fruit & Nut Bar
We can't be upset about this ingredient list: dates, almonds, apples, walnuts, raisins, and cinnamon. Nothing but fruit, nuts, and an aromatic spice. Larabars provide a guarantee that all fat and sugar present in the product are inherently from nuts and fruits themselves, respectively.
Best: Member's Mark Freeze Dried Strawberries
Just one simple ingredient is in this product, and it's the ingredient you would assume would be there: freeze-dried strawberries. This crunchy version of one of America's most purchased berries might be able to satisfy that chip craving, all while delivering an impressive 4 grams of fiber, 100% Daily Value (DV) of vitamin C, and the equivalent of a 1-1/3 cup of fresh strawberries in each serving.
Best: Nabisco Wheat Thins
These crackers are commonly available in Sam's Club as well as many other grocery stores and markets, and for good reason. They are a simple crunchy snack that is 100% whole grain (not just "made with whole grain"), offering 3 grams of mostly insoluble fiber per serving, which may help ease constipation and could reduce the risk of some cancers like colorectal cancer.
Best: Member's Mark Light String Cheese
The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) recommends three servings a day of dairy (which also includes fortified soy milk and soy yogurt), and some of the best choices in this category are skim milk, yogurt, low-fat cheese, and reduced sodium cottage cheese. This light string cheese has just 2.5 grams of total fat and contributes a nice 6 grams of protein plus 15% DV of calcium for snack time.
4 Unhealthiest Snacks at Sam's Club
Worst: Nestle Drumstick Cone Variety
These dessert cones can double as Sam's Club snacks, but they, unfortunately, contribute at least 32% of daily added sugar recommendations according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and at least 44% of daily added sugar recommendations according to the American Heart Association. Some of the most predominant ingredients in this product are sugar, corn syrup, bleached wheat flour, and sweetened condensed milk.
Worst: Entemann's Little Bites Chocolate Chip Muffins
These small muffins marketed to be a snack or breakfast option have little nutrition benefit and much more closely resemble an indulgent dessert. All 17 grams of sugar per pouch is added sugar from a mixture of cane or beet sugar and chocolate chips. No fruits, vegetables, or whole grains are found in this product.
Worst: Dorito's Nacho Cheese Tortilla Chips
Chips that take corn, milk, bell peppers, and tomatoes, and turn them into a salty processed chip, are not scoring well on our list. Recent research points to regular consumption of ultra-processed foods like Doritos are associated with weight gain and obesity.
Worst: Funyuns Onion Ring Snacks
With surprisingly so little onion powder (yep, there are no whole onions in this onion-flavored product), it is the sixth ingredient falling behind the "less than 2% of the following" statement in the ingredients list, this snack is just fried cornmeal and salt. It is also the highest sodium product on our list at 280 milligrams per serving.