10+ Healthiest Gas Station Snacks {and What to Look For}

A bunch of snacks like popcorn, trail mix, and beef jerky on a counter for healthiest gas station snacks main header image.

Whether you’re in your car all day, hungry after a long day of work, or about to venture on a long road trip – there is no denying the convenience of a gas station snack. You might be wondering if there is, in fact, a healthy option available. In this post, I will discuss what to look for when browsing and my recommendations for the healthiest gas station snacks.

Now, I am a self-proclaimed lover of snacks of all kinds. I believe there is a time and place for candy and chips, however, it’s always beneficial to have the knowledge to make more nutritious choices.

To complete this post, I actually went to the gas station and spent a lot of time reviewing different products. Now, what is considered “healthy” is subjective – and what my largest gas station has available might not be what you find at yours.

However, each snack has a description of why it’s healthy so that you can use the same principles to read food labels and figure it out yourself.

WHat to Look For in a Healthy Gas Station Snack

When selecting a healthy snack at the gas station or any convenience store, it’s important to read food labels and compare different products (if you have the time). Here are some specific principles to look out for on a nutrition facts label.

A nutrition facts label of popcorn for healthiest gas station snacks.
  • Protein: Protein is the macronutrient which takes the longest for our body to break down. Therefore, selecting a snack that is higher in protein will likely keep you fuller for a longer period of time and be more satisfying.
  • Sodium: Of course, most processed foods are high in sodium. Ideally, the sodium content should be less than 20% of the daily value. If you’re going to pick out a higher sodium option – ensure it offers other benefits (like being high in protein).
  • Carbohydrates: If you’re someone who struggles with impaired glucose tolerance, look for 15 grams of carbs or less. Fiber is a type of carbohydrate that actually helps stabilize blood sugars – so the higher, the better.
  • Sugar: Similar to sodium, most processed foods are higher in added sugars. The lower the added sugar, the better- unless the snack offers other nutritional benefits.
  • Number of Ingredients: For the healthiest of the healthiest gas station snack, the ingredient list should be short. However, this limits the options significantly and snacks with multiple ingredients will be included in this list.

This post does contain Amazon affiliate links. At no additional cost to you, I receive a small compensation if a purchase is made.

10 Healthiest Gas Station Snacks

The nutritional information for each serving is listed for each product with a brief description of what makes this snack “healthy”. Using these ideas and the principles above, it will be a breeze picking out a snack that suits your preferences.


Bags of popcorn lined up next to each other in a gas station.

Popcorn is generally lower calorie, gluten-free, and considered a “whole grain”. Usually the portion size for each serving is large – so it’s an ideal snack for volume eating.

What you have to look out for when it comes to popcorn is the sodium content. Compare the labels of different products to find a lower sodium popcorn.

Slim Kim Pepper Popcorn Nutritional Information:

  • 150 calories per 5 cups.
  • 21 grams of carbohydrates, 4 grams of fiber.
  • 0 grams of added sugars.
  • 1% daily value of sodium (30mg).
  • 3 grams of protein.

That’s It Bars

A box of That's It Bars for a healthy gas station snack option.

That’s It Bars are simple fruit bars with just 2-3 ingredients. The bars that I found contained just apples and blueberries.

They’re simple and sweet – high in natural sugars because they are made of fruit.

That’s It Nutrition Information:

  • 100 calories.
  • 26 grams of carbohydrates, 4 grams of fiber.
  • 0 grams of added sugars (19g total sugars).
  • 1% daily value of sodium (25mg).
  • 1 gram of protein.

Beef Jerky

Beef jerky is a lower calorie, higher protein snack that definitely has its’ place on the list of healthiest gas station snacks. The downfall is that it is higher in sodium (and expensive).

Jack Link’s 100% Beef Jerky Teriyaki Stick Nutritional Information:

  • 70 calories.
  • 4 grams of carbohydrates.
  • 4 grams of added sugars.
  • 23% daily value of sodium (520mg).
  • 9 grams of protein.

Trail Mix

Trail mix has the healthy fats and protein from the mixed nuts combined with sweet and delicious dried fruit.

The downfall to trail mix is that the portion size is smaller, and it’s easy to eat 2-3 servings of it.

Trail Mix Nutritional Information:

  • 130 calories per 1/4 cup.
  • 17 grams of carbohydrates (1g fiber).
  • 5 grams of added sugars.
  • 1% daily value of sodium (30mg).
  • 3 grams of protein.


A bag of pistachios hanging on a rack at a gas station.

At most gas stations, you will find a variety of nuts and seeds. While they are higher in calories because of the fat content, nuts and seeds offer many nutritional benefits. They are typically good sources of protein, healthy fats, fiber, vitamins and minerals.

The healthy fat and fiber in nuts have protective effects against cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and possibly cancer.

Look out for the added salt content used for flavor, and compare different products to find a tasty yet healthy option.

Nutritional Information for Wonderful Sea Salt and Vinegar Pistachios:

  • 170 calories per 1/4 cup.
  • 6 grams of carbohydrates, 3 grams of fiber.
  • 0 grams of added sugars.
  • 9% daily value of sodium (210mg).
  • 6 grams of protein.

These pistachios also contain 30% daily value of copper, 15% manganese, 6% magnesium, 10% phosphorus and 15% vitamin B6.

Cheese Sticks

Cheese sticks in a box at a gas station for healthiest gas station snacks.

Some gas stations have a refrigerated section with items like cheese sticks – which are a good source of calcium and protein.

Pepper Jack Cheese Stick Nutritional Information:

  • 80 calories per cheese stick.
  • 0 grams of carbohydrates.
  • 0 grams of added sugars.
  • 6% daily value of sodium (140mg).
  • 5 grams of protein.

Hippeas Chickpea Puffs or Chips

If you’re craving the crunch and saltiness of chips, the brand Hippeas offers a variety of healthier snack options. They are made out of chickpeas, so there is some protein and fiber in their products.

Hippeas Chickpea Tortilla Chips Nutritional Information:

  • 140 calories per 9 chips.
  • 16 grams of carbohydrates, 3 grams of fiber.
  • <1 gram of added sugars.
  • 9% daily value of sodium (210mg).
  • 3 grams of protein.

Quest Protein Chips

Another option for a crunchy, salty snack are Quest Protein Chips. These chips are made of whey protein and contain 20 grams of protein per serving!

They are much higher in sodium than most of the snacks on this list, but are a great option for a healthier snack.

Quest Protein Chips Nutritional Information:

  • 140 calories per serving.
  • 4 grams of carbohydrates, 1 gram of fiber.
  • <1 grams of added sugars.
  • 14% daily value of sodium (320mg).
  • 20 grams of protein.


Small containers of cereal stacked on top of each other in a gas station.

I found these little serving cups of cereal on my gas station run. Here’s the thing: most cereal is packed with added sugar, but also fortified with vitamins and minerals.

Therefore, dry cereal could be considered a “healthy” snack when it comes to a gas station snack as it’s providing some nutritional benefits.

Frosted Flakes Nutritional Information:

  • 130 calories per serving.
  • 33 grams of carbohydrates, 1 gram of fiber.
  • 12 grams of added sugars.
  • 8% daily value of sodium (190mg).
  • 2 grams of protein.

Fairlife Core Power Protein Shake

Milk and protein shakes in a fridge at the gas station for healthiest gas station snacks.

These convenient Fairlife Protein Shakes really pack a nutritional punch. 26 grams of protein per shake and 0 grams of added sugars. They are an excellent source of calcium and vitamin D, too.

If not available at your gas station, compare the nutritional information of these shakes for one with a similar nutritional profile.

Fairlife Core Power Protein Shake Nutritional Information:

  • 170 calories per 14 ounces.
  • 8 grams of carbohydrates, 1 gram of fiber.
  • 0 grams of added sugars.
  • 11% daily value of sodium (260mg).
  • 26 grams of protein.

ONE Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Protein Bar

As you can tell from this list, I have a preference for high protein snacks. If you’re trying to lose or maintain weight, a higher protein diet helps to preserve lean muscle mass and promote positive changes in body composition.

Again, if a snack is higher in protein it is more likely to keep you full – and prevent the need for additional snacks from the gas station.

ONE Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Protein Bar Nutrition Information:

  • 230 calories per one bar.
  • 23 grams of carbohydrates, 3 gram of fiber.
  • 0 grams of added sugars (but contains sugar alcohols).
  • 5% daily value of sodium (130mg).
  • 20 grams of protein.

Honorable Mentions

Hard-Boiled Eggs: If available, hard-boiled eggs are a lower calorie yet filling snack option.
Graham Crackers: Perfect if you’re craving something sweet, yet lower in sugar than most convenience snacks.
Clif Bars: These bars are designed to sustain energy, and would be a good choice if you have a long time until your next meal. However, they are high in added sugars.

Related Posts:

High Protein Vegetarian Snacks
Top 10 Frozen Convenience Meals

Happy Snacking!

I hope this post gives you the knowledge you needed to make more informed choices on healthy gas station snacks!

Which snack are you going to pick on your next trip to the gas station?

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