Sometimes, it seems like Americans can’t agree on anything. Their eating habits, it appears, are no exception.
Since 2014, the number of Americans who identify as vegans has grown by more than 600 percent. On the other hand, U.S. meat consumption hit a record high last year, with 96 percent of consumers eating meat every day.
How, you might wonder, could veganism and carnism both be growing in the same market? The reason is likely that the number of Americans following a special diet roughly doubled last year, from 14 percent to 36 percent. Certain diets, such as paleo and keto, champion meat consumption to increase protein and fat intake. Others, like vegetarianism and veganism, restrict or forbid it.
Healthy Snacks for Every Diet
The rise of special diets poses a particular challenge in the workplace. Employers know healthy snacks strengthen productivity and retention, but how can they cater to the widest variety of tastes for the least amount of money? By skipping office snacks that both parties find objectionable: Beef jerky may be out, but so are carb-heavy fruits like pineapple. Fortunately, there are plenty of options that vegans and cavemen can agree on.
1. Salt & pepper pistachios
Pistachios might come from a tree, but they’re a healthy snack that vegans and carnivores alike can get behind. Not only do they have just 3 percent of the recommended daily value of carbohydrates, but they pack 8 grams of protein per 30-gram serving. With a whopping 10.5 grams of plant-based monounsaturated fat and no refined sugars, this office snack is a fit for almost any diet you could come up with.
Paleo eaters will love this healthy snack: With peanuts, raisins, roasted pumpkin seeds, dried apples, and cashews, it’s a trail mix that truly belongs on the trail. For vegans, who often struggle to get the dietary protein they need, this healthy office snack’s 6 grams of protein provides a welcome boost. Although this trail mix includes 11 grams of carbs per serving, its 2.5 grams of fiber offset roughly a quarter of that. And unlike most trail mixes you might find on the shelf, it contains no added sugar.
3. Vanilla almond clusters
One of the toughest parts of going paleo or keto is reducing refined sugars. Although our vanilla almond clusters do contain 4 grams of added sugar, they taste far sweeter than their sugar content implies. Vegans, meanwhile, often miss out on calcium they’d otherwise get from dairy and iron they’d get from red meat. Largely thanks to this healthy office snack’s almond content, it delivers a 6 percent dose of iron and a 4 percent punch of calcium.
4. Roasted salted cashews
If you’re looking for even more iron per serving, crunch into these roasted salted cashews. With just three ingredients — cashews, peanut oil, and salt — these office snacks contain no animal products or refined carbohydrates. Although keto eaters will find their 9 grams of total carbohydrates per serving slightly high, those carbs come with 5 grams of protein and 11.5 grams of plant-based monounsaturated fats. Eat these healthy snacks straight out of the bag, add them to a trail mix, or even turn them into a heart-healthy butter.
5. Crunchy BBQ twists
It’s a common misconception: Vegans and vegetarians do crave meat from time to time. Thankfully, this healthy office snack packs plenty of smoky, umami flavor without the help of animal products. Although keto dieters might want to go easy on this office snack — they’ve got 19 grams of carbs per 28-gram serving — at least their main ingredient is lentil flour, which provides 3 grams of protein. Health-conscious cavemen and vegans, however, will appreciate that this office snack contains just a single gram of sugar and no cholesterol or saturated fat.
This healthy snack’s ingredient list may be long, but it boils down to four things: dark chocolate, dried fruit, nuts, and seeds. Although it does contain 13 grams of sugar — sorry, keto eaters — the only added sugar is contained in the chocolate chips. Plus, this office snack is short on another nutrient that’s unusual in the wild: sodium. With just 35 milligrams of the salty stuff per serving, it’s a better choice for those trying to control their blood pressure than practically any other trail mix.
7. Pistachio power clusters
That’s right: Pistachios are such a diet-agnostic powerhouse that they made our list twice. This time, though, we’ve paired them with almonds and cashews for a rounder flavor. In place of pepper, we’ve used just a touch of sugar to give this office snack a sweetness that won’t break keto dieters’ carb bank. As with the vanilla almond clusters, they taste sweeter than their 4 grams of added sugar might make you think. Vegans won’t find anything they won’t like in this healthy snack, and even carnivores will respect their 4 grams of protein per serving.
Americans’ eating habits may be a puzzle, but their office snack preferences don’t have to be. When in doubt, opt for low-carb snacks without meat but plenty of healthy fat. Even then, you won’t please every palate — but you’ll get it right more often than not.