We Asked Doctors About Their Favorite Snacks — Here’s What They Recommended

published Feb 26, 2022
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Snacks in pantry
Credit: Joe Lingeman/Kitchn

We are a team of happy snackers. Ask us about our favorite noshes, and we’ll chat for hours. (Seriously, ask us!) We’ve got opinions on the best cheese-and-cracker pairings, the best cheese-and-cookie pairings, and non-cheese treats too (chips, salsa, dip — you name it).

We also like to learn about what other people like to snack on. And we recently surveyed a group we were especially curious about: doctors. We’ve got to hand it to the MDs — they delivered some serious snack inspiration, with picks for wholesome, satisfying, and just-plain-fun items that are all easily found in grocery stores.

These aren’t medical recommendations — but in the name of good eats, a personal favorite is just as important. Here’s what doctors reach for when hunger strikes.

Credit: Walmart


“Minimal ingredients, high protein, no fake sweetener, and yummy.” That’s why Katelyn Shea, a dermatologist in Vermont, likes these highly portable snack bars. Dark Chocolate Sea Salt and Mint Chocolate rank as her favorite flavors, but if you’re not a chocolate fan, you can choose from one of RX’s many other varieties, including seasonal flavors like Maple, Pumpkin Spice, and Snickerdoodle.

Buy: RXBAR Chocolate Sea Salt Protein Bar, $6.48 for 4 (1.83-ounce) bars

Credit: Costco

2. Dried Mangoes

When Shea needs a quick pick-me-up, she goes for dried mango from Costco. It’s a convenient “boost,” and easy to take on the go. (If you’re headed to Costco to stock up on mango, check out our 10 must-buys for 2022, too.)

Buy: Kirkland Signature Organic Dried Mangoes, $18.49 for 2.5 pounds at Costco

Credit: Costco

3. Mixed Nuts

“Almonds and cashews are filling and satisfying enough to carry me through to the end of a shift,” says Raj Bhardwaj, a busy ER doctor in Calgary, who spends most of his time at work on his feet. He usually buys them at Costco and pours them into smaller zip-top bags. He likes a mix of half salted and half unsalted. In a pinch, Bhardwaj heads to the vending machine for a bag of salted nuts: ”They’re rarely sold out!”

Buy: Kirkland Signature Extra Fancy Mixed Nuts, $17.49 for 2.5 pounds at Costco

Credit: Amazon

4. Sesame Snaps

When he wants a treat, Bhardwaj reaches for one of his childhood favorites: Sesame Snaps. These chewy candies are made with sesame seeds and sugar, and are, according to Bhardwaj, “probably more about memories than nutrition.” (That said, he points out that we eat for so many more reasons than just sustenance.) This highly snackable treat is sometimes called Sesame Crunch or Sesame Candy.

Buy: Loucks Sesame Snaps, $14.99 for 12

Credit: Amazon

5. Cheese Crackers

“Late-night Cheez-Its are nostalgic, and the perfect accompaniment to watching Insecure in bed,” says Avanti Puri, a doctor who works in psychiatry at a New York hospital. Perfect; we have no notes. But we will drop this recipe here for future inspiration.

Buy: Cheez-It Original Baked Snack Crackers, $13.31 for 2 (7-ounce) boxes

Credit: Trader Joe's

6. Thai Lime & Chili Cashews

We’re not the only Trader Joe’s fans around — some of the doctors we surveyed were enthusiastic TJ’s shoppers. Puri makes sure to stock up on their chili lime cashews, explaining that it’s “so satisfying the way each one is a slightly different hit of salty, spicy, and sour.”

Find them in stores: Trader Joe’s Thai Lime & Chili Cashews, $7.99 for 1 pound at Trader Joe’s

Credit: Trader Joe's

7. Organic Chia Bars

Another TJ’s win! These earn high marks from David Mason, the medical director of emergency services at a New York hospital. “I love the ones with almonds, cranberries, and pumpkin seeds. They have a lightly sweet and crunchy, yet chewy texture.”

Find them in stores: Trader Joe’s Organic Chia Bars with Almonds, Cranberries, and Pumpkin Seeds, $2.99 for 5 (9-ounce) bars

Credit: Amazon

8. Chocolate Raisin Trail Mix

Another sweet and crunchy offering from Mason: “This trail mix features slightly salty, crunchy nuts mixed with the sweetness of dark chocolate and chewy raisins!” It’s one of his go-tos and he likes the on-the-go snack packs, which are perfectly pre-portioned. 

Buy: Orchard Valley Harvest Chocolate Raisin Nut Trail Mix, $11.99 for 15 (1-ounce) packs

Are you a doctor? Share your snack picks with us in the comments below.