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5 new healthful snack options to keep the doughnut cravings at bay

5 new healthful snack options to keep the doughnut cravings at bay
Better for you than a doughnut... (Clockwise, from top left: Cucina & Amore, Matt's Munchies, Glasfurd & Walker Design, Inc, Nomva and Zevia)

Low-calorie, junk-free treats that can be tossed into a gym bag or desk drawer are a critical part of any health buff's arsenal.

Here, a few new ones that have caught our eye:

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-- Los Angeles-based Nomva puts probiotics into its 100-calorie fruit-and-veggie pouches. Co-founders Caroline Beckman and Nina Church use everything -- seeds, stems, cores and skins -- to retain fiber, which also makes the texture grainier than similar offerings. One a day is said to optimize gut health. Ingredients include kale, spinach, strawberry, cinnamon and carrot. $3.99, available at select Whole Foods, Bristol Farms and Gelson's. livenomva.com

-- Paddy Spence was a health food executive, but he was still eating too much sugar.  A beverage here, a bar there, and "I was at 1,000 calories a day from sugar," he said. He renounced the sweet stuff in 2000, acquired popular calorie-free soda brand Zevia in 2010 and became its chief executive. The line's latest: zero-calorie, stevia-sweetened energy drinks. They come in raspberry lime, mango ginger and grapefruit. $1.99, available at Amazon and at Sprouts. zevia.com

-- Many traditional ice pops include glucose-fructose, sodium carboxymethyl and food coloring. "In the industry, the original formula hasn't changed much," said Meghan Flather, who recently launched her own ice pop line, Sunday Cats. She uses fruit juice (strawberry lemonade, watermelon, pineapple), organic coconut water and sea salt. The pops can sit in a pantry until ready to freeze, which takes about 40 minutes. Each ice pop has between 20 and 40 calories. 99 cents a piece. sundaycats.com

Acai, ginger and coconut are known for their healthful properties, and here's an easy way to get them. The potent ingredients are fused into sweet, substantial, chewy fruit leathers from Santa Ana-based Matt's Munchies. Each slender packet -- in flavors like mango, banana and apple -- contains two servings of fruit at 100 calories or less. Grape and Tropical Punch are soon to launch. $13.50 for a box of six. mattsmunchies.com

The Quinoa Meal from Cucina & Amore seems tailor-made for people who have 10 minutes to eat lunch because they did a spin class instead. The meal-in-a-cup needs no refrigeration or heating. High protein, amino acid-rich quinoa is paired with a choice of sauces -- mango with jalapeño, artichoke with roasted peppers — and each is less than 260 calories. $19.50 and up for a pack of six on Amazon. Also available at select Vons, Sprouts and Cost Plus World Market. cucinaandamore.com

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