Everyone loves to snack, no matter what eating plan you're currently following. The keto diet gives you the freedom to enjoy meals that err on the filling side, but that doesn't mean the munchies go away. Whether you're on the go, at the office, hitting the gym, or just watching a movie, it's helpful to know what snacks fit best depending on your desired macros. Here are quick, easy ideas for effort-free keto snacks.
High in fat and protein, but free of carbs, cheese is a keto staple. You can slice it fresh, buy pre-packaged individually, or choose one of the following portable types.
Individually packaged in bags with 6 or 12 servings, string cheese is a fun snack to eat that many don't realize is simply mozzarella cheese, just like you serve over a pizza or in a lasagna. Choose the full fat variety of string cheese, rather than part skim.
Named after the tradition of freeze-drying food for astronauts, this freeze dried cheese snack comes in both individual and family sized packages. Plus, it crunches more like a chip than a slice of cheese. It's available in a variety of cheese types, from cheddar to parmesan. It also makes a good cracker substitute for dips and spreads.
Cheese Department Odds And Ends
Often in the cheese section of grocery stores, there are baskets of wrapped cheeses too small to fit in their respective areas. These small bites of assorted cheeses are perfect for snacking, and give you an opportunity to try expensive cheeses you otherwise might avoid due to cost.
Just like cheese, meat is a high fat, high protein food that fits perfectly in the keto lifestyle. You may not want to munch on a steak as you run out the door, so consider these other meat on-the-go.
Numerous brands make grass-fed beef jerky, which is the most healthful version of beef you can eat. Just check the label first to make sure you're choosing a variety that doesn't have any caloric sweeteners added, as those can quickly throw off your daily carb count. Brands such as Prevail, The New Primal, and People's Choice all make sugar free beef jerkies. Additional, try out jerky made from other proteins such as turkey or ahi tuna.
Gas station staples like Slim Jims are full of additives, but there are more natural versions available. Werner, Chomps, and Paleo Valley all make grass fed meat sticks with sugar free flavors and natural ingredients.
Protein Snack Bars
While protein bars without copious added sugar were once hard to find, keto meal replacement and snack bars are now incredibly common. If you're looking for a sweet flavor, brands like IQ Bar, Perfect Keto, and BHU have flavors ranging from lemon blueberry to salted caramel. If you enjoy salty over sweet, KEHO makes flavors such as curry, Tex Mex, and pizza.
Unless you're the rare type who enjoys 100% baking chocolate, chances are you need some sweetness in your cacao to balance out the inherently bitter flavor. There are many makers of sugar free chocolate nowadays, but it's important to be mindful of the ingredient label: many sugar free chocolates contain maltitol, which can cause extreme stomach upset. For a safe bet, choose a sugar free keto chocolate made with stevia and/or erythritol. Lily's Chocolate produces a full line of sugar free, keto friendly chocolate bars and treats.
This whole food snack full of heart healthy fat is satisfying and even provides fiber to your day. Though they require refrigeration, unless canned, a container of olives are fine left at room temperature for a few hours. Olives are a good go-to for the occasional shift from savory keto snacks made from animal products. All varieties, from kalamata to castelvetrano, make a suitable keto snack.
From coconut flour to coconut oil, there's no shortage of coconut on a keto diet. Large flakes of coconut make for a chewy, satiating snack full of brain fueling MCTs. You can eat them plain, toast them first, or choose a snack called "coconut chips," which are usually just toasted coconut flakes, provided they have no added caloric sweeteners.
High in fat and moderate in protein, nuts are an easily portable snack. However, not all nuts are created equally, and some are more keto friendly than others. Here are some top choices for nuts to eat on the go.
With only 2 grams of net carbs and over 21 grams of fat per serving, macadamias are the highest fat nut with the lowest carbohydrate ratio. They're crunchy and dense with a serving of just a 12 proving surprisingly filling.
Pecans have 1 gram of fat less than macadamia nuts per serving, with just shy of 2 net carbs, so they're pretty similar in macros. With a softer texture than macadamias they make for a quieter snacking, if working in a group setting.
Though almonds have more carbs and less fat than macadamia nuts or pecans, they have a unique benefit that makes them a great snack for any eating plan: they help your body to regulate hunger hormone ghrelin, which can lead to a smaller appetite. Because of this, almonds are often eaten about a half hour before meal times, which can then lead you to eat smaller meals due to feeling less hungry.
Sold in large packages as well as single serving containers, seasoned nori sheets are a low cal, low carb snack. They're too delicate to use as chips, but you'll be shocked by how quickly a package disappears. Even more, seasoned nori sheets come in various flavors, like onion and tamari. Note that some brands add flours like tapioca for crunch, so stick to straight snacking nori.
You may find yourself in need of a snack while on a keto eating plan, but now you definitely won't find yourself short on snackable choices! From chocolate to olives, there's always something to munch--no cooking required.
Cassady, B. A., Hollis, J. H., Fulford, A. D., Considine, R. V., & Mattes, R. D. (2009). Mastication of almonds: Effects of lipid bioaccessibility, appetite, and hormone response. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 89(3), 794–800.