Remember the chocolate bars, muffins, potato chips, and other high-fat, sugary, and tasty snacks you used to love? Well, you can still enjoy snacking — only now you need some healthier low-carb snacks on the go.
Deciding to be responsible about your health and embracing a low-carb diet has meant waving goodbye to those unhealthy treats. And while making it to lunch without snacking is easy if you’ve had a high-protein breakfast, what about the long hours between lunch and dinner? Your stomach's growling and it's still a long way before you your next meal.
That’s where having the right snacks on hand can help.
Good Snacks vs. Bad Snacks
Snacking has gotten a bad rep in recent years but it’s for all the wrong reasons. Believe it or not, it’s OK to snack. What’s more, healthy snacks do exist.
Snacks can help give you much-needed energy to overcome the midday slump, when you're exercising, and even to help keep you from overeating during meal time.
Snacking is especially useful if you have certain health conditions (such as diabetes), are trying to lose or maintain weight, or if you don't have time to stop for a proper meal. (Although we wouldn't recommend making a habit out of that.)
It's important to read the nutritional labels before deciding on a snack. If not, you could be wandering down the path towards disaster. Here are some things to consider when choosing a good, healthy snack:
- Low in added fat and sugar
- High in fiber and water
- Contains real fruits, vegetables, and whole grain
- Portion control
- Low-carb and low GI to avoid sudden blood sugar spikes
Most importantly, remember the out-of-sight-out-of-mind rule. If you don't see it, you won't be tempted to eat it. Yes, it's time to wave bye-bye to the cookies, chips, and candy.
Also, make sure you're not snacking out of habit or boredom. Snacks can be a part of your day if you need them, but they won't do you any favors if you're indiscriminate with your eating. This means no late-night munchies.
Ideas for Low-Carb Snacks on the Go
Let's face it, the best low-carb snacks are the ones that don't require too much effort to make. So while there are plenty of low-carb recipes out there, we'd much prefer if they came out of a snack pack.
The following snack ideas are fairly quick and easy to make, and they won't mess with your weight loss plan.
Here are some favorite low-carb snacks to enjoy while you're on the go.
1. Beef Jerky
They call it biltong in South Africa, but we simply call it delicious. High in protein and low in carbs, jerky is a perfect keto snack when you’re on the go.
That said, the jerky you find in the grocery stores is often low in fat, so pair it with some nuts and cheese to up your healthy fats intake. Be sure to read the nutritional label to make sure there's no added sugar or high sodium content.
Better yet, if you have some spare time on the weekend between Netflix binge sessions, you could make your own jerky. Along with the typical beef jerky, you could make your own from different meats such as veal, pork, or turkey.
2. Kale Chips
We get it. Sometimes you just can't call something a snack if it isn't savory or crispy. It's probably why it was so hard to give up potato chips.
If you're itching for something to crunch on, remember that potatoes aren't the only vegetable that turns crispy when baked (or fried). Enter the golden child of the cabbage family: kale, which packs in more nutrition — especially in iron, calcium, vitamin A, and vitamin K — than most other foods.
You can just as easily buy kale chips ready-made as you can bake them with this kale chip recipe. Instead of the usual olive oil and sea salt combo, you could try branching out with flavors by seasoning the kale leaves with miso-tamari sauce or soy sauce.
Not a fan of this popular hipster veg? How about some zucchini chips instead?
3. Trail Mix
Image: Very Well Fit
A combination of nuts, seeds, and dried fruit, trail mixes are a low-carb snack favorite. Not all trail mixes are created equal though, as nuts such as cashews and pistachios are higher in carbs, and the sugar content of the dried fruit can also crank up your carb count very quickly.
Customize your own trail mix quickly and easily with low-carb nuts such as pecans and macadamias, mix in some pumpkin seeds and sunflower seeds, and go easy on the dried fruit.
Dried blueberries are a great sweetener with fewer grams of carbs, or you could mix in some sugar-free dark chocolate chips or cacao nibs.
4. Avocado Mash
With 12 grams of carbs each and 9.2 grams of fiber, you'll end up with just three small grams of net carbs for each avocado you have. Which is great news considering there are so many ways you can enjoy avocado as a snack.
You could make good old-fashioned guacamole, or jazz it up by mashing avocado with goat cheese, cream cheese, paprika, or a dash of hot sauce. Spread it on meat and roll it up, or cut up some veggies to dip into your avocado mash.
5. Hard Boiled Eggs
Eggs are a fantastic low-carb snack because they're high in protein, which means it doesn't take much to have you feeling fuller for longer.
When it comes to hard boiled eggs, you can enjoy them the easy way with a touch of salt and seasoning, or the not-so-easy (but tastier) way — we’re talking about deviled, of course. Try making deviled eggs with this recipe. You won’t be sorry.
6. The Cereal School
No judgment here, but we're sure you've sneaked in a handful of your favorite childhood breakfast food in the middle of the day when nobody's watching. We know we have.
We're sure you know just how sugary most cereals are, but you better believe it: We're bringing cereal back. The Cereal School is absolutely sugar-free but just as sweet, with just one incy wincy gram of carbs per serving.
It's also packed full of protein (16 whole grams per serving) to keep you going longer. You could mix it with almond milk, top it with Greek yogurt, or have it the way snacks should be eaten: straight from the packet.
Enjoy More Low-Carb Snacks on the Go
You don't have to give up snacks just because you've gone gluten-free, are trying to be good and stick to your keto diet, or are watching your carb intake. You just need to be a little creative and not go straight to the vending machine for an afternoon pick-me-up.
Going low-carb doesn't have to be complicated or time-consuming. Still need some other ideas for low-carb snacks? Try string cheese, low-glycemic protein bars, hummus with veggies, or peanut butter with celery or thinly sliced bell peppers.
And here's a pro tip: To ensure you don't get caught without low-carb snacks on the go ever again, stock up on our cereal packs in your favorite flavors. Stash ‘em in your bag, backpack, desk, car, whatever. This way, you'll truly be enjoying a low-carb snack on the go, whenever that may be, and wherever you may be.