- Snacking on keto-friendly foods may be a beneficial way to curb cravings and help in the early keto-adaptation process.
- Make sure to check labels for added sugars.
- Keto snack options often contain beneficial vitamins and minerals.
- Choose the calories you eat wisely, keto snacks can often be calorically dense.
One of the biggest questions we get about ketogenic dieting is, “What snacks can I have?” Meal frequency is not as important as many people like to claim, and this is especially true on a ketogenic diet. So, what are the best options? Here are some of our best recommendations for keto snacks.
Despite being a fruit, avocados are actually a keto-friendly food. Avocados are rich sources of potassium, vitamin K, vitamin E, fiber, magnesium, and heart-healthy monounsaturated fats. In smaller amounts, you can also find a majority of the B vitamins (with the exceptions of vitamin B12), phosphorus, manganese, and copper.
Interestingly, while people may shy away from avocados because of their average carbohydrate content (17 grams each), the actual net carbohydrates is only 4 grams due to the astounding 13 grams of fiber that does not count towards net carbohydrates.
The average avocado contains a whopping 29 grams of fat and 320 calories, so watch your serving size. Simply slice an avocado, add a bit of salt, and snack away.
Available in almost any grocery store or gas station, string cheese is something you can easily carry along with you for a great snack if you are not avoiding dairy. It is a great source of fat and protein that can keep you satisfied between meals. Cheese is also a good source of vitamins and minerals such as calcium and phosphorus. String cheese is not only an easy food to carry, but it is also pre-portioned out, making serving sizes and macronutrient calculations easy. An added bonus is that it is a fun food to eat!
Missing your potato chips on a keto diet? Pork rinds are a great substitute as a salty, crunchy snack. Pork rinds get a bad reputation because they are just fried pigskin. But for keto dieters, they are a good source of fat. A one-ounce serving contains zero carbohydrates, 17 grams of protein, and 9 grams of fat. Pork rinds also contain high amounts of the monounsaturated oleic acid (omega-9), which happens to be the same fatty acid that is found in olive oil.
Over recent years, eggs were vilified by nutrition critics because of their high cholesterol and saturated fat content. However, eggs are now receiving a revival because of shifts in science and the recognition of their nutritional prowess and label as a superfood. Because the egg contains the complete range of amino acids, it is actually the highest quality food source of protein and referenced as the “gold standard” for evaluating the protein quality in all other foods.
Besides the protein in eggs, they are the richest food sources of choline found in our diet. In the United States, an average diet provides about 300 milligrams of choline per day, which is less than the recommended amount for an adult woman (425 milligrams) or an adult man (550 milligrams). Since one egg provides over 100 milligrams of choline and only 75–80 calories, eggs provide far more choline per calorie than almost every other choline-rich food.
The benefits do not stop there. Eggs also contain a wide number of vitamins and minerals such as selenium; biotin; multiple B-vitamins; as well as vitamins A, D, E, and K. There is so much nutrition packed in this egg-credible snack food!
Nuts and Seeds
Most nuts and seeds are great for keto because they are generally low in carbohydrates, high in fat, and are a great source of nutrition—just be wary about the kinds of nuts you are eating. An ounce of nuts or seeds provides anywhere from 10 to 20 grams of fat in just a bite-sized handful. As an added benefit, the majority of the fats in nuts and seeds are of the heart-healthy, cholesterol-improving variety.
Different nuts have varying amounts of vitamins and minerals including several B-vitamins (including folate), vitamin E, and minerals such as calcium, iron, zinc, potassium, and magnesium. Most nuts also contain antioxidant minerals (selenium, manganese, and copper), plus other phytochemicals such as antioxidant compounds (flavonoids and resveratrol) and plant sterols.
However, it is easy to over-eat on nuts, so portion control is key. Sticking to a handful or two once or twice per day should not push you over your caloric goals and can actually help add calories for someone who is struggling to add or maintain weight. Some solid choices are Brazilian and macadamia nuts. For more on nuts, check out our article!
Pickles: Pickles are a great minimal carb snack to satisfy the salty and crunchy cravings you may get. They are a great source of sodium and electrolytes that can help you stay out of the “keto flu” zone. Watch out for added sugar when choosing your pickles!
Sugar Free Jell-O Packs: Need something sweet to snack on? While they do contain some artificial sweeteners, these hardly contain any calories, and can provide some filling added food volume.
Beef Jerky: Nothing better than a nice chunk of meat to boost your protein intake. Make sure you will look out for any added sugars used to add flavor.
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