Keto snacks – the best and the worstAre you hungry on your keto diet, but it’s not meal-time? Then keto snacks can be the answer. Snacks can buy you some time, allowing you to delay meals to fit your busy schedule.
Snacking, however, should not happen every day. One of the best parts of eating keto is that hunger is kept at bay for hours after meals. If you regularly need to snack, try adding more fat to your meals (here’s how).
Check out the greatest keto snack options below, and some common snacking mistakes to avoid.
Easy whole foods
The numbers below the snacks are the percent of digestible carbohydrates, i.e net carbs. So for example, a hundred grams of avocado (3½ ounces) contains 2 grams of net carbs.1
A slice of cheese, a few olives, some fatty cold cuts, or a few slices of bacon fit the bill for keto snacking. If you snack on nuts, choose the lowest-carb choices like macadamia nuts, pecans or Brazil nuts (be careful of cashews.) A hard-boiled egg is a great keto snack—try it with mayo, cream cheese, a keto dip, or butter.
Keto snack recipes
Cook up some keto snacks at home to have tasty choices easily on hand. Below are some popular options. The green circle shows net carbs per serving.
Veggies and dip
Vegetable sticks: Snack freely on the lowest carb vegetables. Carrots are a bit higher in carbs though, and can add up quickly towards the daily limit.
Dip: What goes great with veggies? Cream cheese, sour cream or any yummy, high fat dipping sauce. Here are popular options:
Berries and cream
Heavy whipping cream: For a decadent treat with berries, put a dollop of whipped heavy cream (33 to 40% fat) on top, but don’t add any sugar or artificial sweeteners — let its natural sweetness shine through. Be careful though — it is so delicious that it is easy to eat more than you need, which could stall weight loss.
Here are a couple of recipes you may want to test:
Net carbs per 100 grams (3.5 ounces).
Some are amazed that on a keto diet you can occasionally have a chocolate treat. Keep it to a small amount – one or two squares at most – of high-cocoa chocolate of 70% to 85%. Avoid regular dark chocolate and milk chocolate as they have too many carbs.
One square of 85% chocolate has 2 net grams of carbs. A square of 70% chocolate has 3.5 net carbs. Shaving a square of 70% or 85% chocolate over whipped cream makes a little go a long way.
Here are popular chocolate keto snacks to make at home. Note the net carb counts per serving in the circles in the bottom right corner. The yellow color means that if you eat too much you’re likely to exit ketosis. You may have to keep chocolate snacks as an occasional, special treat.
Other keto snacks
Pork rinds: Also called cracklings, chicharrones, or pork crisps, these are a zero carb treat when you just have to have something salty and crunchy. Artisanal pork rinds — increasingly being made by keto entrepreneurs — are superior in taste to the commercial packaged product.
Beef jerky: Read the packages and choose the lowest net carbs, as many commercial brands have lots of sugar. The lowest carb brands typically have at least 9 grams of net carbs per 100 grams. Many people make their own. Here is a recipe
Biltong: A South African dried, spiced meat, made usually of beef, venison or ostrich. It typically has no sugar and is just meat marinated for a number of days in salt, spices, and vinegar and then dried. It is easy to make. Here is a recipe
Note that recipes with yellow circles would have to be occasional exceptions if you want to stay in ketosis.
Keto snacking mistakes
Specialty coffees: Cafe Lattes and cappuccinos have lots of carbs in their milk sugars. A 16 oz (470 ml) latte has 18 grams of carbs. The same size skim milk latte has 19 grams. Drink coffee black or with some cream (higher fat cream better). Or try these other hot keto drinks
Juice, sports drinks, vitamin waters: Full of sugar. Do not drink.
Fruit: Nature’s candy. While berries are fine from time-to-time, avoid other higher carb fruits. A small banana has 20 grams of carbs. See our keto fruit guide
Cashews: The high carb nut. Choose lower carb options, see our keto nuts guide
Common snack foods like chips, nachos, donuts, candy and chocolate bars are all very bad for your health and your waistline. Do not eat them on a keto diet. But here is the great news: once you adopt the keto diet your cravings for these foods will quickly and dramatically decline.
A word of warning: be very wary of “keto” or “low carb” versions of cakes, cookies, chocolate bars, candies, ice cream, and other sweets. They will keep your cravings for a sugary taste, and can make you eat more than you need. They are oftan full of sugar alcohols – that can raise your blood sugar – and artificial sweeteners, whose health impacts are not yet known. Weight loss may also stall or slow. Learn more
Even more keto snack options
Sometimes you just want a little something to delay lunch or dinner. Consider a quick combination:
- Slice of cheese with celery, cucumber, radish or wrapped in lettuce
- Celery filled with cream cheese, natural peanut butter, brie or other soft cheese
- Slice of cheese smeared with butter
- Cucumber or lettuce spread with mayo
- Parmesan crisps smeared with butter
- Slice of salami and cheese, rolled together
- Slice of bacon smeared with peanut butter
- Piece of dark chocolate smeared with butter
- Shot glass of heavy cream
- Spoonful of crème fraîche
- Spoonful of butter, ghee or coconut oil melted into coffee or tea
- Cup of Bulletproof coffee or Keto hot chocolate
Want some keto hors d’oeuvres? Trying to find something crunchy and tasty to serve friends coming over? Our many recipes for keto snacks will give you lots of yummy choices. Even friends who are not keto will want the recipe.
Packaged snacks on the go
Maybe you are traveling. (If so, check out this awesome guide.) Maybe you need something in your desk for those nights where you are stuck at the office. Maybe you are carpooling to soccer practice when you should be eating dinner. Regardless, you need shelf-stable, keto-friendly calories.
Here is a list of packaged snack options that are keto-ish. Check the macros to see if they suit your personal regimen:
- Olive snack packs: Green, Black, or a variety pack.
- Epic Meat bars: Chicken sriracha and Pulled pork.
- Cooked bacon
- Salami bites
- Coconut chips
- Parmesan crisps
- Pork rinds
- Macadamia nuts (or pecans or Brazil nuts)
- Pili nuts (the world’s lowest-carb nut)
- Really dark chocolate
- Jar of ghee or coconut oil
We’ve included links to some of these snacks solely for your convenience. Diet Doctor will not benefit from your purchases.
So whether you snack on our Oven Baked Brie Cheese at home or a bag of pork rinds in the car, keep it keto and reinforce your healthy choices for a healthy lifestyle.
Finally, sometimes the best snack is a bite or two of yesterday’s dinner. With that in mind, for even more inspiration, please see all of our keto recipes.
Want more? Living keto goes beyond recipes. Enjoy our selection of guides to help you understand keto and keep it deliciously simple.
Net carbs means that fiber is not counted. ↩