Low-Carb Snacks – the Best and the Worst

Low-Carb Snacks
– the Best and the Worst


What low-carb snacks are good? There’s a simple rule:

The best low-carb snack is no snack.

That’s right. Snacks are not needed on low carb, as the hunger should go away when doing it right. If you’re still hungry, you probably need to add more healthy fat to your meals instead.

That said, everyone wants a snack at least once in a while. So here are the very best options – and a few common mistakes to avoid.

 

No Preparation Needed

Low-carb snacks: no preparation needed

The numbers represent the percent of digestible carbohydrates (fibre is not counted). This means that 100 grams (3.5 ounces) of the food contain this many grams of carbs.

Eggs are a great low-carb option. Keep a few hard-boiled eggs ready for when you need a perfect snack. Feel free to add mayonnaise.

Nuts are a low-carb snacks favorite. But be careful as the carbs quickly add up, especially if you eat cashews. Choose lower-carb macadamia, Brazil or pecan nuts instead. Low-carb nuts guide

Recipes

Are you ready to do some preparations for an awesome low-carb snack? Check out our fantastic low-carb snack recipes, like these top choices:
 

All low-carb snack recipes

 

Vegetable Sticks and Dip

 
Low-carb snacks: vegetable sticks

Numbers are digestible carbs per 100 grams (3.5 ounces).

Vegetable sticks are relatively low carb, except for carrots that have slightly more carbs. Low-carb vegetables guide

Dip: Add cream cheese or any really low-carb and high-fat dip sauce. Here are our top recipes:
 

All low-carb condiments >



 

Berries and Cream

Low-carb snacks: berries and cream

Berries are decently low-carb sweets. But if you’re on a strict low-carb diet you may need to make it an occasional treat. Blueberries have the most carbs. Low-carb fruits and berries guide

Heavy whipping cream –
forget low-fat fake cream. Get real heavy whipping cream, ideally at 40 percent fat and definitely unsweetened (the natural sweetness is quite enough once you get used to it). Whip and have it with your berries. Note however that this is absolutely delicious, and it’s easy to eat a lot of it when not hungry, slowing down weight loss. So try to not overdo it.

 

Recipes


Chocolate

Digestible carbs per 100 grams (3.5 ounces)

Low-carb snacks: Chocolate

Chocolate is not low carb. However, you can occasionally get away with one or two thin squares of high-cocoa chocolate (70%+) even on a strict low-carb diet. On a more liberal low-carb diet you could do it regularly.

  • One small thin square (10 grams or less than half an ounce) of 86 percent chocolate contains about 2 grams of carbs.
  • Switch to 70% chocolate and you get about 3.5 grams per square.
  • Regular chocolate can be 6 grams of carbs or more per square – not an option if you want to stay low carb.

 

Recipes

More

More Options

Low-carb snacks: pork rinds and beef jerky

Beef Jerky: Note that almost all available commercial options have tons of added sugar, which is why a normal carb count is 9 grams per 100 grams (3.5 ounces). Preferably mostly avoid this, or make your own. 

 

Chips

More

 

Cheese

More



 

Common Mistakes on Low Carb

Low-carb snacks: common mistakes

 
Caffe Latte: Note that there is a ton of milk in this, and milk is around 5 percent carbs (milk sugar). To keep the carbs low drink black coffee instead, or add (if you need to) a few teaspoons of milk or cream.

Juice and functional waters: These are full of sugar. Preferably avoid.

Fruit: Fruit is candy from nature and contains plenty of sugar. It’s not nearly as bad as drinking juice, but fruit will still mostly have to be avoided on a strict low-carb diet. A more liberal diet allows the occasional fruit. Bananas and grapes contain the most sugar of all fruit. Low-carb fruits guide

Cashew nuts: These contain a lot of carbs (other nuts are a lot lower). Low-carb nuts guide


 


 

Really Terrible Options

Low carb snacks: Terrible options

Of course these options are all terrible on a low-carb diet, as they are high in refined carbs and sugars. Avoid whenever possible.

Also be very skeptical of “low-carb” versions of chocolate, cookies etc. They are usually full of sugar alcohols and artificial sweeteners that raise blood sugar, make it harder to lose weight and maintain sugar cravings. Learn more

Instead, choose from the great simple options closer to the top of this page, or check out our awesome low-carb snack recipes below!
 
 

Low-carb snack recipes

Below are great options for low-carb snacks. As always though, try not to overdo snacking and ideally only have a snack when hungry.

All low-carb snacks recipes

 

Sweet things – caution recommended

While the sweet recipes below are low carb, they are also very rewarding and tempting. They may encourage eating when not hungry, and that will always slow your weight loss. So be a bit careful.

However, these low-carb recipes are still way better for your weight and health than high-carb versions of similar recipes.

All low-carb dessert recipes




 

More Low-Carb Guides

 

Visual guides

 

Meal plans

Get lots of weekly low-carb meal plans, complete with shopping lists and everything, with our premium meal planner tool (free trial).


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Improve this page

Do you have any suggestion – big or small – to improve this page? Any favorite low-carb snacks you miss? Anything that you’d like added or changed?
 
Comment below or e-mail us at andreas@dietdoctor.com.

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88 Comments

  1. Hi Ali!

    Of course you can eat 3-5 strawberries every day and why not two tablespoons of Crème fraîche. ;-)

    Thank you so much for this inspirational site? I have type 2 and with the threat of insulin have been LCHF for a month. My sugar levels are dropping and I am hoping this will continue. I have never been a snacker but think my love of deserts is my failing. Is it ok to eat 3-5straw berries and a tablespoon of crème fresh every day??

  2. Dayle Hesterly
    Here is my challenge- Low/No Sodium ~ eliminates most cheese, sausage, olives and pickles. Help ! Would like quick snacks (eggs I know( just hoping to not eat 90% meat. Thank You so much!
    Reply: #74
  3. Andi
    Hi,

    Just wondering are raisins ok to eat as a snack?

    Reply: #54
  4. Hi Andi!

    It's not OK! Snacking raisins is almost like snacking sugar...

    Hi,
    Just wondering are raisins ok to eat as a snack?

  5. elizabeth bradley
    Hi and a big thank you to this site and all those involved. I was a lolly addict about 10 a day. Not sure whether it was the cold or the sugar but after a month eating lots of cauliflower, cheese, which I dont normally eat and meat and fish I feel amazing. Have lost weight but feel I have more stamina and more importantly not hungry. I am eating one banana a day as it stopped leg cramps, and have tried the strawberry and cream treat which felt like a wonderful extravagance, even though I felt full up. Coffee with cream is a true delight. I accept that if I want to avoid sugar diseases, then this is not a diet but a way of life. This evening I had one carrot half a courgette half an onion a handful of brocolli and a small bowl of prawns which I cooked as a kind of strew and it was delicious. I put a little cheese on top and I am not feeling at all hungry where as before I would be tucking into those lollies. Shocking I know. I hope this gives everyone an idea of how quickly the changes happen. All things considered I only had a headache for a couple of days and find warm water with a slice of lemon clears that up quickly. Thank you again. Elizabeth xxx
  6. dawn
    Can I eat peanut butter? Almond butter? Etc.?
  7. Kerry
    Hello, how much weight could you loose in a month following this sort of diet?
    thanks!
    Reply: #59
  8. Joe
    Hi, my wife donated a kidney and only has one and is on Thyroid medications. Would the LCHF be safe for her? I had heard that a high protein content is hard on Kidneys?
    Reply: #60
  9. Hi Kerry!

    It's impossible to tell but a lot if people loose several pounds.

    Hello, how much weight could you loose in a month following this sort of diet?
    thanks!

  10. Hi Joe!

    If you are a member you can direct questions like this to our experts here:
    https://www.dietdoctor.com/member/ask-the-experts

    Hi, my wife donated a kidney and only has one and is on Thyroid medications. Would the LCHF be safe for her? I had heard that a high protein content is hard on Kidneys?

  11. 1 comment removed
  12. Jessica M. Ramirez
    Hi what can someone like me who hates sea food use to substitute those in a ketogenic diet?
  13. Leslie
    Please, careful about advising pork rinds. Those contain MSG and some people (like I) are trying low-carbs in order to try and get rid of something that's making us sick. MSG definitely fit into that category.
    Anyway, thank you so much for all the good infos, you guys will never know how much you have helped me.
    Reply: #70
  14. Julio Foppoli
    Could we eat salami freely in a lchf diet?
    Reply: #65
  15. Hi Julio!

    Yes, but always remember to look at the ingredients to check that they haven't added more than a minimal amount of sugar.

    Could we eat salami freely in a lchf diet?

  16. 1 comment removed
  17. Jo
    Great post, great site, I am delightful! I am wondering could we eat kinoa and how to prepare vegetable spaggetti since there is a error 404 for that content. Wish all the best to all !!
    Reply: #68
  18. Hi Jo!

    You should be a bit careful with quinoa, more reading here:
    https://www.dietdoctor.com/low-carb/vegetables

    I'm sorry I can't find the link that gives "404"?

    Great post, great site, I am delightful! I am wondering could we eat kinoa and how to prepare vegetable spaggetti since there is a error 404 for that content. Wish all the best to all !!

  19. Delores
    Regarding vegetable spaghetti - we use spaghetti squash -- wonderful and another thing is using a zucchini by use of a Starfrit spiral blade ( costs about $20 at Canadian tire) does multitude of things. We like it--and also have enjoyed the past 3 months on this diet.

    We would like to cancel our subscription now and will probably come back again after a few months using the recipes and diet on our own. Many thanks and Good Health to Everyone.

  20. TonyT
    Plain pork rinds do not contain MSG, at least the ones I get.
  21. Hagrid
    What about popcorn?
  22. Jeremy
    Hi
    I am a triathlete and work out 2-3 times a day. If I get hungry can I have a keto friendly protein shake like quest nutrition or can I have some snacks.
  23. Dan
    Nice article overall.

    But fruit isn't "candy from nature." Our ancestral lineage has been eating fruit for over 60 million years, and I've yet to find a single convincing piece of evidence that (any fruit) is fattening.

    I wrote a post presenting great evidence that whole-food carbs like fruit aren't fattening at all:

    http://www.finalfatloss.com/2017/01/03/in-defense-of-carbs/

    Replies: #75, #77
  24. Rick Epperley
    I would strongly suggest NOT going low to no sodium on LCHF. Your kidneys flush out sodium on low carb so you need dietary sodium.
  25. Rick Epperley
    But if your goal is Nutritional Ketosis then fruit should and must be avoided. Unless you're talking non sweet fruits like tomatoes and avocados. There is also ample first hand experiences chronicled on Youtube and elsewhere of the raw till 4 and other fruitarian vegan types gaining weight from too much fruit. Fructose carries with it a lot of problems. Its metabolic pathway in the liver is very similar to alcohol.
  26. Dan
    Of course if your goal is ketosis fruit should be avoided.

    But I place almost zero faith in the type of anecdotal evidence you mention. What I know is:

    Fruit is satiating, per calorie.

    https://www.ucsyd.dk/fileadmin/user_upload/om_uc_syddanmark/dokumente...

    Eating more fruit is associated with weight loss and reduced chances of obesity and diabetes.

    http://www.nature.com/ijo/journal/v28/n12/full/0802795a.html
    http://care.diabetesjournals.org/content/31/7/1311.full

    Our evolutionary lineage has been eating fruit for at least sixty million years.

    Klein, Richard. The Human Career: Human Biological and Cultural Origins. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1999.

    Probably a good indication that we're adapted to that sort of thing. The fiberless fructose in juice is not the same as the fructose in fruit, which always has satiating fiber. There's also plenty of anthropological evidence of populations eating large amounts of fruit and being super lean (e.g., the Hadza).

    Read more at

    http://www.finalfatloss.com

  27. Jody S.
    It's not that fruit is fattening. It's that fruit is high in sugar, and if that sugar isn't burned for energy, then sugar turns into fat.
    Reply: #79
  28. Sherri
    It would be great if there was an app for diet doctor for android. :)
  29. Dan
    Nothing turns into fat unless you are in a caloric surplus (that is, if your total energy intake is greater than your total daily energy expenditure). This is an inviolable law of nature. You could eat nothing but sugar and never move around, but if your energy intake isn't greater than your TDEE, you won't gain an ounce. There is no metabolic free lunch.

    http://ajcn.nutrition.org/content/55/2/350.short

    The issue isn't sugar, it's satiety--how full a food makes you, per calorie--and whether or not it will contribute to overeating. And fruit is a very satiating food.

    https://www.ucsyd.dk/fileadmin/user_upload/om_uc_syddanmark/dokumente...

    Therefore, eating a lot of fruit will cause you to eat fewer total calories compared to unsatiating junk food, and will, ceteris paribus, lead to weight loss.

    The notion that you have to "burn off" sugar is a myth. Processed sugars added to processed food lead to weight gain, while there is no convincing evidence that whole-food sugars cause anything but weight maintenance or weight loss, irrespective or physical activity.

    Read more at:

    http://www.finalfatloss.com/2017/01/03/in-defense-of-carbs/

  30. Mark
    can you eat salami
    Reply: #83
  31. Mandy
    My cholesterol has become higher since eating in this way. I was told to cut out saturated fats. Are other people experiencing this problem?
    Reply: #82
  32. Hi Mandy!

    More reading here:
    https://www.dietdoctor.com/low-carb/side-effects#cholesterol

    My cholesterol has become higher since eating in this way. I was told to cut out saturated fats. Are other people experiencing this problem?

  33. Hi Mark!

    Yes :)

    can you eat salami

  34. Amy Evans
    Where do mushrooms fit in in relation to other items on the food lists?
  35. Jay
    How about yogurt for snacks?
  36. Karen
    Hi, I'm a big fan so don't take this as hating on you but... why do cashews feature in your video as a healthy snack, and are pictured in your 'what to eat' picture, but vetoed as too high carb in the nut section and other places. This really needs addressing as the information out there is already confusing enough for the average Joe without this inconsistency. Apart from that, love your work and your message!
  37. ione
    Can we have hard cheese? String? Pepperjack? Cheddar? And what about 1/3 less fat cream cheese?
  38. Lana
    Wanted to talk about a couple things I've found that will give people more options in what they eat. Yes those cheese tacos and chips are pretty good, but if you want something you could actually eat every day (without salt and that won't constipate you) with almost no carbs try jicama tortillas. I found them at my local grocery store and they are wonderful! You can eat them as they come or fry or bake them. I like them fried in a little coconut oil the best. They come out a little crunchy and since they are 100% jicama (nothing else added) they are very healthy. I've used them for fajitas, egg tacos and quesadillas. They do shrink up when you cook them so you'll want 3-4 in one meal but that's only 2-3 net carbs (reading from the package). Another thing I found is there are jerkies with just a tiny amount of sugar. Dukes is a good brand. No nitrates, MSG, gluten or preservatives either. Only 1 carb for 28g strips, or for 2 smoked sausages. Another thing I wanted to say to all the dieters out there...don't reward yourself with food. If you can stick to a good meal plan for X amount of days, or you lose 10lbs for example, then take a day off of work just to yourself and go do something....or buy yourself a little gift that will make you smile. Ok, and lastly, if you find yourself wanting to eat because you're bored, find a hobby! I use crochet and geocaching as my distractions. And as the doc says, eat more healthy fats to keep you full. It really does work.
  39. Donna
    Hi .just wondering if you can eat pop corn on
    Reply: #90
  40. Hi Donna!

    Sorry, no.

    Hi .just wondering if you can eat pop corn on

  41. Jayesh chopade
    Hi,
    Can we eat homemade yogurt in LCHF diet?
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