The healthiest keto diet friendly snacks are: Cheese, nuts and seeds, guacamole and avocados, kale chips, hard-boiled eggs, baked zucchini and parmesan “chips”, olives or pickled veggies and avocado chocolate mousse.
The high fat, very low carbohydrate ketogenic diet was designed around the 1920’s to be a treatment for children with epilepsy. Recently, the ketogenic diet is growing in popularity as a weight loss and maintenance diet.
Low carb diets have been popular for weight loss, but a ketogenic (keto) diet is very low in carbohydrates.
A keto diet provides as little as 5% daily calories from carbohydrates, 60-75% calories from fat and 20-35% calories from fat.
Most traditional diets are around 45-65% calories from carbohydrates, 20-30% calories from fat and between 15-30% calories from protein.
While following a keto diet, eliminating foods that have carbohydrates is the challenge. This means most packaged foods, breads, cereals, grains, fruit, some vegetables and legumes are all eliminated from the diet.
This limits the diet to fats, protein, low carb vegetables (leafy greens, cauliflower, bell peppers, etc.), cheese if tolerated, nuts and seeds.
Keto diets have been shown to be beneficial for weight loss and possibly other health benefits in short term studies.
However, long term studies with following a keto diet are lacking. Therefore, if you are considering following a keto diet, consult your healthcare team first. As with any diet, tailoring your food intake to meet your health needs is important.
Keto Diet Snacks
If this includes a keto diet, here are some healthy snacks you can enjoy. Note that just following a keto diet doesn’t automatically make you healthy.
You can eat lots of pork rinds, bacon and cheese and still be a keto diet, but this isn’t a nutrient rich diet.
Cheese is allowed on a keto diet. Therefore, having a cheese stick, snack wheel or a 3 ounce serving of any other cheese can be a satisfying snack and will also provide bone building nutrients and some protein.
Pairing the cheese with low carbohydrate veggies or some nuts can also add some needed fiber to the keto diet.
If you are just eating cheese for snacks, you may notice you may experience some constipation. Therefore, eating some foods that provide fiber for snacks and meals is recommended.
If you want some variety, you can also consider cottage cheese. Sprinkle some cinnamon or nutmeg for some sweetness and flavor!
Keep in mind drinking milk or eating yogurt may not be conducive for following a keto diet. These dairy options are a natural source of carbohydrates.
Nuts and seeds
An easy, portable, healthy snack option that fits into a keto diet is nuts. Not only are they low in carbohydrates, but they also provide fiber, protein and many minerals.
You can keep a handful size in bags or other containers with you for a snack on the go whenever you get hungry.
Mix up your variety; all nuts and seeds provide health benefits. Don’t forget about hemp seeds if you want something softer to chew on.
Guacamole and avocados
Avocados by themselves can be a healthy go to snack anytime. Unlike other fruits, they are surprisingly low in carbohydrates and high in heart healthy monounsaturated fat.
What is usually paired with guacamole is chips which probably won’t fit into a keto diet.
However, you could pair guacamole with slices of fresh bell peppers, cucumbers or cherry tomatoes. If you want to get creative, you could pair the guacamole with baked radish chips.
Kale is a popular nutrient dense go to food, and turning them into “chips” can seem like an indulgence instead of eating a salad.
Making kale chips is relatively simple; you just need kale (or other leafy greens), some oil, optional sea salt or other spices.
Along with a crunch, kale chips will provide a source of fiber, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants.
Hard boiled eggs
No food is perfect or contains all necessary nutrients, but eggs may come close. Eggs are naturally very low in carbohydrates and provide fat and protein.
Along with these, eggs are a source of choline, vitamin D, B vitamins and iron.
If you don’t have time to make a hard boiled egg, keep some on hand in the refrigerator. Hard boiled eggs can be made ahead of time and stored in the refrigerator so you can grab one (or two) when you want a satisfying snack.
Baked zucchini and parmesan “chips”
If you want some variety for snack options, try making zucchini and parmesan chips (1). All you need is either zucchini or summer squash and shredded parmesan.
This may be a chip alternative or just another way to get some veggies in the keto diet.
Olives or pickled veggies
Olives are a source of antioxidants, heart healthy fats, vitamin A, calcium and iron. Eating olives as a snack can be a healthy addition to a keto diet.
One thing to keep in mind is olives may be somewhat higher in carbs than other snack food choices.
A 100 gram serving provides 6 grams of carbohydrates (2% DV). While this is still low in carbohydrates, keep in mind the keto diet is extremely low in carbohydrates.
Another option if you are getting bored of fresh veggie slices to add some pickled veggies.
For example, eating a pickle or other pickled low carb veggies could be a change of pace for getting more veggies in your diet.
Avocado chocolate mousse
If you want something sweet when following a keto diet, you don’t have many options.
Sweets are usually heavy in carbohydrates because of the added sugar. Even desserts sweetened by fruit may be cut out from a keto diet simply because they are too high in carbohydrates.
What could work as a sweet snack is avocado chocolate mousse. Instead of using honey, maple syrup or other sweeteners, this recipe (2) uses alternative sweetener.
The only other ingredients are avocado, cocoa powder, vanilla extract and a pinch of sea salt.
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