What can you snack on when on a low-carb diet?
Certainly not the stuff other people usually eat – like pastries, fruit or sweets. Don’t despair though. Many low-carb snack options are available – you just need to get used to them.
Below are some ideas for different situations, for example, when you are out and about, or when at home but don’t have time to cook.
Net carb counts and recipes are included.
Low-carb snacks, ready to eat
Finding low-carb snacks when you are out and about is the most difficult part. Here are some ideas for simple snacks you can get from most supermarkets.
Nuts like macadamia, Brazil nuts, walnuts, hazelnuts and almonds make a perfect low-carb snack. Avoid cashews, chestnuts and pistachios – they are higher in carbs.
Quick tip – buying nuts in bulk is cheaper than in small packets. Stock up in advance and then stash some in your bag as an emergency supply.
2-4g net carbs per 30g (1oz)
Some supermarkets stock mini-cheese portions, of 30-60g (1-2oz). Any hard cheese makes a good low-carb snack. In the UK, Cheestrings and Babybels are good choices.
0-0.5g net carbs per 30g (1oz)
Olives are naturally high in fat and low in carbs. Available from most supermarkets. They work really well together with hard cheese too.
1-2g net carbs per 60g (2oz)
Celery is not the most exciting vegetable, but it is crunchy in a rather satisfying way. Jazz it up with blue cheese or sour cream dip.
1g net carbs per 60g (2oz)
5. Full-fat yoghurt, plain or Greek
Full-fat yoghurt is reasonably low in carbs. Beware its sneaky low-fat brothers though – likely to be laden with sugar. Always check labels.
5-6g net carbs per 90g (3oz)
6. Cherry tomatoes
These lovely bite-size tomatoes are a great snack on their own, or combined with cheese, plain yoghurt or sour cream.
2g net carbs per 60g (2oz)
Berries stand in for fruit on a low-carb diet. The best ones are blackberries, strawberries, blueberries and raspberries.
4-6g net carbs per 90g (3oz)
Related post: Low-carb berry recipes
8. Cold meats
Choose sliced whole meats such as ham or turkey breast, rather than processed or reconstructed versions. Carb counts should be close to zero.
0g net carbs
Many shops now sell prawns in small snack-size packs, often with a dip. Net carbs in prawns are negligible, but check the info for the dip if there is one.
0-1g net carbs per 90g (3oz)
10. Pepperoni sticks
Most shops sell small pepperoni sticks. They are packed full of nasty chemicals but contain hardly any carbs. Ok choice as a last resort.
0-0.5g net carbs per stick
Low-carb snacks from specialist shops
Plan in advance to find some less common low-carb snack options online and in specialist shops. Hoard them at home for when you need a low-carb snack.
Biltong is a South African dried meat snack. Unlike jerky, Biltong marinade contains very little sugar.
0-3g net carbs per pack
12. Pork scratchings
13. Sugar-free protein shakes
Sugar-free protein shakes taste as good as milkshakes! Jazz them up with unsweetened cocoa powder, crushed berries, cream and sweetener. Try sugar-free, low-carb protein powder by Isopure or Atkins Advantage.
1-3g net carbs per portion
14. Sugar-free chocolate
Yes – you can have chocolate on a low-carb diet! It’s sugar that you should avoid, not the cocoa.
For example, Cavalier Belgian chocolate has about 3-4g net carbs per 40g bar. Sugar-free candy bars are also available. Atkins range is very popular and suitable for all low-carb diets, not just Atkins.
1-4g net carbs per bar
Related post: Chocolate on a low-carb diet
This option is novel, but seaweed is actually a “superfood”, packed with vitamins and nutrients. Available salted and dried from Asian grocers, as sushi sheets or in loose form. The taste is unusual, but nice once you get used to it.
1-5g net carbs per pack
16. Sugar-free jell-o
Sugar-free jell-o is a great low-carb snack, which will also help satisfy your sweet tooth. Make from scratch with gelatine and flavourings, or get sugar-free packets online.
0g net carbs
Low-carb snacks you can make at home quickly
Snacking is easier when you are at home. Here are some ideas for almost instant snacks.
17. Boiled eggs
Eggs are a perfect easy low-carb snack. Jazz them up with full-fat mayo or sour cream, or try making devilled eggs.
0.5g net carbs per egg
Avocados are low in carbs and high in fat. Mash them up with a bit of salt and pepper, or make into a dessert by adding sweetener and cocoa powder instead (yes, seriously!).
2-4g net carbs per avocado
Tuna is the darling of bodybuilders for its high protein content. Like any whole fish, it has zero carbs. Tuna in olive oil tastes much better than versions in water or brine.
Related post: 15 ways to dress up a tin of tuna
0g net carbs
20. Peanut butter
Sometimes, a couple of spoonfuls of unsweetened peanut butter is all you need to get you through the afternoon.
Add some sweetener like sucralose to make it into a sudden instant dessert!
1g net carbs per 1 tbsp
Low-carb snacks to make in advance
Here’s a quick round-up of low-carb snack recipes from around the web.
Make these in advance and keep in the fridge for when the snack cravings strike.
21. Mascarpone mousse
Mix mascarpone (or cream cheese) with sweetener and sugar-free cocoa powder for an instant sweet low-carb snack.
RECIPE: Keto mascarpone mousse recipe
2g net carbs per serving
22. Flax crackers
This fantastic recipe includes 2g net carbs PER BATCH of crackers! Perfect substitute for bread- with hardly any carbs.
RECIPE: Rosemary and sea salt flax crackers
by Mellissa Sevigny at I Breathe I Am Hungry
0.1-0.3g net carbs per cracker
23. Low-carb cheese straws
Make low-carb cheese straws with flax, almond flour and lots of cheese.
RECIPE: Low-carb cheese straws
0.2g net carbs per straw
24. Cheddar crisps
If you can make crisps (that’s chips if you are in USA) out of potatoes, then why not out of cheese?
RECIPE: Spicy Cheddar Chips
by the great low-carb recipe guru Carolyn Ketchum, at All Day I Dream About Food
0g net carbs
25. Low-carb sausage balls
Sausage meat with cheese, baked into a gooey ball of goodness.
RECIPE: Low-carb sausage balls
0.5g net carbs per ball
26. Low-carb Scotch eggs
Boiled eggs wrapped in sausage meat – perfect little parcel of protein and fat.
RECIPE: Low-carb Scotch eggs
1g net carbs per portion
27. Biscuits (cookies if you are American)
Low-carb biscuits are a great way to snack. Here are some of my recipes: amaretti almond biscuits, flourless chocolate biscuits and a savoury option – cheddar pumpkin biscuits.
0.3-1g net carbs per biscuit
28. Chocolate brownies
Talking of biscuits, why not try brownies too? Yes, they are also low-carb!
RECIPE: Low-carb brownies
2.5g net carbs per brownie
29. Parmesan puffs
Similar idea to cheese chips – Parmesan cheese plus egg white, fried in oil. Genius!
RECIPE: Parmesan puffs
0.1g-0.2g net carbs per serving
30. Courgette (zucchini) chips
Talking of crisps again, courgettes can also play for a potato!
RECIPE: Baked zucchini chips
from Vittles and Bits blog.
2-3g net carbs per serving