When the snack cravings strike (and if you’re a snacker, you know they eventually will), it’s best to have a plan in place. Especially because your favorite snacks, such as cereal bars, chips, or any of the packaged foods in your office vending machine, won’t cut it when following the keto diet.
Your new game plan? Keep a bunch of easy snacks in the back of your mind so you’re prepared when hunger hits. Simplicity is key here, because when you’re hungry you won’t have the time or patience to run to the store and fix something up. That’s why we’ve focused this list of 10 keto-friendly snacks on ingredients you likely already have in your kitchen.
1. Macadamia Nuts
Stomach growling? Reach for a handful of macadamia nuts, which have the highest amount of fat and lowest amount of carbs in the nut family. Nutrition aside, they’re snacking all-stars because they’re easy to bring with you and don’t need to be refrigerated. Keep a stash wherever you spend your day – in the car, at your desk, or in the pantry at home.
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The runner-up for the most keto-friendly nut goes to … pecans. They rival macadamia nuts in fat and protein content, and they’re also a good source of magnesium, which helps support your immune system and bone health, and reduces inflammation. Eat a few straight from the bag or toss them into a homemade trail mix.
3. Beef Jerky
Fat? Protein? Low carbs? Beef jerky checks the boxes – plus it’s another convenient option you can easily bring along with you. But be sure to skim the ingredient list on the package before you buy, since many options have a high amount of added sugars, which is bad because sugars mean carbs.
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4. Half of an Avocado
Avocados are excellent sources of monounsaturated fats, which can lower your risk of heart disease and stroke by reducing your bad cholesterol levels. You probably already add slices of avocado to your salads and omelettes, but have you tried ‘em solo? Take a half of an avocado, drizzle it with olive oil and a bit of lemon juice, and sprinkle a pinch of sea salt on top. Then dig right in!
5. Smoothie Topped With Coconut Flakes
You can blend almond butter, unsweetened almond milk, greens (spinach, kale, or your favorite), and protein powder into a smoothie for a filling snack. Don’t forget about sprinkling coconut flakes on top for a little crunch. They’re a good source of fat, though most is the bad kind (saturated fat), so be careful not to overdo it.
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6. Meat-and-Cheese Rollups
Got deli meat? Then this one should be a cinch. Try taking a slice of turkey breast with a slice of cheese, wrapping lettuce around it, and squeezing mustard right down the middle for an easy, tasty, and ultra-low-carb snack.
Meat is fair game when you’re following the keto diet, which is why putting together a plate of charcuterie when you’re in the mood for a snack is a great option. This doesn’t need to be one of those fancy displays you’d find at a restaurant – you can keep it simple and arrange whatever cured meats you have on hand. (Psst: This one makes a great party appetizer, too!)
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For a snack that needs zero preparation, reach for the olive jar. Olives are mostly made up of fat, specifically healthy monounsaturated fat. Plus, they’re loaded with antioxidants, and are low in calories and carbs. Keep in mind that olives can contain a lot of sodium, though – sometimes as much as 42 milligrams in one olive.
9. String Cheese
Cheddar cheese, bleu cheese, feta, mozzarella – all types of cheese are fair game on the keto diet. For an easy-to-snack-on version that you can bring along to work or while you’re running errands, go for string cheese or wedges. Just be sure to choose full-fat varieties because fat is the key to the keto diet.
10. Hard-Boiled Eggs
Eggs are a standout snack because they have one of the lowest energy-to-nutrient-density ratios of any food. They’re rich in good fats (so long as you don’t skip the yolk!). Keep several hard-boiled eggs in your fridge, so you can easily grab one when you’re in need of a nutritious snack.
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