For meat and cheese lovers, the keto diet is a dream—bacon and eggs for breakfast, all the guacamole you can eat, butter on literally everything.
That is, until it’s snack time—then, if you’re on the keto diet, your’e basically SOL (unless, you know, you like having an entire steak for a snack). Think about it: All the best snacks are off limits on the keto diet (damn that fickle 70 percent fat, 25 percent protein, 5 percent carbs ratio). Granola bars, crackers, cookies—all off-limits on a keto diet.
So uh, what can you snack on when following a keto diet? These easy, grab-n-go keto diet snacks that will help you hit your macro goals while never getting hangry.
This one is easy enough to do: Just keep a bunch in your fridge at home or work and grab one when you’re ready to nosh. String cheese has a nice mix of protein and fat, which can definitely help you fill up and stay full, says Jessica Cording, R.D., a New York-based dietitian.
Per 1 string cheese: 90 calories, 7 g fat (4.5 g saturated fat), 0 g carbs, 0 g sugar, 170 mg sodium, 0 g fiber, 7 g protein.
Just like string cheese, a hard-boiled egg provides some protein and fat, while also being pretty low-cal, says Beth Warren, R.D.N., author of Secrets of a Kosher Girl. Eat a couple for a filling keto diet snack or pair one with something else on this list.
Per 1 egg: 60 calories, 4 g fat (1.5 g saturated fat), 0 g carbs, 0 g sugar, 60 mg sodium, 0 g fiber, 6 g protein.
Learn how to cook the perfect hard-boiled egg:
Walnuts are high in fat, have a moderate amount of protein, and are low-carb, making them a solid snack for keto fans, Warren says. Plus, they’re heart-healthy. Stick to a serving size of one handful—about one-fourth of a cup—otherwise the calories can add up fast.
Per 1/4 cup: 220 calories, 20 g fat (2.5 g saturated fat), 4 g carbs, 0 g sugar, 0 mg sodium, 2 g fiber, 4 g protein.
These little seeds are an awesome source of healthy fat and fiber, along with a little punch of protein, Cording says. They’re also super easy to eat on the go—just stash them in your bag and whip them out when you’re hungry.
Per 1/4 cup: 190 calories, 15 g fat (1.5 g saturated fat), 7 g carbs, 2 g sugar, 360 mg sodium, 3 g fiber, 6 g protein.
Avocados are packed with healthy monounsaturated fatty acids, along with plenty of other minerals like fiber and potassium—and they’re keto-friendly, too. “Avocados are one of my favorite keto diet snacks,” Cording says.
She recommends eating one half of an avocado when it’s snack time. Or, if you don’t want to deal with stashing half of an avocado in your fridge, Cording recommends looking out for “gator eggs”—tiny avocados that each count as a single serving.
Per 1/2 avocado: 114 calories, 10.5 g fat (1.4 g saturated fat), 6 g carbs, 0 g sugar, 5 mg sodium, 5 g fiber, 1 g protein.
One cup sliced cucumbers and 10 large olives makes for a great keto-friendly snack, with added benefits: “This is a great snack to help people in ketosis supplement their sodium levels.” says Desiree Nielsen, R.D., author of Un-Junk Your Diet. When you’re in ketosis, your body needs more sodium, and “without adequate sodium, people are at risk for dehydration, constipation, and more dangerous electrolyte imbalances,” she adds.
Per serving: 71 calories, 4.8 g fat (0 g saturated fat), 5 g carbs, 2.3 g fiber, 2.1 g sugar, 285 mg sodium, 1.2 g protein.
Eggs have gotten some bad press in the past, but according to Franziska Spritzler, R.D., a certified diabetes educator in Huntington Beach, California, “eating whole eggs has been shown to modify blood cholesterol in a way that actually reduces risk of heart disease and stroke.” She adds that eggs are also a great source of choline, which is necessary for brain and liver health.
Smash one large hard-boiled egg, and combine it with one tablespoon mayonnaise and half a teaspoon of mustard for a tasty keto diet snack.
Per serving: 175 calories, 15 g fat (3 g saturated fat), 0.5 g carbs, 0.5 g sugar, 120 mg sodium, 0 g fiber, 6.5 g protein.
Combine two ounces of whole-milk Greek yogurt, one tablespoon chopped walnuts, and half a teaspoon cinnamon for a sweet, but healthy snack between meals, suggests Spritzler.
And don’t be thrown off by the carb count: “Although the sugar and net carb counts may seem a bit high, the effective carbs are probably about half because some of the sugar has been converted to lactic acid during the fermentation process,” she says.
Per serving: 160 calories, 12.5 g fat (6.5g saturated fat), 6 g carbs, 5.5 g sugar, 25 mg sodium, 0.5 g fiber, 8 g protein.
“One thing many people do not realize is that when eating a low-carb, ketogenic diet, the body’s need for sodium increases,” says Sarah Koenck, R.D., of Virta Health in San Francisco. “Dill pickles are a great way to get in salt and a perfect vehicle for deli sandwich items, sans bread.”
For this low-carb snack, wrap one large dill pickle with one ounce sliced deli meat and once ounce sliced cheese.
Per serving: 160 calories, 9.5 g fat (6 g saturated fat), 1.5 g fiber, 3 g sugar, 3 g carbohydrates, 1645 mg sodium, 6 g protein.
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Steak is definitely allowed on the keto diet, but you probably don’t want to sit down to a big slab of it as a snack. Instead, grill a piece of steak, then cut it into bite-sized pieces, and refrigerate until you’re ready to eat it, says Cording.
Per 4-oz serving: 140 cal, 4 g fat (1.5 g sat), 0 g fiber, 0 g sugar, 0 g carbohydrates, 66 mg sodium, 25 g protein.
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“Fruit is scarce on a ketogenic diet, so I am a big fan of saving room in the carb budget for berries,” Nielsen says. She suggests mixing half a cup of raspberries with one-fourth a cup of whipping cream.
Per serving: 230 calories, 21.5 g fat (13g saturated fat), 5.1 g carbs, 4 g fiber, 2.8 g sugar, 22.3 mg sodium, 2 g protein.
“This is an easy portable snack that helps you get extra greens, while being balanced with a bit of protein,” Nielsen says. Take one large collard greens leaf (without the stem) and spread it with one teaspoon each Dijon mustard and mayonnaise. Top with one ounce sliced cheddar cheese and roll like a wrap.
Per serving: 162 calories, 13.4 g fat (7 g saturated fat), 1.3 g carbs, 1.5 g fiber, 0.4 g sugar, 269.4 mg sodium, 8.2 g protein.
“This snack is packed with fiber, protein, and healthy fats, making it the perfect snack to fuel your day,” says Sharp. Spread two tablespoons peanut butter on one celeery stalk. “Sprinkle some chia seeds on top to get a healthy dose of omega-3s,” she adds.
Per serving: 225 calories, 18.3 g fat (3.6 g saturated fat), 9.8 g carbs, 3.2 g sugar, 162 mg sodium, 4.6 g fiber, 9.3 g protein.
“This snack takes seconds to prepare and the healthy fats from this guacamole dip make it a perfectly filling and satisfying snack,” Sharp says. Slice up half a cucumber and dip into half a cup of guacamole.
Per serving: 233 calories, 19.9 g fat (4.3 g saturated fat), 14.9 carbs, 3.3 g sugar, 14 mg sodium, 7.7 g fiber, 3.2 g protein.
If any diet is going to allow you to have beef jerky for a snack, it’s the keto diet. Not all jerky is created equal, Lauren Harris-Pincus, R.D.N, author of The Protein-Packed Breakfast Club, previously told WomensHealthMag.com, so steer clear of ones with added sugar (a.k.a. teriyaki flavoring).
Per 1-oz serving (beef): 116 cal, 7 g fat (3 g sat), 3 g carbs (2.5 g net), 3 g sugar, 506 mg sodium, 0.5 g fiber, 9 g protein.
If you’re craving crackers on the keto diet (and crunchy veggies aren’t cutting it), try crackers made from flaxseed, which are high in omega-3 fats. Amp up your fat content even more by dipping these in some guacamole or topping them with cheese.
Per serving: 170 calories, 12 g fat (1.5 g saturated fat), 9 carbs, 1 g sugar, 10 mg sodium, 5 g fiber, 5 g protein.
On the keto diet, you really can’t go wrong with nuts—not only are they low in carbs and high in protein, but they’re also high in fats.
Another perk of nuts: “Research suggests that eating nuts like almonds regularly is linked to longer lifespan, less belly fat, improved brain health, and more,” Maggie Moon, R.D., author of The MIND Diet previously told WomensHealthMag.com.
Per 1/4-cup serving: 207 cal, 18 g fat (1 g sat), 8 g carbs, 2 g sugar, 0 mg sodium, 5 g fiber, 8 g protein.
Yes, really—you can totally have pork rinds on the keto diet. “They’re a good alternative to, say, a high-carb potato chip,” Jessica Perez, R.D., previously told WomensHealthMag.com.
Per 0.5-oz serving: 70 cal, 2.5g fat (1 g sat), 0 g carbs, 0 g sugar, 250 mg sodium, 0 g fiber, 11 g protein.
Sure, yogurt is great—but cottage cheese is pretty versatile, too. “Cottage cheese is a great choice because it’s high in protein, low in carb, and rich in calcium,” Gabbi Berkow, R.D., previously told WomensHealthMag.com.
Per 4-oz serving: 100 cal, 2 g fat (1.5 g sat), 4 g carbs, 0 g sugar, 450 mg sodium, 0 g fiber, 15 g protein.
Pistachios aren’t just another nut on this list—they’re actually known as the “skinny nut,” Alex Caspero, R.D., previously told WomensHealthMag.com. “They are among the highest snack nuts in protein and fiber, and lower in calories than any other tree nut,” she said. They’re also low in carbs and high in fats, which makes them very keto-friendly.
Per 1.25-oz serving: 100 cal, 9 g fat (1 g sat), 5 g carbs, 1 g sugar, 180 mg sodium, 2 g fiber, 4 g protein.
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