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Going Keto? Here Are Eight Low-Carb Snacks You Can Still Enjoy

Regardless of what diet you’re on, nuts and seeds are pretty darn good for you.
Regardless of what diet you’re on, nuts and seeds are pretty darn good for you.
Photo: Peter Feghali (Unsplash)

Yeah, that’s right—I’m one of those people on keto, the low-carb, high-fat diet some of you have lost your minds over. Don’t worry, I won’t sing the keto gospel, with my bullet-proof coffee in hand (that’s seriously disgusting, y’all, STOP IT) ... keto is just what works best for my myriad of food allergies and intolerances. Some weight loss is a pretty nice side effect, too. I’m not about to say it’s the perfect diet for everyone, though. Only you know what’s best for your body!

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But if you’re on the keto “journey” with me, you might have a problem—it’s a little harder to have some snacks! Now, generally, you won’t feel the need to snack so much on keto as your body will be in ketosis, burning fat as its fuel source over carbs. This is a more sustainable energy source overall and makes it easier to wait between meals. Nice!

But I’m still a snacker at heart, and especially at these times like these, sometimes I just need SOMETHING to stress-snack on while I watch my Twitter feed in horror. Most snacks notoriously have a lot of carbs, but worry not—I have eight snacks for you that are keto-friendly, and more importantly, don’t taste like shit.

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Meat me halfway

Illustration for article titled Going Keto? Here Are Eight Low-Carb Snacks You Can Still Enjoy
Graphic: Elizabeth Henges

Epic protein bars are pretty cool because they’re just bars of meat, without any extra additives or other annoying things that can wreck your ketosis. Like other protein bars, they’ll last a while too, so you can throw them in your bag for an emergency snack while out and about. They’re a little on the expensive side, but there are a variety of different meats and different flavors to choose from. Basically, if you want variety, you’ll have to come to Epic.

Epic has a whole line of keto- and paleo-friendly foods, too, so give it a look!

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Cheese me up, Scotty

Illustration for article titled Going Keto? Here Are Eight Low-Carb Snacks You Can Still Enjoy
Graphic: Elizabeth Henges
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Do you like cheese? Do you LOVE cheese? Then Whisps Cheese Crisps are the snack for you. It’s … well, crispy, flavored cheese, cooked similar to potato chips. A lot of basic keto recipes replace the signature carb in the dish with cheese—like taco shells made out of cheese! So potato-like chips made out of cheese is an easy stretch.

I personally did not jump on the “everything made out of cheese” train, but of all the cheese crisp brands, Whisps is the most popular. So I’m going to say they’re your best option!

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Someone needs to eat ‘em

Illustration for article titled Going Keto? Here Are Eight Low-Carb Snacks You Can Still Enjoy
Graphic: Elizabeth Henges
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From what I’ve gathered about … I don’t know, life, people aren’t big on pork rinds. They’re always there, sitting in gas stations and grocery stores, unbought and unloved. The poor plight of the pork rind.

Worry not, dear reader, the ketoer is the one that buys the pork rinds. Super low in carbs, high in sodium (keto flu is usually caused by a sodium or electrolyte imbalance), and cheap, they make the perfect snack when you want some chips. And I mean, they’re everywhere so you can just grab a bag whenever. Even flavored pork rinds tend to not have hidden sugar in them. They’re just ... pork rinds.

You can also make nachos with them. NACHOS. I miss nachos.

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We love you, pork rinds, even if you’re misunderstood.



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Say no to nuggets

Illustration for article titled Going Keto? Here Are Eight Low-Carb Snacks You Can Still Enjoy
Graphic: Elizabeth Henges

If you’re against pork rinds for whatever reason (multiple religions restrict the eating of pork, for example), maybe you’ll like to try chicken rinds instead? Okay, Flock doesn’t call their chicken chips chicken rinds, but they’re chicken skins done in a similar way to pork rinds (which is pork skin). They’re pretty tasty as well, with a texture I enjoy just a bit more than the local pork rinds I pick up. It’s all up to your preference!

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Dehydrate your meat, not your mouth

Illustration for article titled Going Keto? Here Are Eight Low-Carb Snacks You Can Still Enjoy
Graphic: Elizabeth Henges

On paper, beef jerky seems like a great keto snack. It’s just a bag of dried meat! But, a lot of beef jerky has a surprising amount of sugar in it. So, if you’re going to stock up, you’ll want to pay good attention to the nutritional facts on the back … or just get the Jack Link’s Zero Sugar beef jerky. It’s only 1 carb a serving!

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Seriously, one of the biggest problems I’ve had with keto is the amount of beef jerky on the market that somehow has 10 or 15g of sugar added per serving. Even if you’re not on a low-carb diet, that’s a bit excessive. So check those labels regardless!

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Just a big ol’ bag of almonds

Illustration for article titled Going Keto? Here Are Eight Low-Carb Snacks You Can Still Enjoy
Graphic: Elizabeth Henges

One thing I have a problem with on keto is getting enough fat. It’s not the end of the world if I don’t reach my fat macro count for the day (I mean, I have plenty of fat reserves in my body already), but too much protein can make the body process it into sugar, which is … well, the opposite of what you want.

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That’s why there’s a rule in keto—everything needs butter. That’s why weirdos think it’s a great idea to put butter in coffee ... for more fat. But with snacks, you probably can’t slap butter on your beef jerky.

But another great way to get healthy fats in your diet is with nuts! Not all of them are created equally, though—peanuts and cashews have a lot of carbs in them. Well, I can just hear the people in the comments telling me peanuts are legumes and cashews aren’t technically nuts, but come on, you know what I mean. Don’t be that person.

Anyway, almonds are one of your best bets, so just … get a big ol’ bag of nuts.

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If it’s cocoa you crave ...

Illustration for article titled Going Keto? Here Are Eight Low-Carb Snacks You Can Still Enjoy
Graphic: Elizabeth Henges
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I gotta say, I stan Lily’s chocolate. If you look in the candy aisle, you might notice a fair selection of tasty sugar-free candies, and hell, if you buy them and eat them, they’ll probably taste damn good too. But have you heard the stories of the sugar-free gummy bears?

Many sugar-free candies are flavored with sugar alcohols like maltitol. As it turns out, a lot of people are intolerant of these sugar alcohols when consumed in non-trace quantities, and the effects can be disastrous. One time I bought sugar-free popsicles without reading the label correctly, and let’s just say I call them laxative sticks now.

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Anyway, the cool part about Lily’s chocolate is that these are sweetened with Stevia, an artificial sweetener, instead of sugar alcohol. All and all, super great that you don’t have to run to the restroom after satisfying a sweet tooth.

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Almost like the real thing 

Illustration for article titled Going Keto? Here Are Eight Low-Carb Snacks You Can Still Enjoy
Graphic: Elizabeth Henges

Quest protein bars are, like, THE protein bars. Everyone loves them. People on keto get to love them too because Quest’s protein bars have only 4 net carbs a bar. Quest also comes in like a million flavors (some better than others), so you’ll be sure to find something that hits that sweet tooth in just the right way. Not only are they a good snack, but they can be a good meal replacement too!

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The only problem is that, like most protein bars, they’re a bit on the expensive side. But they’re a great emergency snack or meal you can shove in a backpack or in your office desk. So, a few Quest bars are a pretty good investment!

Also, I personally recommend the Birthday Cake bars. I like eating half of one when I want something dessert-like, and it really hits that craving while helping me get more protein!

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