Most snack foods aren’t very helpful for satisfying your hunger, because they are high in refined carbohydrates like white flour or sugar. These are my picks for the 10 best low carb snacks that you should try ASAP to level up your snacking game.
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Why Focus on Low Carb?
I’m not advocating for the need to follow a low-carbohydrate way of eating, such as a ketogenic diet or the old-school Atkins plan. If you currently use one of these approaches to guide your eating choices, and it works for you, then that’s amazing! Beyond encouraging my patients to choose a way of eating that works for them, I typically don’t advocate for eating habits that significantly cut down on a particular macronutrient (e.g., low-fat, low-carb).
However, many snack foods are high in refined carbohydrates (e.g., white flour and sugar), which spike your glucose, lead you to eat large portions to satisfy your hunger, and can cause more food cravings shortly after eating them. Some of the foods I’m talking about here are potato chips, pretzels, fruit snacks, granola bars, and crackers. Have you ever eaten 300+ calories worth of these snacks and still felt hungry?
That’s why I’m focusing on my favorite low-carb options– because many of these foods are higher in protein, the most important macronutrient for satisfying hunger, and healthy sources of fats.
These snacks will keep you feeling full between meals for under 200 calories each.
The 10 Best Low Carb Snacks!
These are in no particular order, since everyone will have different preferences for the type of snack they are looking for and varied taste preferences. However, I guarantee you’ll find something included on this list that you will love!
Every product is linked, so you can easily shop now and improve your snacking habits ASAP!
#1: Make Fruits and Veggies More Flavorful!
Snacking on fresh foods like fruits and vegetables is a great way to provide your body with bonus vitamins and minerals. You can pair fruit with Babybel cheese minis or your favorite single-ingredient nut butter (like this peanut butter or almond butter). Vegetables are delicious dipped in homemade hummus or pre-made, low-carb dips like BRAMI’s creamy lupini bean dips or Naya’s flavorful cauliflower dips.
#2: Raw Nuts or Trail Mix
Nuts contain an array of micronutrients, such as B-vitamins, folate, and vitamin E, which are essential for metabolism, mood, and keeping the cells in your body happy and healthy! Nuts also have good fatty acids for brain health and phytochemicals like polyphenols, which are powerful antioxidants linked to preventing diseases like cancer.
Raw nuts, which do not contain added oils or salt, have the highest nutritional benefits. Some delicious options include:
- Raw cashews
- Raw almonds
- Raw walnuts
- Raw pecans
- Raw pinenuts
- Raw Brazil nuts
- Raw pumpkin seeds (a.k.a. pepitas)
- Raw sunflower seeds
If you prefer trail mix, read the ingredients list to make sure that there are no added oils or sugars. My recommendation would be the Raw Superfoods Trail Mix by Better Foods— they use the highest quality ingredients without any additives.
#3: Grass-Fed Beef Jerky Sticks
Say goodbye to the overly processed beef jerky many of us grew up with, and give this upgraded version a try! High-quality beef jerky sticks are a fantastic source of satiating protein that will tie you over to your next meal.
Choosing grass-fed beef when possible is preferred because it has fewer calories, a higher percentage of healthy fats, and more antioxidants.
You also want to make sure that your beef jerky does not contain added sugars or oils. Brands I recommend include:
Edamame is a vegetable-type soybean that is high in protein (18 grams of protein in 1 cup!) and lower in carbohydrates than most beans, so your blood sugar doesn’t spike significant after eating them. Edamame contains an impressive profile of vitamins and minerals, including vitamin K, folate, manganese, and iron.
You can buy frozen edamame at any grocery store and prepare a healthy snack by microwaving (or boiling) it and topping it with a pinch of sea salt. However, edamame is a perfect go-to snack when dry roasted and comes in pre-made portions. I recommend trying out:
#5: Seasoned Tuna or Salmon
Shelf-stable, high-quality tuna or salmon can be another go-to pantry staple for a high-protein, low-carbohydrate snack. Safe Catch is the brand I trust over all others. They test every single fish for its mercury content, resulting in their fish having 25x less mercury than other brands. All of their fish is also sustainably caught and their fishing process follows the highest standards to ensure the safety of other sealife (like dolphins!). Their canned wild-caught tuna and canned wild-caught salmon are delicious, and I also love their seasoned individual packs of tuna as the perfect on-the-go snack! If you choose to season the tuna or salmon yourself, I encourage you to go for delicious spices (like chili powder, red pepper flakes, garlic) with a hint of lemon juice.
#6: High-Protein Chips
Craving a salty snack that is low in net carbohydrates? Even better, these options are high in protein to help you stay full between meals. Protein chips are personally one of my favorite go-to snack options because they are just so darn close to the real thing! It’s an easy substitute to make when you’re striving to eat healthy and doesn’t feel like a sacrifice. Here are some options to try!
- Quest protein chips (definitely my top recommendation and comes in delicious flavors like loaded taco, ranch, and BBQ, 20g of protein and 4g net carbs per bag!)
- Popcorners Flex protein chips (cheddar and sour cream, anyone?! 10g of protein and 8g net carbs)
- Hilo Life (spicy salsa and nacho cheese flavors, 9g of protein and 3g net carbs)
- Twin Peaks jalepeno cheddar cheese balls (20g of protein and 2g net carbs)
- Bada Bean Bada Boom (vegan, 7g of protein and 10g net carbs)
#7: Parm Crisps
If you’re a cheese lover (and who isn’t?!), Parm Crisps are a perfect snack option. What I love most about their brand is that they use minimal ingredients in their products. For example, the Sesame flavor contains just aged parmesan cheese and sesame seeds. Simple and unbelievably tasty! Snag their variety pack to try the original, cheddar, sour cream and onion, jalapeno, pizza, and sesame flavors!
#8: Low-Carb Sweet Treats
The industry sure has come a long way with creating tasty desserts that are low in carbohydrates. There are so many options you can easily incorporate into your day without compromising your healthy eating goals. I encourage you to think about the sweet treat snack food you enjoy the most, and then purchase a low-carb version to enjoy more regularly! You can of course still enjoy the real thing, but a healthier substitute will help you satisfy your craving more often! Some of my favorites include:
- Quest protein cookies
- Highkey products– they are all incredible!
- UNREAL peanut butter cups
- Catalina crunch chocolate sandwich cookies
- Ready-to-eat birthday cake cookie dough
- Gluten- and dairy-free cookie dough bites
- SmartSweets gummy candy
- Kiss my Keto gummy candy (LOVE them- read my full review here)
#9: Protein Shakes
Having ready-to-drink protein shakes in your fridge at home, work, or school is essential. You’ll always know that you have a nutrient-dense, filling snack to hold you over between meals.
You can read more about the details of my favorite protein shakes, but some recommendations include:
- Orgain Grass Fed Clean Protein Shake
- Premier Protein
- Quest Nutrition Protein Shakes
- Muscle Milk 100 Calorie Protein Shake
- Evolve (plant based)
- OWYN Vegan Protein Shakes
#10: Protein Bars
In addition to (or instead of) protein shakes, I strongly recommend keeping your favorite protein bars on hand. Protein bars are often made in delicious flavors (like cookies and cream and peanut butter cup) and can be more satisfying than protein shakes to some people because you are chewing your calories instead of drinking them.
Some of my top recommendations that are low in net carbohydrates include:
- Powercrunch Pro (tastes like a Kit Kat)
- Fitcrunch (tastes like a Snickers)
- Quest bars (all of the flavors are incredible, my favorites are cookie dough, cookies and cream, and the HERO bars)
- Kirkland signature protein bars (I think they’re Quest knockoffs- just as delicious but a fraction of the cost)
- ONE protein bars
- good! Snacks vegan protein bars
- No Cow vegan protein bars
For More Inspiration…
If you’re looking for a place where you can find TONS of healthy food inspiration (and another place to buy many of the other items on this list), check out Thrive Market! I’ve been a big fan and customer of Thrive Market since they were founded in 2015. They keep an incredible selection of organic groceries, delivered to your door for very affordable prices. They have a special offer for my audience to receive a free gift (like one of the options on this list!) with their first order! Click the picture below!
Dr. Schulte’s Summary
Eating foods that are low in carbohydrates can help you keep your blood sugar stable, which makes it easier to stay full between meals and fight cravings. Remember, you still want to be thoughtful about practicing portion control, especially if you are pursuing weight loss. All of the options on this list will support whatever goals you have!
Hopefully this list provided you with a ton of ideas for delicious, low-carbohydrate snack options!
What snack will you try first? Let me know in the comments!
Disclaimer: all opinions are my own and are not affiliated with my employers. Please seek medical guidance before pursuing weight loss or making significant changes to the way you eat or your physical activity routine.