One of the best things about the ketogenic diet is its high fat intake, which rarely leaves you feeling hungry.
But if you’re used to snacking or just want a quick fix, it’s helpful to have keto snacks on-hand to keep you going while still maintaining ketosis.
That’s why we’ve compiled two monster lists to keep in your toolkit:
Healthy keto snack ideas are endless, so get creative and share your personal favorite in the comment section.
Oh, and if you don’t incorporate your snacks into your meal plan, you run the risk of being kicked out of ketosis and stalling your weight loss. We’ve compiled a handy keto meal plan cheatsheet for you so that doesn’t happen.
Disclaimer: There are some precautions to keep in mind for staying on track. You can’t just snack on whatever the heck you want and expect to be maximizing your ketogenic diet.
Meal prepping is one of the best ways to set yourself up for success — but we all know life gets busy.
Don’t use that as a reason to cheat or eat something that will hurt your ketone levels. Try these go-to snacks for the busy bee:
- Beef jerky: Make sure the brand you choose is no- or very low-carb with very few added ingredients. Be wary of anything with added sugars, as that will kick up the carb content. Recommended Keto Carne jerky here.
- String cheese: Make sure it’s the full-fat version without added carbs or other fillers.
- Nuts or nut butters and seeds: Remember some nuts are fairly high in carbs (like peanuts, cashews, and pistachios). Stay away from any nut butters that have added polyunsaturated oils or “vegetable oils.” Choose higher fats choices, such as almonds or macadamia nuts, and seeds high in omega 3s like flaxseed and chia. Nuttzo is a great choice for a blend of good nuts. We, of course, make a delicious keto nut butter with MCTs and macadamia nuts. If you’re interested how nuts can affect you on a ketogenic diet, check out our Full Guide to Nuts on the Ketogenic Diet.
- Stevia sweetened dark chocolate: If not sweetened with stevia, make sure it’s at least 80% cocoa content or higher, as the carbs can add up quickly otherwise. Here is a low carb friendly chocolate.
- Seaweed snacks: Make sure there aren’t any added ingredients that contribute extra carbs. Also make sure there aren’t weird flavors or massive amounts of oils in these. They can be added as an extra crunch that you can sometimes miss on keto! Here is a recommended brand.
- Laughing Cow cheese wheels: Choose the full-fat versions. Try to get real cheese if you can, but these in a pinch if you need convenience.
- Cacao nibs: These are a nice low-carb alternative to chocolate chips! They have the same type of crunch, are way more nutrient dense, and very low carb. Watch out though, you can definitely overdo these. Here are Terrasoul cacao nibs we like.
- Avocados: GREAT choice because they’re a whole food and very easy to eat “as is.” Just add a little salt and pepper and you’re golden. Maybe even a little olive oil in that perfect hole in the middle.
- Sardines: Not only do these provide a healthy dose of fat and other nutrients, they’re also zero carb. This is highly recommended by keto-gurus, Dom D’Agostino and Tim Ferris. Here is Wild Planet, the brand they recommend.
- Pork rinds: Use as a crunchy no-carb alternative to crackers or chips. Many of these are low quality and fried with nasty oils. Not these Pork Clouds!
- Pepperoni slices: These are highly processed, so limit them and try to find organic and hormone-free if possible. Great paired with a high-fat cheese.
- Iced coffee: Drink it black (no added sugars) or only with full-fat milk or cream or MCT oil powder. Unflavored, chocolate and vanilla MCT oil powder here.
- Kale chips: If buying these, look for no added sugars—or make them yourself at home using coconut oil, lard, or ghee. Rhythm is a great brand of kale chips.
- Quest Bars: Keep these to a minimum and as a last resort, such as if you’re traveling and left without anything else. While they’re low-carb due to erythritol as a sweetener, they’re also processed with a few weird ingredients so keep them for emergencies. Find Quest Bars here.
- NuGo Smarte Carb Cars: Contain 2 grams of net carbs per bar. Like the Quest bars, you’ll want to only eat these as a treat and not buy often. Find them here.
- Sugar-free Jello or popsicles: Limit these for special occasions, as they’re highly processed and provide no added health benefit.
- Macadamia Nuts: One of the most keto friendly nuts. Packed with wonderful high fats. Careful! Can be super easy to overeat. Find raw macadamia nuts here in easy to travel with mini packs.
- Cherry Tomatoes: Don’t over do these as the carbs can pile up, but a great grab and go handful when in a pinch.
- Olives: Great right out off the olive bar if you can find one! Just try to make sure they don’t have any other oils but olive oil in them.
- MCT Oil Powder: This is why we made it! 🙂 Mix it in any drink and you have a keto friendly version of it (if there are no carbs to start).
These next keto snacks take a teeny bit of effort but will bring your quality keto game to the next level.
As we said, homemade keto snacks are the best choice. Opt for homemade over anything packaged as much as possible. These ideas are also great if you have a little extra time to prep or are looking for keto snacks to make for an event or party:
- Veggie sticks: Slice your favorite keto-friendly veggies and store in the fridge so they’re easy to grab and go. You could dip these in homemade guacamole or eat with full-fat cheeses.
- Bacon: Cook some ahead of time to have on hold for snacks on the go.
- Grass fed beef: Meat is a satisfying and delicious snack that will help you nail your protein and fat macros. Don’t worry about eating “too much” meat — it won’t kick you out ketosis.
- Fat bombs: Stuffed with healthy fats and so easy to make at home! Try Macadamia Nut Fat Bombs, Peaches & Cream Fat Bombs, Mocha Fat Bombs, or Anti-Inflammatory MCT Fat Bombs. Store in the freezer right after making, then keep in a travel cooler until ready to eat.
- Cheese dips or fondues: Enjoy with keto-friendly veggies.
- Pizza or taco rolls: Use baked full-fat cheese as the “wrap” and fill with pizza or tacos meats and spices, like these Breakfast Tacos.
- Keto chips: Make them from cheddar cheese baked in a dished until crispy, then cut up into chip triangles.
- Low-carb finger food sandwiches: Use something grain-free as the “bread,” such as cheese, lettuce, spinach, or hormone-free deli meat.
- Cold cuts meats and cheese: Just simply roll a healthy lunch meat around a full-fat cheese. This works well for a quick snack or party appetizer.
- Devilled or hard-boiled eggs
- Steak tips
- Cauliflower crust pizza bites or calzones: If you haven’t tried a cauliflower crust yet, you’re basically still living in the dark ages.
- Flaxseed Crackers
- Keto fries like these Celeriac Everything Fries.
- Superfood Meatballs
- Bacon-wrapped anything: Ideas could be mozzarella sticks, jalapeno poppers, asparagus, or beef. This is a popular one for parties. Try the bacon-wrapped asparagus in our Keto Power Breakfast.
- Lettuce wraps: Wrap your favorite meat and low-carb spices in some lettuce leaves like in our Curry Chicken Lettuce Wraps.
- Keto paté: Make a quick spreadable paste with meat and cream cheese to put on veggies or keto-friendly crackers. Try this Smoked Salmon Paté with Cucumber.
- Buffalo Bites
- Salad: You really can’t go wrong with low-carb vegetables, especially with mixed greens as the base. Add some bacon bits, hard-boiled egg, and/or parmesan cheese. Use a homemade full-fat keto dressing or something simple like extra virgin olive oil. Try this Chicken Caesar Salad.
- Bone Broth: Sip on some anti-inflammatory bone broth when you want something low-calorie and comforting.
- Berry ice cream: Berries should be eaten in very limited quantities, but this could be a good option for a treat or entertaining. Just blend up your favorite frozen berries with some coconut cream or heavy cream to form a healthy keto-friendly ice cream.
- Cauliflower ice cream like in this Superfood Nice Cream.
- Homemade popsicles like Mint Chip Popsicles with Micro Greens.
- Keto Frappuccino: Great pick-me-up and alternative spin on the classic sugar-laden versions.
- Keto smoothie: Acai Almond Butter Smoothie, Micronutrient Greens Matcha Smoothie, or Chocolate Sea Salt Smoothie
- Chocolate mousse: Mix heavy cream with some cocoa powder and a little vanilla for an easy mousse. Add some stevia, if needed. Here’s an easy nutrient-dense version: Perfect Keto Chocolate Mousse.
- Keto cookies: Try this Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookie or these Lemon Cashew Cookies.
Check out a quick keto friendly matcha latte recipe from our founder @dranthonygustin and follow him for more recipes!
AG Matcha 🍵 Special: – 1T matcha – 1/2c coconut milk – 1 1/2T @perfectketones C8 MCT oil – 1T raw cacao butter – 1T grass-fed butter – 1 scoop @perfectketones vanilla collagen – 12oz boiling water – 1/4t vanilla bean powder – blend _ Taking some time off coffee and replacing with this bad boy 🍵 this is the type of thing I’ll be having on my “modified carnivore” diet. Also oils, micro greens, leafy greens, avocado.
“Low-carb” doesn’t always mean keto-approved.
Many low-carb snacks (like Atkins products) will quickly kick you out of ketosis if you aren’t careful. This is because many of these so called “healthy low-carb” snacks are loaded with unnecessary ingredients that could spike your blood sugar and usually contain a very high protein content — both of which are big no-no’s on keto.
Remember, the ketogenic diet is damn near zero-carb and moderate protein. Here’s a reminder of the macronutrient distribution.
Try to stick to whole food-based snacks as much as possible — preferably homemade. But, we’ve provided a lot of quick ideas too for when that’s not possible or if you’re too lazy.
And remember, food is supposed to go bad.
Preservatives and fake ingredients have not been in the human diet until just recently and we are not well equipped to handle them. The body’s response is usually to create inflammation in response to food-like ingredients that it deems as “foreign.”
- Stick to foods that don’t make health claims (healthy food doesn’t need to say that it’s healthy).
- Stick to foods that have less than 5 ingredients.
- Stick to the outside circle of the grocery store.
Make Sure Your Keto Snacks are High Fat
Another difference between the ketogenic diet and your run-of-the-mill low-carb diet is the macronutrient ratios.
Since you have to be careful about not only keeping your carb count low, but also moderating protein, you’ll want to focus on getting plenty of fat.
A great way to do this is from your keto-friendly snacks.
Now that we have those guidelines in place, let’s dive into some ready-to-eat keto snacks.
The Do’s and Don’ts of Snacking on Keto
There are a few do’s and don’ts to pay attention to when snacking on the keto diet.
- Get caught off guard! Use this snack list so you don’t find yourself unprepared and accidentally smash a bagel.
- Thinking that eating prepackaged pork rinds or bars with fake ingredients is high-quality keto isn’t doing yourself any favors.
- Take the time to prep high quality snacks for yourself and reap the rewards.
- Stick to your macros.
- #TestDon’tGuess. Not sure if a snack is keto-approved? Test your ketone levels and answer this for yourself.
Brenda is a matcha tea-fueled health and nutrition writer at Perfect Keto. Crating all-you-need-to-know guides is her jam. When she’s not writing her next article, she’s taking food photos, shooting recipe videos, bending on her yoga mat, and plotting her next travel adventure.