The ketogenic diet is one of the most satiating diets out there thanks to its focus on a high fat and protein intake.
Despite this, the occasional afternoon energy boost or keto snack to tide you over is sometimes needed. Life is unpredictable. You don’t want to be hangry!
Your choice of quality keto snacks can mean the difference between a long-term, successful keto way of eating or an ineffectual keto diet.
You may have heard the split approach referred to as clean keto vs dirty keto.
In a nutshell, clean keto values high-quality keto-friendly meals and snacks. Dirty keto prioritizes convenience and cost.
Think grass-fed, sustainably raised beef snacks vs lower quality, cheap convenient beef.
While dirty keto is convenient, cheap, and easy for a beginner, it’s not sustainable. Cheap is expensive, especially in regards to keto foods. You’re more likely to ingest more trans fats, additives, and hidden sugars on dirty keto.
The best way to snack on keto is to snack clean. Focus on a high, good-fat content and adequate proteins.
The right keto snacks help with:
- Regulating blood sugar levels to fight energy slumps
- Getting enough fat energy to counter the keto flu
- Taking intermittent breaks from calorie restrictions to jumpstart weight loss
Let’s dig a little deeper into the how of successful snacking.
Tips on How to Snack Successfully on a Ketogenic Diet
Many traditional snack foods and some labeled keto-friendly are high in carbs, added sugar, bad fats, and additives.
Avoid these common snack culprits. They may be delicious, but they work against ketosis.
- Fruits high in sugar and carbohydrates such as apples, bananas, grapes, etc
- Chips made from starchy vegetables like potato, corn, and sweet potato
- Low-fat or sweetened dairy products such as condensed milk and flavored yogurt
- Fruit juices, energy drinks, sodas, and flavored water
- Snack with artificial sweeteners
- Legumes such as sugar snap peas and crispy peas
- Cereals and doughy snacks such as cookies and pretzels
- Snacks with margarine
With that, what are the keto diet tips you should keep in mind for snacks you have on rotation?
Stick to Keto Diet Macros
Macros or macronutrients go beyond calorie counting.
Instead of asking yourself, “how many calories are in this snack?” you should ask, “how much protein, fat, and carbohydrates are in this snack?”
On a Keto diet, 55-70% of your calories come from fat, 20-35% from protein, and less than 10% from carbohydrates.
High fat in your eating plan ensures that your ketone levels are optimum.
Maintaining these nutrient ratios helps your body enter into nutritional ketosis, the fat-burning metabolic state crucial for a keto diet.
When counting macros, there are ideally no “cheat days.” You only need to move your macros around to accommodate your carb intake.
Keto-friendly snacks can help you meet your macros for the day.
Examples of such snacks are
- High fat and protein meat sticks
- Fat bombs made with bacon and avocado or coconut oil and peanut butter
- MCT oil, in your coffee or tea, is a great source of energy and a fat metabolizer
When eating low carb, be sure to measure net carbs.This is how to calculate net carbs
Net carbs, also known as digestible carbs, are what your body absorbs and stores minus fiber and sugar alcohols, which your body doesn’t.
This calculation helps you monitor the necessary dietary fiber in your meals.
More importantly, these foods are less likely to spike your blood sugar and therefore won’t interfere with dropping weight.
This leads us to the next key tip for keto diet success:
Limit Your Carbs
Weight loss on a ketogenic diet is based on your body achieving an almost constant metabolic state of ketosis. In this state, your body will be burning body fat (ketones) rather than its default fuel, glucose.
You need to maintain your carb intake at below 50g per day. This will reduce your insulin levels, deplete stored glucose and trigger ketogenesis (turning fat into fuel).
After 72 hours you should achieve ketosis.
A low-carb meal plan and low-to-no carb snacks will help you sustain adequate ketone levels.
Here are some quick snacks that will keep you well within your daily requirements:
- Jerky, which is available in beef, bacon, and turkey options
- Low carb nuts such as macadamia, brazil nuts, and pecans. Avoid cashews and pistachios
- Dark chocolate with no artificial sweeteners and with more than 70% cocoa will have fewer carbs
- High-fat cheeses with trace carbs such as halloumi, gruyere, brie, Swiss, feta, and goat cheese
- Kale or cheese chips
A common misconception about the keto diet is that you can eat and snack as much as you want and still maintain or lose weight.
This is false, and science supports it. As said, keto diet calories come mainly from fat and protein.
Fats and proteins take hours longer than carbs to break down and get absorbed. This means you feel satiated for longer when on a high-fat diet.
In a perfect world, this means eating fewer calories.
However, if you take in more calories than you burn in a day, you will gain weight. In the best-case scenario, your weight loss journey will plateau.
What can you do to avoid dipping into your snack jar for the umpteenth time?
- Set up a sustainable meal plan that emphasizes high-fat, protein-rich foods that are rich in fiber. These are the perfect trifecta for a successful keto diet
- Portion your snacks for the day or week beforehand. Don’t tax your self-control needlessly
- Snack mindfully, looking out for processed foods, sugar, and sodium, which increase cravings
Here is an example of a meal plan that cuts down on opportunities for over-snacking.
Note: There are plenty of free and paid options available online for a meal planner and keto recipes.
|Low carb granola with Greek yogurt
|Egg butter with smoked salmon and avocado
|Pork chops green beans garlic butter
|Keto deviled eggs
|Keto proof Tea or coffee with MCT oil
|Celery root salad with crispy bacon
|Vanilla protein shake
|Tuna salad with boiled eggs
Avoid Processed Foods
Speaking of processed foods, they will undermine your ketogenic diet.
That said, buying a snack can sometimes be the only option available if you have a sudden change of plans.
Labels, labels, labels! Read them and research the ingredients before factoring any foods into your snack rotation.
Look out for these unhealthy and potentially toxic ingredients in processed foods:
- Nitrites, often found in commercially cured meats, have been linked to cancer and type 1 diabetes
- Sugar, which has about 56 different names from obvious ones such as dextrose to other more confusing ones like ethyl maltol and sorghum syrup
- Trans fats are unhealthy fats linked to heart disease, inflammation, and diabetes
- Artificial coloring and flavoring substances have been linked in various studies to behavioral changes and allergic reactions
Look for foods that clearly state the per 100 grams ratio of each ingredient as well as the nutritional percentages.
You don’t want to accidentally ingest disguised sugar and carbs that will torpedo your ketosis.
This brings us to the next crucial keto diet tip.
Keep It Natural
The best way to avoid all these nutritional booby traps is to stick to whole foods as much as possible. They will help you meet all your fiber and micronutrient requirements.
Fruits and vegetables low in carbohydrates should be a staple.
- Green leafy vegetables like kale and spinach
- Cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, cauliflower, brussels sprouts, and cabbage
These fruits and veggies can be a great accompaniment to beef sticks or jerky in your snack box.
Go for grass-fed, free-range meats with no additives to ace your clean, low-carb diet.
Mission Meats is the go-to for flavorful, gluten-free, low-carb keto snacks. The ingredients of all products read like an organic grocery list.
All the Mission Meats jerkies, beef sticks, bars, and strips are made from grass-fed, grass-finished beef with no harmful additives like MSG and nitrites.
The Mission Meats keto sampler should be part of your keto snack essentials. Order the family-friendly snack bundle to include family members in your ketogenic diet. Every purchase makes a difference, with 10% of all profits donated to Feeding America.