Fact-checked by Dr. Anthony Gustin, DC, MS.
Written by Brenda Godinez
The ketogenic diet is known for balancing your blood sugar and busting cravings and midday energy slumps.
Still, it’s nice to have the option of a few low-carb, keto snacks for busy days when you have to skip lunch or after a tough workout.
And if you find yourself snacking a ton? You might want to take a look at your meal plan. Not eating enough throughout the day can lead to over snacking and fatigue. Not sure how to meal plan? No problem.
Meal prepping is one of the best ways to set yourself up for success — but we all know life gets busy.
Here’s a comprehensive list of quick snacks you can purchase already made.
Remember — these aren’t meals, and over-snacking can lead to stalls in weight loss.
#1 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.
#2 String Cheese
Make sure it’s the full-fat version without added carbs or other fillers.
#3 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. Perfect Keto Nut Butter is a high-fat, zero-sugar added blend that comes in convenient single serving packets. Grab a box of those for your bag or your car for a quick serving of fat on the go.
If you’re interested how nuts can affect you on a ketogenic diet, check out our Full Guide to Nuts on the Ketogenic Diet.
#4 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.
#5 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.
#6 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.
#7 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.
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.
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.
#10 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!
#11 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.
#12 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.
#13 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.
#14 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.
#15 Low-Carb Bars
Choose bars that are high in protein and healthy fats, 3 grams of net carbs or fewer, and free from added sugars, sugar alcohols, chemicals, gluten, dairy, soy, or corn. Check these out.
#16 Sugar-Free Jello or Popsicles
Limit these for special occasions, as they’re highly processed and provide no added health benefit.
#17 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
#18 Cherry Tomatoes
Don’t overdo these as the carbs can pile up, but a great grab and go handful when in a pinch.
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.
#20 MCT Oil Powder
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:
#1 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.
Cook some ahead of time to have on hold for snacks on the go.
#3 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.
#4 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.
#5 Cheese Dips or Fondues
Enjoy with keto-friendly veggies.
#6 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.
#7 Keto Chips
Make them from cheddar cheese baked in a dished until crispy, then cut up into chip triangles.
#8 Low-carb Finger Food Sandwiches
Use something grain-free as the “bread,” such as cheese, lettuce, spinach, or hormone-free deli meat.
#9 Cold Cuts Meats and Cheese
Just simply roll healthy lunch meat around a full-fat cheese. This works well for a quick snack or party appetizer.
#10 Devilled or Hard-Boiled Eggs
Packed with protein and nutrients, eggs are like nature’s ready-made snack. Cut them in half and sprinkle salt and everything bagel seasoning or whip up a batch of your favorite devilled eggs.
#11 Cauliflower Crust Pizza Bites or Calzones
If you haven’t tried a cauliflower crust yet, it’s time. Prep these ahead of time and keep them in the fridge for emergencies.
#12 Flaxseed Crackers
Make a batch of these super filling crackers to eat with cheese, cream cheese, or just grab a few for the road. Packed with nutrient-dense seeds and spices, you’ll fulfill all your cravings with the carbs of normal crackers.
#13 Keto Fries
You can make fries out of any low-carb veggies, like these Celeriac Everything Fries. Make some and reheat when you’re feeling like a quick, salty snack.
#14 Superfood Meatballs
Everyone loves a good meatball. Luckily, these are always quick to prepare and save for a healthy meat snack on the go.
#15 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.
#16 Lettuce Wraps
Wrap your favorite meat and low-carb spices in some lettuce leaves like in our Curry Chicken Lettuce Wraps.
#17 Keto Paté
#18 Buffalo Bites
Easy to make and keep on hand in the fridge, these buffalo bites are the perfect option for a quick and delicious keto-friendly snack.
#19 Bone Broth
Sip on some anti-inflammatory bone broth when you want something low-calorie and comforting. Add fresh herbs, salt, and pepper for some extra nutrients and flavor.
#20 Berry “Ice Cream”
Berries are some of the only fruits on your keto “yes” list. They’re lower in sugar than most other fruits and are packed with beneficial antioxidants. For a simple “ice cream,” blend your favorite frozen berries with some coconut cream or heavy cream to form a healthy keto-friendly ice cream in just minutes.
#21 Cauliflower Ice Cream
Who knew ice cream could be good for you? Like in this Superfood Nice Cream, for instance. Grab a scoop for a quick dose of fats and nutrients to keep you going throughout the day. And with zero added sugar, you won’t have to worry about a crash.
#22 Homemade Popsicles
Try these Mint Chip Popsicles with Micro Greens for a dose of micronutrients and fat to keep you full for hours.
#23 Keto Frappuccino
A filling Frappuccino with all the healthy fat and none of the sugar. Check out this recipe for a quick and easy drink you’ll love first thing in the morning or after a hard workout.
#24 Keto Smoothie
Yes, smoothies can be keto. You just have to replace all the high-carb fruit with healthy fats. Try these keto smoothie options for a filling snack that will truly fuel your day: Acai Almond Butter Smoothie, Micronutrient Greens Matcha Smoothie, or Chocolate Sea Salt Smoothie
#25 Chocolate Mousse
Mix heavy cream with some cocoa powder and a little vanilla for an easy keto mousse. Add some stevia, if needed. Here’s an easy nutrient-dense version: Perfect Keto Chocolate Mousse.
#26 Keto Cookies
Check out a quick keto friendly matcha latte recipe from our founder Dr. Anthony Gustin 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 in Good Fats
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.