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How to Choose Healthy Keto Snacks — 5 Key Tips (and More)

Keto Snacking

Snacking is a key part of every diet, including keto. How else could you sate that mid-afternoon hunger? So enjoy your delicious snacks—just make sure you're actually choosing healthy keto snacks. After all, since keto has become such a popular label, not every ketogenic snack you find in your favorite grocery store is actually good for you. In fact, some could even flush your metabolic efforts down the drain.

So how do you take charge of your shopping and get ketosis-boosting foods into your grocery cart? Easy, with these must-read tips on how to pick healthy keto snacks (and more).

5 Tips for Choosing Healthy Keto Snacks

Grocery stores now stock dozens of keto-friendly snack options. The good news is that people doing keto no longer have to source all their snacks at home. But the bad news is that you must now pay even more attention to what you're buying. It's all too easy to be fooled by a seemingly harmless "keto" snack that turns out to pack way more added sugars than you should be having. Let these 5 tips guide you as you shop.
1. Read the Nutrition Labels

1. Read the Nutrition Labels

Just because a snack calls itself keto doesn't mean it actually is keto-friendly. Read the nutritional facts label and decide for yourself, does this snack fit into your diet? In particular, pay attention to net carbs. Because our bodies don't digest dietary fiber, you don't have to worry about them when choosing snacks. Instead, calculate net carbs per serving: subtract fiber (in grams) from total carbs (in grams).

While on a keto diet, your daily carb intake should stay at or below 50 grams per day. How many carbs you can budget for your snacks will depend on your meal plan for the day. But generally speaking, since a snack is a smaller meal, you could budget 20% or less of your daily recommended intake of carbs for a snack. In other words, keep your snack under 10 grams of net carbohydrates.
2. Check Ingredient Lists

2. Check Ingredient Lists

Reading ingredient lists is also a good habit to get into, and not just because you're on the keto diet. Your snacks shouldn't have more than a few (if any) filler ingredients—components that are low-quality, inexpensive, and do not add any extra nutrition to the recipe. Instead, you'll want to choose snacks that are made with wholesome, minimally processed ingredients. As a rule of thumb, the shorter the ingredient list, the better.

Additionally, keep an eye out for sneaky added sugars. By now you know sugar is a big no-no in the keto diet (after all, it is just carbs), but you may not recognize sugar by its other names: dextrose, fructose, galactose, glucose, fruit juice concentrates, syrup, and so on. Once you start paying attention to ingredient lists, you'll realize just how common natural and artificial sweeteners are—and how hard it is to completely clear them from your diet.
3. Limit Ultra-Processed Keto Snacks

3. Limit Ultra-Processed Keto Snacks

You've probably heard of "dirty keto." It's a variation of the ketogenic diet that keeps carbs to a minimum but allows for all kinds of proteins and fats. As a result, people on this "dirty" diet end up eating a lot of fast-food and ultra-processed foods, which isn't good for your cardiovascular health in the long term.

If you want to improve your well-being while on the ketogenic diet, stay away from snacks that are high in trans fat and sodium. These two nutrients can truly wreak havoc on your body even though they are technically aligned with the high-fat, low-carb moto of the keto diet.
4. Consider Snacking on Organic

4. Consider Snacking on Organic

Most food found in supermarkets doesn't have high-enough levels of pesticides to harm human health. Yet, many people opt for organic options to avoid risking any potential side effects of conventional pesticides and herbicides in general. It's not a bad idea to eat organic keto snacks. Studies have shown that organic foods are more nutrient-rich than their conventionally grown counterparts. They also have higher amounts of healthy antioxidants and can lower the risk of allergic dermatitis in the case of dairy. And while organic keto snacks are more expensive, they're worth the investment. Plus, they've become pretty easy to find in large grocery stores and health food stores, so variety is no longer a problem.
5. Choose Free-Range and Grass-Fed

5. Choose Free-Range and Grass-Fed

Eggs and meat are two big parts of a ketogenic diet, so it only makes sense to pay attention to where those foods are coming from. Especially since snacks made with free-range eggs and grass-fed beef tend to be more nutrient-rich.

Free-range chickens live a much healthier (and happier!) life than most caged egg-laying chickens —they're allowed to roam, exhibit instinctive behaviors, and are often fed a more natural, varied diet. This differential treatment translates to real chemical differences in the eggs they lay. Organic free-range eggs have lower cholesterol levels than "regular" eggs and may have higher levels of antioxidants, nutrients responsible for fighting cell damage.

Grass-fed beef also has an edge over conventional grain-fed beef. Because cattle are raised on pastures eating vegetation instead of corn, soy, and grains, the chemical makeup of their meat is superior. Grass-fed beef offers more heart-healthy omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, more vitamins A and E, and more antioxidants. Overall, grass-fed beef also has less fat than grain-fed beef.

Popular Healthy Keto Snacks

Now that you've learned key tips on how to choose healthy keto snacks, you can shop by yourself with confidence. Head to the snack aisle to pick and choose what looks good. But if you're feeling stuck, these are just some of the store-bought snacks that will keep you in a fat-burning metabolic state:

  • Beef jerky strips: Opt for low-sodium grass-fed options, if they're available.
  • Egg white "chips": This snack has egg whites as its main ingredient and keeps added sugars to a minimum. Bonus points if the eggs are free-range.
  • Seasoned seaweed "chips": The best options are the ones made with just seaweed sheets, sesame oil, and sea salt.
  • Whole-fat string cheese: A classic childhood snack that belongs in healthy keto diets, especially if it's organic.
  • Individually packaged pickles: Choose pickles that have no added sugars.
  • Nut butter pouches: Sold in to-go pouches, nut butter is an awesome keto snack, but check that it doesn't have any added sugars.
  • No-sugar protein bars: Not all bars are sugar-free, so make sure to read the ingredient and nutrition labels before purchasing.
  • Keto chocolate bars: While not made from just chocolate, these bars can satisfy a sweet craving without packing significant amounts of sugar.
  • Washed berry cups: Sold in individual to-go trays, berries (such as blackberries and raspberries) make for a sweet keto-friendly snack.
  • Coated almonds: You'll find almonds coated in yogurt, nut butter, chocolate, and more. Opt for products with no added sugars and a clear and short ingredient list.

9 Ready-in-Minutes Homemade Keto Snacks

If you'd prefer to make your snacks at home, these are some wholesome options to consider:

  1. Hard-boiled eggs: Batch-boil free-range eggs at home and pack them in small to-go containers whole.
  2. Avocado mash: Eat it on its own (seasoned with lemon juice), with keto-friendly veggies like cauliflower and zucchini, or with keto crackers.
  3. Nut mix tray: Roast macadamia nuts, Brazil nuts, almonds, pecans, and walnuts in the oven and portion the mixture into to-go bags or containers.
  4. Celery and tahini: Cut-up celery sticks go surprisingly well with tahini, a paste made with one simple keto-friendly ingredient: sesame seeds.
  5. Cream cheese bell pepper wedges: Spread whole-fat cream cheese on cut-up bell pepper wedges and keep this snack in the fridge throughout the week.
  6. Keto energy balls: Blend almonds, shredded coconut, flaxseed, and peanut butter. Then shape the dough into balls and refrigerate this high-fat, low-carb snack.
  7. Dark chocolate nut butter cups: For a treat, melt the dark chocolate and pour it into a small cupcake mold. Once it solidifies, fill it with your favorite nut butter and cover it with more melted chocolate.
  8. Seasoned zucchini chips: Sprinkle herbs, salt, and pepper over zucchini slices and dehydrate them at a low temperature in the oven. Alternatively, you could bake them in an air-fryer.
  9. Keto crackers: Blend almond flour and shredded cheddar, roll out the dough, and cut it into squares. Bake until crispy and enjoy with keto dips and sauces.
Eat Healthy Keto Meals and Wholesome Keto Snacks

Eat Healthy Keto Meals and Wholesome Keto Snacks

A keto diet is restrictive (it is an elimination diet at the end of the day), but you can still certainly enjoy snacking. The trick is choosing snacks that actually fit into your dietary plan so you can curb your hunger and still hit the health and well-being goals you've laid out for yourself.

Going through a busy week? You can also turn to nutrient-rich fully prepared meals. Factor offers several mouthwatering chef-made keto meal options every week made from high-quality ingredients. And because the meals are dietitian-approved, you don't have to worry if they work with the keto lifestyle.

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