A Complete Guide to Low-Carb Snacks

Low-Carb and No-Carb Snack Lists, Tips, and Recipes

Trying out a low carb diet? Perhaps you're adopting a paleo or keto eating plan. Or you might simply be cutting back on your carbohydrate intake to manage a health condition. Shifting to a low-carb lifestyle means that you will need to educate yourself on nutrient-rich food choices that are also lower in carbohydrates. Identifying these foods will help you plan meals and also prevent nutrient deficiencies. Learn more about low carbohydrate snack choices.


Whether you're at home with time to cook, shopping for healthy food at the grocery store, or searching for a snack on the go, this low-carb snack list will help you to keep your eating plan on track.


Many low-carb eaters avoid fruit because they assume that it contains too much sugar. It's true that even naturally-occurring sugar (such as fructose found in fruit) can be problematic if eaten alone (without protein and fat) or overeaten for someone who is watching their carbohydrate intake. But fruit can be part of a healthy low carbohydrate eating plan.

Fruit is naturally low in fat, sodium, and calories and it is a smart source of key nutrients like vitamin C, potassium, fiber, and folic acid.

Ideal Choices

Fiber-rich fruits will be your best bet. Berries, apricot, and kiwi are smart choices as well as some types of melon.

Also keep in mind that some low-carb fruits are those that you might typically add sugar to, such as grapefruit, cranberries, and rhubarb. If you add sugar, you'll have to add those additional grams of carbohydrate to your total.

If you're trying to honor a sugar craving, you may want to grab a serving of fruit. Fruits that are naturally sweeter may satisfy you better even though they may contain more carbohydrates per serving. Pairing fruit with protein and fat can keep you satiated longer.

Low carb snack fruits include:

  • Blackberries (13.8 grams carbohydrate, 7.6 grams fiber, 7 grams sugar per cup)
  • Strawberries (11.7 grams carbohydrate, 3 grams fiber, 7.4 grams sugar per cup)
  • Raspberries (14.7 grams carbohydrate, 8 grams fiber, 5.4 grams sugar per cup)
  • Rhubarb (5.5 grams carbohydrate, 2.2 grams fiber, 1.3 grams sugar per cup)
  • Cantaloupe (14.4 grams carbohydrate, 1.6 grams fiber, 13.9 grams sugar per cup)
  • Apricot (3.8 grams carbohydrate, 0.7 grams fiber, 3.2 grams sugar per fruit)
  • Grapefruit (13 grams carbohydrate, 2 grams fiber, 8.5 grams sugar per cup)
  • Cranberries (12 grams carbohydrate, 4.6 grams fiber, 4 grams sugar per cup)
  • Guava (8 grams carbohydrate, 3 grams fiber, 4.9 grams sugar per fruit)
  • Kiwi (10 grams carbohydrate, 2.1 grams fiber, 6 grams sugar per cup)
  • Avocado (12 grams carbohydrate, 9.2 grams fiber, 2.7 grams sugar per fruit)

Higher Carbohydrate Fruits

Dried fruit, especially sweetened dried fruit, will have more sugar and carbohydrates than whole fresh fruit. Also bananas and pears are higher in carbohydrates (but also provide sweetness with fiber), as are other tropical fruits such as pineapple, pomegranate, and mango.


Non-starchy veggies are the cornerstone of a smart low-carb diet plan. Vegetables are not only naturally low in calories, sodium, and fat but they also provide healthy nutrients such as fiber, vitamins, and minerals.

Diets that are higher in plant-based foods—like vegetables—are also associated with a lower risk of diabetes and other conditions such as cardiovascular disease. And the fiber in many of these vegetables will help you to satisfy cravings for savory, crunchy foods while helping you stay fuller longer after eating.

Ideal Choices

Most health experts will suggest that you eat the rainbow when planning low-carb veggie snacks. That means that you'll want to choose veggies in a wide range of colors, like red peppers, yellow tomatoes, or purple eggplant. In addition, green leafy vegetables and cruciferous vegetables (broccoli and cauliflower) are important types of non-starchy vegetables. Aim to get a good variety of all.

Low carb snack vegetables include:

  • Celery (1.2 grams carbohydrate, 0.6 grams fiber, 0.5 grams sugar per stalk)
  • Radishes (0.2 grams carbohydrate, 0.1 grams fiber, 0.1 grams sugar per radish)
  • Cherry tomatoes (0.7 grams carbohydrate, 0.2 grams fiber, 0.5 grams sugar per tomato)
  • Carrots (6 grams carbohydrate, 1.5 grams fiber, 3 grams sugar per carrot)
  • Broccoli (6 grams carbohydrate, 2.6 grams fiber, 1.5 grams sugar per cup)
  • Asparagus (3.7 grams carbohydrate, 1.8 grams fiber, 1.2 grams sugar per half cup)
  • Cauliflower (5 grams carbohydrate, 2 grams fiber, 2 grams sugar per cup, raw)
  • Zucchini (3 grams carbohydrate, 1 gram fiber, 2.5 grams sugar per 3/4 cup)
  • Cucumber (1.9 grams carbohydrate, 0.3 grams fiber, 0.9 grams sugar per half cup)
  • Brussels sprouts (11 grams carbohydrate, 4.1 grams fiber, 2.7 grams sugar per cup)
  • Bell peppers (9 grams carbohydrate, 3 grams fiber, 6 grams sugar per cup)

There are some vegetables that are considered to be starchy. They include, corn, potatoes, and some squashes such as butternut squash and acorn squash.

Nuts and Seeds

If you're going low-carb, nuts and seeds are your friends. In most cases, they provide healthy poly or monounsaturated fats bundled with hunger-busting protein and fiber to keep your cravings at bay. Nuts and seeds are also easy to carry and consume so they make a convenient low-carb snack for times when you are on the go.

Ideal Choices

Nuts and seeds are easy to overeat, especially if you keep them in a bowl or dish on your counter. You might not want to buy these low-carb snacks in bulk. If you do, package them into single-serving containers so they are easy to grab and go.

Tip: Keep a single serving scoop (usually two tablespoons) inside a container of nuts or measure a quarter cup so you only eat a single portion.

Low carb nuts to eat as snacks:

  • Peanuts (6 grams carbohydrate, 2.3 grams fiber, 1.2 grams sugar per ounce)
  • Pecans (4 grams carbohydrate, 3 grams fiber, 1 gram sugar per ounce)
  • Macadamia nuts (3.9 grams carbohydrate, 2.4 grams fiber, 1.3 grams sugar per ounce)
  • Walnuts (3.8 grams carbohydrate, 1.9 grams fiber, 0.7 grams sugar per ounce)
  • Pine nuts (3.7 grams carbohydrate, 1 gram fiber, 1 gram sugar per ounce)
  • Almonds (6 grams carbohydrate, 3.5 grams fiber, 1.2 grams sugar per ounce)
  • Sunflower seeds (7 grams carbohydrate, 3.9 grams fiber, 0.9 grams sugar per 1/4 cup)
  • Pumpkin seeds (15 grams carbohydrate, 5 grams fiber per ounce)

Nuts and Seeds to Limit

Cashews deliver 8.6 grams of carbs per ounce. Pistachios deliver 7.7 grams of carb per serving. Also, avoid flavored nuts and nut mixes because many of them (even the savory blends) contain added sugars and high levels of sodium. Go with the plain or raw nuts, if possible.

Dairy Snacks

The dairy aisle can be a tricky part of the market to navigate when you are living a low-carb lifestyle. But dairy products can be a nutritious and important part of your healthy eating plan. Most dairy products increase your calcium intake for healthy bones and teeth. Many dairy products also boost your potassium and vitamin D intake.

Ideal Choices

Many dairy foods and snacks are naturally low in carbohydrates and relatively low in sugar but include added ingredients that change the nutrition facts. Some yogurt products, for example, are high in carbs because of the added fruit and sugars. Similarly, flavored cottage cheese may include ingredients that boost the carb count. Always check the Nutrition Facts label.

Low carb dairy snack ideas:

  • Cottage cheese (4.1 grams carbohydrate, 0 grams fiber, 4.1 grams sugar per serving)
  • Plain yogurt (11.4 grams carbohydrate, 0 grams fiber, 11.4 grams sugar per serving)
  • Provolone cheese (0.6 grams carbohydrate, 0 grams fiber, 0.2 grams sugar per slice)
  • Swiss cheese (1.5 grams carbohydrate, 0 grams fiber, 0.4 grams sugar per serving)
  • String cheese (0.5 grams carbohydrate, 0 grams fiber, 0 grams sugar per serving)
  • Cream cheese (0.6 grams carbohydrate, 0 grams fiber, 0.5 grams sugar per serving)

Low Carb Dairy Snacks to Limit

In addition, frozen dairy products are also often higher in sugar. So while plain yogurt might be a healthy low-carb snack, frozen yogurt is likely to be very high in carbs.

Protein Snacks

Muscle building protein snacks will help you to feel satisfied between meals when you're on a low carb diet. Protein snacks provide nutrients that are the building blocks for strong bones, muscles, cartilage, skin, blood, enzymes, and hormones.

When you consume protein snacks you'll also likely boost your intake of B vitamins (niacin, thiamin, riboflavin, and B6), vitamin E, iron, zinc, and magnesium.

Ideal Choices

Many protein foods are not easy to carry so they can be tricky if you need a low-carb snack for on the go. Sliced meats are usually easier. Or you might grab sashimi at the local sushi bar. Additionally, it is important to remember that a single serving of protein is about three ounces. A snack-sized portion might be half of that.

Low carb protein snack ideas:

  • Hard-boiled egg (0.6 grams carbohydrate, 0 grams fiber, 0.6 grams sugar per egg)
  • Turkey (0 grams carbohydrate, 0 grams fiber, 0 grams sugar per serving)
  • Chicken breast (0 grams carbohydrate, 0 grams fiber, 0 grams sugar per serving)
  • Tuna (0 grams carbohydrate, 0 grams fiber, 0 grams sugar per serving)
  • Salmon (0 grams carbohydrate, 0 grams fiber, 0 grams sugar per serving)
  • Shrimp (1 gram carbohydrate, 0 grams fiber, 0 grams sugar per serving)
  • Firm tofu (1.8 grams carbohydrate, 0.5 grams fiber, 0.3 grams sugar per serving)
  • Peanut butter (8 grams carbohydrate, 2 grams fiber, 3 grams sugar per serving)
  • Edamame (15 grams carbohydrate, 8 grams fiber, 3.4 grams sugar per serving)

Low Carb Protein Snacks to Limit

Processed meats, such as bologna, pepperoni, or salami, are higher in saturated fat and calories. They are also higher in sodium and some may even include added sugars. Beef or turkey jerky and Slim Jims are also commonly mentioned as low-carb protein snacks, but again, these may be very high in sodium or sugar.


It is not uncommon to search for a beverage when you're hungry for a snack. Coffee blends, sports drinks, juice smoothies, and other beverages are easy to carry and can fill you up quickly. But many beverages are high in calories and sugar.

A smart beverage boosts your hydration and can help you to stay energized. The smartest beverage for a low-carb eating plan is water because it contains zero carbs. But if you are looking for something with more flavor, there are a few other options.

Ideal Choices

Always read ingredients labels on the beverage that you buy. Many beverages are made with ingredients (like fruit juice) that you wouldn't expect. Also, if you choose almond milk (or another nut-based milk) check the label for added sugar. Many of the flavored varieties are higher in carbs.

  • Tea (0 grams carbohydrate, 0 grams fiber, 0 grams sugar per cup)
  • Coffee (0 grams carbohydrate, 0 grams fiber, 0 grams sugar per cup)
  • Sparkling mineral water (0 grams carbohydrate, 0 grams fiber, 0 grams sugar per cup)
  • Unsweetened almond milk (1 grams carbohydrate, <1 grams fiber, 0 grams sugar per cup)
  • Lowfat milk (12 grams carbohydrate, 0 grams fiber, 12 grams sugar per cup)
  • Celery juice (9 grams carbohydrate, 4 grams fiber, 6 grams sugar per cup)
  • Coconut water (8.9 grams carbohydrate, 2.6 grams fiber, 6.3 grams sugar per cup)

Prepackaged Foods

Packaged foods are an option if you are looking for a low-carb snack, but they are not always a smart choice. Many grab-and-go snacks include crackers, baked goods, or sweet treats that will increase your carbohydrate intake. They are also more likely to include processed meats.

Snack packs of raw vegetables are becoming far more common in convenience stores. Look for the brands that include a low-carb dipping sauce like hummus or peanut butter. Some packs also come with a slice of cheese or some nuts.

Another option is kale chips. Kale chips can be surprisingly low in carbs. While some brands are clearly better than others, kale chips can provide less than ten net carbs per serving. You'll also find other low-carb veggie snacks on store shelves such as those made with carrots, mushrooms, onions or broccoli.

Lastly, you might consider a snack bar if you are looking for a low-carb snack. Many are high in protein which might lead you to believe that they are low in carbs. But many snack bars are simply high in overall calories—so they are high in protein, high in carbs, and sometimes even high in fat. Read the Nutrition Facts label before you buy it.

No-Carb Snacks

Believe it or not, there are some snack foods that provide almost zero carbohydrates. If you want to make choices that are lower in sodium and fat and are less inflammatory you'll want to chose more whole foods and reduce your intake of processed meats and items like pork rinds.

Foods like canned tuna, turkey or chicken in pouches, or hard boiled eggs have nearly zero carbs.

Recipes and Ideas

The best way to enjoy your low carb snack is to combine some of the choices above. Use any of these low carb recipes or snack ideas to keep your eating program on track between meals.

Low-Carb Snack Combos

Combine savory and sweet or creamy and crunchy low-carb foods for a satisfying snack.

  • Plain yogurt with cinnamon, chia seeds, or flax seed
  • Lettuce wraps with lean turkey and vegetables
  • Hard-boiled egg filled with hummus
  • Veggie sticks with guacamole
  • Celery and peanut butter
  • Bell pepper slices with cream cheese
  • Strawberries with blue cheese
  • Ricotta with raspberries
  • Radishes with spinach dip
  • String cheese and almonds
  • Walnuts and apricot slices
  • Low-Carb Snack Recipes

Make a batch or two of these low carb snacks and keep them on hand for healthy munching between meals.

9 Sources
Verywell Fit uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
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  4. Time. The food that mysteriously makes you feel full, explained.

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  7. USDA FoodData Central. Cashew nuts, raw.

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  9. Fulgoni VL 3rd, Keast DR, Auestad N, Quann EE. Nutrients from dairy foods are difficult to replace in diets of Americans: food pattern modeling and an analyses of the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey 2003-2006. Nutr Res. 2011 Oct;31(10):759-65. doi:10.1016/j.nutres.2011.09.017

By Laura Dolson
Laura Dolson is a health and food writer who develops low-carb and gluten-free recipes for home cooks.