An Overview of Low-Carb Snacks

low carb snacks

When on a low-carb diet, it's good to leave a few grams of carbs out of your regular meal planning in case you get hungry in between meals. This is especially true in the first few weeks of the diet. After that, your appetite should normalize—so you are less likely to be hungry in between meals.

Still, with the busy lives that many of us lead, you never know when you may get caught in a long stretch without food. The worst thing to happen, in that case, is to grab something you were once used to eating, such as a muffin from a cafe. This can spike your blood sugar and throw your body out of your carefully cultivated stable state.

Also, as experts point out, it's very important not to go hungry. This can cause the body to generate stress hormones which also mess with blood sugar and insulin levels. However, this does not mean that we should never experience a hunger pang—especially in the first part of a low-carb diet—but that we shouldn't ignore them for long.

If you are still feeling the need to snack frequently, consider whether you are eating enough—particularly enough fat—at meal times.

Constructing the Perfect Low-Carb Snack

The ideal low-carb snack contains protein, fat, and fiber. The fiber is usually attributed from nuts, seeds, or vegetables.


In some ways, nuts (and certain seeds) can be a perfect low-carb snack. Nuts contain protein, healthy fat, and fiber all in one package and most of them are stocked with nutrients. There are only two caveats:

  1. Some nuts, such as cashews, actually have a fair amount of carbs.
  2. Some people have trouble stopping when they are eating nuts.

It pays to know exactly how many carbs you are eating when you eat nuts. Watch your portion sizes carefully.

Tip: Store nuts and seeds in the freezer. Remove just the amount you are planning to eat at one time. If you take them with you, use small snack-sized zip bags.


Flax seeds and chia seeds are wonderfully nutritious additions to low-carb snacks. Almost all the carbohydrates in them are in the form of fiber which doesn't raise blood sugar.

Vegetables: Dips, Spreads, or Crackers

Lots of dips and spreads are low in carbs. Pair them with non-starchy vegetables and you've got a great healthy snack!

While you're at it, think beyond celery and carrot sticks. You can stuff mushrooms with an easy homemade cheese spread, pimento spread, or a 5-minute spinach dip. Use jicama or cucumber rounds as you would a cracker for the dip or even guacamole. Many vegetables can be eaten raw—or quickly blanched—and make good substitutes for higher-carb crackers and chips.

Speaking of crackers, there are now a number of low-carb options on the market. For example, try almond meal crackers made by Simple Mills (available on Amazon) or you can make own crackers:

Another low-carb choice is pork rinds (Chicharrón) which can satisfy a desire for something crispy and can also be used for dipping.


You can even enjoy spreads by rolling them up. There are two main types of low-carb roll-ups:

  1. Roll up a dip or spread in luncheon meat. For example, spread spinach dip on a piece of smoked turkey and roll it up.
  2. In a lettuce leaf, roll up a salad made from a protein, such as egg salad, chicken salad, tuna salad, salmon salad, or ham salad. This makes for an excellent lunch!


Looking for fruit that doesn't have a lot of sugar? Berries are the way to go! 

Raspberries and blackberries are the lowest in carbs. Strawberries and blueberries are pretty low too. Combine berries with plain full-fat yogurt, cottage cheese, ricotta cheese, cream cheese, or you can even just drizzle some cream over them. Yum!

More Low-Carb Snack Ideas

  • Celery With Peanut Butter Or Stuffed With Tuna Salad (other veggies work too)
  • Hard Boiled Or Deviled Eggs ( eggs for beginners)
  • Dill Pickles And Cheddar Cheese 
  • Sunflower Seeds (on the shell so it will take longer to eat them)
  • Low-Carb Trail Mix
  • Jerky (sugar-free or low-sugar)
  • Low-Carb Shakes
  • Cheese: Sticks, String, Or With Apple Slices
  • Sugar-Free Jello, With Or Without Cottage Cheese And A Sprinkle Of Nuts (Make sugar-free lime Jello with part coconut milk. For a large package, dissolve the powder in a cup of boiling water. Add a can of coconut milk and then add the rest of the water. Stir well.)
  • Sugar-Free Or Low-Sugar Chocolate, Such As ChocoPerfection Bars
  • Smoked Salmon And Cream Cheese On Cucumber Slices
  • Ricotta Cheese With  Low-Sugar Fruit, Nuts, Or Flaxseed Meal
  • Snack Bars, Such As Quest Protein Bars (watch out for sugar alcohols, especially maltitol)
  • Pepperoni Chips (Microwave pepperoni slices until crisp. These are great with cheeses and dips.)

More Low-Carb Snack Recipes

More Low-Carb Snack Resources

A Word From Verywell

Sometimes when we think of snacks, we automatically think of foods that aren't very good for us. But snacks can just as easily be part of a healthy way of eating. 

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