There are plenty of low-carb snack options that are just as healthy and delicious. And they are perfect for the keto diet.
Below I listed 10 keto-friendly foods you can include in your next meal plan.
These delicious keto-friendly snacks will help you lose weight and stay in ketosis.
1. Dark Chocolate
This guilty pleasure may be as pleasureful for you as it is for your body. The cocoa in dark chocolate contains many flavanols that improve digestive health and decrease blood pressure, heart disease risk, and insulin resistance. Altogether, this will help prime your body for fat loss and improve overall health.
However, this doesn’t mean that you have a free pass for eating as much dark chocolate as you’d like, especially if you are on the ketogenic diet. Many chocolate products contain enough net carbs to kick you out of ketosis.
When buying chocolate or any cocoa product, read the label to make sure it has no added sugars and a negligible amount of carbs per serving.
Most fruits are too high in carbs to include as a part of the ketogenic diet, but some berries are a delicious exception.
There are hundreds of types of berries in the world, and all of them contain different anthocyanins, which are flavonoids responsible for their distinctive colors of red, blue, and purple. These flavonoids also have potent anti-inflammatory effects and can improve gut and brain health.
And don’t forget about their sweet and tangy taste! Just a couple of berries may be all you need to curb your sugar cravings, so you don’t succumb to your urge to binge on sweets.
While you are on the ketogenic diet, however, it is best to consume berries in moderation due to there relatively higher net carb content.
Here are the carb counts for 3.5 ounces (100 grams) of some keto-friendly berries:
- Blackberries: 10 grams of total carbs (5 grams of net carbs)
- Blueberries: 14 grams of total carbs (12 grams of net carbs)
- Raspberries: 12 grams of total carbs (6 grams of net carbs)
- Strawberries: 8 grams of total carbs (6 grams of net carbs)
3. Matcha Green Tea
The primary antioxidant in green tea — EGCG — is linked to potential weight loss benefits, and matcha has more of it than regular green tea.
Several studies indicate that EGCG increases fat oxidation at rest and during exercise. In other words, green tea — matcha green tea in particular — can literally help you burn fat.
The caffeine in matcha green tea will also help increase fat burning, ketone production, and overall calorie burning. How much fat loss caffeine and EGCG will stimulate is uncertain, but there is reason to believe that they will help any dieter boost their results.
Coffee will provide you with many of the same benefits as matcha green tea, but without an extra fat-burning boost from EGCG.
Here is a quick look at what the research on coffee has discovered:
- Increased ketone production by 88-116% for up to four hours after drinking it.
- Stimulates the breakdown down fats in the body and increased free fatty acids (FFA) in the blood, which the liver converts to ketones.
- Increases our rate of calorie burning.
Altogether, these findings translate to appetite reduction (from the ketone production) and increased fat and calorie burning. If you want to optimize these fat loss effects, try drinking your coffee black (i.e., with no added calories).
5. High Fat Hard Cheeses
Not only is hard cheese filled with highly-satiating protein and fats that help with weight loss, but studies have also found that the calcium from dairy may help increase the amount of fat you burn and excrete.
This means that when you indulge in some high-fat cheese, you may be able to boost your metabolism and get all of the satiating effects of cheese without absorbing all of its calories — a win-win situation for weight loss.
There is no need to be cheap with the cheese on the ketogenic diet either. Due to the low carb content of most cheeses, you can usually get away with adding it to every meal.
5. Grass-Fed Beef
Not only does beef provide you with plenty of protein (and all of its benefits), but it is also a good source of vitamin B12, a highly-absorbable form of iron, creatine, and taurine as well.
To maximize the health benefits you get from your beef, it is best to have 100% grass-fed, pasture-raised red meat. Meat from animals that are raised in this way has been found to have healthier ratios of omega 3 to omega 6 fats and contain more antioxidants than 100% grain-fed animals.
6. Sustainably-Caught Salmon
Although you can get some omega-3s (DHA and EPA) from grass-fed beef, no other food can compete with the DHA and EPA that you’ll get from fish and shellfish, especially salmon.
These fats are known to decrease inflammation and may even increase fat loss, according to a few studies. Selecting protein sources that are rich in omega-3s (like salmon) instead of those that contain lots of saturated fat (such as red meat) could also help reduce visceral fat in your belly.
Whether the salmon you purchase is wild-caught or farm-raised, make sure it was caught/produced sustainably and humanely. If not, you will be eating nutritionally inferior fish that is contributing to environmental issues like pollution.
7. Coconut Oil
What’s fascinating about coconut oil is that it contains fats that help promote fat loss. One study, in particular, found that supplementing the diet of obese men with two tablespoons (30 ml) of coconut oil per day led to an average loss of one inch from their waistlines.
These promising results can be explained by the medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs) found in coconut oil. Unlike long-chain fats that you’ll find in fatty meats and dairy, MCTs are taken up directly by the liver and converted into ketones and/or used as a rapid source of energy.
For this reason, MCTs and coconut oil can help decrease calorie consumption and increase energy levels, which both help us burn stored fat.
8. Chia Seeds
At first glance, chia seeds may look like they aren’t keto-friendly because they contain 12 grams of carbohydrates per ounce (28 grams).
However, 11 grams of the 12 are actually fiber. This makes chia seeds one of the best keto-friendly sources of fiber in the world.
Because of their high fiber content, chia seeds can absorb up to 11–12 times their weight in water, turning gel-like and expanding in your stomach. This means that adding chia seeds to your meal or having a chia-based snack is a great way to make your meal more filling while minimizing your calorie intake.
9. Shirataki Noodles
Shirataki noodles are the closest thing to keto pasta that I’ve come across. They are primarily made up of a viscous fiber called glucomannan and contain less than 1 gram of carbs with only five calories per serving.
Despite their low-calorie content, the fiber and water in the shirataki noodles make them very filling. They also can make you feel fuller for a more extended period of time because the fiber slows down the movement of food through your digestive tract.
These unique qualities are what make shirataki noodles ideal for anyone who wants to cut their calorie consumption and lose more weight without starving themselves.
10. Coconut Cream Yogurt
Almost every yogurt you find in the store is not keto-friendly. Even plain, whole milk yogurt comes with 11 grams of net carbs per cup. However, the probiotics and fats found in yogurt make it a great food to help with fat loss and overall health, so what are you supposed to do to get your yogurt fix when you are on the keto diet?
Try having coconut cream yogurt. There are some coconut-based yogurts that you can find in health food stores, but many of them have added sugar so make sure you read labels carefully.
By making the yogurt yourself, you can guarantee that you will get the ketone-boosting benefits of MCTs from the coconut milk and the probiotics from the yogurt without any added sugar.
You can also add other fat loss boosting foods to your yogurt to make it into a healthy keto breakfast or lunch. Some additions you can try are:
- keto-friendly chocolate
- cocoa powder
- protein powder
- peanut butter
- chia seeds
- instant coffee
- matcha powder