The morning races by and you are either fasting or sipping on butter coffee, but everything is running smoothly at full productivity.
As the day wears on, calories become an issue. By this point you may have consumed your first meal already, but a few extra calories wouldn’t hurt.
Reaching for the keto snacks, it seems you have a lot of options, but only a few are actually real food.
We will breakdown a host of keto snack ideas that keep you firmly in ketosis, but don’t risk any of the long-term problems that other people face.
Keto Snacks and Processed Foods
Processed foods are not “bad” and we have no judgment of people who eat these types of foods, but we make some assumptions for anyone who is on a ketogenic diet.
First, we assume there is some interest in optimal performance and longevity (healthspan). After all, most people prefer to live long, prosperous lives.
For people who have an interest in long-term health, simply because a product is ketogenic doesn’t make it healthy over the long term.
Before we jump into some of the best keto snacks, we wanted to separate our view on processed foods versus finding real food options.
Keto Snacks: Drink Your Fat
Our friends at Wild Foods have a saying: “drink your fat”
Many ketogenic dieters find it easier to snack on fat when it comes in liquid form. Perhaps it is easier to keep carbohydrates and protein low or perhaps it just tastes great.
Either way, one of the best keto snacks is a liquid filled with butter or oil.
The most common and popular way of using fat in liquid form is Bulletproof coffee popularized by Dave Asprey many years ago, but this is an ancient tradition.
In Tibet and many regions of the Himalayas, indigenous people have been consuming yak butter tea for thousands of years.
The high caloric density allows these people to survive harsh climates at a high elevation. Dave Asprey simply found and popularized this ancient tradition in the west.
There are numerous ways to drink ketogenic fats as a snack, but some of our favorite are:
- Coconut oil
- MCT oil
- Grass-fed butter
- Grass-fed ghee
- Avocado (either oil or fruit)
Fish oil and olive oil are great, but less for adding to your drink.
When we developed NECTAR, our keto-friendly coconut matcha latte, we made sure each serving included a tablespoon of MCT oil and coconut oil.
These are some of the most nutrient dense energy sources and go great as a keto snack.
If you are planning to go the fat drinking route, there are a few tools you might find useful.
- Vitamix ($350 – $500+) – On the expensive side, but can double as many other things
- Magic Bullet ($40 – $60) – More of a budget option for blending different liquid and fat sources together
- Frother ($3 – $7) – The least expensive, most affordable way to mix up fat in drinks
A $3 IKEA frother mixes butter into a cup of NECTAR very simply (and it is portable for travel) so there is no reason to go all-out on expenses.
Keto Snacks with a Little Substance
Sometimes drinks won’t do. We get it. When we are in a ketogenic state, we have cravings too.
Most of the time, the cravings can be satisfied with a little bit of solid food.
We, like many keto friendly snack lovers, are fond of nuts. In fact, some type of keto trail mix is probably your best bet for a quick, all-natural, minimally processed snack food.
The nut route is great, but try to make sure to stick with a few certain nuts that are higher in fat and lower in carbohydrate.
As delicious as almonds and cashews might be, there is 8 times the carbohydrate in a cashew as a pecan. Here is your go to keto friendly nut snack list:
- Macadamia nuts
- Brazil nuts
The pecan and walnut combination is delicious, nutritious, and forms the backbone of our FORAGE Texas Trail mix.
Macadamia and brazil nuts are also delicious, but tend to be on the more expensive (and thus prohibitive side). A pound of macadamia nuts is a buttery delicacy, but $20 or more per pound.
Keto Snacks On the Clock (Simple Food Choices)
We will finish up this piece with some whole hog legit recipes to do some cooking and baking, but we also recognize snacks are time sensitive foods.
Just because you are keto doesn’t mean you automatically have 30 – 45 minutes to cook something up.
By the same token, not everyone wants to eat nuts 24 / 7 so we have developed a few surprisingly simple keto snack ideas (that consist of real food!) for you to pick up.
#1. Pepperoni (cured meat) + Guacamole
Find some grass-fed, natural source of cured meat that isn’t filled with nitrates and toxins. Buying a bad cured meat filled with chemicals is worse than no meat at all…
…but if you source it right, the combination with guacamole is tasty and simple.
#2. Seaweed snacks
If you find the right kind, seaweed snacks are savory, crunchy, and delicious. They don’t have many calories and they are a healthy source of iodine.
They won’t necessarily pack a caloric punch, but they will give you a crunch and tide you over until the next meal.
#3. Pork rinds
Fried pork skin isn’t the best choice given the trans-fats and trouble sourcing humanely raised, ethical pork… but in a pinch, this might be a good bet (and is certainly well-liked by the keto community).
#4. Pre-boiled eggs + Cheese
A great “grab and go” snack that requires a little preparation beforehand are boiled eggs and some cheese. Depending on your view of dairy, a hard cheese with limited lactose can be fine.
A pre-boiled egg, some salt, pepper, and cheese is a solid hit of calories and a good combination of fats and not too much protein.
#5. Sardines (filled in oil)
One thing many keto snackers don’t take into consideration is that high protein starts a process called gluconeogenesis (protein converts into glucose).
This can knock you out of ketosis so use sardines when you have a lot of fat as well. Filled in some sort of oil is good combined with the natural oil of the fish.
There are some honorable mention to add to this list as well:
- 90% + dark chocolate
- Broccoli/Cauliflower/Celery dipped in guacamole
As you might notice, the standard keto snacks for sale on store shelves and Amazon (like Quest bars) don’t make the cut.
These are fine if you really like them, but as an organization and philosophy, we try to stick as close to food the way nature intended it.
Minimally or non-processed foods are the bulk of our recipe suggestions for keto snacks generally speaking.
Cooking and Baking Keto Friendly Snacks
With a little more time on your hands or an organized plan to pre-make foods for the week (meal prep for the win!), you can create some amazing things.
Rather than regurgitate what has already been said elsewhere, it’s worthwhile to compile some resources on keto snack options.
Surprise, surprise. The content machine that is Dr. Axe created a list of 18 different keto snacks to try (or “Kissairis Munoz” did).
The deviled eggs are delicious and quite simple. You might use Mark Sisson’s Primal Kitchen mayo as a substitute in there.
We recommend recipe 1, 5, 12, and 18. If you have a sweet tooth go for 2.
The community around ketogenic dieting is pretty strong (850,000 + at the time of this writing). There are plenty of delicious recipes in that subreddit.
If you cannot find a list of amazing snacks (and some recipes for more advanced cooking and baking), then you’re just a picky eater!
Sometimes the best quality comes from the least sexy website. Linda has a donation based website with a variety of the best low carb and keto friendly snack ideas.
This is one of the gold standards for recipes so we recommend some adding to favorites if it strikes your fancy.
Keto Long Term
Real food matters, which is why this guide has been filled with plenty of keto friendly snack options that are made from real foods.
Scientific data has made it pretty clear that processed foods aren’t a good long-term option. This is one of the reasons people are struggling with weight and health in the first place.
We hope this guide has provided you all the tools that you need in order to do this successfully.