My obsession with snacks would usually stem from the fact I missed breakfast, giving me the serious munchies when it got to about 11am.
What I would snack on would usually depend on where I was at the time, at home or work. At home, I would usually dive into the bread bin and make myself toast or a sandwich. If it was work I would head for the vending machine and buy chips, chocolate or both.
(The pictures below of snacks you can buy are links to low carb snack you can buy on Amazon.com.
I have found some snacks there, not as good and fresh as the ones I describe on this page, but much better than chips and chocolate when you really need something fast. Below on this page you will find links to my favorite snacks from Amazon).
Obviously, this type of eating was not viable for a low carb diet, so I knew that among those many first changes my snacking fetish would now consist of only low carb snacks
Why Snacking on a Diet Isn’t Always a Bad Thing….
The very word snack fills the mind full of thoughts of sugar or fat-filled tasty treats such as potato chips, cookies and candy.
While this sort of food tastes good, they are packed full of carbohydrates, fat and generally have little nutritional value on offer.
However, not all snacks have to be bad for you. In fact, if you educate yourself on low carb snacks they can actually help you manage those annoying mid-morning hunger pains and reduce your chances of binging.
As long as your snack is reasonable, fits in with the rest of your diet and doesn’t become a regular “fourth meal”, it can become a valuable part of your low carb eating plan.
So, What Exactly is a Snack?
The Institute for Food Technologists believes the average person has no idea what a snack should be.
A study carried out by the Institute appears to confirm this, as it revealed a staggering 25-percent of the average person’s calorie intake a day consists of snacks alone.
Therefore, before you look for low carb snack recipes, you should be clear on exactly what constitutes a snack.
Like most things in life, one person’s definition of a snack can vary wildly from another. For example, before my diet, a snack to me would have been a sandwich, a packet of chips and a bar of chocolate. This isn’t a snack at all, in fact my former idea of a “snack” probably has more calories in it than most people’s main meal of the day. So, what is a snack?
The Ultimate Sport’s Nutrition website recommends people choose snacks that have only a small amount of carbs and that do not contain more than 200 calories.
Snacks consisting of more than this will be more like a small meal, which is what you need to avoid.
Your snack should be something that helps get you through to your next meal, rather than be something that fills you up or, worse, leaves you feeling bloated.
Ideal Low Carb Snack Foods
Raw vegetables are not only tasty, they are also crunchy, which is important in a snack if the popularity of crackers and potato chips is anything to go by.
Celery and cucumber are all low in carbs and in calories, with a cup of sliced celery sticks containing just six calories. Pickles are another good option but can be high in salt, so opt for a low sodium option.
Pair your vegetables with a hummus dip, which contains only 25-calories per tablespoon.
Oats, Yogurts and Nuts
Nuts make great low carb snacks but remember to exercise portion control, as they can be high in calories.
Almonds and pecan nuts are the healthiest options, with the average handful (around 15 nuts) containing 90 calories.
If, like me, you appreciate a good sandwich, there is no reason why you can’t adapt your favorite foods to be more low carb friendly. Half a tuna sandwich, on oatmeal or whole-wheat bread is low in calories and full of essential vitamins and nutrients too.
If your hunger craving is for something sweet, low-fat yogurts are ideal.
In my house, the whole family eats low fat yogurts and my kids haven’t even noticed the difference. Just make absolutely sure you check the label to confirm it is a low calorie yogurt.
Most light yogurts are low in carbs but can contain added sugars to sweeten the taste.
Fruity Low Carb Snack Ideas
Fresh fruit makes an ideal snack, as it is natural, fat-free and low in calories.
I find bananas are perfect for mid-morning snacks, as they fill the hunger hole and, because they contain potassium, also give a much-needed energy boost.
If you need more than a banana, try chopping it up and mix with strawberries – a lovely snack or a great breakfast idea if you need brain food that doesn’t take long to prepare.
For a real treat, I sometimes slice an apple and cover them with low-fat peanut butter. Ten slices of apple and a heaped tablespoon of low-fat peanut butter has around 125 calories and is surprisingly filling.
Check the labels on the jars of peanut butter when you are shopping, as the calorie and carb content will vary by brand.
I have one snack a day, usually in between my breakfast and lunch, depending on how I feel. As a rule, I like snacks I can prepare in advance, especially if I am at work.
This is why I tend to gravitate towards vegetables and fruit, they are easy and quick to prepare in the morning before work and they keep well in my sealed plastic lunch box.
If I am at home, I tend to be more freestyle with my low carb snack ideas, waiting to see what I fancy to eat and then preparing it as and when I need it.
One of my favorite low carb snacks when I am at home, and a firm favorite with my three-year old daughter is cauliflower popcorn, the recipe for which I have listed below;
You will need –
Around one-pound of fresh cauliflower
Four Teaspoons of Low Fat Barbecue Sauce
Two Teaspoons of Canola or Olive Oil
Salt to Season
• Break up the cauliflower into bite-size chunks and place into a large mixing bowl.
• Add the barbecue sauce and drizzle the oil over the pieces, toss the bowl well ensuring each piece is evenly coated with sauce.
• Place on a baking tray, lined with special non-stick foil and bake at 400 degrees for around15 minutes. Keep an eye on the pieces, as although they should turn a really dark brown be careful they do not burn.
• Add salt to taste and serve in a large bowl with the option of a low-fat coleslaw as a side
This popcorn cauliflower dish can be eaten hot or cold and is ideal to share with your special someone as you watch a DVD or with the whole family while watching a big game.
The entire dish contains only six-grams of carbs and a mere 98 calories. If you want to make cauliflower popcorn for a larger group of people, simply double up your ingredients and cook for longer.
Before I began concentrating on lowering my carbohydrate intake, I used to love eating potato chips and would always have a bag or two as a snack or to accompany a sandwich or bowl of soup.
So, when researching low carb snack recipes I knew I needed to find something to replace my obsession with the high-in-fat and carbohydrate soaked chips I loved so much.
Below is my recipe for radish chips and I have yet to find a better tasting alternative to my beloved potato chips.
You will need –
• Prepare your oven by preheating it to around 375-degrees C
• Slice your radishes into thin chip-style slices, try to get them all a similar size and width. If you cut them too thick they will take longer to cook and will lack the crunch you are after.
• Place your slices on a cookie sheet or similar, which has been pre-sprayed with the low-fat cooking spray of your choice.
• Very lightly spray the radish chips with the cooking spray and add any seasoning you require. If you fancy something a little spicy, you could dust the chips with spices such as paprika or cayenne pepper.
• Put in the oven and bake for ten minutes before turning all the chips and baking for a further five minutes. Times will vary according to size and thickness of your chips so watch them for the final few minutes.
• Allow to cool and serve – these dips are perfect with a home-made salsa dip.
One of my favorite low carb snacks, these radish chips take just 20 minutes from start to finish. Whether they are eaten warm or cold, they will keep their crunch, making them an ideal low carb snack to take to work or put in with the kid’s packed lunch.
Of course, you will eventually have your own low carb snacks that you can pick and choose from when hunger strikes. While I have supplied you with solid advice and information, what you prefer to eat will depend on your own tastes, as well as what you miss most from your pre-diet days.
I will recommend one thing and that is to try and make any low carb snacks you do make involve fruits and vegetables. This is because as well as a suggested daily calorie and carbohydrate intake, the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) recommends the average adult should include;
• Two-and-a-half cups of their chosen vegetables
• Two cups of Fruit
• Three cups of fat-free dairy
• Six ounces of total grains
As well as finding ideas for low carb snacks in the usual places, on the Internet, in recipe books and from friends, you can try getting creative in the kitchen and come up with your own low carb snack recipes.
Go to the top of this page Low Carb Snacks
Visit the other great pages on this site about low carb: Low Carb Foods, Low Carb Bread, Low Carb Desserts, Low Carb Chicken Recipes, Low Carb Food List, Low Carb Pasta, Free Low Carb Recipes, Low Carb Meals, Low Carb Barbecue Sauce, Low Carb Tortillas, No Carb Diet, Low Carb Breakfast Recipes