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When I was first diagnosed with type 1 diabetes (T1D) in 2000, there weren’t many ready-to-eat low carb snack options. My mom continuously fed me cheese and celery, and she would always apologize when other kids brought in cupcakes and chips for their birthdays, and all I could have was a baggie of carrots.
Flash-forward 20 years later and the amount of ready-made, low carb and gluten-free snack products is enormous. In fact, there are entire sections of grocery stores now dedicated to these products.
Read on to find out more about some of our favorite low carb, gluten-free snack options that help make life with T1D just a little sweeter.
Good Good offers natural and keto-friendly jams, keto bars, and natural sweetener options. You can buy their keto bars as a 6- or 15-pack, and their jams are available individually packaged or in a 2- to 3-pack of jars. I am a huge fan of their Blackberry Currant jam, which I find perfect on toast or for a PB&J sandwich.
Who makes it. Good Good is an Iceland-based company that also has offices in the United States and the Netherlands. The brand was founded by three friends who were concerned about the immense amount of sugar found in many contemporary foods and diets, so they wanted to create a solution that limited sugar content but also tasted really good.
Nutrition. Good Good’s keto bars contain 9 grams (g) of protein, 10 g of dietary fiber, 6 g of fat, and 2 to 3 g of net carbs per bar. (Net carbs are calculated when the full carb content of a food is offset by high fiber content.) High protein helps keep you satiated, and low net carbs, at least in my experience, will not result in a spike in your blood sugar after eating.
Yum factor. Their jam flavors are deliciously fresh with lumps of real fruit, just the right amount of sweet to taste like pure raw fruit in its best form. Their keto bars also taste just as sweet and as good as the real thing; with flavors like Raspberry Cheesecake and Salty Caramel, you’ll be wondering how there isn’t any added sugar. They also offer a Nutella-like chocolate hazelnut spread with just 2g of carbs per 20g serving. Plus, they have fun packaging and use sustainable ingredients.
Customer feedback. Their Sweet Strawberry Jam received an average of 4.5 out of 5 stars from more than 4,600 reviewers on Amazon. Many say it’s the best sugar free jam they’ve tried to date. As far as the keto bars, their Salty Nut Caramel flavor received 4 out of 5 stars out of 502 ratings on Amazon. Reviews do range depending on individual’s flavor preferences. Some users reported an amazing caramel taste, whereas others felt it was rather bland. Something many users agreed on, however, was that despite the name “Krunchy,” these bars lacked any sort of crunch.
Cost. Good Good keto bars cost $9.99 for a 6-pack and $26.99 for a 15-pack. Their jams cost $8.99 individually, $13.99 for a 2-pack, or $19.99 for a 3-pack.
ChipMonk makes a line of cookies that are low carb, keto, and gluten-free. You can select from six different flavors of cookies, nine flavors of bites (small bite-sized cookies), four flavors of dry mixes to bake your own, or you can mix and match your favorite products and purchase them as a bundle.
What’s in it. ChipMonk uses allulose and monk fruit sweeteners instead of sugar in their products. These are both natural rare sugars that are not metabolized by the body, and therefore have no glycemic impact (meaning they don’t raise your blood sugar).
Who makes it. Founder Jose Hernandez was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes in 2016. He was determined to change his lifestyle to “tackle his diagnosis holistically.” He was able to lower his A1C, but he realized that many of his favorite foods, such as bread and cookies, were off the table because they would raise his blood sugar too quickly. A few months later he began researching alternative ingredients and started baking to figure out what worked, and what didn’t, and soon ChipMonk was born.
Nutrition. ChipMonk’s cookies are made from nut and seed flour and sweetened with monk fruit and allulose — both all-natural, zero-carb sweeteners that don’t spike blood sugar. Their cookies use almond flour and have 170 to 200 calories, 14 to 18 g of fat, 1 to 4 g of net carbs, and 1 g or less of sugar. Their bites are made from sunflower seed flour or almond flour and have 80 to 90 calories per bite, 7 to 8 g of fat, 1 g of net carbs, and 1 g or less of sugar. All products are grain and gluten-free.
Yum factor. Their flavors fit a whole range of desserts, so you’ll never feel limited in your options. They have the classics, like chocolate chip cookies or snickerdoodles, but also offer other flavors such as red velvet or peanut butter. Whatever craving you have, they’ll be able to solve it.
Customer feedback. Their Chocolate ChipMonk Cookie received 4 out of 5 stars on Amazon. Many reviewers reported their cookies were “decadent” and tasted like the “real thing.” Their cookies are reportedly soft and fluffy, like a muffin top, rather than crunchy and crumbly. Although most of the reviews were positive, the ones that weren’t just reported they weren’t huge fans of the consistency or flavor.
Cost. Their cookies cost $14.99 for a 6-pack, $26.99 for a 12-pack, or $35.99 for an 18-pack. Their bites cost $9.99 for 8, $16.99 for 16, $32.99 for 32, or $59.99 for 64. Their dried mixes cost $12.99 for 1 pouch or $24.99 for 2 pouches. If you buy from their website, you can choose to subscribe to a certain product and save 10 percent on all orders.
Hungry Buddha Bars are a line of gluten-free, low carb energy bars that have been certified as keto-friendly by the Paleo Foundation. They can be eaten as a pre- or post-workout snack, after breakfast, or whenever you’re feeling hungry.
What’s in it. The bars are made from a mix of healthy fats (such as sunflower seed and cocoa butter), plant-based protein, and have no artificial sweeteners. Aside from being keto and gluten-free, they are also peanut-free, GMO-free, and free of soy, palm oils, and sugar oils.
Who makes it. Hungry Buddha is a syndicate of Buddha Brands, a Montreal, Canada-based food and beverage company that began with a line of coconut water. They are passionate about empowering customers to live a healthy lifestyle and be mindful in their food and diet decisions.
Nutrition specs. Depending on the flavor you choose, each bar has roughly 170 calories, 15 to 16 g of carbs, 9 g of protein, 10 to 11 g of fat, and 1 to 2 g of sugar.
Yum factor. Bar flavors include Lemon Blueberry bar, Chocolate Chip, Coconut Cocoa, Espresso Brownie and Triple Chocolate. They also offer a variety pack which includes the Chocolate Chip, Coconut Cocoa, and Espresso Brownie flavors.
Customer feedback. Their Lemon Blueberry and Espresso Brownie bars both received 3.7 out of 5 stars on Amazon. Many reviewers noted they felt full and energized after they ate the bars, and found them “delicious and addictive.” But some others reported the bars lacked flavor and they didn’t like the texture. One 5-star reviewer reported that she has diabetes, and “this bar has stabilized (my blood sugar) for hours.”
Cost. $29.99 for a 12-pack.
Bohana Popped Water Lily Seeds? Think popcorn, but with fewer calories, less fat, and more protein. These snacks are made from roasting water lily seeds and then adding different seasonings, such as Hickory BBQ or Himalayan Pink Sea Salt.
What’s in it. They are made from exactly what they’re named for: water lily seeds. The seeds are grown in Bihar, India, and then roasted and packed in the United States. Roasting the seed makes them expand and pop without the need to fry them.
Who makes it. Bohana is a women-founded and led Boston-based company co-founded by Nadine Habayeb and Priyal Bhartia. The pair were curious to learn about some of the world’s most ancient practices and traditional superfoods. Priyal went back to her Indian roots and rediscovered her childhood snack — popped water lily seeds. When she introduced this puffed super snack to Nadine, she was hooked and made it her go-to snack, too. They later vowed to bring this snack to the masses. The women and their product were featured on season 11 of the television program, Shark Tank.
Nutrition. One serving of their Pink Himalayan Salt Popped Water Lily Seeds has 110 calories, 20 g of carbs, 3 g of protein, and 3 g of fat.
Yum factor. This snack is like a healthier popcorn with delicious flavor toppings and the benefit of no kernels getting stuck in your teeth. They are also high in antioxidants and minerals, which makes them that much more of a treat.
Customer feedback. Their variety pack received an average of 3.5 out of 5 stars on Amazon, with feedback evenly split between good and bad. Some users found the puffed seeds flavorful and satisfying, while other reviewers said the product reminded them of rice cakes, except not as crunchy. Some reviewers complained that 2 to 3 g of protein per serving does not make them “high-protein” as they were portrayed on the Shark Tank show.
Cost. Each pack has 2 servings per pack, and you can purchase them as a 6-pack for $29.99 or as a 12-pack for $59.99. They also offer variety packs so you can try all the flavors, which are offered at $19.99 for a 4-pack or $59.99 for a 12-pack. Subscription pricing is also available.
Moon Cheese are little zero-carb, crunchy roasted cheese balls. These bite-sized snacks are actually packed with protein and offer a variety of cleverly named cheese flavors, such as the classic “Cheddar Believe It” or “Garlickin’ Parmesan.” As a person who loves cheese and crackers, I love these, but I can never keep them in my house because I eat them too fast.
What’s in it. Moon Cheese is made from real cheese that has had all the moisture removed to make it shelf-stable, with a few natural ingredients added for additional seasoning. They are keto-friendly and naturally gluten-free.
Who makes it. Moon Cheese is made by NutraDried Food Company, based in Ferndale, Washington. Their CEO Mike Pytlinski says the company is “committed to providing consumers with a healthy dairy snack that is available at any time and does not compromise great taste or nutritional benefits.” They make on-the-go snacking easy by packaging Moon Cheese in resealable bags.
Nutrition. One serving, about 14 pieces, has 170 calories, 14 g of fat, 1 g of carbs, 0 g of sugar, and 11 g of protein.
Yum factor. It’s like eating crunchy cheese bits — what’s not to love?
Customer feedback. These are one of our highest-rated snacks on the list, based on Amazon reviews. Moon Cheese’s “Cheddar Believe It” received an average of 4.5 out of 5 stars from more than 3,000 reviews. Most reviewers said they loved the taste and the crunchiness, but some complained about the cost, saying they thought it was rather expensive.
Cost. You can select from three different size options: $14.99 for the large size, which is one 10-ounce (oz) bag, or the same price for a medium size, which is a 3-pack of 2 oz bags. The small option is a 12-pack of 1 oz bags for $24.99.
Outer Aisle Cauliflower Sandwich Thins are like small, thick tortillas made of cauliflower. They can be used in place of bread for sandwiches, toast, or whatever your heart desires. They come in four flavor varieties: Original, Everything Bagel, Italian, and Jalapeño.
What’s in it. These Sandwich Thins are made with four simple ingredients only: fresh cauliflower, eggs, Parmesan, and nutritional yeast.
Who makes it. Jeanne David, founder of Outer Aisle, and her family were on a journey to remove sugar and processed carbs from their diet, as well as add more vegetables and nutritious elements. Outer Aisle was born out of this journey so they could provide keto-friendly, low carb, grain-free, and gluten-free products that are “nutritionally dense” as well as tasty.
Nutrition. Per serving size (2 pieces), the Sandwich Thins have 120 calories, 7 g of fat, 5 g of carbs, and 10 g of protein.
Yum factor. These have a pleasant, bread-like flavor and can be warmed in the oven or crisped-up in the toaster. They are a great option for anyone with Celiac or wheat allergy, or anyone with diabetes like me whose blood sugar tends to skyrocket after eating any kind of regular bread or crackers.
Customer feedback. On the Outer Aisle website, their Sandwich Thins received 4.9 out of 5 stars from more than 5,000 reviews. Many people liked that they were easy to prepare, but also couldn’t believe how good they tasted and the fact they are low carb.
Cost. A 6-pack costs $7.99 for a one-time purchase, or you can subscribe and save 15 percent, which lowers the cost to $6.79.
What’s in it. The main ingredient for Hippeas’ products are chickpeas, or chickpea flour. Their products also contain rice flour, sunflower oil, and seasonings, such as garlic and onion powder.
Who makes it. Entrepreneur and founder Livio Visterzo wanted to create a credible challenger in the global snacks market that was not only healthy but also had a personality, so it could stand out among competitors. He then settled on a name and an idea: a puffed chickpea snack.
Nutrition. One serving of their puffs contains 200 calories, 26 g of carbs, 8 g of fat, and 6 g of protein. One serving of their tortilla chips has 160 calories, 14 g of carbs, 10 g of fat, and 3 g of protein.
Yum factor. These puffy snacks reminded me of childhood. They’re like the large puffy Cheetos, but instead of orange dust and guilt after eating those, you can walk away with no cheese residue and feeling guiltlessly satisfied.
Customer feedback. The Vegan White Cheddar Puffs averaged a strong 4.7 out of 5 stars out of more than 3,000 reviews on Amazon. A full 82 percent of reviewers gave the snacks the full 5 stars. Most reviewers liked the taste and crunch, and found them to be an excellent substitute for traditional cheese puffs. But a few found the texture to be unenjoyable, and thought the snacks were too expensive.
Cost. A 12-pack of their 1.5 oz bags of puffs cost $19.99, and a 12-pack of their 4 oz bags of tortilla chips cost $39.99.
Pipcorn offers corn crunch snacks and a healthier alternative to traditional popcorn that have 40 percent less fat and 20 percent fewer calories per serving than existing brands. I personally love popcorn, so I am thrilled to learn there is an even healthier version to reach for as an afternoon snack.
What’s in it. Pipcorn’s Popcorn and Corn Dippers are made with just three simple ingredients: non-GMO heirloom popcorn, sunflower oil, and sea salt. The Popcorn comes in Sea Salt and Black Truffle flavors. Their Cheese Balls and Cheddar Crunchies contain just a few additional ingredients, including organic whey and organic buttermilk powder.
Who makes it. Pipcorn was created after Jeff Martin was helping his sister move apartments in Chicago. They had packed everything else except a small bag of heirloom popcorn kernels and decided to make a small batch as a snack. They quickly realized this was the best popcorn they ever had. Along with Jeff’s wife, they created a new company centered around good-tasting and healthy snacks. This women-owned family business went on to be a huge success, with appearances on Shark Tank and later on Oprah — after selling $1 million worth of their product in just 4 months.
Nutrition. One serving of their popcorn (a generous 2.5 cups) has 120 calories, 19 g of carbs, 6 g of fat, and 3 g of protein. One serving of their Corn Dippers (10 chips) has 140 calories, 14 g carbs, 10 g of fat, and 2 g protein. One serving of their Cheese Balls (1 oz) has 148 calories, 16 g of carbs, 8 g of fat, and 3 g of protein.
Yum factor. Because they use heirloom kernels, the popcorn pops to half the size of ordinary popcorn. Therefore, it’s crunchier and more flavorful than traditional popcorn. The cheese snacks are made with 100 percent real cheese and baked, not fried, for pure flavor that’s not at all greasy.
Customer feedback. The Sea Salt Popcorn received 4.1 out of 5 stars on Amazon. A lot of users loved the flavor, but some were disappointed by the small size of the popcorn. One user noted it was like “eating the crumbs at the bottom of the bowl.” On the company’s website, multiple reviews called the Parmesan Crunchies “addicting.” The Cheese Balls are also a fan favorite for their intense flavor and the fact that they don’t turn your fingertips orange.
Cost. All three products are sold in 4-packs of 4.5 oz bags for $16.00. Subscription pricing is also available.
These are all great options if you are looking for tasty low carb snacks that will not spike your blood sugar. It really is a matter of personal preference whether you are a popcorn, energy bar, or cheese lover. I’m a big fan of any snacks with low net carb amounts, as I have found that I don’t need to bolus for them, since they do not impact my blood sugar at all.
Although I have tried a lot of these snacks before writing this article, I was particularly intrigued by the Popped Water Lily Seeds, because I like savory flavors and they are so unique. In fact, despite the higher carb count on these, I already ordered a pack of their Soulful Spice blend.