Low carb eating is popular because of the many possible health benefits associated with it.
However, finding low carb snacks can be difficult, as many common snack foods are high in this nutrient. Fortunately, you can prepare numerous tasty and creative snacks that fit your low carb lifestyle.
Choosing snacks with healthy fats, protein, and better-for-you carbs, such as fruit and vegetables, can help you meet your carb goals while still delivering a lot of nutrients.
Here are 27 easy low carb snacks that are both delicious and nutritious.
Olive tapenade consists of chopped olives, capers, and olive oil.
Olives are an excellent low carb source of vitamin E, which functions as a powerful antioxidant in your body, protecting cells against damage caused by reactive molecules called free radicals (
You can easily make olive tapenade at home by combining chopped olives, capers, garlic, and olive oil. Pair it with a low carb cracker — like those made from almond flour or seeds — for a crunchy snack.
Keep in mind that the approximate number of carbs in your snack varies based on the type of crackers you use.
Trail mix often contains high carb ingredients like raisins, candy, and dried fruit.
However, you can make a low carb version by combining a variety of nuts and seeds, along with other low carb ingredients, such as unsweetened coconut.
For an easy trail mix recipe that yields about 12, 1/4-cup (25-gram) servings, combine the following:
- 1 cup (112 grams) of pecan halves
- 1 cup (112 grams) of chopped walnuts
- 1/2 cup (30 grams) of roasted pumpkin seeds
- 1/2 cup (43 grams) of unsweetened coconut flakes
Carbs per serving: 0.6 gram per one ounce (28 grams) sharp cheddar cheese (
Cheddar cheese is a versatile low carb snack containing less than 1 gram of carbs per 1-ounce (28-gram) serving.
For a delicious crispy alternative, try homemade cheddar cheese crisps.
Cut thin slices of cheddar cheese into small, individual squares. Place the squares on a baking sheet, and bake at 300°F (150°C) for about 30 minutes, or until crisp. You can also look for packaged cheese crisps at the store.
Carbs per serving: 0.6 gram per two deviled eggs (60 grams) (
One large egg has less than one gram of carbs (
To make deviled eggs, slice hard-boiled eggs in half lengthwise. Scoop out the egg yolks, and combine them with mayonnaise, Dijon mustard, salt, and pepper. Then, place a spoonful of the egg yolk mixture back into the egg white and top with a dash of paprika.
To make tuna salad, combine a 3-ounce (85-gram) can of tuna with 1/4 cup (55 grams) of mayonnaise and 1/4 cup (25 grams) of diced celery. Season the mix with salt and pepper to taste.
For a low carb wrap option, spoon tuna salad into a butter lettuce leaf.
For a delicious, low carb snack, combine 1/2 cup (74 grams) of blueberries with 2 tablespoons (30 grams) of homemade whipped cream. You can make this by whipping heavy whipping cream without sugar.
One medium avocado has 12 grams of carbs. However, 9 grams of these carbs are derived from fiber, an indigestible nutrient that your body doesn’t absorb, making avocados an excellent option for low carb diets (
To make a stuffed avocado, slice it in half and remove the pit. Then, spoon your desired low carb stuffing into the center of the avocado.
Try filling avocado with canned salmon or tuna, chopped shrimp, or scrambled eggs and cheese.
Dark chocolate is a great low carb snack when you crave something sweet. One ounce (28 grams) of at least 70% dark chocolate provides about 13 grams of carbs and 3 grams of fiber, although some brands have less (
Try pairing 1 ounce (28 grams) of dark chocolate with 1 tablespoon (16 grams) of cashew butter for an additional source of protein and fat.
Be sure to select at least 70% dark chocolate, as lower percentages may have more carbs per serving. Avoid dark chocolate with lots of added sugar or sweetened dried fruit, which can bump up the carb count.
Carrots contain fewer carbs than you may think for a sweet vegetable, with 10 baby carrots providing just 8 grams, plus 3 grams of fiber (
For a tasty snack, pair baby carrots with a low carb dip like homemade aioli.
To make aioli, mix 1/4 cup (55 grams) of mayonnaise, 1 tablespoon (15 ml) of lemon juice, and 1 minced clove of garlic. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
While smoothies made with lots of fruit, juice, and sorbet can be very high in carbs, you can make a lower-carb smoothie with the right ingredients.
For example, strawberries are a delicious lower-carb fruit, with 1/2 cup (83 grams) providing just 6 grams of carbs (
To make a low carb strawberry smoothie, blend the following together:
- 1 cup (240 ml) of unsweetened almond milk
- 1/2 cup (83 grams) of fresh strawberries
- 1/4 cup (24 grams) of whey protein or another low carb protein powder
- 1 tablespoon (15 grams) of chia seeds
- 1/4 teaspoon of vanilla extract
- a few ice cubes
BLT sandwiches are a popular lunch meal that are typically high in carbs. However, you can easily make a low carb BLT wrap without bread for a delicious snack.
Place three slices of tomato and two slices of bacon into a large romaine lettuce leaf. For more flavor, add a few slices of avocado and a small handful of shredded cheese.
Though their name may imply a high sugar and high carb content, sweet bell peppers are a low carb vegetable. They provide just 5 grams of carbs in about 1 cup (85 grams) (
Make a quick low carb guacamole dip for 1 cup bell pepper slices by mashing 1/2 avocado, 1 tablespoon (15 ml) lime juice, and salt together in a bowl.
Kale is a popular low carb veggie that’s packed with nutrients like vitamin A, vitamin K, and folate. One cup (21 grams) of kale contains less than 1 gram of carbs (
If you aren’t a fan of raw or sautéed kale, try snacking on kale chips.
To make kale chips, rip kale leaves into bite-sized pieces and place them onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Drizzle the kale with olive oil, garlic powder, and salt. Bake at 350°F (177°C) for about 10 minutes, or until the leaf edges start to brown and crisp.
Tzatziki is a Greek sauce made from plain yogurt, garlic, and cucumbers. Fresh herbs, including dill and parsley, are often added as well.
Two tablespoons (30 grams) of tzatziki dip provide only 1 gram of carbs, making it an excellent low carb choice (
Pair the dip with fresh, low carb veggies like broccoli, celery sticks, or baby carrots.
Dipping carrot sticks into creamy peanut butter is a surprisingly delicious low carb snack.
Plus, peanuts are a good source of heart-healthy monounsaturated fats and also provide some plant protein (
Many peanut butter brands contain added sugar, so it’s best to choose a natural variety made only of peanuts and a little salt.
Carbs per serving: varies
To make your own low carb bento box, fill it with a variety of low carb snack items, such as:
- Protein: cottage cheese, hard-boiled eggs, grilled chicken, cheese squares
- Nuts: almonds, walnuts, macadamia nuts, peanuts
- Fresh veggies: celery sticks, sliced cucumber, bell pepper slices, broccoli
- Low carb fruits: berries, cantaloupe, avocado slices, olives
One ounce (28 grams) of pumpkin seeds without their shells contains 4 grams of carbs and almost 2 grams of fiber (
To make toasted pumpkin seeds, combine 1 ounce (28 grams) of pumpkin seeds with 1/2 teaspoon (1.3 grams) of cinnamon and 2 teaspoons (10 mL) of olive oil.
Spread the seeds onto a baking sheet and bake in the oven at 300°F (150°C) for 45 minutes, or until golden brown.
One-half cup (110 grams) of cottage cheese has 5 grams of carbs and 12 grams of protein. It’s also rich in bone-building minerals like calcium and phosphorus (
Though fruit is a common addition to cottage cheese, you can also make it savory and lower in carbs by adding avocado slices, grape tomatoes, chopped green onions, or hot sauce.
Carbs per serving: approximately 14 grams (
Edamame are green, unripe soybeans that are packed with nutrition. For instance, they contain compounds called isoflavones that may help prevent bone loss, among other benefits (
A 1-cup (155-gram) serving of edamame contains just 14 grams of carbs and more than 18 grams of plant-based protein (
For a simple low carb snack, toss raw shelled edamame into a bowl with 1 tablespoon (15 mL) of water. Cover with a paper towel and microwave on high for 1 minute or until tender. Season lightly with sea salt, and enjoy.
Traditional flavored yogurt is often high in added sugar. Selecting unsweetened plain yogurt eliminates all of the added sugar, which minimizes the carb content, although milk and yogurt do contain some natural sugars.
For example, a 6-ounce (170-gram) serving of plain, unsweetened, whole-milk yogurt contains just 8 grams of carbs (
To keep it a low carb snack, pair plain yogurt with a handful of nuts. Boost the flavor by adding a dash of cinnamon or vanilla extract.
Use a mashed avocado in place of mayonnaise for a unique spin on egg salad.
To make avocado egg salad, simply mash 1/2 avocado with a hard-boiled egg. Season lightly with salt and pepper. Enjoy avocado egg salad by itself, spread onto low carb crackers, or scooped into a lettuce wrap.
Carbs per serving: approximately 1 gram (
String cheese is an easy and portable low carb snack. Plus, it packs 8 grams of filling protein in a single stick (
To make a stuffed apricot, cut apricot in half and remove the pit. Mix 1/4 cup (34 grams) of blue cheese crumbles with 1 tablespoon (15 ml) of olive oil. Spoon the mixture into the center of each apricot half. Broil on a cooking sheet for 1–2 minutes until toasted.
Salmon is an excellent, low carb source of the long-chain omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA. These healthy fats have been linked to many benefits, including reduced inflammation and improved heart health (
Spread 2 tablespoons (30 grams) of plain cream cheese on 1 cup (119 grams) cucumber slices, then fold 1 ounce (28 grams) smoked salmon on the slices and top with fresh cracked pepper.
Carbs per serving: approximately 5 grams per 1 sheet (
Dried seaweed sheets are a crunchy, portable, low carb snack.
Seaweed can be enjoyed by itself or paired with avocado slices, scrambled eggs, or cut up into a salad.
Caprese salad is a low carb Italian dish made with mozzarella cheese, tomatoes, basil leaves, and olive oil.
To make, combine 1/2 cup (76 grams) of grape tomatoes, 1 ounce (28 grams) of bite-sized mozzarella balls, and 1 tablespoon (2.6 grams) of chopped, fresh basil leaves. Toss with 1 tablespoon (15 ml) of olive oil and a dash of sea salt.
Drizzle 1 tablespoon (15 ml) of balsamic vinegar over the salad for an additional boost of flavor.
Sardines are small, oily fish that are packed with nutrients.
One can of sardines has zero carbs and 23 grams of protein. These fish are also an excellent source of calcium, providing 27% of the Daily Value (DV) for this mineral (
Try pairing sardines with low carb, six-seed crackers for a crunchy and nutritious low carb snack. Keep in mind that the carb content of your snack will depend on the type of cracker you use.
There’s more than one way to eat low carb, but if you’re following a low carb diet, it’s a good idea to keep plenty of healthy snacks on hand. Making a low carb meal plan or menu can also help you stick to your goals.
The low carb snacks above offer beneficial nutrients like protein, healthy fats, and fiber. Plus, they’re delicious and can help satisfy your hunger between meals.
Just one thing
Try this: A well-stocked kitchen can make it easier to prepare low carb snacks. Stock your kitchen with nutritious, low carb foods like nuts and seeds, berries, eggs, Greek yogurt, canned fish, and avocado.