Wait a sec!? Did you say snacks? I thought snacking wasn’t allowed on keto? Now you are saying snacking IS ALLOWED on a ketogenic diet?
This tends to be the kinds questions or responses I get from many of you who are following a keto diet and intermittent fasting lifestyle. I actually love those responses because it shows that people are aware of the effects constant snacking can have on the body, the main one being insulin spikes.
Before we delve any further into this topic, it may be beneficial to give a brief overview on what is keto and intermittent fasting. If you want more than a brief overview, check out my previous post.
Keto (Ketogenic): This is a dietary lifestyle where you shift your metabolism from utilizing sugar (glucose) as fuel over to fat (ketones) as your body’s primary source of fuel. This is achieved by greatly reducing net carbs to no more than 30g a day, moderating protein, and embracing the consumption of healthy fats (animal, coconut, olive oil and etc).
Intermittent Fasting (IF): If keto tells you what to eat, IF comes along and tells you when to and what not to eat. Fasting says stop eating for a period of time to allow your body time to breakdown the food consumed and heal itself. During fasting, you avoid foods and drinks that could cause insulin spikes. In essence, you can consume water, coffee, tea, and unsweetened sparkling water. If you must have a dab of sweetness, go for stevia, monkfruit or erythritol.
These 2 work in tandem to help regulate your hormones by aiding in the reduction of elevated blood sugars and improving insulin sensitivity.
I DO NOT recommend snacking when following this lifestyle due largely in part that snacking creates insulin spikes and that is the very thing we want to avoid when pursing this lifestyle. There is a time and place for snacks though. So let’s dive in to learn more.
The Top 3 Reasons To Snack
As I stated above, I strongly encourage people to avoid snacking. It causes spikes in insulin and doesn’t support longer intervals of fasting (16hrs or more). Besides, if you really are that hungry, then eat a meal. Listen to your body! If it is begging for a meal, then feed it. There are 3 situations in which I think snacking can be beneficial to your ketogenic diet and intermittent fasting.
The first situation is geared towards the newbies. If you are new to this lifestyle, your body has not developed the pathways necessary to efficiently run off of fat yet. This transition can take a couple of weeks before the body switches over to being a fat burner. Your body will still need energy to properly function during that transition so a snack (cheese stick, walnuts, or etc) will help ease the transition until your body really becomes efficient at turning fat into fuel.
Once you become fat adapted, you really don’t have a need for snacking unless you fall into one of the other 2 situations.
The next situation is about properly engaging your level of satiety (feeling of fullness). When following this lifestyle, it can become a little difficult gauging your level of satisfaction. There will come days when your normal meal size just won’t fill you up. Instead of cooking another meal or using tomorrow’s prepped meal, grab a snack to polish off your appetite.
Word of advice: Portion out your snack to prevent the likelihood of mindless eating or over consumption.
The 3rd situation is much like the 2nd but on the front end. This is basically when you are caught between hunger and a delay in food. For ex, you may have extended your fast in order to eat with someone later on that day. Unfortunately, your body reached its fasting limit before you could sit down to eat. In that case, grab a keto snack to hold you over. In this situation, you are using snacks to prevent you from making a worse choice when fasting no longer becomes an option.
Now that you better understand how to use snacking to your advantage, let’s give you some of my personal favorites to strap yourself with.
Black N Keto’s Top 5 Favorite Snacks
These are my top 5 favorite snacks. They are not listed in any particular order because my taste and mood for snacks changes all the time but these are the ones that often make it into the rotation.
- 4505 Cracklins: 0.5oz/serv – 6g Fat, 0g Net Carbs, 7g Protein
- What I love most about 4505 Cracklins besides the crunch and awesome flavors is the fact that they are actually fried in healthy fats. Most pork rinds are fried or baked in pro inflammatory vegetable oils (canola, soybean, corn oil and etc) but not these babies. They fry theirs in rendered pork fat which truly makes it an awesome and healthy keto snack.
- Another cool thing about these cracklings is the absence of “insulin spikers” like maltodextrin and dextrose. They are made with real ingredients and no fillers.
- The chicharrones are great too but contain sugar within the seasoning.
- These are a great alternative to potato chips and make for a good breading to fry food in too.
- Sold At – Amazon, Walmart, Whole Foods, and Fresh Thyme
- Legendary Spread: 2tbsp/serv – 14g Fat, 4g Net Carbs, 6g Protein
- These are my absolute favorite nut butters. They come in 5 delicious flavors Blueberry Cinnamon Bun, Apple Pie, Pecan Pie, Peanut Butter w/Chocolate Chips, and Peanut Butter Cup. The last 2 flavors taste a lot alike though.
- These taste great by themselves or you can use them to make some of your favorite desserts. I made a Pecan Pie Cheesecake using it.
- They use natural ingredients, erythritol and stevia to produce true to taste amazing flavors.
- Sold Online: Amazon
- Lily’s Chocolate: 1/2 a bar (40g) – 14g Fat, 3g Net Carbs, 2g Protein
- If you love chocolate but keto is life, this is definitely for you then.
- They carry a variety of flavors including Milk Chocolate, Salted Almond, and Coconut.
- They sweeten the bars with erythritol and stevia which helps to keep the net carbs low.
- They do use dextrin which is a form sugar. I still enjoy one…or 2 from time to time.
- They also make chocolate chips and baking bars that can be used for some of your favorite chocolate recipes.
- Sold at: Amazon, Whole Foods, and Fresh Thyme
- Smart Sweets: 1 Bag (50g) – 0g Fat, 7g Net Carbs, 0g Protein
- If you have missed the taste of gummy candy since doing the keto diet then look no further than these babies right here. They are my favorite gummy alternative.
- These have REPLACED my desire for old school favorites like gummy bears, Swedish Fish, and Sour Patch Kids.
- The ingredients are plant-based and sweetened with stevia.
- The only consideration here is fiber. 1 bag of these delicious gummy candy provides 28g of fiber.
- Sold at: Amazon and Whole Foods
- Zevia: 1-12oz can – 0g Fat, 0g Net Carbs, 0g Protein
- This right here goes out to my fellow ketonians seeking a better alternative to regular and diet sodas. This has replaced my desire for artificially flavored and sweetened soda.
- They come in a 14 different flavors including some of my personal favorites like Cola, Black Cherry, Cream Soda and Mountain Zevia.
- They are sweetened with stevia, contain no artificial anything, clear and are ok to have during a fast.
- They also provide energy drinks, mixers and sparkling water.
- Sold at: Amazon, Whole Foods, and Fresh Thyme
Snacking Can Be A Powerful Tool…
when used wisely. Whether you are a beginner looking to stay energized or more seasoned and looking to stay on top of your keto game, snacks can help you get one step closer health, happiness and weight loss.
I have shown you some of my favorite snacks along with some ways on how you can use them but enough about me. What about you!?
What do you think? I want to hear back from you!
Do you snack? How have you used snacking to help with you ketogenic lifestyle? What is one of your favorite snacks?
Leave a comment below and while you are here, share with a friend who could benefit from this.