6 Dietitian-Approved Keto Snacks for Your New Year’s Resolutions
Written by Chrissy Arsenault, MBA, RDN, LD
When it comes to new year’s resolutions, small steps lead to big results.
One simple swap I love to recommend is to incorporate healthier, lower sugar foods into your snack rotation. After all, snacks often fuel our busy, active lifestyles.
To help you on your journey, I’ve compiled a list of my favorite plant-based, keto snacks. Whether or not you’re following a keto diet, these snacks are worth checking out – they are nutritious, tasty and low in sugar, making them great overall better-for-you options.
Here’s my list of six dietitian-approved choices to consider.
1. Zucchini Chips
Instead of potato chips or fries, try your hand at some zucchini chips to snack on if you’re craving something salty. All you need is some zucchini on a baking sheet with oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and bake in the oven until they’re done to your preferred readiness.
Health Benefits: Zucchinis are rich in vitamins and minerals including fiber, beta-carotene, lutein, and zeaxanthin, to support good digestive health and improving your eye health. They are low in calories and perfect if you’re looking to trim some calories from your snacks.
Dietitian Tip: The thinner you slice your zucchini, the crispier they will be (and vice versa). Mandolin slicers work like a charm for slicing zukes into impossibly thin rounds, but watch your fingers! If you’d like some extra flavor on your zucchini chips, try sprinkling some cajun spice or oregano on top prior to baking.
2. Sweet & Nutty Smoothies
Smoothies are easy to make if you’re short on time and craving something sweet. Try blending some full-fat, unsweetened coconut milk with your favorite nut butter and unsweetened cocoa powder for a creamy and slightly sweet snack. These taste just like the decadent peanut butter malt milkshakes that you’d get from an ice cream parlor or that neighborhood burger joint.
Health Benefits: Full-fat coconut milk includes fats known as medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs) that are believed to support weight loss and boost your metabolism. Unlike other fats, MCTs are used for energy and ketone production in your liver and thus less likely to be stored as fats. Nut butters add a creamy texture and savory flavor – cashew butter and almond butter are among my favorites. Unsweetened cocoa powder is a good source of phytonutrients that have been shown to help with blood sugar and cholesterol levels over time in higher amounts.
Dietitian Tip: Be wary of the sugar and high-intensity sweeteners that are often added to coconut milk, especially ones that are lower in fat. Whenever fat content is lower, I often find that it’s substituted for carbs, which is a nightmare for those of us trying to stick to keto.
3. Edamame – Steamed or Dry Roasted
Generally, beans are banned from anything keto, but these are an exception. Edamame is a dish made with immature soybeans and originally from East Asia. You can find these in the freezer section of your grocery and prepare them by either boiling or steaming them. You can also find dry roasted edamame in some grocery stores, which are crunchy in texture.
Health Benefits: Edamame has a lot of protein, vitamins, and stays on the lower side of net carbs since they’re so high in fiber. For example, a serving of edamame has 13g of carbs and 10g of fiber, meaning you ultimately eat 3g of net cars per serving. They are also rich in omega-3 fatty acids and other nutrients to keep you healthy in the new year.
Dietitian Tip: As long as you watch your total net carb intake from other sources of food throughout the day, edamame is definitely a delicious and filling snack that can fit within your macros. It’s best to measure out or weigh your serving of edamame before you start digging in, because it’ll be super tempting to keep eating more!
4. Avocado Chocolate Mousse
Don’t let yourself go ‘hangry’ from cutting back on carbs. To curb your sweet craving, throw some avocados, unsweetened coconut or cashew milk, unsweetened cocoa powder, salt, chia powder, and almond extract into a blender for a creamy dessert!
Health Benefits: Avocados are dense in nutrients and phytochemicals including fiber, potassium, vitamins A, C, E, K, B-6, magnesium, and more. Additionally, the fats from avocados are mostly from monounsaturated fatty acids, which can help lower your ‘bad’ cholesterol levels.
Dietitian Tip: Did you know that avocados are considered fruits and not vegetables? Who said you couldn’t eat any fruits on keto?
5. Munk Pack Keto Granola Bars
I know what you’re thinking: ‘What?! Granola bars aren’t keto!’ Well, these bars are keto-friendly, better-for-you, and made with a nutritious mix of nuts and seeds rather than typical oats. You can enjoy these bars without all the carbs that oat-based granola generally comes with. They are perfect for every snacking occasion throughout the day. I personally love the chewy texture of these granola bars. The Coconut Cocoa Chip variety is my favorite, but all of them are worth a try as there are many other flavors.
Health Benefits: These Keto Granola Bars have 1g of sugar and 2g of net carbs. They’re gluten-free, plant-based, non-GMO, and contain no high intensity sweeteners. This means no blood sugar level spikes and a steady source of energy.
Dietitian Tip: These seriously need to go everywhere in case you go hungry. I’ve stuffed a couple in my purse, in my car, in my kitchen pantry, in my home office drawer, and more.
6. Munk Pack Nut & Seed Keto Bars
These bars have just the right amount of sweet and salty flavors blended together. While the typical popular ‘healthy’ nut bars are still packed with added sugar and tend to be difficult to chew, these have a shockingly low sugar amount while still being delicious and chewy. Thank you to the ‘chipmunks’ for providing this wonderful snack for us humans. The Pecan Almond bars have been my go-to for outdoor hikes.
Health Benefits: These keto bars have less than 1g sugar and 2-3g net carbs depending on the variety, with moderate protein and healthy fats suited for a keto diet and for those just looking for a nutritious snack.
Dietitian Tip: Try pairing one of these bars with your morning cup of coffee. For an extra flavor boost, add some coconut oil or unsweetened coconut creamer to your coffee.
The Bottom Line
Keeping New Year’s resolutions don’t have to be daunting when you have plenty of healthy snacks at your fingertips. Here’s to a healthy, happy you in 2021. What’s your favorite keto-friendly snack? Comment below and let me know!
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|↑2||Mumme K, Stonehouse W. Effects of medium-chain triglycerides on weight loss and body composition: a meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials. J Acad Nutr Diet 2015 Feb;115(2):249-63.|
|↑3||Augustin K, Khabbush A, Williams S, Eaton S, Orford M, Cross JH, Heales S, Walker MC, Williams R. Mechanisms of action for the medium-chain triglyceride ketogenic diet in neurological and metabolic disorders. The Lancet Neurology 2018; 1(17):84-93.|
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|↑5||Nutrients: Edamame Shelled Soybeans, FDC ID: 523559. United States Department of Agriculture. FoodData Central (usda.gov). Accessed December 22, 2020.|
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