When it comes to snacking, we have all fallen prey to carb-loaded treats. Whether devouring a pack of chips, guzzling through sugary desserts, or emptying cans of flavored soda, we’ve all been there and done that. However, this is not conducive to a healthy lifestyle.
Eating the wrong amount or type of carbohydrates can cause your blood sugar to spike. This can send your energy and mood levels on a not-so-exhilarating roller coaster ride. These rides often leave you craving for more.
A tried and tested solution to this is taking control of your eating habits and saying “yes” to snacks with no carbs rather than falling into a sugar-laden trap time and time again.
If you want to learn more about carbs and find out what low-carb snacks you can add to your daily menu, keep reading!
What Are Carbs?
We’ve all heard about carbohydrates, but how many of us know what they really are?
Carbohydrates are molecules containing hydrogen, oxygen, and carbon atoms. As far as nutrition is concerned, carbs are one of the three main macronutrients – the other two are fats and proteins.
Carbohydrates are divided into three categories, including:
- Fiber: You cannot digest this, but consuming fiber daily is vital to your health.
- Starch: These are foods with long chains of glucose molecules. The digestive system breaks them down into glucose.
- Sugars: Sweet and short-chain carbohydrates are found in snacks and foods with glucose, fructose, sucrose, and galactose.
The primary purpose of carbs in your body is to provide the energy your body needs to function.
What is the difference between whole carbs and refined carbs?
While we often lump carbohydrates together in one big cluster, it is important to note that there are two distinct types: whole carbs and refined carbs.
They vary in terms of their nutrient profiles and also in terms of the health effects they have. Let’s take a closer look at whole carbs vs refined carbs.
|Whole Carbs||Refined Carbs|
|Minimally processed||Subjected to more processing|
|Retain natural dietary fiber||Natural fiber removed or altered|
|Vegetables and legumes||Breakfast cereals|
|Beans||Other items made from white flour|
The Health Implications
- Cause blood sugar spikes and crashes, which leads to hunger and food cravings
- Often lack essential nutrients, which makes them “empty” calories
- Contains added sugars, which are associated with an increased risk of numerous chronic diseases (15, 14)
- Recommended as part of a balanced diet
- Loaded with nutrients and fiber
- Maintain stable blood sugar levels
- Numerous studies (19, 3) have affirmed the positive impact of high-fiber carbohydrates, such as vegetables, fruits, legumes, and whole grains, on metabolic health and disease risk reduction.
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What Are the Dangers of Consuming a Lot of Carbs?
As we’ve seen, eating the wrong type of carbs can be a health concern, particularly when they are consumed for prolonged periods and without any added exercise.
Let’s look at the dangers of consuming high-carb snacks:
- Caloric surplus. The delicious taste of carbs has a price. If you’re not mindful of your carb intake, you can end up eating too many calories and weight gain will be inevitable.
- Effects on blood sugar levels. According to the Harvard School of Public Health, eating a diet that is full of carbohydrates causes your blood sugar to spike. Therefore, you could face a higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes (6).
- Cholesterol and triglyceride levels. If they are consumed in excess, your cholesterol and triglyceride levels will soar.
What Are Some Easy Snacks With No Carbs?
Foods with no carbs are essentially those that have the lowest amount of carbohydrates, generally 1 gram or less per serving. Whether you’re looking for snacks with no carbs for diabetes or you hope to expand your keto horizons, we’ve got the right inputs for you.
Here are some sweet and healthy snacks with few or no carbs:
- Keto cookies: If you are craving a chocolate chip cookie, go for the keto low-carb alternative. Six of these cookies only contain 11 grams of carbohydrates.
- Honey crisp apple: The combination of sweetness and crunchiness in this snack won’t overload your carb count. A serving of honey crisp apples only contains 12 grams of carbs.
- Caramel cashew butter: If you love sweet snacks, this nut snack is a must-eat. It will give you a delicious caramel flavor with only 8 grams of carbs per serving.
- Dark chocolate and pumpkin seeds: You only get 6% of your daily recommended carbohydrate consumption if you eat this snack alone.
What Are Some Healthy Low-Calorie Snacks?
According to the US Department of Agriculture, each gram of carbohydrates you consume contains 4 calories. The same applies to proteins where each gram gives you 4 calories.
Fats contain more than twice the amount of calories proteins and carbs have.
Consuming proteins, carbs, and fats in high portions can easily add up to thousands of calories.
Now that you don’t want to take calorie-dense snacks, what options do you have? Well, the best snacks for you are those that are low in carbohydrates, fats, and protein. Here are some ideal snacks:
- Unsweetened chocolate almond milk: This snack contains zero grams of added sugars and is an excellent source of nutrients such as Vitamins D and E and calcium.
- Coconut butter: Almond and cashew nut butter are all the rage these days, but have you ever tried coconut butter? It is made from pure coconuts and has a natural super creamy taste.
- Bean crisps: Crunchy roasted and flavored bean crisps contain far fewer calories. This is because they contain a lot of fiber, which is a non-digestible compound.
What Foods Have No Carbs?
You can consume plenty of foods, but how do you identify the ones that have no carbs?
Foods that are rich in proteins and healthy unsaturated fats do not contain a lot of carbs as they fall under a different macronutrient category.
Therefore, to curb the consumption of starches and sugars, you should go for protein snacks with few or no carbs, such as the following: (8)
- Hummus with vegetables: Sweet hummus contains a lot of carbs, but this snack contains far less.
- Tart Montmorency cherries: If you are craving a tasty snack that won’t have an impact on your sugar levels, then you only need to mix a few tablespoons of no-sugar dried cherries with dark chocolate. It tastes amazing and just like other cherries.
- Greek yogurt: Yogurt is the best grab-and-go tasty snack. However, many brands contain a lot of sugars. You need to go for Greek yogurt, as this has fewer added sugars and more proteins.
- Fresh zero-carb meats: You can include the following meat types in your snacks: beef, lamb, exotic meats, organ meats, fowl, pork, and veal.
List of Snacks with No Carbs
What snacks can I eat that have no carbs or sugars? What is the nutrition that is obtained from these snacks? Here is everything you need to know about these delicious snacks:
1. Sardines and seed crackers
First on the snacks with no carbs list is sardines. These are small oily fish that have a lot of nutrients.
- A can of sardines weighing approximately 92 grams has zero grams of carbs and 23 grams of proteins.
- They are also a good source of calcium with 27% of this mineral.
- For a crunchy and nutritious zero-carb snack, prepare sardines with low-carb chia seeds and flaxseed crackers.
2. Caprese salad
Caprese salad is an Italian dish that is made by mixing cheese, tomatoes, cheese, basil leaves, mozzarella cheese, and olive oil (5).
To prepare this low-carb snack, follow these steps:
- Add a half cup of cherry tomatoes to a bowl
- Add 28 grams of mozzarella balls
- Mix in a tablespoon of freshly chopped basil leaves
- Toss together with a tablespoon of virgin olive oil
- Add a dash of sea salt
- For an additional flavor boost, consider drizzling in a tablespoon of balsamic vinegar
3. Dried seaweed sheets
Dried seaweed sheets are a portable, crunchy low-carb snack.
- Seaweed is a good source of natural dietary iodine that supports thyroid health.
- Your thyroid glands make essential hormones that are required for metabolism, development, and growth (12).
- A sheet of seaweed contains approximately 1 gram of carbs. It can be enjoyed alone or paired with other foods such as scrambled eggs or avocado slices. You can also include it in your salad.
4. Salmon with cucumber bites
Salmon is a healthy snack with no sugar or carbs.
- In addition to being a food that is low in carbohydrates, it is also a source of the long-chain omega-three fatty acids known as EPA and DHA.
- The above healthy fats provide many benefits to your system. They have been linked to improved heart health and reduced inflammation (10).
For a tasty low-carb snack, follow these steps:
- Smoke the salmon
- Spread cheese on cucumber slices
- Fold the strips of smoked salmon on the cucumber slices
- Top the snack with freshly cracked pepper
5. Apricots with blue cheese
Fresh apricots have low carbs, unlike their dried and canned counterparts, which have a lot of sugars and carbohydrates.
- One fresh apricot weighs approximately 36 grams and contains only 4 grams of carbs.
To make stuffed apricots with blue cheese, follow these steps:
- Cut the fruit into two halves
- Remove the pit
- Mix a quarter cup of blue cheese with a tablespoon of olive oil
- Spoon the blue cheese mixture into each apricot half
- Broil the fruit on a cooking sheet for approximately two minutes
- The snack is ready when toasted
6. String cheese
String cheese is a popular low-carb snack that is portable and easy to make.
- 29 grams of string cheese has less than one gram of carbohydrates and more than 6 grams of proteins.
- Cheese is also a known source of calcium. This mineral is required for your bone health, nervous system, and muscle function (7).
You do not need any other ingredients to make this snack. Just consume it without mixing it with any other foods.
7. Avocado egg salad
Instead of using mayonnaise in your egg salad, you could substitute it with mashed avocado.
Follow these steps:
- Mash a half slice of avocado with one boiled egg
- Season lightly with salt and pepper
8. Yogurt with nuts
The regular yogurt you purchase from stores is generally high in added sugars. Therefore, when you go shopping, make sure to choose unsweetened and plain yogurt to eliminate these sugars. This will minimize the carbohydrate content.
- A 170-gram serving of plain and unsweetened yogurt has far fewer carbs than its counterparts (20).
To make yogurt a low-carb snack, pair it with some nuts. You can boost its flavor by adding a little cinnamon, vanilla extract, and natural zero-carb sweetener such as Stevia.
Edamame is an unripe, green soybean. They are packed with a lot of nutrients.
- Half a cup of edamame contains only 7 grams of carbs and approximately 9 grams of plant-based proteins.
For a simple snack made with this ingredient:
- Toss raw edamame into a bowl
- Add a tablespoon of water
- Cover with paper
- Microwave the mixture for approximately 1 minute
- It is ready when it is tender
- You can season it with sea salt (16)
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10. Cottage cheese
- A half-cup of cottage cheese contains only 5 grams of carbs and 12 grams of high-quality proteins.
- The cheese is rich in bone-building vitamins such as phosphorus and calcium.
A common addition that can be used in a cottage cheese recipe is fruit.
If you want it to be savory and low in carbs, use avocado slices, chopped green onions, hot sauce, and cherry tomatoes in place of fruits.
11. Cinnamon pumpkin seeds
- A quarter cup of pumpkin seeds contains only 9 grams of carbs and 3 grams of fiber.
- Furthermore, these seeds are rich in zinc, which is vital for optimal metabolism and immune health (21).
To make cinnamon toasted pumpkin seeds:
- Mix a half cup of pumpkin seeds with a half teaspoon of cinnamon
- Add a tablespoon of olive oil
- Spread the seeds on a baking sheet
- Bake them at 150 degrees Celsius in the oven for approximately 45 minutes
- The snack is ready once it turns golden brown
12. Bento box
The best snacks with low calories contain fewer carbs. A bento box is a container that is compartmentalized to hold as many different food items as possible.
To make your bento box lower in carbs, fill it with items such as the following:
- Fruits. Olives, avocado slices, cantaloupe, and berries.
- Fresh veggies. Broccoli, bell pepper, sliced cucumber, and celery sticks.
- Nuts. Almonds, peanuts, macadamia nuts, and walnuts.
- Proteins. Hard-boiled eggs, cheese squares, grilled chicken, and cottage cheese.
13. Carrot sticks with peanut butter
Dipping your carrots into creamy peanut butter is an excellent and delicious low-carb snack.
- A half-cup of carrot sticks with two tablespoons of peanut butter will only give you a total of 13 grams of carbohydrates.
It should be noted that many peanut butter brands contain a lot of sugars. Therefore, you should make sure you choose a natural variety made of peanuts and salt only.
14. Fresh vegetables dipped in tzatziki
Tzatziki is made from plain yogurt, cucumbers, and garlic. Fresh herbs such as dill or parsley are often added to it.
- Two tablespoons of this sauce provide only 2 grams of carbohydrates, making it an excellent low-carb food.
For additional flavor, pair tzatziki with vegetables such as celery sticks, baby carrots, or broccoli (17).
15. Kale chips
Kale is one of the most famous low-carb vegetables and is packed with vitamins A and K and folate.
A cup of kale contains less than a gram of carbs.
If you don’t fancy raw or sautéed kale, then kale chips are an excellent alternative. To make them:
- Rip the leaves into bite-sized portions
- Lay them on a baking tray lined with parchment paper
- Drizzle over some olive oil, salt, and garlic powder
- Bake at 177°C for 10 minutes
- When ready, the leaf edges will be brown and crispy
16. Sweet bell peppers with guacamole
The name of these snacks implies high sugar and a high carb content, right? Well, that’s not the case at all!
- Sweet bell peppers contain fewer carbohydrates. Half a cup of chopped peppers contains only 3 grams of carbs.
- In addition to the low carbohydrate content, bell peppers are also rich in vitamin C. This mineral is known to boost immunity and heart and skin health. One green bell pepper has more of this vitamin than a whole orange (18).
Make a quick healthy snack by dipping sweet bell peppers in smashed avocados mixed with onion, garlic, salt, and lime juice.
17. BLT lettuce sandwiches
BLT lettuce wraps are one of the best snacks with no carbs.
BLT sandwiches are known to be high in carbohydrates. However, you can easily strip away the carbs with a BLT lettuce wrap.
Follow these steps:
- Place three to four slices of tomato and two of bacon in a large lettuce leaf
- Add flavor by incorporating a few slices of guacamole and shredded cheese
18. Strawberry smoothie
With the right ingredients, you can easily make a low-carbohydrate juice.
For example, strawberries are low in carbs and are incredibly delicious. A half cup of them only gives you 6 grams of starch.
To make a strawberry smoothie, blend the following:
- A cup of unsweetened almond milk
- A half cup of fresh strawberries
- A quarter cup of low-carb protein powder
- A tablespoon of chia seeds
- Ice cubes
- A quarter teaspoon of vanilla (13)
19. Carrot sticks with aioli
Carrots have fewer carbs than you might think. 10 baby carrots only provide 8 grams of starch.
To make a tasty snack, you can pair baby carrots with a dip such as homemade aioli. Follow these steps:
- Mix a quarter cup of mayonnaise with a tablespoon of lemon juice
- Add a minced garlic clove
- Season with salt and pepper
20. Dark chocolate and cashew butter
These no-carb snacks are essentially those that have the lowest amount of carbohydrates, generally 1 gram or less per serving. Dark chocolate is low in carbohydrates.
- It is the perfect snack if you’re craving something sweet. 28 grams of 70% dark chocolate has only 12 grams of carbs and 9 grams of fiber.
For better results, pair the chocolate with a tablespoon of cashew butter. This will give you additional proteins and fats.
Make sure that the chocolate you choose to consume has a lower percentage of carbs per serving and is 70% dark.
21. Stuffed avocado
A medium-sized avocado has just 12 grams of carbs. Nine grams of these carbohydrates are in the form of fiber.
Fiber is an indigestible nutrient your body doesn’t absorb. This makes avocado one of the best low-carb snacks (9).
To make your stuffed avocado:
- Slice it in half
- Remove the seed or stone
- Spoon the desired amount of low-carb stuffing into the center of your avocado
You can fill the avocado with chopped shrimp, scrambled eggs, cheese, or tuna salad.
22. Berries with whipped cream
Berries are highly nutritious and contain low starch and sugars.
- A half-cup of blueberry provides 11 grams of carbs.
For a delicious snack, combine a half cup of berries with two tablespoons of any heavy whipping cream.
23. Tuna salad
85 grams of canned tuna contains zero carbs and over 20 grams of proteins.
To make a tuna salad snack:
- Combine 85 grams of canned tuna with a quarter cup of mayonnaise
- Add a quarter cup of diced celery
- Season the mixture with salt and pepper
24. Deviled eggs
An egg contains less than one gram of starch.
It also has vitamins such as B12 and choline, which are essential for brain health (11).
To make tasty deviled eggs:
- Hard boil several eggs
- Peel them
- Slice them in half
- Scoop out the yolk
- Combine the yolks with mayonnaise
- Add Dijon mustard, pepper, and salt to the mixture
- Place a spoonful of the mixture back in the egg whites
- Add a light dusting of paprika
25. Cheddar cheese
Cheddar cheese contains low starches and sugars. A serving of this versatile snack contains less than 1 gram of carbs.
For a delicious snack, consider making cheddar cheese crisps. You will have full control of the ingredients and recipe.
Follow these steps:
- Cut cheddar cheese into small squares
- Place the squares onto a baking tray
- Bake at 160 degrees Celsius for 30 minutes
- The cheese is ready once it is crispy
26. Low-carb keto peanut butter cookies
These keto and low-carb peanut butter cookies are crisp and crunchy on the outside, and chewy and slightly soft on the inside. The key to these cookies is almond flour, which makes it a great gluten-free dessert.
They only have a net 3.5 gm of carbohydrates per serving, whereby 1.5 gms are dietary fiber and 1 gm is sugar. (1)
To make this recipe, you’ll need unsweetened peanut butter and keto-friendly sweeteners such as erythritol or stevia.
Follow these steps:
- Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C) and line a baking sheet with parchment paper
- Mix peanut butter, sweetener, egg, vanilla extract, baking soda, and a pinch of salt in a bowl until well combined
- Form into small dough balls and place them on the prepared baking sheet
- Flatten each ball using a fork, creating a crisscross pattern
- Bake for 10-12 minutes or until the edges turn golden brown
- Cool the cookies on a wire rack for a few minutes to firm them up
27. Traditional Greek tahini dip
This low-carb snack recipe is perfect for late mornings or afternoon pick-me-ups. Not only will it keep you full and satisfied, it also works to combat troublesome inflammation. (2)
With only 106 calories per serving, this traditional dip packs only 4 gms of carbs and several nutrients such as magnesium and calcium.
For this recipe you’ll need:
- ½ cup tahini
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil plus more for garnish
- 1 clove garlic, crushed
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 6 tablespoons water
- 3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
- Toasted sesame seeds for garnish
Follow the steps below to make this low-carb snack:
- Combine the tahini, lemon juice, oil, garlic, and salt in a food processor
- Pulse and scrape the sides until smooth
- With the processor running, add water slowly for a pale, smooth mixture
- Transfer the dip to a serving bowl
- Top with parsley
- Garnish with sesame seeds and a drizzle of oil, if desired
What snack foods contain no carbs?
Snacking while avoiding carbs can be satisfying with these options:
- Nuts and Seeds: Almonds, walnuts, and sunflower seeds provide protein and healthy fats.
- Cheese: Cheese varieties such as cheddar, mozzarella, and cream cheese are low in carbs.
- Vegetables: Opt for low-carb options such as cucumber, celery, and bell peppers, which are all perfect with hummus.
- Berries: Limited quantities of berries, such as strawberries and blackberries, offer natural sweetness.
- Pork Rinds: These crispy snacks are virtually carb-free.
- Hard-boiled eggs: A protein-rich and portable option.
- Greek Yogurt: Choose the unsweetened variety for a protein-packed, low-carb treat.
- Jerky: Lean meat or turkey jerky is carb-free and high in protein.
By incorporating these snacks, you can enjoy a low-carb diet while also satisfying your cravings.
What snacks fill you up on a low-carb diet?
Snacks are an excellent way to maintain a low-carb diet. You can generally snack on the following, but it is not limited to these snacks.
- Avocado: Its healthy fats and fiber keep you feeling full and satiated.
- Nuts and Seeds: Almonds, chia seeds, and walnuts are rich in satiating fats and fiber.
- Greek Yogurt: Opt for the unsweetened version, which is high in protein.
- Cottage Cheese: High in protein and low in carbs, this is perfect with some berries.
- Hard-boiled eggs: Protein-packed and portable.
- Cheese: Cheddar, mozzarella, or cream cheese provide protein and fat.
- Vegetables: Snack on bell peppers, cucumber, or celery with hummus.
Is popcorn OK on a low-carb diet?
While popcorn can be compatible with a low-carb diet, it requires careful consideration, as it’s a whole grain, naturally starchy, and contains carbohydrates. A 3-cup serving of air-popped popcorn typically provides approximately 12-15 grams of carbs. (4)
Opt for plain, air-popped popcorn rather than buttered or heavily flavored varieties, which can significantly increase your carb and calorie counts.
It’s important to remember that individual carb tolerance varies. Some low-carb diets, such as keto, may necessitate stricter carb restrictions, which makes popcorn a less ideal choice. If you’re monitoring your carb intake, track your popcorn portions and consider it to be an occasional treat rather than a regular snack.
Can I eat chips on a no-carb diet?
Chips are generally not suitable on a no-carb diet. They are typically high in carbohydrates due to their potato or corn base, and some are heavily processed and contain added sugars or other high-carb ingredients.
However, the following types of chips can be consumed on a no-carb diet:
- Kale Chips: These are made from kale leaves, which are rich in vitamins and fiber. They can be seasoned and baked until crispy.
- Zucchini Chips: Thinly sliced zucchini can be seasoned and baked or air-fried to create a crunchy, low-carb snack.
- Eggplant Chips: Sliced eggplant, seasoned and baked until crispy offers a satisfying crunch with fewer carbs.
- Pork Rinds: These are made from fried or roasted pork skin and are virtually carb-free, which makes them a popular choice for low-carb diets.
- Cheese Crisps: Baked or fried cheese can be turned into crispy snacks that are low in carbs and high in fat.
- Seaweed Snacks: Seaweed sheets are a low-carb, crispy option that come in a variety of flavors.
- Nori Chips: Nori chips are a low-carb choice for those who enjoy the taste of seaweed.
- Almond or Coconut Flour Tortilla Chips: You can make your own low-carb tortilla chips using almond or coconut flour.
These alternatives provide a satisfying crunch and can be seasoned according to your taste, which makes them suitable for low-carb diets such as keto. You should always check labels for added ingredients and carb content.
The Bottom Line
If you are on a low-carb diet, it’s good to consume a lot of healthy dishes. The snacks with few or no carbs that are listed above will provide you with nutrients such as fiber, fats, and proteins while keeping your hunger between meals at bay.
This article is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional advice or help and should not be relied on to make decisions of any kind. Any action you take upon the information presented in this article is strictly at your own risk and responsibility!
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