Found: The Best Ketogenic Snacks You Can Make Or Buy

Photo by Tatjana Zlatkovic / Stocksy

Chances are, you've heard about the ketogenic diet by now with how much buzz it has been getting in the wellness world. This low-carbohydrate, moderate-protein, high-fat way of eating works to transform you from a sugar-burner to a fat-burner to achieve optimal health. While popular, this diet is anything but trendy. In fact, harnessing the power of this diet has been shown to restore energy, stabilize blood sugar, enhance brain health, and more.

As a functional medicine practitioner, I have seen firsthand just how beneficial this way of eating can be. Most of us use sugar in the form of glucose for fuel, but that's not the most efficient source. Our bodies quickly use glucose, leaving us needing to refuel often in order to avoid crashing in a state of hanger with a whole slew of metabolic and inflammatory health problems brewing under the surface.

A ketogenic diet, on the other hand, trains our bodies to rely on fat instead of sugar for energy. Not only is fat a cleaner source of fuel, but we have actually relied on fat since the beginning of our lives in the form of breast milk for energy and development.

This is why I developed a ketotarian diet, which marries the best of conventional ketogenic diets with the best of plant-based into a ketogenic diet with a plant-based twist. This is truly a ketogenic diet for everyone that removes the pitfalls of traditional keto diets (too much meat and dairy) while also opening up the table to those who choose to be more plant-based while also avoiding the pitfalls that go along with conventional vegan and vegetarian diets (too many carbs) as well.

But with any new diet or lifestyle change, it can be difficult to know exactly where to start or what to eat. It can be especially difficult in today's sugar-laden society, where even so-called healthy foods are hidden vessels of sugar, either added sugar or in the form of carbohydrates that are broken down by our bodies into sugar. One of the most difficult aspects of any diet can be snack time. That's why I came up with the ultimate list of snacks that you can grab in a hurry, avoid temptation, and stay on top of your keto game. Here are my favorite clean keto snack foods:

Snacks to Make

1. Grain-free granola

Make your own granola with a mix of nuts, seeds, and shredded coconut for a boost of protein and healthy fats with each handful. Toast your granola with coconut or avocado oil and switch up the flavor with various herbs and spices.

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2. Hard-boiled eggs

The incredible edible egg is a powerhouse of nutrients. Pasture-raised, organic egg yolks contain fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E, and B as well as iron, choline, potassium, and phosphorus, which are all essential for healthy hormones and can increase the bioavailability of healthy fats while also being low-carb. Boil a dozen, peel, and keep in the fridge to grab at home or on your way out the door.

Photo by Tatjana Zlatkovic / Stocksy

3. Fat bombs

Eating a fat bomb is more like a dessert than a snack. Its high-fat content makes it very rich and decadent, leaving you feeling full for longer. Also, when made with delicious ingredients like almond butter, vanilla, and cacao powder, you can satisfy your sweet tooth without derailing your keto lifestyle. Here's a chocolate peppermint version, a straight chocolate one, and a mint chocolate chip one.

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4. Avocado halves

I haven't met an avocado I didn't like. Dress one up with some lemon juice, oil, or vinegar-based hot sauce, with some sea salt and pepper, and you have a winning snack or meal! Loads of clean plant fats, B vitamins, and potassium.

5. Chia seed pudding

Made with coconut milk, chia seeds, and whatever fruit you'd like, this is a great plant-based fat-loaded breakfast or snack.

Snacks to Buy

Sometimes you are in a rush and aren't able to carve out time to prep anything. These snacks are perfect for when time is limited and are also shelf-stable, making them great options for people on the go all day or traveling:

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1. Single-serving packs of almond butter or coconut oil

I always make sure to have at least one package of almond butter or coconut oil with me wherever I go. Coconut oil can easily be added to your coffee, tea, or restaurant meal for an added boost of fats, and almond butter can easily be eaten on its own. Justin's made the original squeeze packs for easy on-the-go snacking, and they now come in all sorts of nuts and flavors.

2. Olives

Loaded with healthy fats, these tasty little savory fruits are easy to take with you and can be found in single-serve packets as well, eliminating the inconvenience of breakable jars and hard-to-open cans.

3. Nuts and seeds

While you need to avoid ones made with processed industrial-seed oils, you can find raw, unsalted nuts and seeds for a quick snack of protein and healthy fats.

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4. Canned seafood

Wild-caught seafood is one of my favorite sources of healthy fats and other essential nutrients. Vitamin D, which is essential for every cell in your body to thrive, is the highest and most bioavailable in salmon, sardines, and tuna. Add this on top of a salad or alongside some crackers and you have a quick and filling meal. Wild Planet makes a great option.

5. Seaweed snacks

Low in carbs yet high in nutrients, sea vegetables are one of the most overlooked superfoods. But the wellness world is starting to catch on to their benefits, and many brands are coming out with dried varieties of seaweed, dulse, and other types made with good oils. SeaSnax is one of my favorite brands, with a wide-range of options. Eat these by themselves, rolled up with some canned seafood, or sprinkled on top of soups or salads.

Want to learn how to unlock the power of food to heal your body, prevent disease & achieve optimal health? Register now for our FREE Functional Nutrition Webinar with Kelly LeVeque.

William Cole, D.C., IFMCP

Functional Medicine Practitioner
Dr. Will Cole, leading functional-medicine expert, consults people around the world via webcam at www.drwillcole.com and locally in Pittsburgh. He specializes in clinically investigating underlying factors of chronic disease and customizing health programs for thyroid issues, autoimmune conditions, hormonal dysfunctions, digestive disorders, and brain problems.Dr. Cole was named one of the top 50 functional-medicine and integrative doctors in the nation and is the author of Ketotarian in which he melds the powerful benefits of the ketogenic and plant-based diets.
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William Cole, D.C., IFMCP

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