SNACKS AND DESSERTS

Savory Snacks

Raw veggies are an ideal snack since they are very low in calories, provide numerous important micronutrients, and don’t require time to prepare. Pairing them with a tasty dip (see “dip” section below) or a healthy salad dressing adds more flavor and fat to stave off hunger. 

  • Black olives, 8. 35 calories, 1 gm net carb. 
  • Baby carrots, 5. 15 calories, 3 gm net carb. 
  • Celery, 7 inch stalk. 5 calories, 1 gm net carb
  • Cauliflower, 5 florets. 15 calories, 2 gm net carb

Recommended healthy salad dressing brands to dip veggies
  • Bolthouse farms chunky blue cheese yogurt dressing, 2 tbs. 35 calories, 1gm carb
  • Bolthouse farms garden ranch, 2 tbs. 80 calories, 1gm carb
  • Marie’s lite chunky blue cheese dressing, 2 tbs. 70 calories, 1gm carb. 
  • Marzetti simply 60 buttermilk ranch dressing, 2 tbs. 60 calories, 1gm carb
Be careful of deli meats, and read the label to make sure it doesn’t have added sugar (some brands have up to 3gm of added sugar)

  • Salami, 1 oz. 110 calories, 0 gm net carb.       
  • Jerky, 1 oz. 120 calories, 0 gm net carb.  
  • Sliced roasted turkey breast, 1 oz. 30 calories, 0.5gm net carb. 
  • Sliced roast beef, 1 oz. 35 calories, 0.5gm net car
  • Cheddar cheese, 1 oz (this is a typical slice, or a cube). 110 calories, 0 gm net carb.
  • Mozzarella cheese, 1 oz. 110 calories, 0 gm net carb.
  • Swiss cheese, 1 oz (this is a typical slice, or a cube). 110 calories, 0 gm net carb.
  • American cheese, 1 oz (this is a typical slice, or a cube). 110 calories, 0 gm net carb.
  • Hard boiled egg, 1 large. 80 calories, 0 gm net carb.   I recommend adding “everything bagel seasoning on it for a ton of flavor with no calories. You can easily make it yourself, or buy it from Trader Joes.

Nuts and seeds are well-known as one of the most nutritious snacks, but portion control is really important since they are calorie-dense. You should be aiming for a 1/4 cup serving. In that serving, you typically receive 5 grams of protein, 3 grams of fiber, multiple vitamins and minerals (Vitamin E, magnesium, phosphorous, copper, manganese, and selenium), and antioxidant polyphenols

Many types of fiber function as prebiotics (food) for your healthy gut bacteria. Your gut bacteria then ferment the fiber and turn it into beneficial short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs). SCFAs have some evidence for improving gut health.

  • Peanuts, 1/4 cup, about 30 nuts. 200 calories, 4 gm net carb.
  • Peanut butter, 2 tablespoons. 190 calories, 4 gm net carb.
  • Almonds, 1/4 cup, about 25 nuts.  200 calories, 3 gm net carb
  • Macadamia nuts, 1/4 cup, about 13 nuts.  240 calories, 2 gm net carb
  • Cashews, 1/4 cup, about 20 nuts.  180 calories, 9 gm net carb
  • Trader Joe’s Salted Dry Roasted Pumpkin Seeds, 1/4 cup. 170 calories, 2gm net carb.
  • Trader Joe’s sweet and spicy pecans, 1/4 cup.  190 calories, 6 gm net carb

Popcorn is a good snack alternative to chips. Popcorn is a whole grain, so you are getting fiber, minerals, and vitamins (iron, magnesium, phosphorous, B1, B3, B6, zinc),  that chips don’t have.
Additionally, there is some modest evidence that choosing popcorn over potato chips can help you lose weight. One study showed that 15 calories of popcorn was as filling as 150 calories of potato chips
Finally, the form of popcorn matters. I recommend air-popped rather than microwave popcorn. Most microwave popcorn bags are lined with perfluorooctanoid acid (PFOA), which has been associated with thyroid disease.

  • Popcorn, air popped, 5 cups. 150 calories, 15gm carb. 
  • Popcorn, microwave, Orville Redenbacher’s Light Butter, 5 cups. 130 calories, 17 gm carb. 

If you need to satisfy your salty/crispy craving, here are a few ideas. I would highly recommend pairing this with either a dip, meat, or cheese to increase your satiety.

 

  • Carr’s table water crackers, 4 crackers.  60 calories, 10 gm net carb
  • Triscuit original, 5 crackers.   100 calories, 14 gm net carb
  • Townhouse crackers, 8 crackers.   150 calories, 15 gm net carb
  • Trader Joe’s Corn, Pea, Bean & Quinoa Crisps, 24 chips. 120 calories, 15 gm net carb
  • Trader Joe’s crispy crunchy okra, ½ bag. 110 calories, 4 gm net carb
  • Trader Joe’s salted peanut butter-filled pretzels, 11 pieces. 150 calories, 12 gm net carb
  • Snyder’s Sourdough Nibblers (pretzels), 16 each. 120 calories, 25gm net carb. Pretzels are a fairly healthy snack, but are tough to integrate into a low carb diet.
  • Santitas white corn tortilla chips, 1 oz (9 chips). 140 calories, 17gm carb. Avoid chips as much as possible. They are high in carbohydrate, have little nutritional value, are very easy to overeat, and are not terribly filling for the calories.

Dips are easy to make, economical, convenient (lasts in the fridge for days), and can increase the satiety factor and enjoyment of vegetables. 

 

Sweet snacks and desserts

I strongly recommend you pay close attention to carbohydrates. Ignore the phrase “sugar free” (which is a meaningless and often purposefully misleading statement)– READ THE LABEL to see how many grams of carbohydrate it has. 

limit sweet snacks to 15gm carbohydrate portions

limit desserts to 30gm carbohydrate portions. 

 

Why Greek yogurt? Greek yogurt is made by fermenting yogurt in tanks, then straining the whey and other liquids to produce a thicker yogurt with a higher protein content than other yogurts. 

What are the nutritional benefits of Greek yogurt? 

Choose 2% fat or whole-milk yogurt. Yogurt comes in full fat, reduced fat, and fat-free versions. I recommend for most people 2% fat or higher. Fat helps give you a feeling of fullness, and non-fat yogurts typically have more sugar and additives to to make up for the loss of taste and texture. However, feel free to try the lower fat versions to see for yourself if you notice a difference.

Make sure the brand you buy has no *added* sugar. All greek yogurt will have sugar in them (mostly the natural sugar found in milk, lactose). There is typically about 9 grams of lactose per cup of plain greek yogurt. While the natural sugar in greek yogurt is fine, some brands will load up their product with additional sugar.  This is especially true of flavored yogurts, which can sometime have more sugar than a candy bar. 
Why choose plain yogurt over flavored yogurt? While there are some brands that make perfectly healthy flavored yogurts, there are many more with loads of sugar and other unhealthy additives. If you buy flavored yogurt, read the label carefully. 

 

  • Fage total 2%, plain, 5.3 oz (150gm).  100 calories, 5 gm carb, 15gm protein, 0gm added sugar.
  • Fage total 5%, plan, 5.3 oz (150gm). 140 calories, 5gm carb, 14gm protein, 0g added sugar.
  • Wallaby organic aussie greek yogurt, 1.5% milkfat, 2/3 cup. 120 calories, 8gm carb,  16gm protein, 0g added sugar. 
  • Stonyfield organic greek yogurt, whole milk, 3/4 cup. 150 calories, 7gm carb, 16gm protein, 0gm added sugar.  
  • Maple hill creamery organic greek yogurt, whole milk, plain,  2/3 cup. 160 calories, 9gm carb, 15gm protein, 0gm added sugar.
  • Tillamook plain and simple yogurt, whole milk, plain, 3/4 cup. 140 calories, 6gm carb, 18gm protein, 0gm added sugar.
  • Oikos triple zero greek yogurt, 0% milk fat, cherry, 5.3 oz (150gm). 100 calories, 7gm net carb, 15gm protein, 0gm added sugar. Note that this brand uses natural noncaloric sweetners (chicory root and stevia).
  • Chobani plain non-fat greek yogurt, 0 % milk fat, plain, 3/4 cup. 90 calories, 6gm carb, 16gm protein, 0gm added sugar.
  • Siggi’s, 4% milk fat, plain, 2/3 cup. 170 calories, 8gm carb, 18gm protein, 0gm added sugar. This is technically Skry rather than greek yogurt, but the ingredients, process to make it, and flavor is similar enough that I’m including it here. 
  • Apples and peanut butter, 250 calories, 19gm carb.
    • Ingredients: 2 tbs peanut butter and a a small apple.  
    • Notes: This is a snack that is surprisingly filling for its caloric content, owing to the high content of fiber (5gm), protein (8gm) and fat (16gm). Of course this is also a high-calorie snack, so for some people on low calorie diets they may need to cut the portion in half.  
  •  Cottage cheese and pineapple. 220 calories, 21gm carb.
    • Ingredients: 1 cup low fat (1% milk fat) cottage cheese, 3/4 cup of cubed pineapple.
    • Notes: This can serve as an excellent low-calorie breakfast, post-workout snack. Cottage cheese provides 28gm protein, 2gm fat, phosphorous (24% RDI), selenium (30% RDI), vitamin B12 (59% RDI), Vitamin B2 (29%), Calcium (11%), Folate (7%). Pineapple provides about 2gm fiber, Vitamin C (131% RDI), manganese (76%), Vitamin B6 (9%), copper (9%), Vitamin B1 (9%), folate (7%), potassium (5%), magnesium (5%), Vitamin B3 (4%),  Vitamin B5 (4%). Pineapple also contains multiple antioxidants (flavonoids and phenolic acids) which reduce inflammation. 
  • Greek yogurt with fruit and nuts 150 calories, 15 gm net carbs.
    • Ingredients: 2/3 cup 2% fat greek yogurt. 5 almonds, 1/2 cup of berries. 
    • Notes:
Fruit portions that are 15gm carb or less
  • Blueberries, 3/4 cup. 60 calories, 14 gm carb.
  • Blackberries, 1 cup. 60 calories, 10 gm carb.
  • Raspberries, 1 cup. 60 calories, 15 gm carb.
  • Strawberries,1 1/4 cup. 60 calories, 15 gm carb.
  • Apple, small (2-3/4 inch diameter). 60 calories, 15 gm carb.
  • Pear, ½ large. 60 calories, 15 gm carb.
  • Grapes, 3 oz (about 17 grapes). 60 calories, 15 gm carb.
  • Apricots, 1 cup. 80 calories, 16 gm carb.
  • Plums, small (5 ounce). 60 calories, 15 gm carb.     
  • Banana, ½ medium. 50 calories, 13 gm carb.
  • Cherries, 12. 60 calories, 15 gm carb.
  • Cantaloupe, 1 cup diced. 60 calories, 15 gm carb.
  • Honeydew, 1 cup diced. 60 calories, 15 gm carb.
  • Papaya, 1 cup diced. 60 calories, 15 gm carb.
  • Pineapple, 3/4 cup cubed. 60 calories, 15 gm carb.
  • Dates, 3 each. 60 calories, 15 gm carb.
  • Figs, 2 medium. 60 calories, 15 gm carb.
  • Kiwi, 1 each. 40 calories, 9 gm carb.
  • Nectarine, 1 small. 60 calories, 15 gm carb.
  • Tangerine, 1 small. 60 calories, 15 gm carb.
  • Orange, 1 small. 60 calories, 15 gm carb.
  • Grapefruit, ½ large. 60 calories, 15 gm carb.
  • I don’t typically make desserts, but nicecream is an exception. It is a big hit of carbs, but low-calorie, all-natural, creamy, and delicious. This is the basic “recipe”, but there are a ton of simple variations you can find online. 120 calories, 27 gm net carbs.
  • Ingredients: 2 large frozen bananas, 2-4 tablespoons of almond milk (though any kind of milk will works). 
  • Instructions: Place frozen bananas and 2 tablespoons almond milk in a blender (ideally a high-speed blender). Blend on high for 1-2 minutes, stopping to scrape down the sides every so often. If your blender is having a hard time blending the bananas, add more almond milk by the tablespoon until it blends more easily. you can then eat it immediately, or freeze.
  • Ice Cream, Breyers, vanilla, 2/3 cup. 170 calories, 19gm carbohydrate. 
Low carbohydrate ice creams use zero-calorie sweeteners, and typically have less than 15 grams of carbohydrate per 2/3 cup serving. Listed here are the top flavors for the highest-rated brands. 

  • Breyers carbsmart, vanilla, 2/3 cup. 110 calories, 4 gm net carbohydrate.
  • Breyers carbsmart, chocolate chocolate chip, 2/3 cup. 120 calories, 4 gm net carbohydrate.
  • Halo Top, vanilla bean, 2/3 cup. 100 calories, 13 gm net carbohydrate
  • Halo Top, birthday cake, 2/3 cup. 100 calories, 9 gm net carbohydrate
  • Halo Top, chocolate chip cookie dough, 2/3 cup. 120 calories, 12 gm net carbohydrate
  • Halo Top, mint chip, 2/3 cup. 110 calories, 9 gm net carbohydrate
  • Halo Top, sea salt caramel, 2/3 cup. 100 calories, 11 gm net carbohydrate
  • Halo Top, peanut butter cup, 2/3 cup. 110 calories, 8 gm net carbohydrate
  • Halo Top, chocolate, 2/3 cup. 100 calories, 8 gm net carbohydrate
  • Enlightened, chocolate, 2/3 cup. 100 calories, 6 gm net carbohydrate. 
  • Enlightened, marshmallow peanut butter, 2/3 cup. 130 calories, 7 gm net carbohydrate.
  • Enlightened, brownies and cookie dough, 2/3 cup. 130 calories, 10gm net carbohydrate. 
  • Enlightened, mint chocolate chip, 2/3 cup. 130 calories, 7 gm net carbohydrate. 
  • Enlightened, salted caramel cookie, 2/3 cup. 130 calories, 10 gm net carbohydrate. 
  • Enlightened, chocolate peanut butter, 2/3 cup. 130 calories, 7 gm net carbohydrate. 
  • Rebel, mint chip, 2/3 cup. 210 calories, 10 gm net carbohydrate.
  • Keto pint, triple chocolate brownie, 2/3 cup. 210 calories, 3 gm net carbohydrates. 
  • Nick’s, Peanot butter cup, 2/3 cup. 120 calories, 7 gm net carbohydrates. 
  • Ben and Jerry’s Froyo, Cherry Garcia, 2/3 cup. 230 calories, 44 gm net carbs.
  • Kemp’s frozen yogurt, Triple Cream Summer Strawberry, 2/3 cup. 150 calories, 18gm carbs.
  • Kemp’s frozen yogurt, Triple Cream Salted Caramel, 2/3 cup. 160 calories, 23gm carbs.
  • Kemp’s frozen yogurt, Triple Cream Honey Vanilla, 2/3 cup. 150 calories, 18gm carbs.
  • Kemp’s frozen yogurt, Triple Cream Caramel Praline Crunch, 2/3 cup. 150 calories, 33gm carbs.
  • Kemp’s frozen yogurt, Chocolate Almond, 2/3 cup. 160 calories, 27 gm carbs.
  • Stoneyfield frozen yogurt, Vanilla, 2/3 cup. 170 calories, 27 gm carbs.
  • Stoneyfield frozen yogurt, Vanilla Fudge Swirl, 2/3 cup. 190 calories, 33gm carbs. 
  • Stoneyfield frozen yogurt, Creme Caramel, 2/3 cup. 210 calories, 35 gm carbs.
  • Stoneyfield frozen yogurt, Chocolate, 2/3 cup. 170 calories, 27 gm carbs. 
  • Stoneyfield frozen yogurt bars, Vanilla, 1 bar. 200 calories, 20 gm carbs. 
  • Stoneyfield frozen yogurt bars, Chocolate, 1 bar. 200 calories, 19 gm carbs. 

 

(coming soon)
  • Jello Sugar Free pudding snack pack. 60 calories, 10 gm net carbs.
(Coming soon)
  • Peanut butter cups (dark chocolate), Trader Joe’s, 3 pieces. 200 calories, 21 gm net carbs.
  • Peanut butter cups (milk chocolate), Trader Joe’s, 3 pieces. 180 calories, 20 gm net carbs.
  • Mini 70% Caco Dark Chocolate Bars, Trader Joe’s, 1 bar. 100 calories, 7 gm net carbs.
  • Chocolate-covered peanut butter pretzels, Trader Joe’s, 6 pieces. 200 calories, 23 gm net carbs.
(coming soon)
  • Trader Joes, Soft Honey Nougut with almonds,  2 pieces.  110 calories, 20 gm net carbs.

(coming soon)

Peanut Butter Energy Balls

Total Time: 20 minutes
Servings: 17
Print Recipe Add to Mealplan

Ingredients

  • 2 cups rolled oats
  • 1 cup peanut butter You can substitute with any nut butter if preferred.
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1/4 cup mini chocolate chips
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened shredded coconut

Instructions

  • Combine oats, peanut butter, honey, chocolate chips and coconut in a medium bowl; stir until combined
  • Using a 1-tablespoon measure, roll the mixture into balls.
  • Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to a week, or in the freezer for up to 3 months.

Nutrition

Serving: 2 balls | Calories: 170 kcal | Carbohydrates: 16 g