5 Uplifting COVID-19 Facts for Some Much-Needed Positivity (1:19)
April 20, 2020 — 12 p.m. EST
Being stuck at home all day means that the pantry is never far away — and neither is the urge to snack. If you’re looking for a way to cut down on calories without giving up your cravings, these low-carb snacks for quarantine snack options are low-carb and a little healthier than some of the go-to snacks on supermarket shelves.
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Nutritionist from the Beller Nutritional Institute, Rachel Beller, came on The Dr. Oz Show to discuss healthier options for snacking. “Ideally you’d stick to the real whole foods,” says Beller, “but staying super strict and away from all packaged foods isn’t for everyone.” Luckily, there are healthier low-carb products on the market that Beller recommends.
While her snack list was created for those already on keto, or other low-carb and high-fat diet plans, you don’t have to be on any plan to try these recipes. However, if you’re not following a diet like this, Beller says it’s important to watch your portion sizes when eating these foods. Too many high-fat foods aren’t great for those who aren’t on high-fat diets; be sure to check nutrition labels so you’re aware of fat content and serving size.
If you’re craving potato chips, avocado chips are a low-carb, healthier alternative. “They’re made of [pure ingredients like] avocados, coconut milk, pumpkin seeds, a touch of brown rice flour and some tapioca starch,” says Beller.
While they are a bit higher in carbs than other chips labeled low-carb, Beller recommends these because of their higher quality ingredients. According to Beller, popular low-carb chips, like those made completely of cheese, are high in protein but they can contain other ingredients like high oleic sunflower oil, thickeners, and emulsifiers which can cause inflammation that you often get from processed foods.
Rather than choosing low-sugar cereals, Beller recommends looking for low-carb ones with ingredients like nuts, seeds, coconut chips, and spices. Cereals like these “add an antioxidant and flavor punch, with as few preservatives and fillers as possible.” You can have your cereal with milk too, but stray away from cow and oat milk. Rather, add in milks that are nut-based, such as almond or coconut milk.
Beller says the best kinds of low-carb bread include flours like arrowroot, flaxseed, cassava, or psyllium husk (a natural fiber).
According to Beller, most low-carb bread has about 70 calories per slice: 20 fewer calories than a regular slice of bread. They can contain anywhere from 0-11 grams of carbs, whereas regular bread generally has about 15 grams of carbs. Try topping your bread with a nut butter or some avocado slices for a hearty snack.
With only one gram of carbs, Beller calls these her “secret weapon” for snacks. These crackers are made up of organic flaxseed, apple cider vinegar, and salt. “They are so simple and clean and made with whole ingredients,” Beller says. Depending on what kind you get, flaxseed crackers can boast up to 7 grams of fiber, which will help keep you full until your next meal. While you can eat them straight out of the box, if you think they’re a little bland on their own, try spreading on a nut butter to add some more flavor.
Keto Ice Cream
If you’re craving ice cream, this low-carb alternative to regular ice cream can be a great swap. One thing Beller recommends you watch out for is the fat content in these ice creams. “For those of you who aren’t doing keto, [a large serving] could end up making you gain weight because it’s so high in calories and fat.”
One great way to control portions is to make a “keto sundae” and add the toppings into the bowl first. Fill with a half cup strawberries, then add a single scoop of keto ice cream and sprinkle with some nuts. “A little bit goes a long way in flavor, and you’re minimizing the sugar alcohols and processed items. You’re staying closer to nature and eating clean but still being indulgent.”
Chocolate Keto Bites
If you need a chocolate fix, try looking for chocolate keto bites at your local store. Beller recommends the ones with a coconut flavor. Most brands only contain two carbs per serving, and the best ones include ingredients like coconut and cacao butter, MCT oil, and monk fruit extract. While you should pay attention to the serving size, Beller says indulging in these treats “can [help] fuel yourself throughout the day to stay on track.”
While Beller, and other nutrition experts alike, recommend eating whole, clean foods for most of your daily diet, that doesn’t mean you can never have a snack. In uncertain times like these you might find snacking to be comforting. While it’s okay to listen to those feelings and impulses, lower carb snacks like these are a way to get the best of both worlds.