Simple Snacks for a Low-Carb Diet
A low-carb diet can help reduce or completely eliminate cravings for sweet foods, but in the process of reaching this point, an appetite for sugar can still occasionally be experienced. These ideas for quick, easy low-carb snacks can help combat the desire to eat candied, processed, unhealthy fare.
Fiber, protein and healthy fats help control hunger by keeping your stomach full and satiated. Snacks containing these components decrease appetite and prevent ravenous feelings and overeating later in the day. Fortunately, many foods that contain few carbohydrates compensate by being high in these other elements.
Nuts and nut butters are a good source of all the hunger-reducing ingredients. As they can be high in calories, be careful to watch the portion size and only consume one serving, which is usually one-quarter of a cup for nuts and two tablespoons for butters. Peanut or almond butter can be paired with vegetables like celery for an added dose of fiber and nutrients. Low-carb trail mix can be prepared quickly by combining nuts, seeds, raisins and unsweetened coconut. Use the fruit sparingly as these particular fruits can contain considerable amounts of sugar. Trail mix is a snack that is also portable as it does not require refrigeration.
Low-fat cheeses like string cheese or cubes can satisfy salt cravings and also complement chopped or sliced carrots, celery and other vegetables. Cottage cheese is an excellent choice for a mid-morning snack and can be accompanied by fruit to provide more flavor. Turkey and cheese roll-ups are low-carb, high-protein refreshments that are quick to prepare. Roll a slice of turkey breast around a square or stick of cheese for a simple bite, or layer more turkey and cheese for a more substantial treat.
For those having trouble battling an itch for sugar, fruit is a healthy substitute for candy or cookies. The natural sugar found in fruit can curb the sugar appetite while supplying vitamins and fiber. Berries, apples, pears, peaches and apricots have low sugar contents and are less prone to trigger the desire for more sugary treats. An urge for ice cream can be squashed using sugar-free yogurt, which also has digestive benefits.
Occasionally, the longing for sugar can be stubborn. When a cookie craving seems like it can only be satisfied with an actual cookie, choose a pre-packaged one that is intended for low-carb diets. Sugar-free versions of traditional sweets exist for this reason, but examine the ingredients and nutritional information to ensure that they are truly low in carbohydrates and are not simply using a sugar substitute.