That is, until it's snack time—then, if you're on the keto diet, your'e basically SOL (unless, you know, you like having an entire steak for a snack). Think about it: All the best snacks are off limits on the keto diet (damn that fickle 70 percent fat, 25 percent protein, 5 percent carbs ratio). Granola bars, crackers, cookies—all off-limits on a keto diet.
Americans love to snack almost as much as we want to lose weight. But according to research by the USDA, our snacking habits are adding too many calories and too few nutrients to our diets. It doesn't have to be this way, says Susan Bowerman, RD, assistant director of the UCLA Center for Human Nutrition. "When done right, (snacking) keeps your energy levels up and gives you more opportunities to get in all your nutritional needs."
Making homemade potato chips is surprisingly easy—just slice the potatoes thin, boil them in vinegar-spiked water, and fry until crispy. The vinegar keeps the chips from getting too dark as they fry. All of our custom potato chip seasonings are vegan, and this one, despite the name, is no exception. Savory nutritional yeast helps mimic the taste of the roasted bird; we grind it up along with granulated garlic, lemon zest, dried thyme, and dried mushrooms to round out the flavors, then toss the spice blend with freshly fried chips to coat.
These cookies are so guilt-free you can even eat them in the a.m. Combine almonds, walnuts, flax and a few other good-for-you ingredients to form bite-size bowls you can fill with almond milk, Greek yogurt or seasonal berries. Pop one in your mouth for just 184 calories — and feel your hunger melt away. Photo and recipe: Alexa Schirm / Life by Daily Burn
"Diet-friendly snacking doesn't necessarily have to be low-fat," says McLachlan. What's more important: Portion size. A homemade trail mix of walnuts, mini chocolate chips, and raisins is a snack that's satisfying (thanks to the sweetness and fat) and healthy for a dieter if portion sizes are kept in check. "Mix a palm full of walnuts with a pinch of chocolate chips and a pinch of raisins — it's not always realistic to measure," says McLachlan.
For a sweet fix, try mixing mandarin oranges canned in their own juice with a couple tablespoons of light whipped topping. The oranges give a great hit of vitamin C and other antioxidants, and the light whipped topping gives the snack an indulgent feel (a feeling you often miss when you're watching what you eat). "This is a good substitute for ice cream when you're dieting," adds McLachlan.
“Crackers do not stave off hunger well,” Culbertson says. Low in fiber and high in sodium, this snack does not provide the energy boost most people are looking for during the afternoon, and you’re not likely to feel satisfied. (However, some crackers are high in fiber and low in sodium; and topping them with low-fat cheese takes them from a bad snack to a healthy one.) And if they’re not single-serving packages, Culbertson says, it's easy to eat too many.
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