Not only is snacking okay, it is beneficial in many ways. Eating small amounts over the course of a day has been shown to speed up the body’s metabolism, burning fat faster and more efficiently. Snacks also help prevent hunger pains, which can cause even the most disciplined dieter to cheat or overeat at the next meal. Without using snacks as a safety net, dieters will be more likely to opt for limited foods and just about anything else that comes their way.
That said, snacking – like anything else – should be done in moderation. Just because a food is on the low-carb list doesn’t mean it’s okay to eat as much of it as you want. Consult your low-carbohydrate list to see how many carbohydrates are in a serving of the food (s) you want to eat as a snack, and make sure the total carbohydrates are within your daily allowance. A food is on the low-carbohydrate list because one serving is low-carb, not an unlimited amount.
There are plenty of foods on the low-carb list that make good snack choices. All meats and cheeses are virtually free of carbohydrates, so they are acceptable choices, even in large quantities. Try a cold platter and / or an assortment of cheese cubes to savor throughout the day. And who says a leg of lamb or a pair of buffalo wings aren’t great as a snack? Melt some cheese over a drumstick, serve bacon and sausage, or make meatballs. Don’t forget eggs – hard boiled, scrambled, too easy egg salad, the choices are limitless!
Other good low-carb snack foods with almost no carbs include lettuce, alfalfa sprouts, celery, and cucumbers. Combine these with other foods from different categories of the low-carb list to make a delicious salad. For example, throw in some cubes of cheddar cheese with some nuts (check the low-carb list to determine which nuts are lower in carbs) and cover with olive oil. Or enjoy a chicken Caesar salad.
Choices from the low-carb list that are good snacks, but in moderation, are high in vegetables. Avoid potatoes, squash and carrots as they are high in carbohydrates. However, a vegetable dish with broccoli, spinach, tomatoes, mushrooms, peas, and string beans, either cooked or raw, topped with real butter, can be a filling treat. Most beans make a delicious and easy snack and go well with vegetables, such as celery pieces. Or try making chicken or tomato soup or beef stew for a filling afternoon.
With the right recipe, almost any food can qualify for the low-carb list! Search online for low-carb recipes for muffins, breads, and even gooey desserts. Once you’ve tried a few successful recipes, experiment and see what new low-carb foods you can make.