Maintaining a low carb diet can be difficult when you’re in need of a quick snack, especially if doughy bagels or sugary muffins are all you can find. Take along one or some of these low carb snacks the next time you're on the go, and you'll never have to risk ruining your diet again.
1. Chickbean Salad Italiano*: Boost the fiber in your diet by enjoying a chickpea and kidney bean salad as a between meal snack. Mix together equal parts of cooked chickpeas and kidney beans along with a small, chopped red onion. Season with basil and toss with Italian salad dressing. Cover the salad and refrigerate. Pack a serving in a covered plastic container, along with a spoon, with your lunch for a hearty snack later in the day.
2. Moo Sticks*: Toss individually packaged mozzarella sticks into a small lunch bag or snack pouch for a quick dairy snack. Two mozzarella sticks will provide approximately 40 percent of an adult’s daily calcium needs.
3. Sidewalk Peanuts: Pack a handful of unshelled peanuts in a zip-closed plastic sandwich bag for an anytime snack. The shelling of the peanuts will help you slow down your consumption, and make you work for your snack!
4. Popcorn Munch: Enjoy a popcorn break by keeping an individually sized bag (1 to 1.5 ounces) of light popcorn in your tote bag for an easy portable snack. If you prefer your popcorn freshly popped, keep a box of the mini- or snack-size microwave popcorn bags on hand for quick popping in the microwave. Each mini- or snack-size bag pops up only 5 to 6 cups of hot popcorn – a perfect portion size - as compared to the 12 cups or more in a full-size microwave bag.
5. Hummus Break *: For a filling, Mediterranean-style snack, spoon a portion of hummus in a covered plastic container. Stack a layer of fresh red or green pepper slices on top and pack the container in a lunch bag to tote around during your busy day. The pepper slices can be used to scoop up the hummus when you are ready to snack. For a quick and delicious hummus recipe with pizzazz, try Roasted Red Pepper Hummus and Crudite.
6. Spicy Walnuts: For an afternoon snack with a kick, make you own spicy walnuts. Spread walnut halves on a plate and spray them lightly with a vegetable oil spray. Sprinkle the nuts with your favorite Cajon seasoning mix. Let the nuts air dry and store in a sealed container. Pack a small handful (approximately 1/8 cup) of the nuts in a plastic sandwich bag for a fabulous spicy snack.
7. Devilish Egg Salad*: If you’re a deviled egg fan, you’ll love this yummy heart-healthy, egg white salad. Mix together cold, hard cooked, chopped egg whites with mayonnaise, mustard, white vinegar, and a dash of pepper. Refrigerate to blend flavors. Scoop a serving of this egg salad into a plastic, covered container and pack it in an insulated lunch bag along with a disposable spoon for a delicious afternoon salad break.
8. Guac Dunk*: Spoon a portion of guacamole into a small, covered plastic container and pack it in your lunch bag along with 5 to 6 four-inch celery sticks. Use the celery sticks as "spoons" to enjoy your guacamole as you work through your busy afternoon. Try our quick and easy guacamole recipe.
*Perishables need to be kept chilled throughout your day to ensure that your foods remain safe to eat. Consider purchasing a small, insulated lunch or snack bag for your snacking convenience. To keep your foods properly chilled in your insulated bag, use a frozen ice pack or freeze an 8-ounce bottle of water, which can double as a chill pack and a refreshing beverage, once it thaws.
- By Joan Salge Blake, MS, RD, LDN. Blake is a nutrition professor at Boston University and a nationally known writer, lecturer and nutrition expert