Unlike other, more restrictive diet programs, snacking is an absolutely acceptable component of a low carbohydrate diet—as long as your snacks are also found on the low carb list.
Snacking is more than just okay, it is also beneficial in a lot of ways. Eating small food servings during the day has been proven to accelerate the body’s metabolism, to burn fat faster and more efficiently. Snacking also helps prevent food cravings, which can cause even the most disciplined individual to overeat or cheat at the next meal. If you don't use snacks as a safety net, then it will be more tempting to munch on restricted foods and almost anything else that comes your way.
Do remember that, snacking should be taken in moderation. Just because a food is considered low carb, it does not mean that it is all right to consume as much of it as you want. Make a list of the low carb foods that you may allow yourself to eat and regularly refer to this list to determine the amount of carbohydrates contained in a serving of the food items you wish to eat as snacks, and make sure that the total sum of carbohydrates conforms to your daily allowance. A food qualifies to be on the low carb list based on its singled serving, not an unlimited quantity.
There are lots of foods that make good snack options. Meats and cheeses generally have very low carbohydrate content, so they are acceptable choices for snacks. Have a cold cut platter and/or assorted cheese slices to nibble on throughout the day. You could also have a lamb slice or buffalo wings which are great snack foods. Melt some low fat cheese over a drumstick, serve up some sausage, or make lean meatballs. You may also choose eggs—hard-boiled, scrambled, or over-easy.
Other good snack items which you could include in your low carb list with virtually no carbohydrates are lettuce, celery, alfalfa sprouts, and cucumbers. Mix these with other food items from various categories of your low carb list to create a delightful salad. You could throw in some diced cheddar cheese with some nuts (make sure to check the low carb list to find out which nuts have fewer carbs) and drizzle it with olive oil; or have a chicken Caesar salad.
Selections from the low carb list that are beneficial snack foods, but taken in moderation, include most vegetables. Avoid squash, and potatoes, because these have high carbohydrate content. However, a vegetable platter with spinach, broccoli, tomatoes, peas, mushrooms, and string beans, either or cooked or raw, topped with vinaigrette dressing can make a filling treat. Most beans make an easy and delicious snack, which go well with veggies, such as celery bits. For a filling afternoon treat, try having a tomato soup, chicken soup, or beef stew.
With a properly planned recipe, almost any kind of food can qualify on the low carb list! A lot of low carb recipes can be found online for variants of breads, muffins, pancakes, and even chewy desserts. Once you’ve sampled some successful recipes, experiment and find out what other low carb foods you could create.
© 11/6/2010 Athena Goodlight