Unlike other, more restrictive diet plans, snacking is a perfectly acceptable part of a low carbohydrate diet?provided your snacks are all found on the low carb list.
Snacking is not only okay, it’s also 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 more quickly and efficiently. Also, snacking helps prevent hunger pains, which can drive even the most disciplined dieter to cheat or overeat at the next meal. Without using snacks as a safety net, dieters will be more tempted to pick at restricted foods and just about anything else that comes their way.
That said, snacking?like everything else?should be done in moderation. Just because a food is found on the low carb list does not mean it is okay to eat as much of it as you want. Consult your low carb list to see how many carbohydrates are in a serving of the food(s) you wish to have as a snack, and be sure that the total amount of carbohydrates fits within your daily allowance. A food makes it onto the low carb 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 have virtually no carbohydrates, so they are acceptable selections even in large amounts. Try a cold cut platter and/or an assortment of cheese cubes to sample from throughout the day. And who says a leg of lamb or some buffalo wings aren’t great for snacking? Melt some cheese over a drumstick, serve up bacon and sausage, or make meatballs. Don’t forget eggs?hard-boiled, scrambled, over-easy, egg salad, the choices are limitless!
Other good snack items from the low carb list with almost no carbohydrates 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 cheddar cheese cubes with some nuts (be sure to check the low carb list to determine which nuts have less carbs) and top with olive oil. Or enjoy a chicken Caesar salad.
Choices from the low carb list that are good snack foods, but in moderation, include many vegetables. Avoid potatoes, squash, and carrots, as these are high in carbohydrates. However, a veggie platter with broccoli, spinach, tomatoes, mushrooms, peas, and string beans, either or cooked or raw, topped with real butter can make a filling treat. Most beans make a delicious and easy snack, and go well with veggies, like celery bits. 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 create.