The foods most of us recognize as snacks—bars, crackers, etc.—don’t really fly on the keto or paleo diet.
And if you’re looking for on-the-go-snacks for travel that fit into your diet, this can make it difficult to stay on track. Airports aren’t exactly known for high-quality food options.
Good news, though: wholesome, real-food, low-carb snacks do exist. And some are formulated specially with the keto or paleo diet in mind.
Here are a few guidelines for selecting healthy low-carb travel snacks, and 8 of our favorite keto and paleo snack options.
- Nut Butters
- Meat Snack Sticks
- Low-Carb Muffins
- Cheese Crisps
- Low-Carb Cookies
- Energy Bars
How to Choose the Best Paleo or Keto Travel Snacks
Snacks are the bomb (obviously).
And you don’t have to give up snacking if you choose to follow a specific diet or lifestyle. But making any diet or nutritional approach work for you means finding foods that you like, that you can bring with you on your adventures, and that satisfy you and fuel your body between meals.
Here are some guidelines to keep in mind for keto and paleo snacks:
- Delicious: Being on keto or paleo doesn’t mean you can only eat celery sticks in between meals (unless you like them, of course). You’re more likely to stick to your diet if you like what you eat. You’ll find veggies on this list, but also a ton of other options. Snack on things you enjoy.
- Easily stored: If you’re preparing snacks for the week, make sure you have reusable containers. If you’re buying snacks, try to find things that come in convenient packaging. This reduces prep time and makes for easier clean up and consumption.
- Simple, simple, simple: Food that requires silverware or a plate adds an extra step to your preparation. And depending on where you're traveling, a fork or microwave may not be an option. Besides, snacks shouldn't require silverware.
- Packed with energy: 50-calorie snack packs with no real nutrients won’t be satisfying, filling, or provide you with the fuel you need to power through your travel day. Protein or fat-packed foods keep you full longer and give you the energy you need to be at your best between meals.
Now, here are the best on-the-go snack options for your low-carb diet.
When it comes to snacking, most paleo and keto dieters are nuts for nuts! And for good reason. Nuts are easy to pack, delicious, and full of health benefits. They’re also low-carb so you can nosh guilt-free without kicking yourself out of ketosis.
As a snack, some nuts have better macronutrient profiles than others. The three best nuts for the keto diet are below, ranked:
1. Macadamia nuts contain 200 calories per 28g serving and are made up of:
- 2g protein
- 21g fat
- 4g carbohydrates
- 2.5g fiber
2. Almonds contain 161 calories per serving with:
- 6g protein
- 14g fat
- 6g carbs
- 3.5g fiber
3. Cashews contain 155 calories per serving and have:
- 5g protein
- 12g fat
- 9g carbs
- 1g fiber
If you’re going to grab a bag of nuts for your trip, opt for macadamias first, then almonds, and then cashews.
#2: Nut Butters
It used to be that nut butter came in a plastic jar… and contained very few real nuts. These nut butters were packed with fillers like vegetable oils and corn syrup (read: sugar), and it took a brave person to bring it on a trip with them as a snack.
We formulated FBOMB Macadamia Nut Butters for that exact reason. We wanted a low-carb, high-fat option that was portable, delicious, and healthy.
Enter: better-for-you, real-food nut butter to-go packets.
Nut butters made with macadamia nuts, pecans, almonds, or cashews can be delicious, satiating and provide you with the macro and micronutrients and minerals you need while traveling. They’re a perfectly keto and paleo-friendly, energy-dense snack option.
Drop an FBOMB by itself, drizzle it on another snack, or try it in smoothies for a protein and fat boost.
Veggies are perfect for snack time. They’re easy to prepare ahead of time in bulk, and give you a mid-day (or late night) boost of micronutrients and fiber. Simply store them in baggies in your fridge so they’re easy to grab throughout the week.
Snack options include:
- Baby carrots (paleo, keto in smaller amounts)
- Chopped bell peppers (paleo, keto)
- Mushrooms (paleo, keto)
- Cucumbers (paleo, keto)
- And any other low-carb veggies you like!
Here’s a pro tip: combine several veggies into one bag, ideally adding as many different colors as possible. “Eating the rainbow” ensures you get a variety of vitamins and minerals [*].
By the way, vegetables are also the perfect dipping vehicle for guacamole. So there’s the only excuse you need.
#3. Meat Snack Sticks
You can’t go wrong with meat snack sticks… as long as they’re made with real-food ingredients.
Protein and quality fats that have a satiating effect, keeping you full between meals [*], which is the purpose of snacks anyway, right?
Just be sure to read the nutrition label to choose a quality snack stick. We created FBOMB Pork Snack Sticks because we were sick of standing in store aisles reading nutrition labels and leaving empty-handed.
Our pork sticks are made with 100% natural pork from crate-free vegetarian-fed hogs. Plus, they’re portable, filling, and unlike most meat snack options, they are completely free of nitrates, added hormones, MSG, or other junk.
Jerky is another great option if you’re looking for on-the-go protein.
Usually made from dehydrated meat, jerky differs in texture from meat sticks but can be similar in nutritional profile.
And, like meat snack sticks, they’re made a variety of different ways, some less healthy than others. Many of the most well-known jerky companies add corn syrup or sugars to their jerky so read the label.
If you’re staying keto or paleo, look for jerky made without preservatives, fillers, hormones, added sugar, or other garbage.
#5. Low-Carb Muffins
With a few modifications, you can still enjoy baked goods on paleo and keto. If you’re the type of person who wants their snacks to “count”— as a real snacker, you know what this means —low-carb baking might be a good option for you.
Coming up short? Try these low-carb paleo muffins. Made with bananas and FBOMB macadamia nut butter with coconut, it’s loaded with nutrients, fiber, and even protein.
The recipe makes 12 muffins and is freezer-friendly, so you’re set for the week whether you want to take them with you or save them for when you get back.
#6. Cheese Crisps
Occasionally, you’ll hear a low-carb dieter say they miss “crunch.” It’s rare to find low-carb foods that provide that satisfying experience and the cracker aisle is where carbs go to plot world domination.
Enter Cheese Crisps. FBOMB Keto Krunch Cheese Crisps are the perfect crunchy, fat-fueled snack. One major benefit of keto is that you’re allowed to have dairy, so these cheese crisps fit in perfectly.
Each serving contains 14g of fat from premium milk that comes from ethically-treated family-farmed cows.
We're all about minimal ingredients with maximum flavor and nutrition, so there’s also only 1g of carbs and each serving accounts for 25% of your daily recommended intake of calcium.
It’s a crunchy snack you can feel good about enjoying (even if your kids steal them).
#7. Low-Carb Cookies
Sticking with the sweet tooth theme, you can make a batch of low-carb cookies to bring with you on your travels.
This low-carb chocolate chip cookie recipe makes a dozen cookies per batch and store well so you can pack them in your carry-on for your trip and have some left over when you land (if you don’t cave and eat them all first!).
If you’re not really the baking type, or just want something more convenient, try Niu cookies. They’re formulated for low-carb diets and are keto-friendly. Bonus: they’re delicious.
#8. Energy Bars / Protein Bars
Bear with us here because we know what you’re probably thinking.
Protein bars are traditionally loaded with junk like corn fiber or corn syrup, flour, and vegetable oils.
But with the recent shift in health focus to real food, companies are cropping up that have this on lockdown. One of the best whole-food snack bars on the market is FBOMB Real-Food Snack Bars. Made with whole ingredients and absolutely nothing artificial, the chocolate hazelnut bars are loaded with fat-fueled almonds and hazelnuts, plus cocoa powder for a decadent chocolate taste.
Many snack bars on the market claim to be healthy and wholesome, but are packed with added sugar, fillers, and preservatives. It's important to read the nutrition labels and ingredient lists so you know what you're getting. Understand the key features for a healthy snack bar so you don't unintentionally derail your diet.
Skip the Carb-Loaded "Frankensnacks" on Your Next Trip
The best paleo and keto treats for travel are convenient, tasty, and filling.
Whether you make your own or capitalize on convenience with your favorite brands, having something to tide you over between meals will help you stick to your diet.