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Snacking and keto: is it allowed?


The simple answer is, yes.

Snacking on the ketogenic diet is most definitely allowed. However, since the ketogenic diet is so high in fats, most find that they don’t need snacks to remain satiated until next meal. For those who are accustomed to snacking or hold busy schedules and may need snacks to get them through to their next meals, though, there are options one can indulge in and still remain in ketosis.

Here are a few important things to take into consideration in order to snack the right way on keto:

  1. Stick to macros: Make sure snacks are high in fat, low in carbs, and moderate in protein.
  2. Never go without keto-options: The last things you need is to be unprepared when hunger strikes in between meals. satisfying their hunger with the only easy and available options like bagels or bananas, kicking one out of ketosis.
  3. Don’t overdue the prepackaged snacks: Yes, there are some healthier and keto-friendly packaged food options, but most packaged food contains preservatives and other added ingredients not as healthy for our bodies. Keep consumption of these products to a minimum.
  4. Take time to prep: Buying and prepping the right keto-friendly options can help one remain in ketosis by eating healthy snacks and avoid overconsumption of prepackaged snacks mentioned above.
  5. When in doubt, test: If you are not sure whether or not a snack option is keto-friendly, test your ketone levels (they won’t lie).
  6. Not all low-carb snacks are created equal: Many low-carb snack options, like Atkins products, contain large amounts of protein and added ingredients to make up for lack of carbohydrates. Avoid
  7. Stick with a few basic rules-of-thumb: Stick to items with 5 or less ingredients. Stick to the outside circle of the grocery stores. Eat whole-food based snacks as much as possible. Avoid foods with large health food claims, most are false or have unnecessary added ingredients.

With these general guidelines in mind, we have included some great keto snacks below with some tips on how to keep each keto-friendly. It is important to have a few of these snacks on hand at all times to kick cravings and keep your body properly fueled but in ketosis throughout each day.

Store-bought Keto-Friendly Snacks:

  • Pork rinds
  • Seeds
  • Nuts or nut butters
  • Dark chocolate
  • Sardines
  • Pepperoni or salami
  • Cheese
  • Cacao nibs
  • Olives
  • Jerky
  • Seaweed
  • Hummus
  • Cherry tomatoes
  • Veggie sticks
  • Avocados
  • Coconut chips

Homemade Keto-Friendly Snacks:

  • Fat bombs
  • Bulletproof coffee
  • Bacon
  • Kale chips
  • Celery and cream cheese
  • Hard-boiled eggs
  • Guacamole
  • Lettuce wraps
  • Berries and cream

Common snack foods to avoid on keto:

These options should be avoided as most contain large amounts of refined carbs and sugars)

  • Bananas or grapes
  • Cashews and peanuts
  • Juices and vitamin water
  • Café Lattes
  • Potato chips
  • Donuts
  • Chocolate bars

In summary, if you feel the need to eat a snack on keto, just be prepared to have the right types of foods available. As always, preparation is key to you success. The more you think ahead, the more success you will have with you snacking on a keto diet.

Dr Jerry Hizon

Your guide to beating the Keto Flu

When some people begin their journey towards a ketogenic diet, they experience something called the ‘keto flu’. This typically is experienced within the first 7-14 days on the keto diet.

Switching your body from metabolizing glucose to metabolizing fats can be a shock to your system. This is especially true within the few first days of adopting the keto diet. This transitional period and resulting side effects, termed the “keto flu,” because some of the symptoms feel the same as catching a cold or flu. typically begin within 24-48 hours of starting the keto diet plan and last about 3-7 days.

What causes the Keto Flu?

These flu-like symptoms occur due to your body’s natural process of protecting itself during what it recognizes as carbohydrate starvation. As carbohydrate and blood sugar levels decrease, insulin decreases and insulin sensitivity increases.

As blood sugar levels go down, our body signals to our kidneys to release electrolytes (sodium, magnesium, and potassium), carrying with them water. This often causes dehydration.

As our bodies go into carbohydrate starvation mode, they also upregulate cortisol (stress hormone) levels in an attempt to increase energy levels.

What are the symptoms of the Keto Flu?

If you think you are experiencing the keto flu here are a few common symptoms:

  • Headaches
  • Fatigue
  • Mental fogginess
  • Muscle cramps
  • Lower strength and stamina
  • Digestive issues
  • Constipation
  • Insomnia
  • Sugar cravings

How to Beat the Keto Flu

It’s important to know that the keto flu symptoms are a sign that your body is in the process of making the proper metabolic adaptations.

All of these are normal when switching to the keto diet and as your body becomes adapted to using fats and ketones as a main source of fuel, they will subside.

But in the meantime, while you are suffering from the keto flu, here are a few strategies to combat the symptoms.

Drink lots of water

You should increase your fluid intake to replace the water lost in the first few weeks of keto. This means consuming about 10-12 glasses per day. As a rule, drink a glass of water for every hour you are awak during the day.

Replenish electrolytes: sodium, magnesium, potassium

Make sure to increase your sodium levels for the first 14 days. How much? Divide your body weight in pounds by two and that is roughly how many ounces of sodium you will need per day (around 5,000- 7,000 mg/day). Add sodium to your diet by adding more unrefined salts (Himalayan pink salt or sea salt are the best) to water or foods, drinking salted lemon water, or drinking bone broth. You should also get roughly 1,000-3,500 mg of potassium per day.

Potassium is found in foods such as fish, meat, leafy greens, and winter squash. Magnesium is another electrolyte you should increase intake of, taking about 300-500 mg per day. You can find magnesium in foods like spinach, chicken, beef, fish. All of the above electrolytes can be taken in supplemental form if you cannot get proper amounts from your daily diet.

Moderately exercise, practice yoga or meditate

Exercise can help balance out the increase in cortisol levels during the keto flu. Moderate exercise is suggested so as not to put more stress on your body than the metabolic shift it is already dealing with. If moderate exercise is too much, especially with the possibility of other symptoms, consider practicing yoga or other forms of meditation to reduce cortisol levels during the first transitional weeks of adopting the keto diet.

Eat more fats and calories

Yes, that’s right: more fats! Increasing fats can help surpass the keto flu growing pains and increase energy levels. A great way to add fats during these transition periods is with MCT oil because it goes straight to the liver after digestion. Other ways include things like adding coconut oil to your morning coffee, eating grass-fed jerky, or even eggs. You can also increase ketones with exogenous ketone supplementation at smaller doses, spread throughout the day, for the first 3-5 days of keto.

Reduce your carb intake slowly

Instead of dropping straight to the goal mark for daily carbohydrate intake (i.e. below 20g per day), it may be helpful to slowly decrease carbohydrate intake and in a sense prevent the shock  of the keto flu.

For example, if you generally eat 140 g of carbohydrate per day, it may be useful to cut back by increments of 20 g a day (or every other day) for the first week (or two) of starting keto (day 1= 140 g, day 2= 120 g… day 6= 40 g, day 7= 20 g). You can read our full guide to your first seven days on keto here.

Remember that it’s short-lived

Maybe most important is to remember that all these symptoms will pass, and you will feel much better soon. Don’t let these temporary keto flu symptoms scare you away from continuing your keto journey and acheiving a healthier lifestyle!

– Dr. Jerry Hizon, MD