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8 Healthy and Easy Low-Carb, High-Protein Snack Ideas

Patti is a Certified Dietician who specializes in fitness and nutrition. She enjoys helping people reach their healthy lifestyle goals.

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Carbohydrates are complicated. They’re necessary for cell function, but eating too much of them can cause your body to feel bloated and tired.

You shouldn't cut carbs completely unless advised by a physician; however, eating low-carb snacks can boost your energy level and ensure you get the other essential macronutrients you need like protein and fat, which help build muscle and promote satiety. Here's a list of eight healthy and easy low-carb, high-protein snack ideas that are delicious!

8 Healthy and Easy Low Carb, High-Protein Snacks to Get You Started

  1. Nuts and Seeds
  2. Ham and Pickle Roll-Ups
  3. Hard-Boiled Egg
  4. Fruit and Yogurt Parfait
  5. Dark Chocolate With Cashew Butter
  6. Cinnamon Toasted Pumpkin Seeds
  7. Fresh Veggies and Dip
  8. Cottage Cheese
Nuts and seeds are rich in protein and fiber.

Nuts and seeds are rich in protein and fiber.

1. Nuts and Seeds

Convenient and tasty, nuts and seeds make an easy snack that contributes to a healthy lifestyle. In addition to their taste, tree nuts and peanuts contain no cholesterol and are rich in important nutrients including protein, fiber and unsaturated fatty acids. They also contain relevant micronutrients such as folic acid, niacin and vitamins E and B6 and minerals such as magnesium, copper, zinc, selenium, phosphorus and potassium.

Trail mix is an ideal on-the-go snack. However, most store-bought trail mixes contain high-carb ingredients and are usually loaded with sugar and industrial oils. Here is a healthier low-carb version you can make yourself.

Homemade Trail Mix Recipe

  • ½ cup pecan halves
  • ½ cup walnuts
  • ½ cup peanuts
  • ½ cup almonds
  • ½ cup pine nuts
  • ½ cup sunflower seeds
  • ½ cup roasted pumpkin seeds
  • ½ cup dark chocolate chips
  • ½ cup unsweetened coconut flakes
  • Cinnamon (optional)

Combine your favorite nuts, seeds, chocolate, and coconut in a plastic baggie and shake vigorously until everything is well coated with the cinnamon.

Low-Carb Foods (1 oz)Carbs (in grams)Protein (in grams)

Pecans

4

3

Walnuts

4

4

Peanuts

6

7

Almonds

6

6

Pine Nuts

4

4

Sunflower Seeds

7

6

Pumpkin Seeds

4

9

Dark Chocolate (70-85%)

13

2

Unsweetened Coconut Flakes

8

2

Cinnamon (1 tsp)

2

0.1

Ham and pickle roll-ups can be eaten as an appetizer or a snack.

Ham and pickle roll-ups can be eaten as an appetizer or a snack.

2. Ham and Pickle Roll-Ups

Ready in five minutes, ham and pickle roll-ups are super addicting! They're great as an appetizer and even better as a snack.

Ingredients

  • Cream cheese
  • Dill pickle
  • Smoked ham slice
  • Chives

Spread cream cheese onto ham slice and place pickle spear on top. Gently roll. Cut the roll crosswise into 1/2" to 1" pieces.

This is a very versatile snack and can be customized to your liking. Here are some recipe variations to change things up a little:

  • Add More Veggies: use different types of low-carb vegetables such as cucumbers instead of or in addition to pickles.
  • Use Other Types of Cheese: if you really don't care for cream cheese or just want to try something different, use a soft, spreadable low-carb cheese such as goat cheese or a cheese spread like Boursin.
  • Try Different Kinds of Meat: replace the ham with chicken and add hot sauce for buffalo chicken roll-ups, turkey bell pepper roll-ups, roast beef roll-ups or even smoked salmon roll-ups.

The variations are endless!

Low-Carb FoodsCarbs (in grams)Protein (in grams)

Cream Cheese (1 tbsp)

1

1

Dill Pickle (1 spear)

1

0.2

Cucumber (1 stick)

0.4

0.1

Ham Slice (1 oz)

0.3

6

Chives (1 oz)

1

1

3. Hard-Boiled Eggs

Hard-boiled eggs are so simple and easy but yet extremely low in carbs and full of brain-healthy nutrients such as vitamin B12 and choline. One large egg is packed full of protein. Boil a batch of eggs at the beginning of the week, and you're all set for the rest of the week.

Low-Carb FoodsCarbs (in grams)Protein (in grams)

1 Hard-Boiled Egg

1

13

Fruit and yogurt are a great combination any time of the day.

Fruit and yogurt are a great combination any time of the day.

4. Fruit and Yogurt Parfait

Fruit and yogurt parfaits are an excellent choice for a low-carb breakfast, but they also make for a healthy snack. Berries come in a variety of colors and can have a sweet or sour taste. They are highly nutritious and high in fiber, vitamin C and antioxidants.

For a quick and delicious, low-carb snack, layer yogurt, fruit and granola, then repeat 1 or 2 more times. You can use your favorite low-fat yogurt or cream, any low-carb fruit mixture or nuts instead of granola.

Low-Carb Foods (1 oz)Carbs (in grams)Protein (in grams)

Strawberries

2

0.2

Blueberries

4

0.2

Raspberries

3

0.3

Cranberries

3

0.1

Blackberries

3

0.4

Greek Yogurt (6 oz)

7

17

Heavy Whipping Cream

0

0

Granola

15

4

Nuts

*See Section 1

*See Section 1

If you're trying to manage a sugar craving, it's sometimes better to eat naturally sweet fruits. However, some fruits come with more carbs, so be careful.

Dark chocolate satisfies the sweet tooth.

Dark chocolate satisfies the sweet tooth.

5. Dark Chocolate With Cashew Butter

When you’re craving something sweet, dark chocolate is the perfect low-carb treat to satisfy that sweet tooth. Just remember moderation is key. Quality dark chocolate is rich in fiber, iron, magnesium, copper, manganese and a few other minerals.

For a quick little treat, try spreading 1 tablespoon of cashew butter (or any other low-carb spread) onto 1 ounce of dark chocolate. Just remember the darker the chocolate, the fewer the carbs.

Low Carb Foods (1 oz)Carbs (in grams)Protein (in grams)

Dark Chocolate (70-85%)

13

2

Cashew Butter

9

3

Peanut Butter

7

6

Hazelnuts

5

4

Almond butter

5

4

Cinnamon roasted pumpkin seeds taste like autumn.

Cinnamon roasted pumpkin seeds taste like autumn.

6. Cinnamon Toasted Pumpkin Seeds

Pumpkin seeds are rich in zinc, an essential mineral needed for optimal immune health and metabolism. Cinnamon Toasted Pumpkin Seeds are very simple to make with very few ingredients. Combine ½ cup of pumpkin seeds with ½ teaspoon of cinnamon and 2 teaspoons of olive oil. Spread the seeds evenly onto a baking sheet and bake in a 300-degree oven for 45 minutes or until the seeds are golden brown.

Low Carb FoodsCarbs (in grams)Protein (in grams)

Pumpkin Seeds (1 oz)

4

9

Cinnamon (1 tsp)

2

0.1

Olive Oil

0

0

Eat the rainbow with freshly cut vegetables.

Eat the rainbow with freshly cut vegetables.

7. Fresh Veggies and Dip

Plain vegetables are one of the healthiest snacks a person can eat. Simply wash and slice a variety of fresh veggies into sticks and enjoy. Some low-carb veggies include:

  • Carrots: excellent source of vitamin A, several B vitamins, vitamin K and potassium
  • Celery: good source of vitamin K and antioxidants
  • Sweet Bell Peppers: full of antioxidants, high in vitamins A and C
  • Broccoli: high in vitamins C and K
  • Cauliflower: high in vitamins K and C
  • Cucumbers: full of antioxidants

Pairing these veggies with a dip low in carbs gives you a special treat with added flavor. You can always buy dips at the store, but I recommend making your own homemade dip because then you know exactly what goes in it with no preservatives added. Here are some quick dip recipes you can whip up at home.

Homemade Aioli

  • ¼ cup mayonnaise
  • 1 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • Salt & pepper to taste

Combine all ingredients in a small bowl and mix well.

Homemade Guacamole Dip

  • 3 medium avocados, pitted and halved
  • 1/3 cup onion, minced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • Salt & pepper to taste

Place avocados in a medium bowl and slightly mash with a fork or potato masher leaving some large chunks. Add remaining ingredients and mix well to combine.

Homemade Tzatziki Sauce

  • 8 oz fat-free Greek yogurt
  • 1 small cucumber, peeled, seeded and sliced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 1 Tbsp fresh dill, chopped
  • Salt & pepper to taste

Using a metal strainer or coffee filter, strain the yogurt for a few hours to remove as much liquid as possible and set aside. Mince cucumber slices in a food processor, drain the liquid in a metal strainer and sprinkle with a little salt to help release the liquid. Use the back of a spoon to help squeeze out any excess liquid. Combine all ingredients in a medium bowl and mix well.

Cottage cheese is a calcium-rich food.

Cottage cheese is a calcium-rich food.

8. Cottage Cheese

Cottage cheese is low in carbohydrates and rich in bone-building minerals such as calcium and phosphorus. Many people add fruit for extra flavor, but you can also add avocado slices, cherry tomatoes, chopped green onions or hot sauce for a more savory dish.

Resources

Find the Nutritional Value of a Product

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and does not substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, and/or dietary advice from a licensed health professional. Drugs, supplements, and natural remedies may have dangerous side effects. If pregnant or nursing, consult with a qualified provider on an individual basis. Seek immediate help if you are experiencing a medical emergency.

© 2021 Patti Davis

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