Let’s face it: We don’t always remember to pack low carb snacks for on the go, which leads to the opportunity for failure. I rarely remember to pack myself healthy low carb snacks because I’m simply not that organized. So when hunger hits and you’re out on the road, how do you maintain a low carb diet without just buying a block of cheese to gnaw on? I’m putting together a low carb shopping guide to help you make informed decisions about what you can eat when you find yourself hungry and away from your stash of good foods.
Low Carb Snacks in Vending Machines
Low carb shopping at vending machines is a difficult task, but more and more vendors are jumping on board the health food trend and offering healthier choices. From baked chips and nuts to dried fruits and even yogurt, you can find good low carb snacks if you look closely at the options.
- Baked Cheetos Crunchy Chips 19g carbs
- Balance Bar Cookie Dough Flavor 22g carbs but 15g protein
- Bag of nuts – peanuts, almonds, etc.
- Dannon Light ‘n Fit Nonfat Yogurt 15g carbs
- Beef jerky – Slim Jim e.g.
- Pork rinds
- Snyder’s EatSmart Whole Grain Tortilla Chips 19g carbs
- Snyder’s EatSmart MultiGrain Sunflower Chips 19g carbs
- Snyder’s EatSmart Crispy Waffle Chips 12g carbs
- Snyder’s EatSmart Whole Grain Cheese Curls 20g carbs
- Snyder’s EatSmart Garden Veggie Sticks 20g carbs
- Snyder’s EatSmart Corn & Rice Puffs 18g carbs
- Snyder’s EatSmart Garden Veggie Crisps 18g carbs
- Planter’s Sunflower Kernels 3oz bag 15g carbs
- SMARTFOOD® Reduced Fat White Cheddar Cheese Flavored Popcorn 18g carbs
- Planter’s Honey Roasted Peanuts 13g carbs
Low Carb Snacks at the Movies
Low carb shopping is going to be incredibly difficult for low carb snacks at the movies, but you can bring your own. Movie theaters don’t let people bring in food and drink, but if you tell them you have to eat low carb, they will often let you through. More theaters are getting with the program, however, and you may be able to find some sugar free candies and snacks, and you can always eat a hot dog without a bun as a last resort. If not, you can always ask that your local theater start carrying snacks you can eat! Try bringing some of the following so you can have low carb snacks at the movies:
- Sugar free candy
- Beef jerky
- Pork rinds
- Low carb bars, such as Atkins bars
- Nuts like almonds, peanuts, macadamia or brazil
- Sunflower seeds with or without the shell – the shell gives you something to do
- Pepperoni sticks
- String cheese
- Veggie sticks
Low Carb Snacks at the Gas Station
Want to fill up while you’re filling up? Low carb shopping options at the gas station include the common things such as beef jerky, pepperoni, cheese sticks and mixed nuts. Larger gas stations have better choices for low carb snacks on the go, but you can find the above items at just about every gas station.
- Slim Jim
- Beef jerky (check carbs – some are high in sugar, and if no nutrition info available, go for original flavor)
- Cheese sticks
- Sunflower seeds
- Bag of peanuts, macadamia nuts, almonds or other nuts
- Pepperoni sticks
- Pork rinds
- Lunchables Deli Fresh Turkey Ham & Swiss Cheddar has 26g of carbs and 20g protein, so this comes close and is better than others if you’re in a pinch
- Deli cuts – meat and cheese slices if your particular gas station offers a deli
- Yogurt – check the label, but some varieties such as Danon Light ‘n Fit have flavors with less than 20g carbs
- 100 calorie packs – many of these are under 20g of carbs and are a great junk food fix
Low carb shopping for snacks on the go is completely achievable by paying close attention to the labels. Your best bet is to keep a small lunchbox in our car with nonperishable items such as bars (without ingredients that melt), nuts, pepperoni, jerky and the other items mentioned in this low carb shopping guide. The benefit to packing them ahead is that you have time to choose the most nutritious options and only carry those. This can save your low carb diet and your blood sugar when hunger strikes while traveling.
If you can, get in the habit of packing a small variety of good snacks each time you go out. You can pack veggie sticks and fresh fruits, as well as the dips to go with them. My typical selection of low carb snacks when we’re on the go (and I remember to pack ahead) includes things like cheese slices, celery with peanut butter, a container of honey roasted peanuts or salted almonds, apples or bananas and some other snacks for the lucky people who don’t have to be low carb in my family. 🙂 This has saved us on more than one occasion when we head into the nearest city for shopping, which is about 2 hours away. It also saves a ton of money over eating fast food or grabbing low carb snacks at gas stations.