Anyone who knows me personally has heard me one time or another recommend one of these low-carb snacks and trying to explain how good it tastes and that you don’t have to feel guilty about eating it. I’ve gotten some of my friends hooked on some of these and I’m proud of the idea that I am making their lifestyle healthier (as they eat less of the “bad” alternative listed below for each). For many people, it is hard to cut out all carbs completely or follow the ketogenic diet (as I do), but lowering the carb count per day with these easy and tasty alternatives is a step in the right direction.
* For the record: I have not been endorsed by any of these companies. I honestly eat/drink them often!
1. Quest Bars!
These protein bar are made by a company called Quest Nutrition. Their goal was to make a low carb bar that tastes amazing, and they succeeded in their mission! Everyone in the fitness world raves about them and they sell out quick in stores. It is the only protein bar that has very little amount of carbs (~1g sugar), tons of fibre (~17g), tons of protein (~21g), and the best part is that they taste amazing. I wouldn’t eat any protein bars if they didn’t taste good, so you can take my word for it! I’ve given some of these to several of my friends to try, and 100% of the time they loved it so much they went and bought themselves more. Some flavours are better than others, but so far from the ones that are available Oct 2015 (they constantly make new flavours), my favourites in order are: 1. Cookie dough 2. Mint chocolate chip 3. Cookies and cream 4. Smores 5. White Chocolate Raspberry
Healthy alternative for: Any chocolate bar or other sugary protein bars (90% of other protein bars have a surprisingly high amount of sugar in them… whats the point then? Might as well eat a chocolate bar with some protein powder sprinkled on!)
Where to find it in Canada: GNC, Popeyes, and most other nutrition/fitness supplement stores
Price: ~3.15 a bar, or ~34.99 per box of 12
2. Zevia Soda – Ginger Ale
You might think this is just another one of those Coke Zero type of sodas. Yes, it has 0 sugar, 0 everything on the label. But the most important thing that differentiates it than any other low-cal/low-carb soda is that Zevia uses Stevia as a sweetener (and a bit of erythritol which is natural as well), instead of Aspartame that Diet Coke/Coke Zero (and other brands) use. There has been several studies now that show aspartame is very unhealthy for you and actually increases your appetite, etc. Wherea Stevia comes naturally from a plant and has no harmful side effects. And another point about Zevia Ginger Ale flavour is that it tastes amazing! It literally tastes just like (or even better than) actual normal ginger ale that is packed with tons of sugar (aka Canada Dry, etc.). There’s tons of other flavours like cola, grape, orange, lemon, dr pepper, and so on, and I’ve tried most, but the ginger ale is my favourite.
Healthy alternative for: Any other soda available on the market right now! It is the only semi-mass produced soda that uses a natural sweetener
Where to find it in Canada: I buy it from my local Whole Foods (and the ginger ale one most of the time is sold out.. note to whoever keeps buying it up.. leave a couple for me! 🙂 ) I’ve heard you can buy it in other stores like Bulk Barn? Let me know in the comments if you know of other places to get it!
Price: Regular price at WF is 6.99 for a 6-pack, but they usually have promotions often and you can get it for 3.99-4.99 for the pack.
3. Premier Protein – Chocolate flavour
This one might not be a fan of those people that love spending time making their own protein shakes from scratch. If you have the perfect recipe, time, and energy to make your own, great! But if you want an amazing tasting, very fast, pre-made, and cheap shake, this is it! It taste just like chocolate milk (you have to try it to believe it) with no weird after taste (that most other “chocolate” flavour shakes have). The macros are amazing too – ~1g of sugar, tons of vitamins and minerals, and 30g of protein! The only thing is that on the ketogenic diet I need to eat more fat and this has very little, so sometimes I add in a few tablespoons of 35% whipping cream, and then it tastes even better, like a chocolate milkshake! I actually look really forward to drinking after a workout, whenever I need a quick breakfast while I’m running out the door, or when I want a snack.
Healthy alternative for: Chocolate milk, any unhealthy snack, sugary protein shakes
Where to find it in Canada: Costco only. Unfortunately this is the only place that it is available in Canada (they have exclusive rights). Although I love Costco, I wish I could buy this in other stores or online! (Premier Protein execs if you read this, hint hint)
Price: 32.99 for a pack of 18 (you can’t buy individual, but if you break it down it comes to 1.83+tax for each shake – not bad!)
4. Sugar-Free Ice Cream Bars
There’s a brand called Tofutti that makes sugar-free (sweetened with Stevia) chocolate coated ice cream bars. They also happen to be dairy-free (I would be okay with dairy, but this is great for whoever is lactore intolerant). They taste really good, and definitely hit that spot for ice cream cravings.
Healthy alternative to: Sugar loaded ice cream bars, ice cream
Where to find it in Canada: Whole Foods
Price: 7.99 for a box of 12 (1.75oz each bar)
5. Seaweed snacks
If you’ve never tried dried seaweed as a snack, you might think I’m nuts with this one. But you have to try it, seriously! And try one of the good brands/flavours. I’ve tried some from whole foods that tasted very bland and not great. But the ones I get from Costco are amazing. I love the saltiness and texture (salt/sodium is good on ketogenic diet, btw!). Amazing alternative to eating chips and so tasty. Who knew dried seaweed sheets would be such a big hit as a snack? Oh, and it’s 0g of sugar/starch!
Healthy alternative for: Chips
Where to find it in Canada: Almost everywhere now! The best tasting ones with the best price are from Costco
Price: Costco pack of 12 for 8.99, whole foods one pack 3.99