Eating your favorite snack is the best feeling in the world. A bowl of snacks and a cozy afternoon is the best combo one can imagine, but have you ever wondered how many calories we intake through these delicious snacks? It is a common belief that snacks cannot be calorie-free, but snacks with no carbs do exist. In this article, we will provide you with a zero-carb food list so you can snack on it without worrying about your health.
1. What are Carbohydrates?
Carbs are short for Carbohydrates, and they are one of three necessary macronutrients. The other two macronutrients are fats and protein.
Carbohydrates consist of fiber, sugar, and starch, and our body needs the energy released by these items to function properly. Carbs are classified into simple and complex carbs depending on the state we consume them. (See What Is Sugar Apple Fruit?)
2. What are the Types of Carbohydrates?
- Simple carbs are digested easily, but if consumed in excess, they are harmful to us as they cause a sudden spike in the blood sugar level. They lack many essential nutrient qualities of carbohydrates. Food items like white bread, pastries, refined pasta, white rice, and refined dough are rich sources of simple carbs. (Also read 45 Delicious Sandwich Bread Wrap Alternative)
- Complex carbs contain all necessary nutrients, including fiber. They take time to digest but are healthier for our body as they do not cause a sudden rise in blood sugar levels.
3. Categories of Carbs
The three main components of carbs are sugar, starch, and fiber. Let me explain it to you in brief.
- Sugar can be available in two forms: Natural sugar and Artificial or added sugar. Natural sugar is obtained from fruits, while added sugar is available in everything we eat like candies, packed food, tea, etc. You will come across added sugar with names like Fructose, lactose, dextrose, beet sugar, corn syrup, honey, sucrose, agave, and turbinado.
- Starch is a form of complex carbs, similar to fiber. It is found in potatoes, corn, other vegetables, legumes, fruits, and whole grains.
- Fiber is also a form of complex carbs which does not break down at once during the digestive process. Instead, it helps the digestive system in breaking down other nutrients into simpler forms to release energy. Fiber is beneficial as it keeps you full and reduces the chances of unnecessary eating. Some fiber-rich items are quinoa, oats, brown rice, cereal, pasta, fruits seeds (Watermelon, pumpkin, chia, flax, sesame), fruits, vegetables, peas, lentils, and beans. (See 11 Health Benefits of Eating Ice Apple Fruit)
4. How does our Body React to Carbs?
Carbohydrates are also known as an energy food. They are broken down during digestion and get converted into glucose. This glucose gets absorbed into the bloodstream, which acts as a fuel that gives instant energy.
If you consume more carbs, more glucose gets produced. And glucose absorption results in high sugar levels in the blood, which poses a high risk of developing diabetes. On the contrary, overconsumption of snacks with no carbs causes low blood sugar levels, resulting in hypoglycemia. (Also read 12 Best Keto Starbucks Drinks and Food Options)
5. Which Items are on the Zero-Carb Food List?
Carbs are beneficial but only in a limited amount. Here are some snacks with no carbs.
- You can try Caprese salad by mixing cheese, tomato, basil leaves, mozzarella cheese, and olive oil.
- Salmon with cucumber bites is a rich source of omega-three fatty acids, or you can have string cheese as 29 grams of its serving will have less than 1 gram of carbohydrates.
- You may try having yogurt with nuts of your choice, or simply enjoy a half-cup of cottage cheese (paneer).
- You can try a Bento box as they contain fruits, vegetables, nuts, and other protein-rich foods. Otherwise, simply mix some garlic and crushed cucumber into plain yogurt and enjoy it as a dip with your favorite vegetables.
- Sweet bell peppers with guacamoles are also low in carbs, or you can have a strawberry smoothie without cream, chocolate, or sugar. (See How many Seeds does a Strawberry have?)
- Dark chocolate and cashew butter make a smooth, dense snack. As dark chocolate is very low in carbs, and cashew is a rich source of proteins.
- If you are craving some fruits, try some berries with whipped cream for a naturally sweet treat.
- And if craving eggs, then boil them, remove the yolk and mix it with mayo and other light spices. Put the batter back into the sliced egg whites and enjoy.
- Some other options are bone broth, canned fish, canned meat, dried meat products, pepperoni slices, and seaweed or seaweed soup.
6. Seafood and Meat Snacks with No Carbs
For all the non-veg lovers, here is a list to ensure you intake zero carbs with these snacks with no carbs.
- If you love seafood, you can have fresh, canned, smoked Bass, catfish, cod, flatfish, flounder, grouper, haddock, halibut, salmon, sardine, sole, Spanish mackerel, swordfish, trout, and tuna. (See 21 Healthiest Fish for Fishetarians)
- If you want to have fresh meat, go for beef, exotic meats, fowl, game meats, lamb, organs (except liver), and veal.
- You can have processed meats that include canned bacon, meat, deli meats, ham, hot gods, jerky (other dry meat products), salami, salted cured meat, sausages, and smoked meat.
7. Zero Carb Fats, Oil, Drinks, and Beverages
In oils, go for animal fats, avocado oil, coconut oil, grass-fed butter or ghee, and Extra virgin olive oil. For drinks and beverages, go for Club soda, coffee, seltzer water, soda water, sparkling water, tea, and water.
Make sure to include any of these items in your juice or smoothies. We should also limit our cold drinks consumption. Diet cola, diet soda, and energy drinks all have a high content of added sugar. (See 10 Best Monster Energy Drink Flavors)
8. Some Tips for Adding Carbs in Healthy Amounts
Not only snacks, everything consumed in a managed proportion benefits our body. After knowing snacks with no carbs, let us know some foods that can deliver healthy amounts of carbs.
- Start your day with a bowl of hot oats, not instant ones but raw ones. Otherwise, take a bowl of cereals but make sure to choose the one with 4 grams of fiber and sugar, not more than 8 grams.
- For lunch, take up five-grain bread, commonly called whole grain bread. You can also switch to brown rice or quinoa.
- For snacks or cravings after meals, take up fruits. Avoid ready-made juices because they have high sugar content. (See 8 Fruits That Have No Seeds)
- At dinner, you can have beans instead of potatoes. You can also have chickpeas or other legumes.
Now that you know the snacks with no carbs, try different items from our zero-carb food list and check which ones suit you. Now you can fulfill your love for snacks while keeping yourself healthy. (Also read 107 Delicious and Amazing Ways to Cook Potatoes)