Peanut Butter and Celery
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This classic childhood snack is both convenient and low carb. Two stalks of celery topped with 2 tablespoons of natural peanut butter have only 8 grams of carbohydrates (3 grams of which are fiber). It's perfectly sized and portable. You can put them together in the morning and toss them in your bag, and they're ready whenever you are. (Related: Genius Pre-Workout and Post-Workout Vegetarian Snacks)
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Protein One 90-Calorie Protein Bars
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Protein One bars come in dessert-like flavors like peanut butter chocolate, but they're surprisingly low in sugar. Each bar contains a single gram. (That's about 1/4 teaspoon.) With 90 calories and 10 grams of protein, you can call this bar the holy grail of snacks.
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One cup of 2 percent cottage cheese is an extremely filling 190 calories with just 8 grams of carbs. You can top it with 1 tablespoon of chia seeds to get an extra 5 grams of belly-filling fiber. Add 1 teaspoon of cinnamon for special antioxidants that improve your body's ability to handle carbs. In addition to being low carb, cottage cheese also contains probiotics, the healthy bacteria that help improve your digestion. (Here are new ways to add more probiotics to your diet.)
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Think of Greek yogurt as a richer, carb-controlled version of regular yogurt. A 6-oz serving of fat-free, plain Greek yogurt contains only 7 grams of carbs. That's half as much as regular yogurt and a quarter of the carbs you'd get from sweetened yogurts. Greek yogurt also contains twice as much protein as regular yogurt, making it a perfect post-workout choice. (Try these 10 protein-packed yogurt bowls.)
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Walnuts contain fewer carbs than almonds, peanuts, pistachios, or cashews. Plus, they have more antioxidant power than any other nut. Fourteen walnut halves (about 1 ounce) contain only 4 grams of carbs, half of that coming from fiber. One ounce of walnuts also contains 10 percent of your daily intake of magnesium and 2 1/2 grams of healthy omega-3 fats. Plus they can be portioned ahead of time and left in your desk drawer for when you get hungry.
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String cheese is another childhood snack staple that's low carb. One part-skim string cheese stick contains less than 1 gram of carbs and only 80 calories. They're small and pre-packaged, making them one of the easiest snacks ever. Just keep your fridge stocked so you can grab one as you rush out the door.
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People say kale chips are like potato chips—and maybe they don't taste like Pringles, but they're addictive and really good. One cup of fresh chopped kale only contains 35 calories and 7 grams of carbs. (Related: What Happened When I Prepared for a Snack Every Day for a Week)
- 2 large handfuls kale, chopped and washed
- Extra-virgin olive oil
- Preheat oven to 300°F. Toss kale in a bowl with extra-virgin olive oil, salt, and pepper.
- Arrange kale on a baking sheet lined with aluminum foil and bake for 20 minutes.
Photo: alisafarov / Shutterstock
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This is a nutrient-packed, crunchy alternative to traditional party mix that saves you 7 grams of carbs per 1/2 cup serving and has four times as much fiber. It stays fresh and the fridge, and you can take it on the go.
- 3 cups shelled edamame beans
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 teaspoon curry powder
- 1 dash of salt and pepper
- Preheat oven to 375°F. Toss edamame beans, olive oil, curry powder, salt, and pepper together in a bowl until the beans are thoroughly coated.
- Spread out on a baking sheet and roast for 15 minutes.
Servings: 6 (1/2 cup)
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Almond Apple Spice Muffins
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These low-carb, high-protein muffins use unsweetened applesauce and almond meal to cut down on added sugars and excess carbs. They're extremely portable and convenient if you're on the go and deliver less than 10 grams of carbs per muffin.
- 2 cups almond meal
- 5 scoops vanilla protein powder
- 4 whole eggs
- 1 cup unsweetened applesauce
- 1/2 stick butter, melted
- 1 tablespoon cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon allspice
- 1 teaspoon cloves
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Thoroughly mix all the ingredients in a bowl. Spray muffin tin with nonstick cooking spray or use cupcake liners.
- Pour mix into muffin tin; make sure not to overfill (~3/4 full).
- Bake for 12 minutes.
Servings: 6 (2 muffins/serving)
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Light Meal-Replacement Shakes
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Most meal replacement shakes contain 40 grams of protein, 25 grams of carbs, and very little fat. Look for "light" versions of these individually packaged shakes for fewer carbs and calories. For example, Lean Body for Her contains only 9 grams of carbs, 1 gram of sugar, 3 grams of fiber, and no artificial sweeteners. Many light meal-replacement shakes come in single-serve packets, making them easy to store in your desk drawer to take with you on the go.
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