Healthy Eating

On the Paleo Diet? Then You Need to Be Eating These Snacks

If you’re on the “caveman diet”—eating mainly lean meats, veggies, and fruits—traditional grab-and-go snacks like chips and pretzels are off limits. Here’s how to buy snacks that our ancient ancestors might have eaten, minus the cellphane wrappers.

By Kaitlyn Chamberlin

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Purely Elizabeth Grain-Free Granolaviapurelyelizabeth.comHealthy granola is hard to find because most supermarket options are loaded with sugars and unnatural additives, not to mention grains and oats that make them Paleo-unfriendly. Unlike your typical granola, Purely Elizabeth is grain- and oat-free, plus it’s low-sugar. The low-carb granola clusters are perfect for the Paleo diet because they’re high in protein, thanks to cashews, dried coconut flakes, seeds, and cashew butter. The grain-free granola comes in two different flavors—banana nut butter and coconut cashew.

Fruit leathersistock/IrKievIf you’re looking for a fresh fruit alternative, look no further than fruit leathers or fruit strips. This product can be found at most pharmacies, grocery stores, and even gas stations, but be careful because not all fruit leathers are good Paleo snacks. Check the list of ingredients on the back of the box carefully before purchasing. Your healthier fruit leather options will be those will minimal ingredients, like fruit and water. Stretch Island Fruit Co. makes great all-natural fruit leathers in a variety of flavors, like raspberry and strawberry, that Paleo bloggers and chefs love.

Veggie noodlesistock/ALLEKOIf you’re craving pasta, veggie noodles, also known as zoodles, will be your fix. Veggie noodles are basically just vegetables, most often zucchini, squash, and sweet potato, that are cut or spiraled to create a noodle-like texture and shape. Since Paleo is such a big health movement right now, veggie noodles can be found at most supermarkets, but Whole Foods has pre-spiraled and prepackaged options that make for a quick low-stress meal. Vegetables are a main staple in the Paleo diet and for good reason. They are full of vitamins and leave you feeling satisfied.

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Boiled eggsistock/YelenaYemchukEven if you’re not purely Paleo, boiled eggs should be a part of your diet for so many reasons. Not only are they super easy to cook (12 minutes on the stove on average with no mixing or stirring), but eggs are filled with proteins, vitamins, minerals, and good fats. Plus one large egg has only about 80 calories. Boiled eggs can even be found at the grocery store precooked and in packs of two, making it a great grab-and-go Paleo snack. If you’re not a fan of the hardboiled variety, try one of these egg-tastic breakfast cooking tips that we promise you’ll love.

Plantain chipsistock/bhofack2It’s easy to get plantains and bananas mixed up. While plantains are part of the banana family and the two look alike, plantains are not sweet, and instead are used mostly as a starchy vegetable. Think of plantain chips as veggie chips. They are often sliced and baked with olive oil and salt, creating a nice crunch. Lots of supermarkets carry different versions of plantain chips, but not all plantain chips are Paleo, so you’ll want to check the ingredients before buying.

Kale chipsistock/sbossertLike plantain chips, kale chips are also a smart Paleo snack (and a healthier version of potato chips). Kale has a ton of health benefits and is full of vitamins and antioxidants. While plantain chips are smaller and hard to scoop, kale chips go great with dips, like guacamole or salsa, because of their larger sheet-like size. They are very easy to make at home but can also be found at most grocery stores nationwide. Need more reasons to add kale to your diet? Here are five ways kale fights off obesity, cancers, and diseases.

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Larabarvialarabar.comLarabar makes bars and bites filled with nuts, seeds, and other superfoods that make a great, inexpensive travel Paleo snack (one bar typically costs around $1). It’s a good idea to keep a few of these in your car, purse, or desk as a light snack. While not all Larabar products are Paleo, all are GMO-free, minimally processed, and made with all-natural ingredients. Some Paleo-approved Larabar flavors include Pecan Pie, Cashew Cookie, and Apple Pie.

Dark chocolateistock/heatheralvisYes, dark chocolate can be Paleo, and yes, many Paleo experts actually recommend dark chocolate in moderation when it comes to healthy snacks. (Dark chocolate is even included in our 50 best healthy eating tips of all time because it’s packed with antioxidants and has been proven to boost brain health and curb cravings.) But not all dark chocolate meets Paleo snack standards. Look for unsweetened dark chocolate or baking chocolate with 80 percent or more cocoa. EatingEvolved and Primal Kitchen both make dairy-free and certified organic Paleo dark chocolate bars.

Almond butteristock/bhofack2Almond butter and most other nut butters, like sunflower, coconut, hazelnut, and cashew butter, are Paleo-friendly and make for a tasty treat. Try nut butter spread on bananas or apples for a healthy snack, or even just a spoonful right out of the jar, which is a decadent treat. If you’re counting calories, cashew butter has the fewest, at about 94 per tablespoon, followed by almond butter with 98. Plus, nuts offer a ton of health benefits, including fighting diseases such as heart disease and cancer, so here are more reasons to snack on them. Note: Peanuts are not Paleo, which means peanut butter is off limits.

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Jerkyistock/JuanmoninoBeef jerky is no longer the synthetic, smelly, and sticky beef chunks found at your local gas station. Jerky has had a major makeover and is now the darling of health foodies everywhere, thanks to its variety of flavors and meat options, like turkey and chicken, with their high protein and vitamins. Some notable Paleo jerky brands are Sophia’s Survival Foods Jerky Chews, Steve’s Original, and Nick’s Sticks, which all offer grass-fed and organic jerky.

Guacamoleistock/DebbiSmirnoffEveryone loves guacamole, but avocados often get a bad rap for being unhealthy and full of fat, which just isn’t true. Avocados are full of nutritious ingredients and offer these powerhouse benefits, including lowering cholesterol and reducing risk of heart disease. Good news: Guacamole is 100 percent Paleo when made according to its traditional recipe, which includes avocado, lime, onion, tomato, and jalapeno. Individual serving sizes of guacamole, found at most supermarkets, make for a great grab-and-go snack. Try pairing your guac with fresh vegetables or plantain and kale chips for a salty crunch.

Pork rindsistock/BallBall14Pork rinds aren’t for everyone, but if you’re looking for a salty potato chip alternative, they might be just the ticket. But what exactly are pork rinds? Well, essentially pork rind is the skin of a pig, that when fried, boiled, and/or baked creates a crispy, airy chip-like consistency. Like potato chips, pork rinds also come in a bunch of different flavors, such as BBQ, salt and pepper, and cheese. Make sure to check the ingredients of store bought pork rinds, as only a handful are truly Paleo snacks.

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Go Raw cookiesviagorawcookies.comWhen people hear the word diet, they often think of all the yummy foods they undoubtedly have to give up. But Go Raw is the exception. Founded on the principle of a raw-based diet, Go Raw offers organic and vegan snacks that taste good, like their Paleo cookies that come in unique flavors, including ginger snap and lemon pie. While these may not be your warm, gooey homemade chocolate chip cookies, they definitely satisfy a sweet tooth.

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