One of the benefits of the ketogenic diet, better known as the keto diet, is that the high-fat intake rarely leaves you feeling hungry; however, it would seem wrong to go to the movies and not have a little snack, wouldn't it?
We understand that snacking at the movies while on a diet, especially the keto diet, may seem impossible with the endless sugar-filled (no thank you!) options behind the movie theater snack counter.
You should not compromise fun movie nights because of your diet, so we have compiled a list of healthy movie theater snacks that you can pack along for your next theater date!
What Makes a Healthy Movie Theater Snack?
Before we get into the actual snacks, it is important to know what makes a healthy movie theater snack. The key to successfully staying in ketosis is to eat low-carb or no-carb foods. Therefore, you will be consuming more foods that are rich in fat and protein. These keto-friendly foods will help keep you full and often help cravings subside.
Now you may be thinking, "What fat and protein-rich foods could possibly be convenient enough to pack for the movies?"
In our opinion, the best snacks for movie night that are keto-friendly include:
- Zucchini Chips
- Keto Cookies
- Fat Bombs
- Homemade Jerky
- Keto Coffee Chocolate Bark
- Keto Gummy Bears
- Jerky Sticks
- Pork Rinds
- Mixed Nuts & Seeds
- Fish Chips
- Pepperoni Slices
- Cacao Nibs
Homemade Keto Snacks for Movies
The best way to make sure you are eating the right foods for the ketogenic diet is to make them yourself at home! These healthy movie theater snacks are quick and painless to make and are super easy to sneak in with you!
Best Snacks for Movie Night #1: Zucchini Chips
Keto zucchini chips are a great substitution for potato chips or popcorn, and they are so easy to make. Simply slice up a zucchini and bake it in the oven for a few minutes. Season them with salt and pepper for a savory option or cinnamon if you prefer sweet and spicy!
Best Snacks for Movie Night #2: Keto Cookies
Keto cookies are another great option for homemade low-carb movie theater snacks, especially for that sweet tooth! Most keto cookies have minimal ingredients and take just minutes to whip up. If you are in a rush, there are some great keto cookies to be found at the store as well!
One of our favorite recipes is by Ditch the Carbs, and you can find it here.
Best Snacks for Movie Night #3: Fat Bombs
Fat bombs have become very popular in the world of keto. There are many ways to make a fat bomb or "fat ball", but one of our favorites is the Cinnamon Maca Bite. All of the ingredients are natural and there are no artificial sweeteners! This definitely ranks as one of our top movie theater snacks.
Best Snacks for Movie Night #4: Jerky
Making jerky at home is so fun and so tasty! For the best results, use 100% grass-fed beef, and don't be afraid to get creative with your spice blend. These are healthy movie theater snacks that work on hiking and backpacking trips as well. Just make sure you skip any additions of sugar or honey to keep the carb count down.
Here's a keto beef jerky recipe to get you started.
Best Snacks for Movie Night #5: Keto Coffee Chocolate Bark
Chocolate? On keto? I know, it may be hard to believe, but there's a reason chocolate is so often full of sugar — it's pretty bitter on its own! If you love coffee and dark chocolate, making homemade coffee chocolate bark will give you that perfect blend of bitterness as a healthy movie theater snack
Try this awesome recipe from Desserts With Benefits.
Best Snacks for Movie Night #6: Keto Gummy Bears
At only 1.5g net carbs per 25 gummies, I think it's safe to say that Gnom Gnom has nailed this keto gummy bear recipe. These healthy movie theater snacks are chewy, sour, and absolutely delicious. If you don't have the gummy bear mold, you can always make squares — either way they will be delicious and keto-friendly.
Store-Bought Healthy Movie Theater Snacks
Meal prepping is one of the best ways to help you stay in ketosis, but with a busy schedule (like most of us have) there is not always time to make snacks at home. When you're in a pinch for time or always on-the-go, these ready-to-eat snacks are perfect. Toss 'em in your bag and go!
Best Snacks for Movie Night #7: Jerky Sticks
Jerky has always been a go-to snack for those on the ketogenic diet; however, not all jerky should be treated the same. Many have added sugars, colors, and unnecessary fillers. Chomps have none of the above.
Made with 100% grass-fed and finished beef and venison, or free-range antibiotic-free turkey, each stick has 10-12g of protein and is 100 calories or under.
And they are easy to throw in your bag or car to bring along as snacks for movies!
Best Snacks for Movie Night #8: Pork Rinds
Pork rinds are a must-have in your keto-kitchen. They can be used as a breadcrumb or crouton substitute, or just snacked on alone.
They are great snacks for movies that are also perfect for the ketogenic diet; however, make sure to read the label before purchasing since many brands season their rinds with MSG.
Best Snacks for Movie Night #9: Mixed Nuts & Seeds
Mixed nuts and seeds are great healthy movie theater snacks because they have that crunch we love to enjoy while watching a film. In spite of that, it is important to stick to low-carb options like pecans, macadamia, and hemp seeds.
Although tasty, try to avoid cashews and pistachios since these have a higher net carb content than other varieties of nuts and seeds.
Best Snacks for Movie Night #10: Fish Chips
I was a bit skeptical of fish chips when I first heard of them, but I have to say they've completely won me over. Companies like Good Fish take wild Alaskan salmon skins and fry them to perfection with non-GMO flavors. Their products are low-carb and keto-friendly, and they're super easy snacks for the movies.
Best Snacks for Movie Night #11: Pepperoni Slices
Meat in its natural state doesn't have any gluten, which makes pepperoni, salami, dried chorizo, and other dried sausage products the perfect movie theater snacks. Whether you're at home or at the cinema, it's easy to put a couple in a ziplock bag and voilà! Delicious, salty, and filling low-carb goodness.
Best Snacks for Movie Night #12: Cacao Nibs
Cacao nibs are made from crushed cocoa beans and are naturally low in carbs. The Navitas organic cacao nibs have 3g of net carbs for every 3 tablespoons of nibs — which is quite a few nibs!
So while you can't eat 100 of these in one sitting, they are keto-friendly enough to snack on — if you're reasonable.
Our advice? Portion out your snacking instead of filling a big bag. That way when you're done, you know exactly how much you've had.
What About Movie Theater Popcorn?
While the question of "is popcorn keto" can be debated, most would agree that popcorn as a movie theater snack, specifically, is not keto-friendly because it is loaded with carbs, sodium, calories, sugar, and other additives.
One ounce of oil popped, white popcorn has 16.22 carbs. And let's be honest, how many of us are able to eat just an ounce of popcorn once we start.
High carb counts are only the beginning, too. Researchers found movie theater popcorn offerings range from 400 to 1,200 calories, with one to three days' worth of saturated fat (which is considered an unhealthy fat) and up to 1,500 milligrams of sodium.
That is a serious amount of extra! Regal was the biggest culprit, and that's not counting the carb-loaded drinks and candies that usually accompany the popcorn.
So what's the short answer to having movie theater popcorn as healthy movie theater snacks on keto? Heck no.
The Bottom Line on Keto Movie Theater Snacks
While your options are more limited on keto, you can definitely find healthy movie theater snacks to enjoy. You can't go all-out with the classics like popcorn and soda, but you can enjoy amazing snacks for movies like coffee chocolate bark, Chomps, or cacao nibs instead.
Just remember to measure out what you take, and remember that keto is different for everyone, so just mix and match until you find the healthy movie theater snacks that work best for you and your lifestyle.
Here's to enjoying your next movie night, guilt-free!