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 delicious, low-carb keto movie snacks that you can pack along for your next theater date!
What makes a good keto movie snack?
Before we get into the actual snacks, it is important to know what makes a good keto movie 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?"
Our favorite keto-friendly movie snacks 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 movie snacks
The best way to make sure you are eating the right foods for the ketogenic diet is to make them yourself at home! These keto movie snack recipes are quick and painless to make and are super easy to bring along to the theater with you!
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!
2. Keto Cookies
Keto cookies are another great option for a homemade low-carb movie snack, 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.
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!
4. Homemade 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 amazing snacks to make for 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.
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 for your next movie night.
Try this awesome recipe from Desserts With Benefits.
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. They 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 keto movie 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!
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 9-10g of protein and is 100 calories or under.
And they are easy to throw in your bag or car to bring along as a low-carb movie snack!
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 a great "crunchy" low-carb movie snack perfect for the ketogenic diet; however, make sure to read the label before purchasing since many brands season their rinds with MSG.
9. Mixed Nuts & Seeds
Mixed nuts and seeds are a great keto movie snack 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.
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 to take to the movies.
11. Pepperoni Slices
Meat in its natural state doesn't have any gluten, which makes pepperoni, salami, dried chorizo, and other dried sausage products perfect for movie snacking. Whether you're at home or at the theater, it's easy to put a couple in a ziplock bag and voilà! Delicious, salty, and filling low-carb goodness.
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 movie theatre popcorn, specifically, is not keto-friendly because it is loaded with carbs, sodium, calories, sugar, and other additives.
One ounce of unbuttered, white popcorn has 21.8 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 on keto? Heck no.
The bottom line on keto movie snacks
While your options are more limited on keto, you can definitely find tasty snacks to enjoy during your next movie night. You can't go all-out with your classic movie theater popcorn and soda, but you can make amazing homemade snacks like coffee chocolate bark or buy delicious keto snacks like Chomps or cacao nibs to enjoy yourself.
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 snacks that work best for you and your lifestyle.
Here's to enjoying your next movie night, guilt-free!