Have you decided to go Paleo?
Are you worried about your snack times?
This is one of the most common worries for a lot of us have when we decide to follow a healthy lifestyle.
The Paleo diet excludes certain foods that used to be a part of our day-to-day meals, including snack meals such as:
- dairy (including cheese, yogurts, cottage cheese),
- grains (including traditional granola bars as most of them contain oats or other grains),
- sugar (most of the traditional snacks contain sugar, including juices and soft drinks),
- processed and refined oils (including potato, vegetable, and corn chips).
So, really, what is left?
Most of us would think that fruits and vegetables would be the only options left, that turns some of us away from following the Paleo diet.
Even though the above statement is actually true as the Paleo diet supports whole foods consumption, there are still options to treat yourself whenever you have a craving or need to eat something quick.
Another thing to remember is that when you start filling your plate with primarily vegetables (half cooked and half raw) you would have fewer cravings left, as you will feel full longer due to the fiber component.
Nevertheless, we also understand that going Paleo might be challenging, especially during the first few weeks.
So, we found for you the best commercially made paleo snacks.
We also would like you to acknowledge that these snacks should still be considered as a treat and should not be a part of your everyday meal.
Why Do We Need Snacks?
There are different reasons for our cravings.
Some of our cravings are related to the average diet that we usually have.
Did you know that the average Northern American diet consists of mostly carbohydrates (80-90%!). And carbohydrates are not bad, generally speaking, but some of our choices could hardly be named healthy.
Another thing to consider is that the most foods, that we usually crave, consist of sugar (or high fructose corn syrup as the worst option) and fat (not a healthy one). This combination makes us crave for this type of food even more.
The Paleo diet actually switches these macros towards a healthier combination of carbohydrates, fats, and proteins.
It also teaches us to combine foods the way that our body can tolerate by eliminating the excess of carbohydrates (such as grains and sugar).
Another reason we reach for the snacks is stress. We live in a fast-paced environment with a lot of stress-causing elements. For some of us, snacks are a type of stress-reliever that helps to get away from our problems.
One of the solutions for this problem is to make sure to have at least 8 hours of sleep and know how to relax (for example, hot bath before going to sleep, aromatherapy, massage to name a few).
Do you usually miss your breakfast or lunch?
If our body does not get fuel on time it will let you know immediately. And most of us instead of grabbing a healthy meal would reach out for an unhealthy snack to satisfy the hunger.
Make sure to always have fruits, vegetables, nuts or seeds available to you in case if you forgot to grab lunch with you.
Paleo protein shake will be another healthy option as a quick and healthier solution.
To Buy or Not To Buy?
As know the Paleo diet follows the following principles:
- eat whole foods (consisted of 1-2 ingredients)
- avoid processed and refined foods.
So technically commercially-made food is a processed food and should not be consumed based on the Paleo diet principles.
And really, if we refer to our ancestors, they did not even have food industry who would prepare food for them and nicely package it.
However, we are far away from that times and we cannot avoid the food revolution happened back in the 20th century.
A lot of us would turn towards the commercially made foods for convenience.
Compared with the Paleolithic era our ancestors had fewer worries to deal with compared to our busy lives.
And yet the food industry acknowledges that more and more people would like to follow the healthy lifestyle either due to the medical conditions or certain beliefs. Therefore, it offers plenty of Paleo-friendly food options for us to buy.
To buy or not buy commercially made Paleo-friendly foods (including snacks) would totally depend on your beliefs and how strict you would like to follow the Paleo diet.
Here are some advantages of buying packaged Paleo-compliant snacks:
- convenience – great for times when you need something to grab fast and do not have time to make a full meal
- variety – the food industry offers plenty of organic and 80-100% Paleo compliant foods
On the other hand, as I have mentioned earlier, commercially made foods still went through the factory and should be considered as processed foods from the Paleo diet perspective
Some other disadvantages of buying commercially made snacks are:
- price – it is a big one, as some snack options cost more than if you cook it yourself
- hidden ingredients – even though the food manufacturer is legally supposed to disclose all the ingredients, sometimes they do not bother doing that or hide certain ingredients under unpronounceable names, or hide them in the nutritional value of the product.
So really there is no right or wrong choice when it comes to the commercially made Paleo snacks.
I believe that once in a while this treat could be taken assuming that all the ingredients are at least 90% Paleo compliant.
How To Determine Paleo-Compliant Snacks?
It is not that hard to identify the Paleo-compliant snacks.
Here are some tips to help you out with that task.
Tip 1. Look At The Package
That is an easy one. A lot of manufactures would place “Paleo” or “Ancestor” or “Primal” on the package to sell you this product. Some other variations are: “grain-free”, “Gluten-Free” etc.
Tip 2. Look For The Paleo Certified Symbol
The black “P” in a black circle will assure you that this product is Paleo compliant.
Tip 3. Read The Ingredient List
Every product will have it.
Even though the package might say “Paleo” it does not necessarily mean that it is Paleo-compliant.
Always look through the ingredient list to see if all the ingredients included in the packaged Paleo snack are compliant with the Paleo diet principles.
Tip 4. Look at the nutritional value of the product
Even though the food manufacturer is legally supposed to disclose all the ingredients, it does not necessarily mean that they will follow that requirement.
Another common way to hide the certain ingredients is to label them under names that a buyer would not even understand. The rule of thumb is that if you do not know the ingredient, do not buy it.
It is also very common for some food makers to hide certain ingredients in the nutritional value.
For example, sugar might not be listed as an ingredient but will be actually disclosed in the nutritional value below the carbohydrates. Juices would be one of the visual examples of this tricky labeling.
Where To Buy Paleo-Compliant Snacks?
The Paleo diet is getting more and more popular. And food producers usually follow the trend and offer a variety of Paleo-friendly options.
Most of the superstores nowadays have ‘Organic’ or ‘Healthy’ or ‘Green’ sections where you would be able to buy most of the Paleo-compliant foods, including snacks.
Some grocery stores offer Paleo-friendly alternatives together with the other foods in the same category. For example, in one of the local stores, I found almond and coconut flour in the section where other flours were located.
It definitely will take time and practice to locate Paleo-friendly alternatives in the store.
A lot of cities have local health stores where you could find a variety of Paleo-friendly snacks. However, sometimes the prices in these stores are higher compared with superstores or even online.
And, of course, you could buy paleo-compliant foods online. Amazon.com or EBay.com would be one of the best sources of the Paleo-compliant snacks.
10 Best Paleo Snacks in 2018
Here we picked for you 10 best commercially made Paleo snacks that would keep you accountable during the days when you crave certain foods.
1. Kitchfix Grain-Free Paleo Granola
A lot of us got used to having cereals or granola in the mornings.
However, a lot of the traditional versions include grains that are not allowed on the Paleo diet.
We were in love with this granola for a couple of reasons.
First of all, they are 100% Paleo diet compliant.
The original mix contains the following ingredients:
- Sunflower Seeds,
- Pumpkin Seeds,
- Coconut Flakes,
- Maple Syrup,
- Almond Flour,
- Coconut Oil,
- Flax Seeds,
- Pure Vanilla,
Another great thing about this granola is that it is sweetened with the maple syrup which makes it a healthier option to the traditional granola which is usually sweetened with sugar.
Add almond milk or coconut milk and you will get a nutritious breakfast. Or make dates paste and mix granola in to get a granola bar.
2. Beef Sticks by Sogo Snacks
Do you like beef jerky?
Did you know that most of the beef jerky treats have sugar or high fructose corn syrup added? It does not sound like a healthy choice.
However, there are plenty of Paleo compliant options available on the market.
These particular beef sticks are made of 100% grass-fed beef. On top of that, the company uses other paleo diet compliant ingredients such as:
- Sea salt,
- Encapsulated citric acid,
- Celery juice,
- Black pepper,
- Red pepper,
- Granulated garlic,
- Onion powder,
- White pepper.
These sausages are made in beef collagen casings.
And guess what?
No sugar added
Amazing snack alternative to pack for yourself or kids.
3. Paleo Balls
A great protein snack option that is not only Paleo compliant but also AIP compliant.
These protein snack bars contain the following ingredients:
- Organic Coconut,
- Collagen Protein (Beef Kosher),
- Organic Pure Vanilla Extract Powder,
- Organic Cocoa Powder,
- Organic Lemon Juice,
- Cold-Pressed Lemon Oil,
- Organic Cranberries,
- Cold-Pressed Orange Oil,
- Organic Raw Honey,
- Coconut Milk (Coconut Extract, Water),
- Less Than 2% of Collagen Gelatin (Beef Kosher),
- Himalayan Pink Salt.
These Paleo balls are a great alternative to traditional protein snack bars and yet are much healthier.
4. Mediterranean Lamb – Meat and Veggie Bars
This is another great meat snack option.
It is one of a few snacks that is actually Paleo certified and will be compliant with the AIP certificate as well.
The product contains minimum ingredients but is extremely delicious.
For example, Mediterranean lamb contains the following ingredients:
- Natural lamb,
- Organic vegetables and fruits (spinach, apricots. dates garlic, onion, celery),
- Sea salt,
You would be surprised to know that the meat is not dry but nice and tender.
It is definitely a great and healthy snack option.
5. Larabar Fruit and Nut Bar
We love these bars.
It is definitely a great snack and sweet treat option.
We love these bars not only because of the taste but also because it has only 2-3 ingredients.
This particular flavor is one of our favorites and contains the following ingredients:
- Cashews and
However, be cautious when buying as some flavors contain peanuts that are not allowed on the Paleo diet.
Among another amazing and Paleo-compliant flavors would be:
- Apple Pie,
- Banana Bread,
- Banana Chocolate Chip,
- Blueberry Muffin,
- Carrot Cake,
- Cherry Pie,
- Chocolate Chip Brownie,
- Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough,
- Coconut Chocolate Chip,
- Coconut Cream Pie.
Another great thing about these bars is that they are widely available in most of the grocery store.
6. Artisan Tropic Strips
If you crave for some potato chips, this will be a great Paleo-compliant alternative for you.
Note to mention that this is a Paleo certified snack.
The company offers chips made of Cassava or Plantain.
The ingredient list for our favorite Cassava Strips is the following:
- Hand-selected cassava,
- Non-hydrogenated palm oil,
- Sea salt.
Even though they would not taste 100% as our favorite potato chips, but the taste would be the closest.
It is a great healthy substitute for the potato chips that will satisfy your crunchy and salty cravings.
7. Artisana Organics
These bars are similar to Larabars mentioned earlier but offer interesting taste mixes that, I bet, you will be in love with.
Another great thing about these bars is that they are also Paleo certified.
However, they also offer peanut butter options that should not be considered Paleo.
The ingredient list is very simple.
For example, our favorite Hazelnut Coffee Maca has the following ingredient list:
- Hazelnut Butter,
- Cacao Butter,
- Cacao Powder,
- Fair Trade Cacao Beans,
- Chia Seed,
- Maca Root Powder,
- Vanilla Extract,
- Himalayan Sea Salt.
What we particularly like about these energy bars is that almost all of their flavors have superfoods incorporated in there.
For example, in the Hazelnut Coffee Maca ingredients, such as Chia seeds and Maca root, are incorporated that makes these bars super nutritious and healthy.
It is definitely one of our favorite snacks.
8. Truth Bar (Prebiotic + Probiotic)
Truth bar is a great healthy snack bar, however, it cannot be considered as 100% Paleo diet compliant. But still could be a great alternative to traditional chocolate candies.
This snack contains 5 grams of sugar which we believe is a part of tapioca syrup used in this bar.
It also contains Erythritol that is considered as a non-Paleo ingredient by most of the Paleo diet authorities.
Therefore, if you are following the strict Paleo diet, these bars will not suit you.
If you would like to treat yourself once a week, these bars would definitely be a great option.
These bars taste amazing, especially if you love coconut.
The ingredient list is a little more complicated compared with the treats reviewed above but yet healthier than other available options on the market:
- Soluble Fiber (from Tapioca Starch),
- Tapioca Syrup,
- Unsweetened Chocolate,
- Inulin (prebiotic from Chicory),
- Cocoa Butter,
- Extra Virgin Coconut Oil,
- Chia Seed,
- Sea Salt,
- Vanilla Extract,
- Stevie Extract,
- Bacillus Coagulans (probiotics),
- Rosemary Extract.
These bars do not only taste amazing but they also add more fiber, Omega-3, prebiotic and probiotic to your diet.
9. Trail Truffles
If you have ‘sweet tooth’ cravings, these bites are just for you.
The ingredient list is very simple and includes the following components (for example, for Chocolate Hazelnut flavor):
- Organic Cacao Powder,
- Organic Coconut Nectar (Syrup / Evaporated),
- Organic Extra Virgin Coconut Oil,
- Sea Salt.
These bites are sweetened with the Coconut Nectar that is a Paleo-compliant ingredient. However, being a natural sweetener should still be consumed in moderate amounts.
This treat is great as a treat once in a while.
10. The YES Bar
Another fantastic energy snack bar.
These bars not only taste amazing but also packed with superfoods and offers an amazing nutritional value.
For example, the macadamia chocolate flavor has the following ingredients:
- Organic Maple Syrup,
- Organic Almond,
- Organic Pumpkin Seed,
- Organic Sunflower Seed,
- Organic Coconut Butter,
- Organic Honey,
- Dark Chocolate (cocoa mass, coconut blossom sugar, cocoa butter),
- Dried Apricot,
- Dried Tart Cherry (Cherries, sunflower oil),
- Dried Cranberry (cranberries, apple juice concentrate, sunflower oil),
- Organic Raisin,
- Sesame Tahini,
- Organic Celtic Sea Salt,
- White Chia,
- Organic Ground Flax,
- Organic Vanilla Bean,
- Organic Cinnamon.
This is definitely one impressive ingredient list.
From the Paleo diet perspective, it does have sunflower oil in some dried fruits ingredients, but the amount of them would be minimum.
So we do not see a problem of having this treat once in a while considering all these nutritional benefits it can offer.