Keto Snacks: Sardine Edition

  • January 5, 2016

We’ve found it. After bringing you the first round of Keto Snacks, we continued to add to our list of foods that make great Keto snacks, and we’ve found one of the most efficient Keto Snacks yet!

Sardines.

At one point in your life you might have walked past them and turned your nose up. But now that you’re on the Ketogenic Diet, you’ve realized that snacking has become a more methodological process than in your past dieting-life.

Looking through the lens of a Keto-Dieter, you have come to see the hidden value that a can of sardines possesses! Sardines are the busy Keto dieter’s dream solution for a snack that’s easy to consume and LOADED with nutrients. It’s the Michael Jordan of Keto snacks! Or the Michael Phelps? Sorry, couldn’t help myself.

Below, we’ve listed the nutritional information and the different ways you can eat Sardines as a Keto snack!

Sardine Nutritional Information (Keto Snacks Edition)

Canned fish and healthy eating have become synonymous. Someone sees you eating tuna and their canned response is (see what I did there?) “Oh, are you on a diet?”

But Tuna often wins the title of “go-to” canned fish for self proclaimed health nuts without first looking at the other options. This obsession with tuna comes from the inclination of the fitness world to overvalue protein as a macronutrient, while forgetting about fats.

Always check the nutrition facts!

Although one can of chunk tuna in water provides 10g of protein, it yields nearly zero grams of fat. Zero grams of fat with high amounts of protein could adversely affect Ketosis! We need an alternative to tuna that provides us with the protein benefits, while also giving us a proper fat supply as well.

This is where sardines save the day!

One can of atlantic sardines in oil has 11g of fat and 23g of protein! If you’re still not certain about sardines’ nutritional supremacy over tuna, you might be interested to know that they’re also zero carb. Just like tuna.

You get all of the benefits of fat and protein while still avoiding carbs, and it’s all in a can!

We’ve documented many Keto Snacks, but this one is a bit of a Keto “super food!”

Need more reasons to add sardines to your repertoire of Keto snacks? Check out all of the extra benefits:

  • Sardines are a great source of Omega-3 fatty acids, which have been linked to heart health, improved neurological function, and anti-inflammation. A 4 ounce serving of sardines contains 1.8g of Omega-3 fatty acids!
  • One can of sardines can provide up to 137% of the daily requirement of the B12 vitamin, which is a key vitamin for brain, nervous system, and blood cell health.
  • Sardines are also an amazing source of calcium! One can provides as much as 32% of the daily value! This comes in handy for Keto Dieters, because we often have to stay away from milk and other calcium rich products.
  • Vitamin D, which promotes calcium absorption is important for your bones and the prevention of osteoporosis later in life. There have also been links to low levels of Vitamin D and Type-1 Diabetes. Fortunately, Sardines pack 70% of your daily Vitamin D requirement!

Different ways to enjoy sardines as Keto Snacks

Keto snacks picture of sardines prepared

Image credit to Hans Runge

Now that we have the nutritional information of sardines nailed down, it’s time for the fun part: reviewing the many ways you can enjoy them! Check the list below for ways to eat sardines. I’m sure you’ll find one you’ll love!

Keto Disclaimer** Sardines can be used in a number of ways as a Keto snack, but don’t make the mistake of putting them on bread! Yes, sardines are powerhouses of ketogenic nutrition, but you could heavily negate their value by using them as a topper on carb loaded bread!

Option 1 – Straight From the Can

You’re in a hurry. The term “lunchbreak” hasn’t existed for you in a very long time; between a heavy workload, exercising, and keeping your Ketogenic Diet organized, you’re just happy if you can get some sustenance around noon.

This situation is perfect for enjoying sardines right out of the can! Just pull the lid back and grab a fish with your hand (bring a napkin) or a utensil. Feel free to dab some hot sauce on it if you want to add a kick to your Keto snack!

Sardines from the can get a bad wrap because of the way they look when the can first opens. Is it unsightly at first? Yes, it kind of is. BUT this should not deter you from biting into one of these morsels of nutritional greatness! In my experience, I would liken the taste of sardines (in oil) to tuna, except meatier.

In my opinion, sardines have a better taste than tuna because of tuna’s somewhat dry texture; you often need to gulp down water while you eat it. Not so with sardines! The oil provides a salty, smooth texture that makes eating sardines a joy, not a chore!

Option 2 – Mixed in Salad

Add some fat to your low-carb salad by shredding up the sardines and adding them to a prepared bowl of your favorite leafy greens!

You can top this with a homemade dressing of Olive Oil and White Vinegar and some shredded cheese!

Option 3 – Egg Bake

Unless you’re allergic to them, you most likely eat a massive amount of eggs every day. They’re a Keto staple, and are often a key ingredient in many Keto snacks! And guess what? They go great with sardines!

An easy way to mix the two is to scramble eggs in a pan, and add shredded sardines to the eggs along with shredded cheese when the eggs are nearly done. If you want to get more artistic with your egg, sardine mix you can follow this great recipe for Fisherman’s Eggs from Chowhound!

Option 4 – Stuff ‘Em!

Stuffed sardines are considered a delicacy in many places throughout the Mediterranean, and they can also make awesome Keto snacks! How you stuff the sardines depends on which regional influence you use. But remember, as you create your sardine stuffing, don’t use anything carb-centric!

This recipe from Saveur is the perfect testing ground for ways to stuff your sardines!

Brands of Sardines

keto snacks picture of sardines in a can

Image credit to Brady

But we’re getting ahead of ourselves. Before you decide on how you’re going to prepare your Keto snacks, you should probably check the pantry to make sure you actually have sardines! If you have to make an emergency run to the store, it’s important to know what you’ll be looking for.

We’ve listed some of the most well known brands of sardines:

Granadaisa

  • These sardines come skinless and boneless, which helps a lot if you’re not a fan of the raw fish look that sardines are known for.
  • Price: $6.50 per can

King Oscar

  • King Oscar Sardines offer different types of flavors ranging from plain Extra Virgin Olive Oil, to Oil Jalapeno Peppers. If you’re looking for quality without spending Granadaisa level money, King Oscar is the way to go.
  • Price: $3.00 per can

Bela Olhao

  • The sardines you’ll eat from Bela Olhao are of Portuguese origin, and come in versions such as “Hot Sauce” or “in Tomato Sauce.”
  • Price: $3.50

Wild Planet

  • Caught in the North Pacific and offered in as many as six flavors, Wild Planet sardines are your most economical choice if you’re just getting started with sardines and don’t want to spend a lot of money upfront before you’ll know you like them.
  • Price: $2.25

Crown Prince

  • Crown Prince sardines offer unique flavors not found with other brands, such as “in mustard,” “green chile,” and “in Louisiana Hot Sauce.”
  • Price: $2.75

Well, there you have it. When you’re thinking of Keto snacks that are loaded with nutrients, you now have a go-to food! Sardines will help you maintain healthy fat and protein levels, while giving you a shot of essential vitamins!

Sardines can be eaten quickly, or prepared as an elaborate meal – they’re so versatile! Add these nuggets of low carb gold to your Keto snacks arsenal and keep working for ketosis!

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