Following a low-carb diet isn’t a walk in the park. No one is exempt from getting a craving for sweets every now and then, but most store-bought sugary treats seem to be off-limits for those who need to keep their carbohydrate intake within a specific level.
With 16% of adults in the US following a low-carb diet – whether for treating medical conditions like epilepsy and diabetes, for managing weight, or for other proposed health benefits – no one should be left out from finding dessert options to indulge in (1, 2).
Of course, homemade desserts are always an option, and there are plenty of low-carb alternatives to use in your recipes, including almond flour, coconut flour, applesauce, and unsweetened cocoa powder.
However, baking can be quite an intensive process, and sometimes you need to get your hands on some sweet treats in a pinch.
If you’re struggling to find convenient dessert options that are low in carbs we’ve got you covered. Here’s a breakdown of what to look for when looking for low-carb desserts to buy, along with 11 of the best options.
How to choose low-carb desserts to buy
Because of the rapidly increasing popularity of low-carb diets, there are many more low-carb desserts to buy in stores than before. But in order to find an option that fits your dietary needs, there are multiple factors to take into consideration:
- Percent daily value of carbohydrates. The daily value of carbohydrates, which represents how many carbs are provided in a single serving, is a helpful guide to ensuring you’re on track with your nutrient intake. As a general rule, an item is low in carbohydrates if it contains less than 5% of the daily value per serving, but it might be tricky to find dessert options that meet this requirement. What’s more important is to ensure that your choice fits into your carb intake designated for a single day, which may differ depending on the low-carb diet you’re following (4).
- Added sugar. Most store-bought desserts use some form of sweetener, and a dessert that’s too high in sugar may make it difficult to stick to the daily carb intake for those following a low-carb diet. Cane sugar is not the only form of sugar that is used – be mindful of ingredients like maple syrup, honey, malt syrup, dextrose, and fruit juice concentrate.
GreenChoice Top Picks
1. Alter Eco Blackout Deep Dark Organic Chocolate
Alter Eco’s organic dark chocolate contains 85% cacao and is made with cacao beans, cocoa butter, cane sugar, and vanilla beans. It’s a good source of fiber and provides 15% of the daily value of iron per serving. Also, it contains only 3g – 11% of DV – of carbs and 4g of added sugars.
2. Sahale Almonds With Cranberries Honey Sea Salt
This salty-sweet snack mix is filled with honey-glazed almonds, cranberries, sesame seeds, and ground vanilla. It offers 11g of carbs – 4% of DV -, 3g of fiber – 11% of DV -, and 5g of protein per serving. Additionally, it’s free from artificial flavors or preservatives.
3. Larabar Mini’s Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip
Larabar’s minibars are made with just four simple ingredients: dates, peanuts, Fair-Trade chocolate chips, and sea salt. One bar contains 3g of protein, 12g of carbs – 4% of DV -, and only 2g of added sugar. Also, they are free from dairy or gluten.
4. Wise Company Freeze Dried Blueberries W/Yogurt
This dessert option combines freeze-dried blueberries with yogurt. One serving offers 24g of fiber – 9% of DV -, 5g of fiber – 18% of DV -, and 4g of protein. Also, it’s free from gluten, peanut, or tree nut.
More Low Carb Desserts
5. Eating Evolved Original Keto Cups
These vegan coconut butter cups are a perfect dessert option if you are following a keto diet. They are made with organic coconut butter, cacao, cacao butter, MCT oil, and monk fruit extract. One cup provides 11g of fat and only 6g of carbs which equals 2% of the daily value. Also, they are free from added sugars, dairy, gluten, or soy.
6. Living Raw Coconut Karma Truffles
These organic truffles are made with coconut flakes, cacao powder, and cacao butter, and they are sweetened with agave syrup. One serving provides 1g of protein, 2g of fiber – 7% of DV -, and only 9g of carbs – 3% of DV-. Also, it’s free from dairy, gluten, or soy.
7. Raaka Dominican Republic Coconut Milk
This vegan dark chocolate contains 60% cacao and is certified organic. It’s made with cacao beans, cane sugar, coconuts, and cacao butter. One serving offers 11g of carbs – 4% of DV -, 4g of fiber – 16% of DV -, and 2g of protein.
8. Skinnydipped Dark Chocolate Salted Caramel
These cashews are covered with dark chocolate and salted caramel. They provide 5g of protein, 11g of carbs – 4% of DV -, and 5g of added sugar per serving. Additionally, they are gluten-free and made without artificial colors or flavors.
9. Navitas Organics Organic Coffee Cacao Power Snacks
These organic sweet bites are packed with chia dates, chia seeds, cacao nibs, maca powder, and green coffee powder. They’re a good source of vitamin C providing 20% of the daily value and contains only 12g of carbs per serving which equals 4% of the daily value. Also, they are free from dairy or gluten.
10. Theo Chocolate Organic Dark Salted Almond Butter Cups
These organic almond butter cups are a good source of protein and fiber. They are made with Fair for Life certified dark chocolate, roasted almonds, and ground vanilla beans. They provide 4g of protein, 3g of fiber – 11% of DV -, and 15g of carbs – 11% of DV – per serving.
11. Hu Kitchen Chocolate Covered Sour Goldenberries
This vegan low-carb dessert option combines Fair-Trade certified chocolate with sour goldenberries. They are a good source of fiber providing 14% of the daily value of fiber and 6% of the daily value of carbs per serving. Also, they are sweetened with coconut sugar instead of refined cane sugar.
12. Smashmallow Cinnamon Churro Marshmallows
These cinnamon sugar-covered marshmallows contain 24g of carbs which equals 9% of the daily value. They don’t contain corn syrup, artificial flavors, or preservatives. If the added sugar content is important for you it’s good to know that they contain 20g of added sugars which equals 40% of the daily value per serving.
13. Sejoyia Organic Brownie Cocoroons
This organic dessert option is an excellent source of fiber with its 6g of fiber – 22% of DV – and 26g of carb – 9% of DV – content per serving. Also, these gluten-free bites are sweetened with coconut sugar and maple syrup.
14. Sambazon Original Acai Berry Sorbet
This organic sorbet is made with fair-trade acai puree. It’s vegan and contains 34g of carbs – 12% of DV -, 1g of protein, and 2g of fiber – 7% of DV – per serving.
15. Ciao Bella Sicilian Lemon Sorbet
This sour low-carb sorbet offers 1g of fiber and 38g of carbs which equals 14% of the daily value per serving. It’s certified vegan and made with real lemon juice.
Key takeaways for low-carb desserts to buy
For those following a low-carb diet, finding a dessert to satisfy sweet-tooth cravings while staying within the designated carbohydrate intake can be difficult, especially when making it yourself isn’t an option.
Most store-bought sweets are high in both carbohydrate content and the added sugar, making it harder to incorporate these items in the diet without surpassing the recommended intakes in a low-carb diet. These two components – the amounts of carbs, sugar, and added sugar per serving – are the most important pieces to be mindful of when searching for low-carb desserts to buy. Your choice will depend greatly on the type of low-carb diet you are following.
If you’re cutting back on carbs and can’t resist a sweet treat from time to time, you’ll save time with our list of the top 15 low-carb desserts to buy, along with suggestions for what to look for when shopping.
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