Lunch is the most overlooked meal in today’s society. Working lunches are becoming the norm, and lunch hours are being cut back more and more. But lunch is a very important meal!
It’s the stepping stone between breakfast and dinner, and how you maintain your blood sugar levels. But can you really manage a ketogenic lunch in such a busy world? Absolutely!
There are a variety of lunches to choose from, whether you’re a make-ahead kind of person brown-bagging your lunch, a person who prefers to cook their meals fresh, or someone trying to eat at your desk and have to make do with non-refrigerated items. Because the normal sandwich is high-carb and usually off-limits, you’ll need to find a good substitute. That’s where this list comes in.
This is a list of great, tasty, keto-friendly lunch ideas that are perfect for anyone, no matter what your lunchtime scenario is.
Basic rules for ketogenic lunches
Remember that a ketogenic lunch requires protein. This is fairly easy to get in lunch food. Even if you don’t have access to a fridge, you can still get enough protein in your meal. If you can’t include meat in your meal, there are other options. Nuts are rich in protein, and jerky can be stashed away in your desk.
Keep an eye on the salt contents in any pre-packaged food you eat. That can lead to bloating.
Pre-packaged options, such as bars, are great, as long as they’re low-carb. Always check that they actually are low-carb first.
These are meals that you can make while the kids are taking a nap, or when heading home for lunch. They are good if you work from home, and can’t stay away for long! These generally take less than ten minutes to make … and even less to eat!
Like melts? Try a low-carb tuna melt! Instead of bread, use a low-carb tortilla. Put a layer of tuna on one half of the tortilla, and then a slice cheddar (or your favorite cheese) on top of that.
Fold the tortilla in half, and put in the oven (or microwave, if you’re especially short on time) on broil until the cheese is melted and the tuna is hot. Enjoy with a small side salad or piece of fruit.
A veggie stir-fry can be cooked in just a few minutes, but tastes like it took a lot longer. Add some sliced bell pepper, some diced onion, snow peas, and broccoli; put it into a frying pan or wok, add some soy sauce, and heat until the veggies are soft. Either serve with a side of leftover meat, or turn it into a wrap using your favorite lunch meat as a tortilla.
Are you brown-bagging your lunch? If you prefer to make your meals the night before, then this is the option for you.
Salad is still an excellent choice for a keto lunch. Whether it’s the classic iceberg lettuce, or spinach, or kale, you can keep your favorite salad mix. Just add some protein to it. That can mean some tuna, for a tuna salad, or some grilled or baked chicken. Turn it into a Caesar salad with some egg.
You can still have a wrap for lunch! If you prefer a grain for a wrap, you can use a low-carb tortilla instead of flatbread or classic tortillas.
Or, if you want to take it to the next level, you can use lunchmeat or a leafy veggie as a wrap. For a meat filling, put it in a lettuce or spinach leaf, and roll. For a vegetable filling, use your favorite lunch meat.
This is great for when you literally have no time for preparing lunch, when you don’t have access to a refrigerator, or when you can’t leave your desk to eat. Also good for parents having to pack a lunch for themselves, along with their children.
Low-carb snack bars can make do for a meal, so long as you pair it with something suitable, like fruit.
Kale chips are a good addition to a pre-packaged meal. They’re healthier than potato chips, and make good sides.
Don’t underestimate beef jerky! It requires absolutely no refrigeration, and adds the protein you need to your meal. Try to find the most natural option.