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Hiking Snacks for Every Diet: From Vegan and Gluten-Free to Low Carb and Beyond

As an avid hiker, I know how important it is to keep my energy up when I’m out on the trails. However, I’ve also dealt with a lot of stomach issues throughout my life and I know how difficult it can be to find foods that will keep you satisfied without hurting your stomach. No matter what kind of diet you follow, here are some of my favorite snack options to try, and hopefully, they work well for you even if your stomach is easily upset.  

Please consult a doctor before making any sort of dietary change.

Vegetarian and Vegan

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Image by Maja Petric

There are so many amazing vegetarian and vegan protein options available if you’re looking to avoid animal-based protein. Nuts like peanuts, almonds, pistachios, and cashews are great plant-based choices. 

You can make a trail mix with these, granola, and other dried fruits for a delicious blend of nutrients you need out on the trail—just make sure to read the labels so you know they don’t contain animal byproducts. 

Fruits and vegetables will help keep you full and also make great trail snacks. 

When you don’t eat meat or animal byproducts, it can be difficult to fulfill your daily protein intake. Eat a protein-rich meal before you head out for the day, and if you’re packing lunch for the middle of your hike, choose something that is also high in protein. 

Other Great Snacks for Vegetarians and Vegans

  • Granola bars
  • Plant-based jerky
  • High-protein fruits and veggies
    • Sweet potatoes, broccoli, brussel sprouts
    • Blackberries, bananas, guava

Low Carb to No Carb

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Image by Diogo Tavares

There are many reasons a person may need to cut down on carbs. Recently, I was diagnosed with PCOS (Poly-Cystic Ovarian Syndrome), which has meant making some dietary changes. Though I don’t ever see myself going full keto (I’m a Jersey girl and I refuse to give up bagels and pasta entirely), finding low-carb alternatives has been super important for taking care of my health.

Switching to a low-carb diet has meant upping my protein and vegetable intake. This means snacks like hard-boiled eggs, edamame, and beef jerky are excellent protein sources to bring on the trails. 

If you still want to bring some carb-rich foods, choose whole grains and more complex carbs versus something like white bread or a club cracker. I like to bring some sort of protein-filled granola bar, and, if I’m going to do meat, cheese, and crackers, I bring a whole-grain cracker that has a lower number of carbs per serving.

Other Low-Carb to No-Carb Snacks

  • Popcorn
  • Yogurt
  • Trail mix full of nuts and seeds

Gluten-Free

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Image by Anton

Gluten-free is not the same as carb-free. Some gluten-free options have almost as many grams of carbs as traditional options. Whether you’re sensitive to gluten or have been diagnosed with Celiac disease, it can be tough to avoid this ingredient, but it’s worth the effort.

There are a lot of gluten-free alternatives to “traditional” foods that you probably already know about if you are eating gluten-free. Honey Stinger makes gluten-free waffles that you can bring with you on your next adventure. You can also bring a variety of nut butters and jerkies to make sure you’re getting enough protein. 

Other Gluten-Free Snacks

  • Trail mix
  • Dried fruit
  • Quinn’s peanut butter-filled pretzels
  • Love Corn

Low FODMAP

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Image by NEOM

The low FODMAP diet is an excellent way to control symptoms of IBS or Crohn’s disease. The best part of it is that you don’t have to switch to this permanently, and it helps settle any discomfort you might be having. Avoid specific carbohydrates that can be difficult to digest, as well as spicy foods.

You can still enjoy lots of your favorite foods including meats and certain cheeses like cheddar and feta. You can also enjoy fruits like grapes, blueberries, and oranges, plus vegetables like cucumbers and tomatoes. 

Other Low-FODMAP Snacks

  • Kettle-cooked potato chips
  • Rice cakes
  • Dark chocolate and nut butter

The most important thing to remember about snacks and food in general is that everyone’s body is different. Do some experimenting, write down what you ate and how you felt, and see what works best for you and your body.

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