High Protein Snacks
Choosing healthy snacks when you are super hungry is hard to do. Chips, candy, and junk food are easy to grab, and tasty, but they're often packed with sugar, fat, sodium, and simple carbs that can ultimately leave you feeling worse (and even hungrier). Picking snacks high in protein is an easy way to fill you up and build muscles.
When between-meal hunger strikes, the type of snack you choose determines how the rest of your day will go. Something sugary and full of simple carbs may cause your energy levels to take a nosedive, causing you to overeat. A snack with plenty of protein, meanwhile, will leave you pleasantly surprised at how little you need to eat to feel satisfied. When you dig into a high-protein snack, your body will digest it slowly, helping you feel fuller longer, but for less calories per gram of food compared to other nutrients that come at a higher calorie count, like fats.
Let’s dive in and check out these delicious healthy protein snack ideas.
1. Cottage cheese
Cottage cheese is a great snack not only for its protein content but because of its versatility as well. You can eat it on its own or pair it with your favorite fruit.
Cottage cheese is sometimes used as a side dish, but many people that are on a high-protein diet will eat cottage cheese as a snack, and it's very high in protein. For example, one cup of cottage cheese is roughly 25 grams of protein. It's also an excellent source of calcium. With that much protein and other great sources of minerals, cottage cheese is one of the best high-protein snacks for those trying to lose weight or build muscle.
2. Greek yogurt and mixed berries
Combining 3.5 ounces (100 grams) of plain, full-fat Greek yogurt with 1/2 cup (50 grams) of mixed berries provides about 10 grams of protein and under 150 calories.
3. Hard-boiled eggs
Eggs are undeniably healthy, consisting of almost every nutrient that your body needs. They’re particularly high in B vitamins and trace minerals. In addition to being nutritious, they’re versatile. Hard-boiled eggs make a great portable snack.
One hard-boiled egg consists of 6 grams of protein, which will keep you full and satisfied until your next meal. Their fullness-promoting properties may also reduce the number of calories you consume later in the day.
4. Canned fish and seafood
Want protein? Just a few savory forkfuls of canned fish or seafood deliver 10 grams of it. Aim for 2 ounces (60 grams).
The perfect snack in so many ways. Easy to store. Relatively inexpensive if you go for tuna. It’s mostly protein with virtually no carbs. Canned fish comes cooked, so sprinkle on herbs, add a squeeze of lemon, or just dig in. It’s a quick snack that you can keep stocked in your pantry. Whether you choose firm tuna, briny sardines, or delicate lump crab, it’s a win on the protein front.
Beef jerky is the perfect on-the-go snack option, and it's packed with plenty of protein.
Consuming a moderate amount of beef jerky is a great option when you need a convenient source of protein. Typically, you can get up to 9 grams of protein per 1 ounce with only 80 calories. It's also high in many vitamins and minerals, including iron, zinc, vitamin B12, folate, and phosphorus. One of the best things about beef jerky is that you can take it on the go, which makes it a great option when trying to hit your protein goals.
Nuts are one of the planet’s healthiest foods, a protein-rich snack, and they are an excellent source of protein.
However, believe it or not, not all nuts are created equally when it comes to how much protein they have. Certainly, all nuts do have protein, but some nuts have more protein than others.
These nuts have the most protein in them: almonds (7 grams protein per 35 grams of nuts), peanuts (9.5 grams protein per 37 grams of nuts), cashews (5 grams protein per 32 grams of nuts), pistachios (6 grams protein per 30 grams of nuts), hazelnuts (5 grams protein per 34 grams of nuts), walnuts (4.5 grams protein per 29 grams of nuts), hazelnuts (5 grams protein per 34 grams of nuts), Brazil nuts (4.75 grams protein per 33 grams of nuts), pine nuts (4.5 grams protein per 34 grams of nuts).
7. Cheese slices
In addition to being a quick and easy snack, cheese is incredibly healthy and filling. It’s an excellent source of calcium, phosphorus, and selenium, and it contains small amounts of many other nutrients. Furthermore, cheese is rich in protein. Just one slice of cheddar cheese provides 7 grams of this nutrient, which may help suppress your appetite.
In one study in overweight men, calorie intake decreased by 9% after they consumed cheese for a snack. Another study found that children who ate a combination of cheese and vegetables for a snack needed significantly fewer calories to make them full, compared with those who ate potato chips.
A reasonable portion size for cheese is around 1–2 ounces (28–57 grams). Since it contains a significant amount of calories, it’s best to consume it in moderation.
8. Peanut Butter with Apple Slices
2 Tbsp. peanut butter and 1 apple will contain about 8g of protein and a total of 290 calories.
There is hardly a more classic combination than apples and PB. Dipping apple slices into gooey peanut butter tastes like an absolute treat. And you can't go wrong nutrition-wise. Eating fresh apples is associated with a healthier heart. Folks who eat apples daily have a reduced risk of cardiovascular disease, lower blood pressure and total and LDL cholesterol, and less inflammation, research shows. When it comes to peanut butter, not only does it contain the perfect fill-you-up combination of protein and healthy fats, but consuming it regularly may also improve cognitive function, according to a randomized clinical trial.
Hummus, a spread made from chickpeas, is an easy, reliable way to get a ton of protein without overdoing it before dinner. There are countless varieties out there to choose from, meaning you’ll find one that’s right for you to enjoy with whole-grain crackers or veggie sticks. It gets you up to 15 grams of protein per serving.
Edamame beans are immature soybeans that are still in the pod. They’re high in protein, vitamins, and minerals, and make for a quick and easy snack. One cup of edamame provides some of just about every nutrient that you need, including 17 grams of protein, 52% of your daily need for vitamin K, and over 100% of your daily need for folate.
Typically, edamame is served as a steamed dish. Many stores offer precooked and frozen varieties that need to be heated in a microwave. All you have to do is place the heated edamame in a portable container so you can enjoy it on the go. To enhance the flavor of edamame, add spices and seasonings of your choice.