Why High Protein Snacks?
Many snacking options are high in refined sugars, carbs, and, well, not much else. This can be a problem when you’re trying to keep your calories low, nutrients high, and avoiding empty calories. Snacking is a healthy and natural thing to do, after all, and it’s important to listen to your body when it tells you that it’s hungry. Snacks high in protein are great for snacking on a diet with a low calorie total. Proteins take longer to digest, meaning that you feel full longer. Protein also aids in muscle growth, which helps maintain a higher metabolism and more calories burned. Switching from more tradition, carb-heavy snacks to protein-rich snacks can be a great way to stay healthy. A lot of high protein snacks are rich in essential vitamins and minerals, as well as some beneficial amino acids with some great health effects. We’ll share a bunch of high protein snacks below for you to try out.
Hard Boiled Egg
For such a low-calorie snack, hard boiled eggs have a lot to offer! One egg has about 6.3 grams of protein while also keeping low on the calories, around 77 grams. Also high in Vitamins B2, B12, A, D, calcium, and iron, a hard boiled egg is a great starting point when searching for the perfect snack. Hard boiled eggs could also be added to salads to give them more flavor and texture while diversifying the salad’s nutritional value.
While cheese slice nutritional facts might depend specifically on which kind of cheese you prefer, they’re all great ways to snack. One slice of cheddar cheese contains 7 grams of protein. While cheese slices do contain a decent amount of calories, studies have shown that adding cheese slices to your snacking diet can help control your appetite, allowing you to feel more full and eat less. Because of their higher calorie content, they’re not a great snack to have in bulk, but adding one or two slices to your snack foods regiment is a great idea.
This one might surprise you; one serving of tuna (one cup) contains 39 grams of protein, with 93% of the calories in tuna coming from protein alone. It’s also high in vitamin B12 and niacin, which helps lower bad cholesterol in your system. Most canned tuna comes decently natural with not much sugar or extra junk added in, so small snacks with tuna can be another way to add a high protein snack.
A source of good calcium and low calories, Greek yogurt sits at 11 grams of protein for one two-thirds cup serving. The calcium in Greek yogurt is also helpful for bone density and growth, especially at older ages. Greek yogurt is also highly customizable; this snack can turn into a meal with the addition of granola, chopped nuts, fruits, and berries. This allows you to add in different aspects of food to target specific nutrients that you might be lacking.
A filling snack that can easily be eaten on-the-go, cottage cheese boasts an impressive 14 grams of protein inside a snack with only 85 calories per half cup serving. There’s plenty of protein here to improve your snacking protein game while keeping your calorie count low. It’s also been found to be a more filling snack, which will help keep you from snacking elsewhere. And just like with Greek yogurt, cottage cheese can be combined with fruits or nuts to add an extra burst of flavor and nutrition.
On their own, pumpkin seeds are great. In a 28 gram serving, they pack 5.2 grams of protein, although they do have 126 calories. They’re also high in fiber and minerals such as magnesium, zinc, copper, and manganese. One study has shown that diets high in fiber and phytoestrogens can help prevent breast cancer. And pumpkin seeds can be added to cottage cheese or the right Greek yogurt flavor, giving you two great high-protein snacks in one!
An easy go-to and obvious choice, jerky has about 6.6 grams of protein in a 20 gram piece, while only having 82 calories. They do tend to be high in sodium, but they also have a high concentration of folate, which has shown to decrease the risks of colorectal cancers. A word of warning, though: many store-bought jerkies are high in added sugars and other chemicals, so do a fair amount of nutritional facts checking before buying any jerky in stores. If you can, making your own jerky is the best way for you to know what’s in your jerky.
Consisting of cheese and veggies wrapped inside slices of turkey, this customizable and tasty snack is packed with protein and other important macronutrients. Each slice of turkey has 3.8 grams of protein and only 25 calories. This healthy snack option becomes even healthier if you use a good diversity of vegetables.
To make a turkey roll-up, add an assortment of cheese and veggies to a few pieces of sliced turkey, add some cream cheese, and then roll it up. It’s essentially a sandwich without the bread, which is where a lot of unneeded calories in sandwiches are found. Depending on what flavor profile you enjoy and what macronutrients you’re looking for, you can make all sorts of substitutions and changes; adding tomatoes, using peanut butter instead of cream cheese, the sky’s the limit with turkey roll-ups!
Like with jerky, be careful to read the nutritional labels when looking for store-bought beef sticks. The only ingredients in a beef stick should be beef, salt, and any seasonings used for flavoring. But if that’s the case, then one 20 gram beef stick will provide 4.3 grams of protein in only 110 calories. As well, try to find beef sticks made with grass-fed beef. They contain over five times the amount of omega-3’s and twice as much conjugated linoleic acid than their grain-fed counterparts. This will ensure you receive the most health benefits from the same amount of food!
Even though peanut butter comes with a large amount of calories, there’s no denying how much protein is in each serving. Two tablespoons of peanut butter contain 8 grams of protein; the drawback is that it also has 188 calories. As an addition to apple slices or celery, though, peanut butter is a great way to add flavor and protein to any snack. As an added bonus, peanut butter is filling and has a whole host of other benefits. It contains resveratrol, phenolic acids, flavonoids and phytosterols, which help prevent the absorption of cholesterol. It’s also high in Co-enzyme Q10, which has disease prevention properties and is linked to improved longevity.
A lot of snacking
Protein is an essential and important macronutrient; finding valuable and diverse sources of protein is essential to staying healthy and happy. These high-protein snack option will ensure that you have the nutrients necessary to achieve any nutrition goal. Ask your personal Weight Loss Direct Coach which one of these options would be the perfect snack to add to your dietary regiment.