I’ve been finding myself chatting and brainstorming a lot with my clients lately about different high protein snacks and the benefits of consuming them regularly. So I decided to come up with my top 10 list to give you some new ideas that are quick & easy!
Many people struggle to get enough protein in a day, which should account for minimum 15% of your total caloric intake. Personally, I strive for between 20-30% which I also recommend to anyone who is active and incorporating regular resistance training into their workout (which basically everyone should be doing).
Protein is responsible for the growth, repair, and maintenance of all our cells, including muscles, joints, hair, skin, and nails. Snacking on high protein food sources can also help with regulating blood sugar levels, minimizing cravings, and reducing your appetite, thus playing a large role in weight management. Enough protein in our diets can also reduce health and injury risks while helping us stay strong and fit as we age.
Here are 10 of my favorites that are healthy and hit the spot every time!
A 3/4 cup serving contains 18 grams of protein and just 100 calories. If you’re trying to minimize sugar and calories, it’s best to stick with one that is plain and 0% fat. I usually sweeten mine up with fresh fruit, a natural sweeter or a flavor infuser.
This is one snack I often forget how good it is until I pull a bag out of my freezer and devour it! It’s also so easy to prep – just warm up a bag from frozen for a few minutes and top with a little sea salt. For one cup of these beans in the shell, they contain 15 grams of protein plus 7.5 grams of fiber.
Eggs are easy and versatile to make, so if you like variety there are many different ways you can consume them. Hard boiled eggs are one of the easiest ways to prep them, making for a good grab-and-go option for about 80 calories and 6 grams of protein each. If you’re watching your fat or cholesterol intake, try straight egg whites – these are almost purely protein at 10 grams and 45 calories per 1/3 cup serving size.
Another quick and portable option, smoothies can be an easy way to pack on 30 grams of protein along with a ton of other nutrients. If you’re pressed for time, the quickest option is to shake up some protein powder with your choice of liquid (I personally like unsweetened non-dairy milk like cashew or almond), but you can dazzle things up by adding other great ingredients like spinach, fruit, flax seed, collagen powder, etc…
Canned Tuna or Salmon.
I like the flavored, easy-open cans like Spicy Thai Chili which contain 15 grams of protein per can, which is great as-is or with whole wheat crackers. Whipping up a quick tuna salad with green onions, celery, and a tiny bit of low-fat mayo also makes for a great snack.
Proats (Protein Oats).
Steel cut oats on their own contain a decent amount of protein considering they are predominately a carbohydrate (4 grams of protein per 1/4 cup dry serving). But what I also like to do once they are warmed up is add a little protein powder with a splash of non-dairy milk to enhance the flavor, the balance, and of course the total protein content.
For a 3/4 cup serving you’re taking in about 18 grams of protein and 160 calories from this dairy source. Cottage cheese can be both a savory or a sweet snack when combined with other ingredients. I usually opt for a blueberries and cinnamon combo, but you can get creative with all sorts of ways to shake things up.
This is a newfound discovery of mine that I absolutely love! Found in the natural food aisle at most grocery stores, this snack is great as-is or as a salad topper. I’d recommend Three Farmers and their line of roasted peas, lentils, and chickpeas. For a 1/4 cup serving, this 100 calorie snack contains 7 grams of protein and 5 grams of fiber.
I’m not talking a pre-roasted chicken from the grocery store, you actually want to try to stay away from these as they are usually injected full of salt, additives, and other unwanted ingredients. Try baking or grilling some boneless, skinless chicken or turkey breast with some healthier seasonings to store in the fridge. Sometimes some sliced meat with a little mustard just hits the spot!
These are the kind of snacks that literally everybody loves – kids and adults alike! Making them can take a bit of prep time, but you can easily make up for that by doubling or tripling the batch and storing the extras in the freezer. Keep in mind that if you’re watching your weight, these guys average about 80-110 calories each, so enjoy just one or two at a time. Try these 45 different ways to make them!