Whether you want to increase your protein intake for your overall health or if you’re working to build muscle, finding ways to include more protein in your diet can be tricky. That’s where high-protein snacks can help bridge the gap.
Not only are these snacks delicious and high in protein, but they’re also packed with other healthy ingredients like fiber and essential vitamins and minerals. Also, if you want more ways to help you reach your protein goals, try adding the best protein powder for weight loss a protein pancakes Y overnight oats for a hearty and satisfying breakfast.
Here, we’ve debunked the myth that snacking is bad for you. Plus, dietitians Jamal Ramsay and Sarah Schlichter of Bucket List Tummy offer some of the best protein-packed snacks to try throughout the day.
Why is protein important?
Protein is found throughout the body in places like muscles, bones, skin, hair, and just about every other part or tissue in the body.
Scientific consensus has determined that the source rather than the amount of protein consumed is key to long-term health. Regular consumption of processed red meat is linked to an increased risk of heart disease (opens in a new tab) Y race (opens in a new tab), while healthy protein sources such as beans, nuts, and soy foods reduce this risk. Choosing a high-protein diet has also been shown to reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes (opens in a new tab) and reduce the risk of breast cancer (opens in a new tab).
Finally, in addition to disease prevention, healthy protein sources can help weight control (opens in a new tab) and increase fullness
Are snacks bad for you?
Impulsive snacking on carbohydrate-rich foods like potato chips, chocolate, and processed cereals are bad for your long-term health because they contain saturated and trans fats. This can increase the likelihood of developing cardiovascular disease and other serious health consequences.
However, healthy protein-based snacks can help you curb hunger between meals, maintain a healthy weight, aid in recovery after exercise, and reduce muscle loss (opens in a new tab). Adults are recommended to consume a minimum of 0.8 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight per day. The National Academy of Medicine (opens in a new tab) provides further guidance that an acceptable protein intake should range from 10-35% of calories per day.
So by choosing the right snacks, you can definitely eat healthy.
High protein snacks
Tuna snack with avocado
Try making a tasty tuna and avocado snack by mashing up tuna, avocado, and sweet corn. Serve the dish directly in the avocado shell.
“Combining tuna and avocado is a hearty snack option, full of protein and healthy omega-3 anti-inflammatory fats, which can improve brain and heart health,” explains Schlichter.
Ramsay adds: “Tuna is a great source of protein – per 100g it has around 28g of protein, while it only has around 132 calories. It also has less fat than other fish. Avocados are a great source of healthy fats.” , which makes the combination a match made in heaven.”
Blueberry chia seed pudding
Make your own yogurt or soy pudding with blueberries and chia seeds for a healthy, protein-packed dessert.
“While chia seeds offer some protein, as well as healthy fats and micronutrients like iron and calcium, when combined with dairy or soy milk or yogurt, this snack is a high-protein option that also offers plenty of fiber to help you stay satisfied,” says Schlichter. “Plus several antioxidants to reduce inflammation.”
“For how small they are, chia seeds have a lot of goodness inside them,” adds Ramsay. “Combined with a good plant-based milk to make a glorious pudding, and topped with some blueberries for antioxidants, this snack is a no-brainer.”
greek yogurt and granola
This is a simple and tasty dish that is easy to prepare in the morning for breakfast or as a snack.
“Greek yogurt is an excellent source of protein, along with calcium and vitamin D,” says Schlichter. “Combining it with a complex carbohydrate, like granola, helps add fiber and energy that will keep you full for hours.”
“What separates Greek yogurt from the crowd of yogurts is its straining process,” explains Ramsay. “The straining process means you can retain large amounts of protein while reducing the amount of fat per serving. For every 100g you can have around 10g of protein.”
fruit and nut mix
Create your own trail mix with fruits and nuts like peanuts, walnuts, and almonds.
As Schlicther explains, this snack will help you avoid unhealthy midday snacks. “Mixing fruits and nuts can be a great way to sustain between meals, as this combination offers a mix of energy-boosting carbohydrates, healthy fats, and protein,” she says.
Adds Ramsay: “Nuts are often quite underrated when it comes to their protein content. 100g of cashews can contain up to 18g of protein, while 100g of almonds can contain up to 21g of protein. Combined with some fruits and you have a nutritious combination.
Chickpea and Crudite Hummus
Chop up some carrots and cucumbers and dip them in hummus and voila, an easy on-the-go snack.
“There’s a reason everyone uses hummus as a dip and why there are so many variations,” adds Ramsay. “Chickpeas are packed with protein and low in calories, which means they make a great addition to any plant-based snack.”
Adds Schlicter: “When paired with fiber-rich vegetables and raw foods, this snack can be satisfying and filling.”