This blog was adapted to the Food-Wise Weight Loss program. Original post by Health Line
When you live a busy lifestyle, snacks can be useful when hunger hits and you don’t have time to prepare a meal.
The key is to make sure your snacks are nutritious and contain protein.
Here are 30 high-protein snacks that are healthy and portable, so you can enjoy them even when you’re on the go.
Jerky is meat that has been trimmed of fat, cut into strips and dried. It makes an excellent and convenient snack.
Beef, chicken, turkey and salmon are often made into jerky. It can be found at most grocery stores, but keep in mind that store-bought versions are typically high in added sugar and artificial ingredients.
Your best bet is to make your own jerky, using only meat and some seasonings.
- Trail Mix
Trail mix is a combination of dried fruit and nuts that is sometimes combined with chocolate and grains. It is a good source of protein, providing eight grams in a two-ounce serving (6). Since chocolate and grains don’t add protein and are mostly empty calories, it is best to make your own. Trail mix doesn’t have to be store bought! You can buy in bulk the nuts that you like and restrict the amount of dried fruit that you add as a way to keep the sugars/carbs to a minimum and removing the chance of useless calories from chocolate out of the mix.
The dried fruit and nuts in trail mix make it very high in calories, so it is important to not eat too much at a time. A handful is a reasonable serving.
- Turkey Roll-Ups
Turkey roll-ups are a delicious and nutritious high-protein snack, consisting of cheese and veggies wrapped inside slices of turkey breast.
They are essentially a sandwich without the bread.
You can make roll-ups by placing four turkey breast slices on a plate and then spreading each with a teaspoon of cream cheese. Place a pickle or strip of cucumber and a tomato slice on the turkey and roll them into wraps.
If following a low-calorie, muscle-sparing program, the cream cheese can be omitted altogether.
Each wrap provides about five grams of protein from the turkey and cheese, as well as some extra nutrients and fiber from the tomato and cucumber.
- Greek Yogurt Parfait
Greek yogurt is an ideal healthy and high-protein snack, with 20 grams of protein per one-cup serving (224 grams). It has been shown to be more filling than yogurts with lower protein contents (14, 15).
To make yogurt even more delicious and filling, you can make a parfait by combining one cup of yogurt with syrups or spreads from Walden Farms. This burst of fruit flavour comes with no added calories or carbs!
- Veggies and Yogurt Dip
Veggies are great for snacking, but they’re not very high in protein on their own. You can increase your protein intake by pairing them with yogurt dip.
Yogurt dip is typically made by combining yogurt with herbs and flavorings, such as dill and lemon juice, as in this recipe. For more protein, it’s best to use Greek yogurt, which contains almost twice the amount of protein as regular yogurt (18, 14).
For convenience, make a batch of yogurt dip ahead of time and portion it out into snack-size containers so you can grab it when you need it.
Tuna is loaded with protein and makes a very healthy and convenient snack. One cup contains an impressive 39 grams of protein, making it extra filling (19).
- Hard-Boiled Eggs
In addition to being nutritious, they are also versatile. Hard-boiled eggs make a great portable snack.
One hard-boiled egg consists of six 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 (20, 21).
- Cheese Slices
Cheese is incredibly healthy and filling, in addition to being a quick and easy snack. It is an excellent source of calcium, phosphorus and selenium, and it contains small amounts of many other nutrients (25).
In one study in overweight men, calorie intake decreased by 9% after they consumed cheese for a snack (26).
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 to those who ate potato chips (27).
A reasonable portion size for cheese is around 1–2 ounces (28–57 grams). Since it contains a significant amount of calories, it is best to consume it in moderation.
- Handful of Almonds
Eating a handful of almonds or another type of nut for a snack is a simple way to fill up on protein.
An ounce of almonds provides six grams of protein, in addition to high amounts of vitamin E, riboflavin, trace minerals and healthy fats (28).
Almonds are also high in calories, so it’s important to stick with the recommended serving size. A handful is equivalent to around 22 almonds.
- Cottage Cheese
Cottage cheese is known for being high in protein. It’s a filling snack that can be eaten on the go.
There are 14 grams of protein in a half-cup (113 grams) of cottage cheese, which ends up being 69% of its total calorie content (34).
Cottage cheese is also a good source of some other important nutrients, including calcium, phosphorus, selenium, vitamin B12 and riboflavin (34).
You can enjoy cottage cheese on its own or combine it with Walden Farms spreads or syrups for a delicious snack with a very low carb count.
- Beef Sticks
Beef sticks are a great high-protein and portable snack, but it’s important that you choose the right type.
The beef sticks you consume should consist of beef and salt only, and maybe some seasonings. Ideally, they should be made from grass-fed beef, since it contains more healthy omega-3 fatty acids than grain-fed beef (39).
Most beef sticks contain about six grams of protein per ounce (28 grams) (40).
- Protein Bars
Protein bars are an easy way to consume a significant amount of protein.
The thing to remember is that not all protein bars are created for the same purpose. Protein bars for hikers are high in carbs which you likely don’t need if are filling the hunger gap sitting behind your desk. You would want to chose a bar with simple ingredients and limited carbs.
- Canned Salmon
Canned salmon is an excellent high-protein snack that you can take with you wherever you go. Just one ounce provides eight grams of protein and high amounts of a few other nutrients, including niacin, vitamin B12 and selenium (41).
You can eat canned salmon on its own or add some extra flavour with a little bit of salt and pepper. It tastes great when paired with chopped veggies or stuffed in endives instead of on a cracker.
- Protein Shakes
While getting your protein from whole food sources is ideal, protein shakes make for an easy snack that will sneak some protein and other nutrients into your diet.
They can be made with several types of protein powder, including whey, egg, soy and pea protein.
Whey protein, in particular, may be beneficial for fullness. In one study, men who consumed a snack bar that contained whey protein consumed significantly fewer calories than those who ate a lower-protein snack (12, 52).
In another study, a snack of yogurt with added whey protein reduced appetite more than a carb-rich snack with the same amount of calories (53).
Generally, a scoop of protein powder provides about 20 grams of protein, which is sure to keep you full until your next meal (54).
To make a protein shake, simply combine a scoop of protein powder, a cup of milk or juice, a cup of ice and fruit, if desired. Then pour it into a portable container so you can take it with you wherever you go.
- Egg Muffins
Egg muffins are a super healthy snack with lots of protein.
They’re made by mixing eggs with veggies and seasonings, pouring the mixture into a muffin tin and then baking the muffins.
They are also very convenient, as they can be eaten hot or cold. You can increase their nutrient content by making them with veggies and add more protein by topping them with a tablespoon or two of cheese.
This egg muffin recipe combines eggs with broccoli, onions and bell peppers.
Take Home Message
High-protein snacks are important to have around when hunger hits between meals, as they keep you full and satisfied.
While many snacks can be unhealthy, there are plenty of healthy and portable options that you can enjoy even when you’re crunched for time!