High-quality protein packs a real punch when it comes to your health. Adding more protein to your diet could even decrease your risk of heart disease and stroke. And some research suggests that a little extra protein might make you feel fuller so you can get through the day.
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While our on-the-go lifestyle makes it difficult to choose healthy protein-rich foods (chocolate-covered peanut butter cups don’t count, sadly), high-protein snacks are within reach. Registered dietitian Anna Taylor, MS, RD, LD, CDE, lists her top seven snacks that are good sources of protein. And no, “protein bars” didn’t make the cut.
- Easy low-fat, healthy protein snacks
- Dried, roasted “nuts”
- Plain, fat-free Greek yogurt
- Low-fat cottage cheese
- Mini salad
- Tuna salad
- Hummus and veggies
- Open-faced egg white sandwich
- Under 150 Calories
- Under 200 Calories
- Under 300 Calories
- What’s GreenBlender?
- 1. Honey Nut Energy Bites
- 2. Salted Caramel Almonds
- 3. Protein Pops
- 4. Low Fat Cheese Sticks
- 5. Egg White Oatmeal
- 6. Lightly Salted Roasted Almonds
- 7. Zucchini Cheese Wedges
- 8. Vanilla Chia Pudding
- 9. Crustless Mini Quiches
- 10. Low Fat Greek Yogurt
- 11. Pumpkin Protein Bites
- 12. Blueberry Bananza Pick-Me-Up Smoothie
- 13. Cashew Coconut Fudge
- 14. Peanut Butter Banana Muffins
- 15. Roasted Pumpkin Seeds
- 16. Roasted Chickpeas
- 17. Homemade Jerky
- 18. High Protein Energy Balls (chickpeas & peanut butter)
- 19. Berry Shortcake Overnight Oats
- 20. Lentil Chili
- 21. Hummus and Vegetable Mason Jars
- 22. Spicy Ranchero Egg White Salad
- 23. Banana with Peanut Butter
- 24. Carrot Cake Bites
- 25. Black Bean Lime Dip
- 26. Chocolate Gelatin Squares
- 27. Three Cheese Portabella Pizzas
- 28. Cauliflower Pizza Bites
- 29. Edamame Popcorn
- 30. High Protein Avocado Dip
- 31. Sweet Quinoa Cookies
- 32. Ricotta and Spinach Fritters
- 33. Egg Chips
- 34. Frozen Greek Yogurt Bites
- 35. Kale Oatmeal Smoothie
- 36. Deli Meat Roll-Ups
- 37. Peanut Butter Mouse
- 38. Rice Salad With Cranberries And Nuts
- 39. Frozen Yogurt Covered Blueberries
- 40. Breakfast Cheesecake
- 41. Fruit And Almond Butter Quesadilla
- 42. Trail Mix
- 43. Sweet Potato Protein Smoothie
- How Much Protein Do We Need at Meals?
- 1. Eat 2 Cups of Spinach
- 2. Eat 1/3 Cup Legumes
- 3. Pair Seeds With Greens
- 4. Eat 1/3 Cup Beans
- 5. Eat Overnight Oats for Breakfast
- 6. Make a Protein Smoothie (or Smoothie Bowl) With Hemp Protein Powder or Hemp Seeds
- 7. Use Almond Butter and Greens in a Smoothie
- 8. Eat a Variety of Veggies
- 9. Try Tofu or Tempeh
- 10. Pair Quinoa With Nutritional Yeast
- A Guide to Protein Serving Sizes
- The Importance of High Protein Foods
- The Importance of Low Carb Foods
- 15 best high protein low carb snacks
- 35 Healthy Protein Snacks to Keep You Feeling Full & Satisfied
- The Top Rated Protein Snacks Directly from SnackNation Customers:
- Nuts & Seeds
- 15. Almonds
- 16. No-Bake Protein Bars
- 17. Almond-Butter Protein Balls
- 18. Roasted Pumpkin Seeds
- 19. No-Bake Pumpkin Seed Bars
- Beans & Legumes
- 20. Crunchy Garlic Lentil Snacks
- 21. Fast and Easy Black Bean Blender Soup
- 22. Vegetarian Traveler Garbanzo and Soy Medley
- 23. Raw Falafel
- 24. WOLO WanderBar Chocolate Protein Bars
- 25. Protes Pea Protein Chips
- 26. Chickpea and Black Bean Snack Mix
- Whey Protein
- Additional Resources:
- Most recent
- 25 Best Store-Bought High-Protein Snacks
- How we chose the best store-bought high-protein snacks.
- siggi’s Icelandic-Style Yogurt, Orange & Ginger
- Purely Elizabeth Cranberry Pumpkin Seed Ancient Grain Oatmeal
- Wild Friends Classic Creamy Peanut Butter Squeeze Pack
- Seapoint Farms Dry Roasted Edamame
- Saffron Road Chipotle Crunchy Chickpeas
- Lemon & Pepper Seasoned Tuna Medley With Crackers
- Health Warrior Chia Bar
- Field Trip Jerky Original Beef Jerky
- PECKISH PECK Packs, Eggs & “Fried Rice”
- Blue Moose of Boulder Roasted Red Pepper Hummus
- Horizon Organic Mozzarella Cheese Sticks
- Sargento Balanced Breaks Natural White Cheddar Cheese with Almonds and Dried Cranberries
- Good Culture Organic Whole Milk Cottage Cheese
- KIND Fruit & Nut Snack Bar
- EPIC Grass-Fed Beef Apple, Bacon Bar
- Rhythm Superfoods Kool Ranch Kale Chips
- Enlightened Bada Bean Bada Boom Spicy Wasabi Crunchy Broad Beans
- Eggland’s Best Hard-Cooked Peeled Eggs
- Emerald Almonds
- Our Little Rebellion Protein Crisps
- Nature’s Path Qi’a Superfood Chia, Buckwheat & Hemp Cereal
- Iconic Protein Drink
- gimMe Seaweed Thins, Sriracha Almond
- KIND Healthy Grains Almond Butter Whole Grain Granola Clusters
- 8 Healthy High-Protein Snacks to Help You Power Through the Day
Easy low-fat, healthy protein snacks
“Most people do well with three meals and one to two snacks per day, depending on activity levels and calorie needs,” says Taylor. “Someone very active might need an additional snack, while someone less active or petite will need fewer snacks.”
Taylor warns that snack calories add up quickly: Eating 200 calories a day beyond what your body burns will mean 20 pounds of weight gain a year. “If the snack you’re eating has more than 200 calories, it’s actually a mini-meal. And if it doesn’t have fiber or protein, it’s probably not nutritious.”
The following protein-packed snacks are between 150 and 170 calories and contain no more than 20 grams of carbohydrates:
Dried, roasted “nuts”
“Try one-fourth cup of lightly salted, dried edamame or dried chickpeas. These options are great for people who have nut allergies and are craving something crunchy,” says Taylor. Or reach for unsalted nuts — 22 roasted, unsalted almonds make a high-protein snack, delivering between 6 to 15 grams of protein.
Plain, fat-free Greek yogurt
You’ll get more than 20 grams of protein when you reach for a small container (around two-thirds cup) of fat-free Greek yogurt. Try it with fresh or frozen berries. Another option: Turn your yogurt into a smoothie by adding berries and some unsweetened almond milk.
Low-fat cottage cheese
To one-half cup of cottage cheese, add one-half cup of fruit like pineapple or peaches. You can even choose fruit canned in juice, then drain it. You’ll take in more than 10 grams of protein.
“This works out beautifully and looks like a mini-meal, but it’s not: It’s a garden salad with one-fourth cup of beans, a hard-boiled egg and a tablespoon of light dressing,” says Taylor. “In addition to fiber, you’ll get between 8 and 10 grams of protein.”
Add 1 teaspoon of low-fat mayonnaise to a quarter cup of drained canned tuna. Add diced celery, carrots or onion for flavor. Spoon the tuna on four woven whole-wheat crackers for a snack that gives you more than 10 grams of protein.
Hummus and veggies
One-quarter cup of hummus delivers 5 grams of protein and 4 grams of dietary fiber. Use it as a dip for 1 cup of raw vegetables.
Open-faced egg white sandwich
“I love this one: Toast one-half of a whole-wheat English muffin. Cook four egg whites (about one-half cup) and place on the muffin. Add 1 tablespoon of shredded cheese,” says Taylor. “This healthy snack has fiber and close to 15 grams of protein, plus it’s very filling.”
Got protein? These snacks have at least 10 grams to keep you full, fueled, and satisfied until your next meal. You’ll stave off hunger when you snack consciously with these wholesome bites.
Under 150 Calories
- Chicken Protein Bars: 18 grams. Love jerky and chicken? Wanting some extra protein on the go? The CaveMan Foods Paleo Chicken Bars are perfect for you. They’ve got a decently long shelf life, and you can leave them in your office for when you need a quick protein fix. 120 calories
- Cottage Cheese and Fruit: 12 grams. Grab a small container of low-fat cottage cheese and top it with a diced small peach for a healthy, wholesome take on peaches and cream. 141 calories
- Tuna Salad English Muffin: 14 grams. Mix 1/4 cup canned tuna with a tablespoon of hummus, and spread it over half a whole-wheat English muffin for a low-cal, high-protein, open-faced sandwich that works as a perfect snack for long stretches between meals. 140 calories
- Watermelon Protein Smoothie: 15 grams. This hydrating watermelon berry smoothie uses a bit of protein powder to keep you satiated and refreshed between meals. 145 calories
Under 200 Calories
- Two Eggs: 12 grams. Scrambled or hard boiled, eggs pack a solid protein punch and can really power you through an afternoon slump. At home? Whip ’em up in the kitchen in under five minutes. On the go? Keep a couple boiled eggs in your work refrigerator or a cooled lunch box. 156 calories
- Apples and Caramel (With a Twist): 12 grams. Cut up a green apple, and dip it into salted caramel Greek yogurt. Salted wha . . . ? Yep. You heard correctly. Dannon has this variety, which contains 12 grams of protein per cup. We’re really liking this yogurt trend, guys. Also! If you’re vegan, try this vegan “Greek yogurt” hack. 175 calories (with Dannon)
- Roasted Edamame: 13 grams. One serving of these tasty roasted soybeans will up your protein level by over 13 grams and keep you full until dinner. They also make an excellent post-workout snack to refuel. 153 calories
- Cottage Cheese Protein Smoothie: 15 to 17 grams. Make an eight-ounce (half) portion of a strawberry protein smoothie (17 grams) or this mango protein smoothie (15 grams) for a sweet, creamy, filling treat. 151 to 163 calories
Under 300 Calories
- Nut Butter Toast: 10 to 15 grams. Spread two tablespoons of almond butter (seven grams) on some protein-rich bread, like Dave’s Killer Bread or Alpine Valley, each with three to five grams of protein per slice. You could add a tablespoon of chia sprinkled on top for an added two to three grams. Need a little more sweet? Add sliced bananas or a drizzle of raw Manuka honey. 276 calories (with Alpine Valley bread)
- Almonds and Cheese: 14 grams. One serving size of whole almonds (about 23, or one ounce) brings six grams of protein, while a low-fat mozzarella string cheese provides another eight grams. 244 calories
— Additional reporting by Jenny Sugar
Image Source: POPSUGAR Photography / Anna Monette Roberts
Even if you’re not an athlete, getting enough protein into your diet during the day can be difficult. Like fruits and vegetables, most of us don’t realize how much protein we should be eating, but protein is so good for both muscle growth and for keeping us full, that focusing on getting enough should definitely be a priority.
Instead of forcing yourself to eat five eggs before you leave the house every morning, we’ve compiled a list of 41 high-protein snacks that you can take with you to work, to the gym, picking up the kids from school — wherever! Whether you’re in the mood for sweet or savory, we’ve got you covered, and many of these recipes are gluten free and low in fat, too!
We’ve also got a post dedicated to vegan, high protein breakfast ideas that you can take anywhere, so make sure to check that out for even more ideas.
Smoothies are the ultimate fast food. Make amazing smoothies at home. Pre-portioned ingredients and superfoods delivered right to your door. Learn more >>
1. Honey Nut Energy Bites
Are you a fan of Honey Nut Cheerios? How about chocolate chips? Yes? Well when you combine them with some Greek yogurt and peanut butter, you’ve got a high-protein treat that most people would confuse with dessert! Greek yogurt is extremely good for you, especially if you buy the kind with zero percent fat, and one serving usually has about 17 grams of protein.
2. Salted Caramel Almonds
Almonds are full of good fats and protein, and are the perfect pre-workout snack. One ounce of almonds packs six grams of protein, three grams of fiber and zero cholesterol. Plus, show us someone who doesn’t like the flavor combination of salted caramel, and we’ll show you a crazy person.
3. Protein Pops
Bananas, protein powder and coconut milk? YES. For athletes, these frozen treats are a great alternative to drinking boring shakes day after day. And for everyone else, they’re a dessert with way more nutritional value than a cup of ice cream. (Tip: if you’re sensitive to pre-workout supplements, omit that part in this recipe.)
4. Low Fat Cheese Sticks
One stick of string cheese gives you about eight grams of protein, and if you buy a low-fat version, you’re looking at a high protein snack that comes in at under four grams of fat. Packing yourself two low-fat cheese sticks and an apple may make you feel like you’re back in elementary school, but hey, if it gave you energy to run around during recess back then, this snack will certainly power you though the second part of your day.
5. Egg White Oatmeal
Oats are a great source of dietary fiber, and when you combine them with egg whites, you get one of the healthiest breakfasts around. The fiber from the oats and the protein from the egg whites will keep you full all day, and if you think it’s odd to combine the two, just give this recipe a whirl. You probably won’t even know the egg whites are in there!
6. Lightly Salted Roasted Almonds
Spraying a bunch of almonds with a light coating of oil, mixing them with a little salt, and then roasting them in the oven for about 15 minutes creates the perfect savory snack.
7. Zucchini Cheese Wedges
Zucchini is an incredibly low calorie vegetable, and when you combine it with low-fat cheese and bake it, you’ve got a low fat, low calorie, and low carb treat that tastes like heaven. It’s kind of like eating pizza, except there’s non of the carbs and less than half the fat!
8. Vanilla Chia Pudding
Chia seeds are a great vegan source of Omega-3s, which are essential for overall health. Starting your day, or even ending your day, with this sweet chia pudding will add protein, fiber, and a plentiful amount of Omega-3s to your diet, all while tasting like dessert.
9. Crustless Mini Quiches
Who doesn’t love an adorable mini quiche? By going crustless and increasing the vegetable count, you get a delicious, portable breakfast that will keep your carb count low, and your protein count high.
10. Low Fat Greek Yogurt
Stick to the zero percent fat kind of Greek yogurt, and make it sweeter by adding berries, mandarin oranges, or pomegranate seeds. Try to steer clear of yogurt that comes with “fruit” or stir-ins already added — that’s sugar your body doesn’t need. If you want to sweeten your yogurt with more than just fruit, try a sprinkle of stevia or raw sugar instead.
11. Pumpkin Protein Bites
Low in fat and calories, but high in fiber, pumpkin is the perfect filler for a lot of recipes. And if you’re someone who knows you should be drinking a protein shake every day, but just can’t stomach it all the time, these cute little pumpkin balls are the answer!
12. Blueberry Bananza Pick-Me-Up Smoothie
This smoothie is made from pea protein, maqui berry, squash, blueberries, oats and a banana, which means that it’s not only a certified superfood drink, it’s also extremely satisfying and full of fiber, antioxidants, and yes, protein. If you’ve never tried squash in your smoothies before, you’ll become a believer after drinking this! (And if you don’t tell your kids, they’ll never know they’re actually drinking vegetables).
13. Cashew Coconut Fudge
When it comes to fat, cashews rank pretty low compared to other nuts, and when it comes to fudge, it’s always fantastic when you can have more than one piece – and feel good about it! The best thing about this recipe is that you can make it two ways, vegan or Paleo.
14. Peanut Butter Banana Muffins
Peanut butter and jelly may be the best combination ever, but peanut butter and banana is close behind, and nothing beats biting into a freshly baked muffin – except if that muffin is a certified protein powerhouse!
15. Roasted Pumpkin Seeds
One cup of roasted pumpkin seeds has 12 grams of protein. and when they’re roasted and salted they make a great alternative to chips or french fries.
16. Roasted Chickpeas
Much like roasted pumpkin seeds, roasted chickpeas are a tasty, crunchy alternative to chips, and one cup provides a whopping 39 grams of protein, which is more than any protein powder on the market.
17. Homemade Jerky
Beef or turkey jerky is delicious, but it’s usually quite expensive. If you love this high-protein snack but don’t want to spend $12.00 for a tiny packet, follow this recipe to make your own! It’s surprisingly easy.
18. High Protein Energy Balls (chickpeas & peanut butter)
The protein powerhouses, chickpeas and peanut butter, are front and center in this recipe. If you have no idea how to work an oven, that’s fine – these don’t require any baking. But they do require chocolate chips, which is FINE WITH US! If you have a peanut allergy, almond or cashew butter would work just fine.
19. Berry Shortcake Overnight Oats
Need a new way to eat your steel cut oats in the morning? Soaking them in almond milk and yogurt makes the oats nice and plump, and also increases the protein quotient of this breakfast tenfold. Oatmeal is fine and all, but if you want something a little different, and if you want to eat it out of a cute mason jar, this is the recipe for you.
20. Lentil Chili
Not all chili has to be full of meat! Lentils are a great vegan source of protein, and this chili is so rich you’ll hardly miss the meat. Pack this in a little to-go cup and treat yourself to a delicious and hearty snack any time of day.
21. Hummus and Vegetable Mason Jars
Chickpeas for the protein win again! Hummus is basically just ground up chickpeas with a lot of spices, and when you put a dollop in a cute mason jar full of cut up vegetables, it’s almost too adorable to eat. Almost.
22. Spicy Ranchero Egg White Salad
Egg salad is an old school favorite, but traditional egg salad has a lot of fat. This version takes out the yolks and adds some zest in the form of Southwestern flavors. Perfect with bread or by itself!
23. Banana with Peanut Butter
Pure, simple and to the point. Make yourself one of these before you head out for work or hit the gym, and you’ll have all the extra energy you’ll need, without the crash that comes with caffeine or a preworkout drink. Bananas have almost no fat, a ton of fiber, natural sugars, and a good amount of vitamin C and B-6, which makes them a gym superfood.
24. Carrot Cake Bites
A low sugar, high protein carrot cake bite? Sign us up! Carrots are rich in vitamin C and K, and also have good doses of beta carotene and fiber. This recipe is great for omnivores and vegans alike. It’s also good for people who don’t consider themselves cooks, since it’s completely no-bake.
25. Black Bean Lime Dip
Coming in at seven grams of protein and nine grams of fiber per serving, this black bean dip is also high in magnesium, which is great for both bone health and balancing out our nervous systems.
26. Chocolate Gelatin Squares
If you’ve always wondered what chocolate jello would taste like, here’s the recipe for you! The best part is that there’s protein powder hiding out in these sweet squares, which makes it a great alternative to another boring protein shake.
27. Three Cheese Portabella Pizzas
Pizza that’s actually healthy for you? Who needs a crust when you have cute, portable portabella mushrooms? Bake them up with a few low-fat cheese blends and you’ve got the cutest mini pizzas in the world. Portabellas are an extremely low-carb vegetable, and one cup of chopped portabellas has two grams of protein, which is pretty good for a vegetable.
28. Cauliflower Pizza Bites
Another mini pizza contender, these little cheesy muffins are made with cauliflower, which is a great non-gluten alternative. Cauliflower is also low in calories, but high in fiber and protein, making it a favorite among athletes. In fact, cauliflower is becoming so popular, it’s evening showing up as the crust of pizzas are regular pizza joints.
29. Edamame Popcorn
Like chickpeas, roasted edamame becomes light and crispy, making it a great snack to take to work. And with one cup packing as much as 17 grams of protein, you’ll feel a lot more full after a bag of these than you would after eating a bag of chips or regular popcorn.
30. High Protein Avocado Dip
It you want to get away from those high calorie dip options out there, try this recipe, which incorporates yogurt, cottage cheese and an avocado. This dip is a delicious way to get a serving of monounsaturated fat — the good kind of fat — which helps to lower bad cholesterol.
31. Sweet Quinoa Cookies
If you have kids in the house, this recipe is perfect. If you leave out the M&Ms, it’s even a good alternative for a quick breakfast. But let’s be honest, most of us are going to put the M&Ms in because, hey, everything in moderation! Plus, because quinoa is loaded with fiber and protein, you’ll only need one cookie to feel satisfied.
32. Ricotta and Spinach Fritters
Low in calories but high in nutrients that benefit our skin, hair and bones, spinach is one of those super leafy greens. Even though the ricotta has the majority of the protein in this recipe, spinach has some too, as well as iron, which is an essential nutrient for women.
33. Egg Chips
After trying this simple recipe, egg whites, some cheese, and a little cooking spray may just transform into the go-to snack you never realized you love. If you’re a fan of chips but want to find an alternative that isn’t full of fat and carbs, these egg chips are a great experiment. Plus, they’re full of protein.
34. Frozen Greek Yogurt Bites
Ice cream is one of those treats that’s just so hard to give up. Luckily, this recipe channels ice cream and kicks it up a notch in the health department by using Greek yogurt instead of cream. The added pomegranate seeds bring the power of antioxidants and a burst of natural sweetness. If you really want to make this recipe healthy, halve the amount of sugar it originally calls for.
35. Kale Oatmeal Smoothie
This smoothie contains tahini paste, which is made from ground up sesame seeds. Tahini is a better source of protein than most nuts, and is also full of B vitamins and calcium. Add in some kale and a serving of rolled oats, and you’ve got yourself a perfect pre- or post-workout drink that will put other store bought versions to shame.
36. Deli Meat Roll-Ups
If you’ve had enough salads in your life and want to find something more satisfying to take to work for lunch, try this simple and yet genius idea: Buy some nitrate-free deli meat and wrap it around your favorite vegetables. It eats like a sandwich, but still has enough healthy green stuff to make you feel like you’re doing good things for your body. Plus everyone else in your office will be amazed at your creative lunch skills.
37. Peanut Butter Mouse
For all you vegans out there, this mouse will make you smile! Using peanut flour, tofu and almond milk, you can create something that tastes like a rich dessert, but has only 290 calories and 37 grams of protein. Even if you’re not sure you’re into tofu, this recipe might be the one thing that changes your mind.
38. Rice Salad With Cranberries And Nuts
Combining sweet and savory flavors is a great way to wake your pallet up , and this “salad” is the perfect combination. While there’s healthy fat and protein included in the pecans, pistachios and cashews, wild rice also has protein – about 24 grams in one in one uncooked cup.
39. Frozen Yogurt Covered Blueberries
Blueberries are some of the healthiest little fruits you can eat. Packed with fiber, folate, vitamin C and phytonutrients, they’ve also more antioxidants than most other produce. Combining them with low-fat Greek yogurt, which typically has 17 grams of protein, is kind of like making a super dessert. Not only is it low in fat and calories, it’s actually making you healthier with each bite.
40. Breakfast Cheesecake
Cheesecake for breakfast? With this recipe, it’s not only possible, it’s healthy, too. Using ingredients like an oats and applesauce crust, and a bananas and cream-cheese filling, you can actually feel okay about having one (or two) of these treats with your morning coffee. And since one serving has almost no fat and 13 grams of protein, this cheesecake is actually better for you than a bagel.
41. Fruit And Almond Butter Quesadilla
Quesadillas are delicious, but when you put almond butter (which usually has less sugar and more protein than regular peanut butter) and fruit into one, you get something that’s almost better than the original. When buying any kind of nut butter, go for the one with the least amount of sugar added. It may take a little bit of time to get used to the taste, but once you get used to the natural goodness of plain nut butter, you’ll never want to go back.
42. Trail Mix
Kick traditional trail mix up a notch by adding different pieces of protein bars to the mix. By adding sweetness that way, you’ll get your chocolate fix along with your protein fix, and can skip all the scary refined sugars that usually come with the pre-made variety.
43. Sweet Potato Protein Smoothie
Pea protein is a fabulous way for vegans and those who have issues digesting whey to get an extra dose of protein during their day, and sweet potatoes are one of the best complex carbs (carbs that keep you energized for a long period of time) you can eat. Pecans are delicious, and anything with allspice and cinnamon reminds us of pie. So really, this smoothie is like drinking a pie. A delicious, nutritious pie.
Smoothies are the ultimate fast food. Make amazing smoothies at home. Pre-portioned ingredients and superfoods delivered right to your door. Learn more >>
Getting enough protein during meal time is really no biggie, so relax if you’ve decided to push meat aside and make way for plant-based options—good choice! Eliminating meat also reduces the risk of a number of health issues but it doesn’t reduce your ability to enjoy a meal. In fact, making meals delicious without meat is really so simple and satisfying. Vegan protein concerns, however, are still one of the main reasons that people include meat on their plates. Some common myths are that plants can’t supply enough protein or the right types, but that’s really not true. It’s not shameful to say you enjoy eating meat, but know that it isn’t required by the human body to supply enough protein. In fact, you can actually overdose on animal protein, while plants supply beneficial amino acids the body uses without causing a harmful imbalance to occur.
How Much Protein Do We Need at Meals?
One issue many people struggle with is how much protein is enough. Generally speaking, everyone has different needs when it comes to protein content at meal time. Depending on your weight, athletic practice, age, hormones, and lifestyle factors, you may need more than other people need. However, most meals shouldn’t contain less than 10 grams of protein per meal. Why? Because this will provide balance to blood sugar levels, while also supplying amino acids to the neurotransmitters that help your nervous system function. Protein is also helpful for the digestive process, even in small amounts. It can give you sustained energy through the day by boosting metabolism. Not enough will leave you hungry shortly after a meal (as will eating too much sugar or junk food) while eating too much might actually cause digestive upset or can actually cause too much insulin in the body. Ten grams, however, is a safe number that everyone can achieve without much thought. Then, if you’d like to add more (such as 15-20 grams per meal if you’re active), you can certainly do so. You should also aim to include 5-10 grams with each snack you eat to be sure you get enough and for the same nutritional benefits.
Here’s how to get 10 grams of vegan protein without any hassle at each and every meal!
Choose one of these or combine more of them to achieve even more protein per meal:
1. Eat 2 Cups of Spinach
This option alone will give you 10 grams of protein. While greens are not a complete source of protein, spinach is a unique source. It’s filled with muscle-boosting and satiating properties including iron, B vitamins, chlorophyll, magnesium, fiber, and it is very filling. You can enjoy it in any entree, a smoothie, make a salad or use it in place of other greens however you like.
2. Eat 1/3 Cup Legumes
Lentils, chickpeas, and other legumes are excellent sources of protein. Each have different amounts, but 1/3 cup serving will give you 10 or more grams. Legumes are excellent sources of vitamins and minerals too, such as iron, magnesium, and potassium.
3. Pair Seeds With Greens
Seeds like pumpkin, sesame (or tahini), hemp seeds, sunflower seeds, and other seeds (chia, flax, etc.) all contain protein, as do all leafy greens. Pairing the two together at a meal will increase the protein further and aid in digestion. Depending on the seed you use, amounts will differ, however if you use at least 2 tbsp. seeds and 2 cups of greens, you’ll achieve 10 grams quite easily.
4. Eat 1/3 Cup Beans
Like legumes, beans are packed with protein. A 1/3 cup serving will give you at least 10 grams, with some options like black bean and kidney containing slightly more.
5. Eat Overnight Oats for Breakfast
Making overnight oats with oats, chia seeds or tahini, and simple almond milk for breakfast can easily help you reach 10 grams. Oats contain 7 grams per 1/3 cup while chia seeds contain 3 grams per 2 tablespoons. Tahini contains 8 grams per two tablespoons, which alone would help you reach your goal. You can add more protein by using almonds, hemp seeds, or hemp milk in place of almond milk as well.
6. Make a Protein Smoothie (or Smoothie Bowl) With Hemp Protein Powder or Hemp Seeds
Hemp protein powder and hemp seeds are packed with 13-16 grams of protein per serving (depending on the brand and type you use). Use this as your vegan protein source in the morning and you’ll easily go over the 10-gram mark. See our smoothie recipes and give this a try!
7. Use Almond Butter and Greens in a Smoothie
Almond butter contains 7 grams of protein per 2 tablespoons, so add it to a green smoothie that includes at least 2 cups of greens (kale and spinach are best) for a nice protein boost, not to mention a delicious flavor! Ingredients that pair well with this combo include blueberries, almond milk, sliced banana or frozen berries, and some chia seeds for texture and thickness (and more protein!).
8. Eat a Variety of Veggies
Vegetables all contain protein, even if in small amounts. The more you eat of them per meal, the more you can add protein to your diet easily. Mushrooms have 3 grams per 1/2 cup, sweet potatoes have 4 grams per potato, broccoli has 4 grams per cup, and green beans contain 4 grams per 1/2 cup just as examples. Including a variety of veggies at each meal won’t only boost your protein content, but they also help satiate the body, energize the body, and complement other sources of protein like grains, beans, nuts, and seeds.
9. Try Tofu or Tempeh
Not everyone likes soy or believes it’s right to eat as the main source of meatless protein, but you should consider trying it if you’re on the fence. Many people love tempeh and tofu because they’re whole food sources of soy, while others may stick to edamame (green soybeans) or other types of beans instead.
Tofu and tempeh are complete sources of protein and many people enjoy them in place of meat; they also add 10-15 grams per 1/2 cup at meal time, another winning factor for people concerned about protein needs.
10. Pair Quinoa With Nutritional Yeast
These two foods are rich in complete proteins, which is a great way to get enough protein and a tasty option at that! Quinoa contains 6 grams per 1/3 cup and nutritional yeast contains 8 grams per two tablespoons. Sprinkle at least 1 tablespoon onto some quinoa for 10 grams of protein, B vitamins, magnesium, and an incredible meal that keeps you going strong.
There are of course many, many options for adding more protein to your day and at every meal. To help get you started, see our 25 sources of vegan protein, our Plant-Based Protein Guide, and check out our protein-rich recipes.
What’s your favorite way to add vegan protein to your meals and snacks?
We also highly recommend downloading our Food Monster App, which is available for both Android and iPhone, and can also be found on Instagram and Facebook. The app has more than 15,000 vegan protein rich, plant-based, allergy-friendly recipes, and subscribers gain access to ten new recipes per day. Check it out!
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A Guide to Protein Serving Sizes
Protein is one powerhouse nutrient. It helps keep you full, and your body uses it to help grow and maintain muscles, blood vessels, skin, hair and nails. Plus, protein also plays a key role in synthesizing hormones and enzymes in your body.
Protein is found in a variety of foods, including meat, poultry, seafood, dairy, beans, nuts and whole grains. According to the USDA Dietary Guidelines, women need 46 grams of protein and men need 56 grams of protein (but this does vary depending on how many calories you eat each day). Learn exactly how much protein you need to eat every day. Your protein needs are also dependent on your age, activity level and whether you are pregnant or have any chronic diseases.
If you eat a balanced diet, you are likely getting the daily required amount without much difficulty. A standard 3-oz. chicken breast has about 26 grams of protein in it, which is more than half of what’s recommended for women. But despite the fact that most people get enough protein, it remains a popular macronutrient to eat. It helps keep you full (read: less hangry) and powers up your muscles.
To make it easier for you to eat up, we looked at what a serving of protein looks like and how much you’re getting from different sources.
Related: Top Vegetarian Protein Sources
3 ounces cooked = 26 grams of protein
Chicken breast is a popular protein for a reason. It cooks up beautifully in different dishes and is very versatile. It’s a crowd-pleasing way to add more protein to salads, stir-fries, pastas, sandwiches and more.
Recipe to Try: Lemon-Sopressata Chicken
4 ounces cooked = 27 grams of protein
Salmon is one of the healthiest fishes you can eat. It’s loaded with omega-3 fatty acids which are good for your heart, brain and skin. Check out our ultimate guide on how to cook salmon to help you prepare this protein-rich fish.
Recipe to Try: Seared Salmon with Pesto Fettuccine
4 ounces cooked = 26 grams of protein
Shrimp aren’t so “shrimpy” when it comes to their protein content. Just a few ounces deliver a solid amount of protein. Try them over noodles or zoodles (made with zucchini), in tacos or go classic with shrimp cocktail.
Recipe to Try: Shrimp Pad Thai Salad
1 large egg = 6 grams of protein
Eggs are a healthy vegetarian proteins source. And while lots of protein junkies reach for egg whites, there is protein and healthy nutrients in the yolk too (so don’t leave it out!). Learn all our expert tips for making perfect hard-boiled eggs and don’t forget to “put an egg on it” and add this power protein to grain bowls, salads and more.
Recipe to Try: Soy-Sauce Eggs
½ cup cooked = 8 grams of protein
Beans are a great plant-based and vegan protein source. While they are lower in protein than something like a chicken breast they also deliver fiber. Fiber helps you stay satisfied, keeps your digestive system healthy and can help you lose weight.
Recipe to Try: Black Bean, Mango & Kale Wheat Berry Salad
3 ounces cooked = 23 grams of protein
Pork is an excellent source of many nutrients, including thiamin, niacin and riboflavin and vitamin B6, and a good source of zinc and potassium. If you’re confused by what to buy at the store check out our clean-eating buyer’s guide to pork.
Recipe to Try: Fennel Pollen & Balsamic-Glazed Pork Tenderloin with Braised Fennel
4 ounces canned (drained) = 22 grams of protein
The humble can of tuna delivers a protein punch. This is a cheap and easy protein to always keep stocked in your pantry.
Recipe to Try: Tuna Salad Sandwich with Sweet Relish
3 ounces cooked = 25 grams of protein
Steak is a favorite protein of lots of people. You don’t need to take down a giant T-bone steak to get your protein fill, 3 ounces delivers about half your daily value.
Recipe to Try: Montreal-Style Hanger Steak with Sweet Potato Frites
½ cup = 11 grams of protein
Tofu is another plant-based vegan protein. If you think you don’t like it, you may not be cooking it right. Check out our guide to cooking tofu so you’ll actually like it.
Recipe to Try: Tofu, Snow Pea & Carrot Wild Rice Salad
2 Tbsp. = 7 grams of protein
This humble lunch staple (PB & J anyone?) is actually a healthy plant-based source of protein. Nut butters also deliver heart-healthy fats and fiber. Spread peanut butter on toast, add it to smoothies or try a fun energy ball recipe.
Recipe to Try: Peanut Butter-Oat Energy Balls
1 cup = 12 grams of protein
Depending on which type of yogurt you pick, the protein content will vary slightly. There is even more protein in Greek yogurt-23 grams per cup. Yogurt also delivers probiotics to help keep your gut healthy.
Recipe to Try: Fig & Honey Yogurt
½ cup cooked = 4 grams of protein
Quinoa is a grain that also happens to give your meals a protein boost. While 4 grams isn’t quite as much as some of the other protein-packed foods on this list, it’s not shabby for a ½ cup or whole grains.
Recipe to Try: Mediterranean Chickpea Quinoa Bowl
1 cup lentil soup = 8 grams of protein
Like black beans, lentils are another vegan protein option. They are great in soups, curries, salads and can even give your smoothies a protein boost.
Recipe to Try: Slow-Cooked Moroccan Lentil Soup
Some original reporting by Sharmin Sampat
Most roads lead to high quality protein. An immunity builder, creator of muscle, stress reducer, weight loss tool, we could go on. In fact, we will. Protein foods strengthen bones, cartilage and skin, improve mood, and regulate hormones and other body chemicals.
Some impressive health benefits there, you’ll agree.
Unfortunately, many Brits fail to see just how beneficial high protein foods are. All too often the combination work stress and an afternoon energy dip leads to us faceplanting various sugar and salt bombs that do little more than sabotage your weight loss goals.
How many times have you got home, exhausted, and either dialled in your local takeaway or grabbed whatever you could find from the fridge? Probably more than you can count. You’re only human.
But what if we told you it doesn’t have to be this way? That you could sail through the 3pm slump without sending your blood sugar levels through the roof? That, with a little know how, you could prepare and cook healthy, hearty meals loaded with health benefits? Well, you can. All it takes is a little bit of forward planning and amino acids know-how.
That’s why we’ve compiled this definitive guide to high protein foods that will improve your health, build muscle mass and even help you lose weight (if that’s your goal).
But apart from all of that, these are the foods you need to know about to live a better life. A goal that we should all be targeting. Happy feasting.
The Importance of High Protein Foods
The benefits of a high protein snack go beyond hitting your macro goals. As well as boosting your metabolism, reducing appetite and increasing muscle mass, munching protein foods results in healthy bones, cartilage, skin, tissues and blood.
The Department of Health recommends that men consume 0.75 grams of protein for every kilo of bodyweight – that’s around 56g daily for the average bloke. Looking to build muscle? Then you will need to up your protein intake – find out how much, here.
The Importance of Low Carb Foods
As well as helping to side-step the inevitable food coma that processed snacks bring on, incorporating protein foods into a low carbohydrate diet yields proven health benefits. Reducing your carb intake can help to reduce inflammation and regulate blood sugar, studies show. In fact, it could even help you live longer.
Save your complex carbs for dinner time – we’ve picked out 15 of the healthiest high protein low carb snacks below. Get them prepped before ‘hanger’ strikes.
15 best high protein low carb snacks
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1. Two boiled eggs
One large egg contains, on average, six grams of protein and just 0.6 grams of carbs. They’re packed more nutrients, calorie-for-calorie, than pretty much any other food and they make portion control easy for even the most reluctant of meal preppers. Just boil, cool, and go.
Related Story Michelle Arnold / EyeEmGetty Images
2. Peanut butter
A 30g spoonful of peanut butter provides around eight grams of protein and six grams of of carbs. Spoon into celery boats – an entire stalk racks up just 1.2 grams of carbs – or chop up some carrots for a strange-but-satisfying snack.
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The protein content of cheese varies depending on the style – Parmesan, Swiss, Pecorino, Edam and Gouda offer the most bang-for-buck, providing between 26g and 35g of the muscle macro per 100g serving, with around 1.3g of carbs. Pair with antioxidant-packed grapes to power through the 3pm slump.
4. Greek yogurt
Tangy and filling, Greek yogurt contains roughly twice the amount of protein of regular yoghurt, coming in between 10g and 20g depending on the brand. Don’t go for the flavoured versions, though: sweeten it with a drizzle of honey and a handful of fruit.
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5. Pumpkin seeds
Containing seven grams of protein per 30g serve, as well as antioxidants, iron, zinc, potassium, calcium, magnesium and many other nutrients, these tiny green seeds do far more than just fill the gap between lunch and dinner. Roast them in mineral-rich tamari for a health boost, or lightly toast them in a frying pan.
Related Story Damar Muharram / EyeEmGetty Images
6. Edamame pods
Unripened soybeans don’t sound appetising, we’ll grant you that, but they’re a great source of protein. Like meat and dairy, edamame provides all of the essential amino acids your body needs. One 50g serve contains around six grams of protein and four grams of carbs.
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7. Protein shake
Ah, the tried and tested protein shake. It’s been said time and time again, but there’s no quicker and more efficient way to up your protein intake in a bid to build muscle mass. The amount of protein does vary wildly from brand to brand, so it’s worth forking out for a half decent one (and making sure there’s no nasties in it). As for whether to pick whey protein or plant based protein powder? We’ll leave that up to you.
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8. Cottage cheese
Classic bodybuilder fare, cottage cheese packs 11 grams of protein and 3.4 grams of carbs per 100g serving. It’s high in casein, a slow-digesting dairy protein, and super versatile, so you don’t need to look too hard to find a snack that suits your palate. Mix cottage cheese with peanut butter, honey and strawberries, or top with pineapple and blueberries, to combat a sweet tooth. If you’re savoury fan, stir in some lemon pepper (or make it into tzatziki) and dip your favourite crunchy veg.
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9. Fish in a pouch
No time to prep? Pick up one of the various pouched tuna, salmon or mackerel options on your nearest supermarket shelf with the added benefit of omega-3 fatty acids. You can choose from various options – with or without dressings and other ingredients like bulgur wheat, lentils and quinoa. Rip the top off and dig in.
A better source of protein than two chicken breasts, half the calories of a bag of cashews, super convenient and no need for refrigeration: jerky has the busy man’s back. Plus, a certain best-selling men’s magazine sells branded beef jerky in Tesco. So it must be decent.
The bird is a safe snacking bet – 100g contains a whopping 30 grams of protein and just 0.1 grams of carbs. The grab-and-go packets in supermarkets take the ache out of meal prep and come on a ready-made plate. Wafer thin roast turkey slices rolled around a wedge of avocado make for a slightly more filling snack with added vitamins and minerals, folate, magnesium, copper, iron and zinc. Boom.
Related Story Jordan Beal / EyeEmGetty Images
Almonds are nature’s vitamin pills, packed with heart-protecting HDL cholesterol, fibre, selenium, zinc, magnesium, vitamin E and B vitamins as well as – you guessed it – a decent wedge of plant based protein. Around 10g per 50g serve. Grab a ziplock bag and bridge the gap between breakfast and lunch without being tempted to finish the lot.
Maja Pilav / EyeEmGetty Images
13. Energy balls
They’re a bit ‘wellness’ and your girlfriend will probably eat half of them, but don’t underestimate the power of the no-bake energy bite. Whizz up some almond butter, high quality protein powder, coconut flour, vanilla extract and almond milk in a blender, roll the mix into balls, and stick them in the fridge. If you squint they look like cookie dough.
Ngoc To Vy Nguyen / EyeEmGetty Images
14. Tofu bites (High Protein Vegan Foods)
Meat lovers might be sceptical, but hear us out. Racking up eight grams of plant based protein and 1.9 grams of carbs per 100g, tofu can be a useful addition to even the most carnivorous of diets. It’s great at sucking up flavour, so chop it into cubes and pan fry with spices for a portable protein boost. Still think it’s super weird? Tofu is made by curdling fresh soya milk, pressing it into a block and cooling it – which is pretty much how most cheeses are made.
Nikolay Pandev / EyeEmGetty Images
15. Protein bars
When all else fails, let the experts take care of it for you. When picking your fighter, check the label for obscene sugar content (some brands contain more than a chocolate bar, potentially derailing your weight loss goals), as well as weird hidden ingredients and misleading protein content claims.
35 Healthy Protein Snacks to Keep You Feeling Full & Satisfied
Protein, protein, protein! We hear about it so often, but what is this wonder substance and what foods should we eat to get enough of it?
Keep reading to learn about healthy protein snacks and find out how to snack like a person who understands protein.
The Top Rated Protein Snacks Directly from SnackNation Customers:
- Whole Food Protein Balls, Chocolate Coconut Peanut Butter by simplyFUEL (4.68 out of 5)
- SmashPack Protein Fruit Smoothie Pouch (4.62 out of 5)
- Quest Nutrition Tortilla Style Protein Chips, Chili Lime (4.57 out of 5)
- FlapJacked Mighty Muffins (4.54 out of 5)
- Quest Nutrition Double Chocolate Chip Protein Cookie (4.51 out of 5)
- Twin Peaks Low Carb, Allergy Friendly Protein Puffs, Jalapeno Cheddar (4.46 out of 5)
- Smart Tart Protein Toaster Pastries (4.45 out of 5)
- Promix Whey Protein Isolate Puff Bar, Vanilla Bean (4.42 out of 5)
- Cheddies, Cheese Crackers (4.39 out of 5)
- FDL Protein Powder Cookie Butter, Frosted Cinnamon Roll (4.37 out of 5)
What is protein?
A protein is a molecule made of amino acid chains. The chains attach to form different structures and therefore different proteins, including essential antibodies, enzymes, and hormones. Protein does more than just build muscle; it features in many of your body’s primary functions.
What does this have to do with snacking?
As we mentioned above, proteins are made from amino acids. Your body can make some of its own amino acids, but it needs to get many of the essentials, what we officially call “essential amino acids,” by eating a variety of foods. When your body has all the necessary amino acids, it can make all the essential proteins.
Making protein vs eating protein.
Whether it’s from a plant or animal source, the protein you eat doesn’t immediately supply you with protein because it comes from a different organism, and it is designed for the particular needs of that organism. Your body breaks down the consumed protein into amino acid components and then does some restructuring to build protein you can use.
This restructuring process is why you need to consume proteins, and therefore amino acids, from a variety of foods, healthy foods in particular. According to experts at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, the “package,” or the health profile, of the protein-packed food you’re eating has a big impact on your overall health.
Your high-protein snacking strategy
To be your best self, you should snack on a range of nutrient-rich, healthy protein snacks that are low in fat and calories.
Below, we’ve broken down some of the basic foods that deliver the healthiest, leanest protein and amino acids packages. We’ve also listed snacks you can buy and make to get your fill of each protein source. Are you ready to get your protein on?
Eggs—compact packages filled with lots of powerful nutrients. One large egg has 70 calories, 6 grams of protein, and a variety of other nutrients, including vitamin D, riboflavin, and selenium. Combine that nutrient profile with flavor and versatility, and you’ve got an ideal source of lean protein.
1. Love With Food Healthy Snack Subscription Boxes
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2. Egg and Pesto Stuffed Tomato
Via Paleo Leap: Egg and Pesto Stuffed Tomatoes
To make a high-protein snack, the cook behind Paleo Leap cracks an egg into a tomato and bakes it. Voila—you’ve got a nutrient-rich snack that won’t make you feel like a deprived, spartan bodybuilder.
3. Healthy Egg Salad on Cucumber Rounds
Via Well Plated: Healthy Egg Salad
Make egg salad the Well Plated way, with nonfat Greek yogurt and mustard. This technique removes a lot of the fat and even adds in some extra protein. You can also ditch the bread and eat your egg salad on dainty cucumber slices. It might sound like a tea party snack, but it packs some serious protein.
4. Microwaved Eggs – 3 Ways
Who has time for a skillet? Luckily, you can eat wholesome high-protein eggs in three different ways thanks to the microwave.
Poached: If you have an egg, a mug, and some water, you can enjoy a snack-fast poached egg. Get the instructions.
Scrambled: Stir together eggs, milk, and salt…and then zap! Get the instructions.
Quiche: Microwavable mug quiche is the savory snacking equivalent of mug cake. Get the instructions.
With about 140 calories and 12 grams of protein per serving, yogurt* makes one tasty source of healthy protein, not to mention other good things, such as vitamin A, phosphorus, and calcium. Yogurt’s protein density and mild flavor make it an ideal base for a variety of healthy snacks.
(*Based on data for plain, low-fat yogurt.)
5. Plain Yogurt + Orange Blossom Honey + Toasted Sesame Seeds
Skip the pre-flavored yogurt and make your own gourmet concoction with enough protein and flavor to keep you satisfied for hours. You can find pre-toasted sesame seeds in the Asian section of many grocery stores.
6. Greek Yogurt Pops
Via Lemon Bowl: Raspberry Greek Yogurt Popsicles
The cook behind the Lemon Bowl freezes some fruit and some yogurt in paper cups to make a high-protein snack that’s also a delightful frozen treat.
7. Greek Yogurt + Hemp Hearts + Strawberries
Mix some robust Greek yogurt with hemp hearts and naturally low-sugar strawberries to create a powerhouse protein bowl that tastes more indulgent than it is.
8. Easy Mediterranean Parfaits
These nutrient-dense parfaits surpass every other sugary, frivolous, and empty parfait you’ve ever tried. Turn the “high-protein parfait” into a delicious new reality by layering Greek yogurt, apricot preserves, granola, and pistachios.
9. Greek Yogurt Peanut Butter Dip
If you’ve never thought about mixing peanut butter and yogurt, then you’ve been missing out on some scrumptious flavors and healthy protein. Eat this dip from Food, Fun & Life with any kind of fruit you want or straight off the spoon (we won’t judge). You can also skip the honey in this recipe if you want to cut sugar from your diet.
10. Rose Water and Cardamom Yogurt Lassi
This rose-water lassi (from the clean-eating experts at Whole Foods) makes high-protein eating fancy. Try it if you want to change up your protein smoothie routine.
Many fish are remarkably high in protein and low in calories and fat. Take wild Atlantic salmon for example. One fillet (198 grams) has nearly 40 grams of protein and less than 300 calories. Fish is also full of monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fatty acids that are ideal for satiety.
11. Salmon Cucumber Rolls
Via Eat, Spin, Run, Repeat: Salmon Cucumber Rolls
Make like the foodie behind Eat, Spin, Run, Repeat and roll up salmon and cucumber to make a snack that’s like a protein-packed sushi roll without the added carbohydrates of sticky rice.
12. Healthy Mediterranean Tuna Salad
Classic tuna salad has lots of protein. Lighten up on the fat to make a snack that delivers a leaner, meaner protein package. This recipe from Tori Avey gets flavor and moisture from lemon juice and olive oil instead of mayonnaise.
13. Salmon Pops with Dill Sauce
Via Only Gluten Free Recipes: Salmon Pops with Piquant Dill Sauce
Eating fish on a stick has never been so delicious, healthy, or fun. This snack from Only Gluten Free Recipes uses sesame seeds, lemon juice, and dill to bring out the flavors in naturally delicious salmon.
14. Quick Tropical Tuna Salad
Stir together some high-quality canned tuna, pineapple chunks, cubed avocado, and cilantro to make a healthy tropical tuna salad. Eat the mixture straight off the spoon or dollop it onto fresh cucumber slices.
Nuts & Seeds
Nutrient-dense nuts and seeds have everything you need to stay full, including protein and good fats. Nuts and seeds are also incredibly versatile; they can be used in a wide range of sweet and savory protein snacks.
The pure and simple almond makes a steadfast, go-to source of protein. If you need fast and clean protein on the go, then almonds are your best friend.
16. No-Bake Protein Bars
Via Oh She Glows: Quick ‘n Easy No-Bake Protein Bars
If you’re trying to prepare most of your own food, these no-bake bars, a quick alternative to their packaged counterparts, are an awesome choice. Oh She Glows uses vegan protein powder and almond butter to pack these tasty bars with plenty of protein.
17. Almond-Butter Protein Balls
Via Real Food Dietitians: Almond Butter Banana Protein Balls
Protein balls are often faster and easier to make than protein bars, and these no-bake morsels from the Real Food Dietitians are no exception. These bites are filled with protein from almonds, chia seeds, and clean protein powder.
18. Roasted Pumpkin Seeds
Who knew all those mucky seeds we scoop out of our jack o’lanterns were filled with protein? Well, they are—a 2-ounce helping contains 10 grams of protein. Find pre-roasted pumpkin seeds in your grocery store, or salt the raw seeds and roast them at 300 degrees for about 45 minutes.
19. No-Bake Pumpkin Seed Bars
Versatile pumpkin seeds feature in these no-bake protein bars from A Big Man’s World. The bars are sweet, salty, and good for your body.
Beans & Legumes
Beans and legumes have been the choice protein of plant-based diets for years. These high-protein packages are mildly flavored, super low in fat and calories, and filled with protein, folate, and of course, fiber. In fact, beans and legumes contain a magical combination of protein and fiber that keeps you full and produces some healthy protein snacks.
20. Crunchy Garlic Lentil Snacks
Via Food, Fitness, Fresh Air: Crunchy Garlic Lentil Snack
Lentil soup is great, but these crispy, portable lentils might change the way you snack forever. This recipe from Food, Fitness, Fresh Air makes it easy to enjoy the fiber and lean protein of lentils when you’re on the go.
21. Fast and Easy Black Bean Blender Soup
Blender soups are like savory smoothies. They’re fast, easy, and super healthy. They’re also perfect if you’re watching fruit sugars. Combine lime juice, tomato juice, cilantro, salt, and a pinch of hot sauce in a blender to make a protein-filled soup that tastes amazing hot or cold.
22. Vegetarian Traveler Garbanzo and Soy Medley
Made with garbanzos and soybeans, this snack medley offers an anytime protein boost. Snack on the mix alone or add it to your salads, soups, and buddha bowls—anything that could benefit from extra protein.
23. Raw Falafel
Combine garbanzo beans and a few other tasty ingredients in a food processor, roll the meal into balls, and voila—you’ve got Rawmazing’s protein-rich falafel that’s quick to make and awesomely tasty, no frying required.
24. WOLO WanderBar Chocolate Protein Bars
chocolate chips, protein powder, and other nutrients fill these WOLO WanderBars with a healthy dose of protein that goes down as easy as any tasty treat.
25. Protes Pea Protein Chips
Pea protein goes into each of these golden-triangle chips. Eat a whole bag to get 15 grams of protein while downing only 120 calories. You can enjoy the protein-packed goodness of Protes chips in lots of tasty flavors, including spicy chili lime, toasted coconut, and salted caramel.
26. Chickpea and Black Bean Snack Mix
Via Dizzy, Busy, and Hungry: Chickpea and Black Bean Snack Mix
Simply season and bake chickpeas and black beans to make a crunchy snack that tastes like it came right out of a package. This recipe from Dizzy, Busy, and Hungry make it easy with only five minutes of preparation time.
Healthy, high-protein whey is a by-product of cheese making. Basically, cheese is made, and the left-behind whey is processed further to remove stuff that isn’t protein. The result is a concentrated protein powerhouse that has plenty of amino acids and integrates easily into nearly any food imaginable.
27. Ips Protein Chips
Eat chips and get your protein. Who says life isn’t fair? Delicious Ips Protein Chips are made from wholesome corn flour and whey protein concentrate. The result is a puffy chip with half the fat and twice the flavor of regular fried potato chips.
28. Avocado Whey Smoothie
Blend one avocado, a scoop of whey protein powder, almond milk, and strawberries together to make a creamy smoothie that will keep you full for hours.
29. Plain Yogurt + Fig Butter + Whey Protein
Add a scoop of fig butter and your favorite whey protein powder to some plain yogurt to create a high-protein snack with rich and satisfying flavor.
30. Banana Protein Milk
This snack is lighter than a smoothie, but it’s just as satisfying. Simply blend one ripe banana with a scoop of whey protein powder and about 3 cups of your favorite milk. The result has a creamier texture than normal milk and a lightly sweet banana flavor your inner child will love.
A lean protein source, turkey* has about 125 calories, 2 grams of fat, and 26 grams of protein. It makes a perfect, satisfying base for tons of good-for-you protein snacks.
(*Data based on skinless roasted turkey breast.)
31. Country Archer Herb Citrus Turkey Bar
These savory, paleo-friendly bars have all the herby citrusy flavors of a home-roasted turkey. Made with clean turkey raised without antibiotics or hormones, each Country Archer bar contains only 1 gram of sugar.
32. Easy Homemade Turkey Jerky
Who knew you could make your own clean healthy turkey jerky by skewering some turkey slices to the top rack of your oven? Well you can, and you should. Just follow this recipe from Mark’s Daily Apple.
33. Turkey-Wrapped Apple (or turkey wrapped anything)
Grab a nitrate-free, low-sodium slice of packaged turkey breast and wrap it around a tart slice of Granny Smith apple to make a protein-rich snack with a refreshing flavor. And just so you know, you can make this snack with pretty much anything you want: pickles, carrots, mango, hot peppers, and more. Consider it your go-to reverse sandwich.
34. Grown-Up Sandwich Crackers
Reconnect with the kid-style fun of creating cracker sandwiches. Use quality ingredients to make your nostalgic snack super healthy. Grab whole-grain seeded crackers, protein-packed sliced turkey, and light sliced cheese. Use a pizza cutter to slice the cheese and turkey into quarters and start making your sandwiches. Get creative with condiments to add even more adult flare to these healthy snacks.
35. Epic Turkey Almond Cranberry Bar
Get your turkey fix in snack bar form with the Epic Turkey Almond Cranberry Bar. This bar has all the satisfying flavor of a harvest feast, but it also gets down to business with 11 grams of protein. Epic puts only the best turkey into their bars—that means turkey raised without growth stimulants.
What’s your favorite healthy protein snack? Let us know in the comment section below!
(PS – Don’t miss out on 40% OFF your first Deluxe Box of delicious & healthy snacks!)
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By Brianna Elliott
When you live a busy lifestyle, snacks can be useful for when hunger hits and you don’t have time to prepare a meal.
However, many snack foods available today are high in refined carbs and sugar, which can leave you feeling unsatisfied and craving more food.
The key is to make sure your snacks are nutritious and contain protein.
Protein promotes fullness because it signals the release of appetite-suppressing hormones, slows digestion and stabilizes blood sugar levels (1, 2, 3, 4).
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.
It’s very high in protein, containing an impressive 9 grams per ounce (28 grams) (5).
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.
2. 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).
You can increase the amount of protein in trail mix by using almonds or pistachios, which are slightly higher in protein than other types of nuts such as walnuts or cashews (7, 8, 9, 10).
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.
3. 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.
Snacks that are high in protein and low in carbs, such as turkey roll-ups, have been shown to improve blood sugar levels, which is an important factor for appetite regulation (11, 12, 13).
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.
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.
4. 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).
In addition to being a great source of protein, Greek yogurt is also high in calcium, which is important for bone health (16).
To make yogurt even more delicious and filling, you can make a parfait by combining one cup of yogurt with granola and mixed berries in layers.
The addition of granola to yogurt provides four more grams of protein per ounce. However, be mindful of how much you use, as granola is high in calories and easy to overeat. A tablespoon or two is a reasonable serving size (17).
5. 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).
Additionally, tuna is high in various other nutrients, such as B vitamins and selenium and contains a considerable amount of omega-3 fatty acids (19).
7. Hard-Boiled Eggs
Eggs are undeniably healthy, consisting of almost every nutrient that your body needs. They are particularly high in B vitamins and trace minerals (20).
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).
8. Peanut Butter Celery Sticks
Celery sticks spread with a tablespoon or two of peanut butter make for a delicious and easy snack. They contain a decent amount of protein from the peanut butter, which provides 4 grams of protein per tablespoon (32 grams) (22).
Peanut butter and peanuts are known for helping you feel full and have been shown to promote feelings of fullness when consumed between meals (23, 24).
One study found peanut butter to be more filling than whole nuts, such as almonds or chestnuts (23).
9. No-Bake Energy Bites
Energy bites are a delicious, high-protein snack made by combining a variety of ingredients, such as nut butter, oats and seeds and then rolling them into balls.
The best part about energy bites is that they don’t require baking. You can prepare a batch ahead of time so that you have a snack available when you need to grab one and go.
Here is a recipe for peanut butter energy bites, which provide five grams of protein per serving.
10. 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).
Furthermore, cheese is rich in protein. Just one slice of cheddar cheese provides seven grams, which may help suppress your appetite (25, 26).
In one study in overweight men, calorie intake decreased by 9 percent 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.
JUNE 30, 2012 —
Whether it’s fueling up before hitting the gym or taking a mid-day snack break to avoid the 2 o’clock lull, high-protein snacks are the tastiest way to keep on going. Protein snacks are the perfect way to fill upjust enough, and give us longer-lasting energy than the usual, carb-heavy options. Here are 31 of our favorite protein-packed snacks — one for every day of the month! We promise you won’t get sick of any of these choices.
1. Cottage-Style Fruit: Top ½ cup cottage cheese with ½ cup of your favorite fruit. Why not try some superfoods? Bananas, mixed berries, and melon are some Greatist favorites!
2. Beef or Turkey Jerky: Be careful to avoid sodium- and sugar-filled brands, but low-sodium, natural, or lightly-flavored options are a great source of protein. And this chewy snack is super-portable and keeps fresh for months when packed properly. A one-ounce serving (the size of most single-serve packs) contains about 9 grams of protein!
3. Mixed Nuts or Trail Mix: This is a favorite in the Greatist office. Mixed nuts are an easy way to get a delicious dose of protein in a convenient, shelf-stable package. Try a mixed bunch for variety and a combo with dried fruit for some added sweetness. The best bang for your protein buck?Almonds and Pistachios are high up there in protein while comparably lower in saturated fat than their nutty peers.
4. Pumpkin Seeds: Those orange gourds aren’t just for Halloween. The pumpkin insides, scooped out to make room for spooky faces, can actually make a healthy little snack once they’re washed, dried, and nicely roasted! Just ½ cup of pumpkin seeds has about 14 grams of protein — the perfect pre-workout snack!
(Also Check Out: 50 Awesome Pre and Post-Workout Snacks)
5. Hard-Boiled Egg: Inexpensive and loaded with nutrients, eggs are one of the best ways to get a healthy dose of protein. Try hard boiling and pre-peeling a dozen at the start of the week and throw one in a small Tupperware container each day for an easy on-the-go snack. (Feeling extra famished? Slice the egg and place it on a piece of whole-wheat bread.)
6. Deli Rollup: Top 2 slices of low-sodium deli meat (turkey, chicken, or roast beef work great!) with 1 slice of lowfat cheese and a shake of pepper. Add a slice of tomato or some lettuce for extra veggie points!
7. Nut Butter Boat: Any vehicle for nut butter (almond, peanut, or cashew, perhaps?) is perfection in our book. Try loading a few celery sticks with 1 tablespoon of any nut butter topped with a few whole almonds or raisins (oh yeah, we went there). If you’re not a fan of celery, try scooping out the middle of an apple and fill it with a nut buttery surprise!
8. Mini Bean-and-Cheese Quesadilla: It might take an extra minute to prep, but combining these two high-protein treats is worth it! Fold ½ cup black beans, 1 tablespoon salsa, and 1 slice cheddar cheese in a small soft tortilla. Cook in a dry nonstick pan until cheese is melted and tortilla is lightly browned. Wrap in foil and stick in a plastic baggie for easy transport.
9. Shake It Up: The combinations are endless with protein shakes. And one scoop can go a long way! Our favorites? The “Protein Creamsicle” — 1 scoop vanilla whey protein powder, 1 cup orange juice, and 1 cup ice blended until smooth — (thanks @JCDFitness!), and the “Star-buffs Shake” — 1 cup iced coffee (with ice) and 1 scoop chocolate whey protein, blended — a caffeine-filled creation from Greatist’s fitness editor, Jordan Shakeshaft.
10. KIND Bar: We’re not huge supporters of prepackaged bars, smoothies, and the like, but we make an exception for KIND bars. Their classic varieties are a great source of protein from the all-nut base (coming in at around 5 grams per bar), but for an even higher dose of the good stuff, try Kind Plus varieties with added protein. (An office favorite is Peanut Butter Dark Chocolate + Protein — one bar has 7 grams!)
11. Easy Oatmeal Raisin Cookie: Flash back to elementary school snack time with this sweet (but still healthy!) treat. In a microwave-safe bowl (or mug), mix ¼ cup oats, 1 teaspoon brown sugar, 1 tablespoon flour (of your choice), 1 egg white, ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract, 1/4 teaspoon baking powder, 1 teaspoon cinnamon, and 1 tablespoon raisins. Flatten mixture into bottom of bowl and microwave on high for 45 seconds. Cool, pop it out of the bowl, and enjoy!
12. Tofu Sticks: This soybean-based protein bomb isn’t just for stir-fry and Asian takeout menus! When sliced into sticks and baked, firm (and smoked!) tofu can make a great snack food, especially if it’s served with a side of homemade tomato or teriyaki dipping sauce — just don’t overdo it!
13. Chunky Monkey Shake: It’s time to get funky, monkey! Blend 1 medium banana, 1 tablespoon of peanut butter, and 1 cup of low-fat chocolate milk with 1 cup of ice for a protein-packed pick-me-up.
14. Edamame Poppers: The only thing more fun than how much protein you can get from a serving of edamame is getting to eat these little beans out of their bright green pods! One cup of the pods offers about 17 grams of protein. Buy them fresh and steam for about 6 minutes, or use the pre-cooked frozen variety and briefly microwave to defrost (about 2 minutes) before chowing down.
15. Hummus Dippers: How’s this for an unconventional use of a travel coffee mug: Put 2 tablespoons of a favorite hummus in the bottom of the container. Stick a handful of vegetable sticks (carrots, celery, and snow peas are a great mix!) vertically in the hummus, screw on the top, and throw in a purse or gym bag for an easy, on-the-go, super-healthy snack. Time to take a break from the moo-juice! While cow’s milk does have it’s nutritional benefits (calcium and vitamin A, to name a few),
17. Portable Cheese Platter: Everyone wants to feel classy every once in a while, right? Make yourself a mini cheese plate with a reduced-fat cheese stick (or 2 slices of cheese), two whole-grain crackers, and a few roasted almonds.
18. Banana Nutter: Few pairings are more comforting than a classic peanut butter and banana combo. Top a rice cake (brown rice for extra fiber points!) with 2 tablespoons of your favorite nut butter and half a banana, sliced. Sprinkle with cinnamon for some extra healthy benefits!
19. Silver Dollar Protein Pancakes: Props to Greatist contributor Laura Skladzinski for this killer recipe. Mix 4 egg whites, ½ cup of rolled oats, ½ cup of low-fat cottage cheese, ⅛ teaspoon of baking powder, and ½ teaspoon of pure vanilla extract. Cook on a preheated griddle (medium low heat) until mixtures bubbles, flip and cook for another 60 seconds. Top with fresh berries or sliced banana.
20. Chocolate Milk: No, we’re not going back to preschool. Low-fat chocolate milk is actually a great source of high-quality protein (especially post-workout)! Try keeping a single-serving, shelf-stable box in your gym bag (or purse) for snack attack emergencies — just try to find one that’s also low in sugar! (I’m a huge fan of Horizon Dairy’s single-serve, low-fat chocolate milk boxes.)
For 11 more high-protein snacks and the full list, go to Greatist.com.
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25 Best Store-Bought High-Protein Snacks
Americans have a dual obsession with snacking and eating more protein. In fact, an NPD report shows that consumers want to get more protein in their diet but a whopping 71 percent don’t know how much they should getting (for reference, it’s at least 46 grams for women and 56 grams for men). Adding low-sugar, high protein snacks to your daily diet is an easy way to meet that quota.
High protein snacks can help fuel weight loss efforts by boosting metabolism and reducing hunger pangs. “Although snacks usually get a ‘bad rap’ for dieters, they can be quite essential when selected wisely. Proteins aren’t considered the building blocks of our bodies for nothing” says Bonnie Balk, RD, and Health & Wellness Expert for Maple Holistics.
“Snacks high in protein that are eaten between meals can reduce hunger, prevent overeating at mealtimes, and can help maintain weight loss,” says Balk.
Luckily, you don’t have to keep bags of chicken breast or turkey in your bag in order to reap the benefits. There are plenty of portable, non-perishable ways to sneak in some protein. Next time you go to the grocery store, don’t get overwhelmed. Instead, use this list as your guide to shop for the healthiest store-bought high-protein snacks. If you’re looking for more protein-packed goods, don’t miss these best low-sugar protein bars.
How we chose the best store-bought high-protein snacks.
Not just any snack landed on our list. We consulted registered dietitians to come up with some nutritional guidelines to follow when making our picks.
How much protein should you aim for? “I try to make sure the protein serving is 8 to 15 grams. If it’s over 20 grams, you won’t absorb all of it,” says dietitian Jessi Holden, MS, RDN, CSOWM. While you should aim to get at least 8 grams of protein in your high-protein snacks, we’ve also included some snacks with at least 6 grams of protein in case you want to mix and match.
Besides protein, what other nutrients should you look for? “I try to aim for a snack with less than 15 grams of sugar, and maybe some fiber, and healthy fats depending on the food,” says dietitian Kasey Hutchinson, RDN, owner of Vibrant Nutrition, RD.
What about ingredients? “It is important to read the nutritional label. Avoid snacks high in saturated fats. Be mindful of snacks that are high in sodium and preservatives,” says Lee Cotton, RDN, LDN.
With these tips in mind, we put together a list of the 25 best store-bought high protein snacks that follow these guidelines. Many of them are approved by dietitians themselves.
The following store-bought, high-protein snacks have at least 6 grams of protein per serving.
siggi’s Icelandic-Style Yogurt, Orange & Ginger
Protein Punch: 17 grams
Siggi’s Icelandic yogurt goes through multiple straining stages to increase the yogurt’s natural protein content. Per ounce, siggi’s has some of the highest protein counts on the market. And the extra protein is beneficial if you’re looking to pack on some extra muscle or trim down. Balk says she’s a big fan of siggi’s. “With its high protein content and minimal additives, it is a great choice as part of a breakfast meal, or snack.” If you’re looking to avoid sugar, Balk recommends selecting the plain flavor and adding in your own fresh fruit for sweetness.
Purely Elizabeth Cranberry Pumpkin Seed Ancient Grain Oatmeal
Protein Punch: 9 grams
Oatmeal cups make healthy protein-rich snacking easy and satisfying—without adding globs of sugar like some other brands. Keep a container or two in your desk drawer. When you’re eyeing your go-to vending machine indulgence, nip that unhealthy urge in the bud by simply adding water to one of these before zapping it in the break-room microwave. Your waistline will thank you.
at Amazon Buy Now 3
Wild Friends Classic Creamy Peanut Butter Squeeze Pack
Protein Punch: 8 grams
Ounce for ounce, peanuts are one of the most protein-dense nuts. On the run? Rip open the top of the squeeze pack and eat the palm oil- and sugar-free butter right from the pouch. For more of a sit-down snack, smear some of the flavonoid-packed spread onto a few pear slices. For a more comprehensive run-down of one of the most popular nut butters, don’t miss the 36 top peanut butters—ranked!.
at Amazon Buy Now 4
Seapoint Farms Dry Roasted Edamame
Protein Punch: 10 grams
Getting sick of snacking on almonds and walnuts? Mix things up (while still satisfying that craving for something crunchy) by incorporating packs of dry roasted edamame into your high protein snacks lineup. There are 11 grams of soy protein and six grams of belly-filling fiber in each 100-calories serving! “SeaPointe Farms Roasted Edamame is an excellent source of iron and calcium and makes for a great between-meal snack or pre-dinner appetizer!” adds NYC-based dietitian Rachel Fine, MS, RD, CSSD, CDN, and owner of To The Pointe Nutrition.
at Amazon Buy Now 5
P6rotein Punch: 12 grams
“As a rule of thumb, if you can pronounce all the ingredients listed in the nutrition facts, you’re in a good place. With RXBAR, there are 12 grams of protein per bar, stemming from egg whites, almonds, and cashews,” says Balk.
$18.89 at Amazon Buy Now 6
Saffron Road Chipotle Crunchy Chickpeas
Protein Punch: 6 grams
These high protein snacks are packed with crispy, roasted chickpeas that are hot, hot, hot! Foods loaded with capsaicin—the compound responsible for giving chilies their fire—have been proven to reduce belly fat, suppress appetite and boost thermogenesis—the body’s ability to burn food as energy.
at Amazon Buy Now 7
Lemon & Pepper Seasoned Tuna Medley With Crackers
Protein Punch: 19 grams
This tuna comes pre-seasoned with lemon and pepper, eliminating the need for mayo or sauces to amp up the flavor. Plus, this kit comes with a little knife and a few crackers so you can easily eat this protein-packed mini-meal no matter when you are when hunger strikes.
at Amazon Buy Now 8
Health Warrior Chia Bar
If you’re not ready to commit to buying an entire bag of pumpkin seeds, but you’ve always wanted to give the superfood a try, these bars are for you. Loaded with fiber, protein, and antioxidants, this sweet and spicy flavored snack will tide you over without stuffing you to the brim.
at Amazon Buy Now 9
Field Trip Jerky Original Beef Jerky
Protein Punch: 13 grams
Unlike Slim Jims, which use scary ingredients like sodium nitrite and monosodium glutamate (MSG), Field Trip’s take on the classic, naturally protein-filled snack is free of preservatives, MSG, nitrites (they even eschew the “natural” alternative celery juice powder), and corn syrup. Plus, it’s lower in fat and sodium than many conventional varieties, which is just another reason it earns a place on our list.
at Amazon Buy Now 10
PECKISH PECK Packs, Eggs & “Fried Rice”
Protein Punch: 12 grams
Egg protein is one of the cheapest, simplest sources of this macronutrient. “The incredible, edible egg is the ultimate high-protein snack,” says Laura Lagano, MD, RDN, CDN, integrative & functional nutritionist with an in-person & virtual private practice. “Eggs are a complete protein, portable in the hard-cooked version, and tasty. Numerous stores are selling hard-cooked eggs as snacks and a relative new-comer, Peckish, offers organic eggs with various crunchy dips. Love this product!”
$55 at Perfectly Peckish Buy Now 11
Blue Moose of Boulder Roasted Red Pepper Hummus
The best part about this hummus is that it’s portable. Snack on the high-protein hummus with the flax crackers or grab a pack along with a baggie of raw veggies for some extra belly-filling fiber on the run.
at Amazon Buy Now 12
Horizon Organic Mozzarella Cheese Sticks
Protein Punch: 7 grams
They’re portable, fun to eat, and packed with protein and calcium—just a few of the reasons we’re such big fans of these cheese sticks. They’re a welcome addition to both kids’ lunchboxes and adults’ brown bags.
at Amazon SHOP NOW ON AMAZON FRESH 13
Sargento Balanced Breaks Natural White Cheddar Cheese with Almonds and Dried Cranberries
This snack pack is made with simple ingredients: cheddar cheese, almonds, and dried cranberries, and less than 200 calories per container. It has good protein-to-carb ratio with 14 grams of carbs and 7 grams of protein which will satisfy you without spiking your blood sugar.
at Amazon SHOP NOW ON AMAZON FRESH 14
Good Culture Organic Whole Milk Cottage Cheese
To mix things up, opt for this oft-overlooked grab-and-go dairy item in lieu of your daily yogurt. With a low sugar count, it packs an impressive 19 grams of protein into its diminutive 5.3-ounce container. “The fact that includes live and active probiotics makes it a good alternative to anyone that does like yogurt but still wants to have a high protein snack that can help with gut heath,” says dietitian Emily Tills, MS, RDN, CDN, founder of Nourished With Emily.
Find the taste a bit bland? Mix in a few small pieces of pineapple or melon. Both fruits make for a delicious pairing.
KIND Fruit & Nut Snack Bar
KIND uses real fruit, peanuts, almonds, walnuts, Brazil nuts and not much else to make their wholesome high protein snacks. Coming in at 200 calories, this bar is great for warding off the afternoon slump or satisfying a craving for something sweet and crunchy.
at Amazon Buy Now 16
EPIC Grass-Fed Beef Apple, Bacon Bar
Protein Punch: 11 grams
These Paleo, gluten-free bars are made from hormone-free meats and poultry, organic spices and dried fruit. Although we don’t have any bones to pick with the wholesome ingredient list, they’re a bit high in sodium. Your best bet is to enjoy one after a sweaty workout. Since you’ll have just depleted your sodium levels, the extra salt may be beneficial, plus the protein can help rebuild the muscles broken down during your gym sesh.
at Amazon Buy Now 17
Rhythm Superfoods Kool Ranch Kale Chips
These kale chips are made by dehydrating organic kale that’s been tossed with a bold blend of herbs and spices. Rhythm Superfoods’ Kool Ranch Kale Chips are not only lower in calories and fat than Doritos, but they also serve up way more impressive amounts of two essential vitamins: vitamins A and K.
at Amazon Buy Now 18
Enlightened Bada Bean Bada Boom Spicy Wasabi Crunchy Broad Beans
Made from roasted beans, a kick of wasabi and a touch of sunflower oil, this portable, pre-portioned high protein snack is easy to throw into a purse, briefcase, or gym bag. With seven grams of protein and fiber, it’s sure to keep you satiated until your next meal.
at Amazon Buy Now 19
Eggland’s Best Hard-Cooked Peeled Eggs
Protein Punch: 12 grams (per 2 eggs)
These are organic eggs, cooked, peeled and ready to eat. Enjoying them is as easy as topping them with a pinch of salt and pepper before popping them in your mouth!
Nuts are a great source of protein and healthy fats; they provide all the energy-boosting nutrients your body needs while keeping portions in check. You’ll get 6 grams of protein for just 160 calories. “Almonds also make a great snack because they’re high in vitamin E, copper, and magnesium,” says Fine.
at Amazon Buy Now 21
Our Little Rebellion Protein Crisps
This gluten-free snack uses a combination of soy protein flour to pack 10 grams of protein into every serving, making them substantial enough to enjoy on their own. Can’t stomach plain crackers? Pair them with a pre-portioned piece of cheese.
at Amazon Buy Now 22
Nature’s Path Qi’a Superfood Chia, Buckwheat & Hemp Cereal
With impressive protein and fiber counts, and a whopping 1,500 milligrams of omega-3 fatty acids (about what you’d get from an order of salmon), this is a great go-to granola that will help keep your arteries clear and your brain fired up.
$9.00 at Amazon Buy Now 23
Iconic Protein Drink
Protein Punch: 20 grams
Using grass-fed protein from New Zealand cows milk, ICONIC makes a high-quality protein drink with not a lot of sugar. It’s a great option for a healthy workout recovery or when you’ve got a meeting planned during lunch.
at Amazon Buy Now 24
gimMe Seaweed Thins, Sriracha Almond
This high protein snack pack might have the appearance of a child’s snack, but its protein and vitamin-filled nutrient profile is nothing to kid about.
$38.99 at Amazon Buy Now 25
KIND Healthy Grains Almond Butter Whole Grain Granola Clusters
Start your day with delicious whole grains and 10g protein per serving. We combined creamy almond butter with our crunchy super grain blend and a touch of cinnamon to create a snack that’s perfect to enjoy by the handful or paired with milk or yogurt. That’s a much better a.m. meal than one of the worst breakfast foods on the planet.
at Amazon Buy Now
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8 Healthy High-Protein Snacks to Help You Power Through the Day
When it comes to healthy eating, there’s a lot of focus on what you shouldn’t be eating. Skip the “added sugars,” “bad fats,” and “bad carbs.” But, what should you be eating? And when you realize your last meal was a bit too light — and your next meal is still a ways off — which snacks are smart choices?
Foods high in protein are good snacking picks because the macronutrient helps keep you feeling fuller longer, explains Mary Wirtz, RDN, a wellness dietitian at the Healthy Living Program at the Mayo Clinic: “Protein takes longer to digest than carbohydrates, so it therefore keeps us satisfied and satiated.”
And the longer you feel satisfied and satiated, the less likely you’ll want to reach for other less-healthy snacks or extra calories, she adds.
Several epidemiological studies that have followed large groups of people over the course of several years have indeed found improved health outcomes in people who eat diets high in protein. Some of those health benefits include lower risk of hypertension, heart disease, and stroke.
Other research suggests diets high in protein can help with weight loss and maintaining a healthy weight. A study published in May 2015 in the International Journal of Obesity, which followed 932 obese families, found that a high-protein diet helped control blood pressure and inflammation in both kids and adults — and helped both the kids and adults in the study lose weight and keep it off.
Why is protein so important? Protein is used by every cell in the body (including our muscles, bones, blood, cartilage, and all tissues) for basic functioning, Wirtz says. Once digested and transported to where we need it, the protein we eat helps our bodies do just about everything we do, from repairing and rebuilding muscle after we exercise to making the hormones and chemicals that help keep our organs functioning and regulate our sleep, digestion, and immune function.
So when we get hungry between meals, high-protein snacks may provide the energy our bodies need (calming our hunger signals) and keep our systems functioning optimally.
It’s important to remember, however, that just because a food is high in protein, that doesn’t mean you should overdo it. Some foods that pack a lot of punch when it comes to grams of protein per calorie, like red meat or full-fat cheese, can also serve up a lot of saturated fat, which should be eaten in moderation.
Here are eight good-for-you snacks that deliver when it comes to protein.
Additional reporting by Brianna Steinhilber.