Looking to increase your daily protein intake? Enjoy this extensive list of yummy high-protein snacks to keep you satisfied and energized all day!
I love a good snack.
Sometimes after a workout or an outing with Dustin and the kids, I get a craving for a little something to tide me over until I start thinking about what to make for dinner.
With the clean-eating lifestyle I lead, I don’t really go for snacks that aren’t healthy. Sure, if we’re on vacation, I’m good to go like everyone else with a sweet snack that celebrates the fun of travel and being away.
But in general, if I’m going to snack, I want to make it count and have it fit my macros. I want it to be good for me and keep me going all day without continuous cravings.
That’s why I opt for a high-protein snack, which is like a treat with a power-packed punch.
WHAT DOES PROTEIN DO FOR YOU?
Protein does so much for the body, including the following:
- Protein reduces the level of ghrelin, the hunger hormone
- Protein helps you retain bone mass
- When you eat protein, you have less cravings
- Your muscle mass and strength increase with protein
- High protein intake boosts metabolism
- Higher protein intake is linked to lower blood pressure
- Protein can help your body repair after injury
WHY EAT HIGH PROTEIN SNACKS?
Eating high protein snacks throughout the day as opposed to treats with empty calories and too much sugar can do a lot for your physical well-being. You won’t feel sluggish – in fact, you’ll have more energy.
Protein boosts your metabolism and gives you the energy to keep moving all day long. You will be more alert, and as well, your blood sugar levels will be maintained. No more spikes and drops that leave you feeling exhausted.
DO HIGH PROTEIN SNACKS HELP YOU LOSE WEIGHT?
Relying on high protein snacks as a way to keep you going in between meals and not reaching for sugary or fatty foods is a great idea.
It’s easier to lose weight or maintain your weight when you are eating fewer calories. In a nutshell (and yeah, nuts are a great source of protein!), when you replace fat and sugar with protein, the satiety hormones (like GLP-1 and peptide YY) in your body are increased.
You eat less because you feel full and satisfied. That, along with keeping active and sufficiently hydrated, helps you lose or maintain weight.
Protein makes a snack healthy because of the effects eating protein has on your body. Increasing muscle and strength is ideal if you are looking for a stronger, leaner you. But not only should you look for protein. There are other things to keep in mind, too.
- Look for refreshment that includes nutrient-rich fruits and vegetables
- Fiber-filled snacks are good for the digestive system (think strawberries and plain Greek yogurt)
- Keep the sugar content low (less than 5 grams)
WHAT FOODS ARE HIGHEST IN PROTEIN?
Here are some of my top high protein picks:
- Lean chicken and pork
- Full-fat plain Greek yogurt
As you go through the list below, you’ll see many of these ingredients!
HIGH PROTEIN SNACKS
1. HARDBOILED EGGS
Eggs are very high in protein and a lot of other things! They keep you full and feeling satisfied. One egg has 6 grams of protein. Read more about the goodness of eggs in my post 10 Benefits of Eggs and Why You Should Eat Them More Often!
2. PROTEIN MUFFINS
Muffins can be a great protein source, too. Recipes with 4 or 5 eggs, egg whites, and even unrefined flours all add to the protein count. Here are a few recipes that make a sweet, yet high protein snack.
- 9-Ingredient Blender Chocolate Muffins
- The Best Healthy Strawberry Muffins
- Paleo Apple Muffins with Crunchy Crumb Topping
3. HOMEMADE TRAIL MIX
Combine ingredients like walnuts, almonds, dried fruit (natural sugars only!), healthy dark chocolate morsels, and seeds. Two ounces will give you 8 grams of protein. This snack has more calories than some I have listed, so eat in moderation.
Make your own beef or turkey jerky for a high protein snack with 9 grams of protein per ounce. Store-bought versions tend to have added salt, artificial ingredients and sugar, so beware of that, and make the best choice you can when buying.
5. KALE CHIPS
Drizzle olive oil, salt, and garlic on washed and dried kale to make chips. Powerful antioxidants fiber, and yes, lots of protein (5g in 1 medium-sized bunch of kale) make this a super healthy choice.
6. PROTEIN SHAKES
I’m a big fan of protein shakes. They are delicious, easy to throw together, and perfect for a snack on the run ← LOVE. Here are all my fave protein shakes,
Tuna is very high in protein and omega-3 fatty acids, both of which are vital nutrients. Canned tuna is a great option, especially if canned in water, and can carry upwards of 45 grams of protein per can!
Hummus is a healthy snack that’s high in protein, too. It’s great to have prepped in the fridge for an easy, high protein snack. I make my own chickpea hummus, and with 4g of protein per serving, I always have it ready in the fridge for snacking on any time of day. It works great as a high protein replacement to mayo on sandwiches as well.
One-half cup of edamame (soybeans) gives you a delicious treat containing 8 grams of protein. Buy this fiber-rich food in the freezer section of the grocery store, shelled and ready to eat. You can also roast them at home.
10. COTTAGE CHEESE
A half-cup serving of full-fat cottage cheese has about 100 calories, 12 grams of protein, and 4.5 grams of fat (1.8 grams of saturated fat). Top cottage cheese with avocado, cucumber, and tomato for a snack that combines heart-healthy fat with vitamins and lots of protein.
11. PUMPKIN SEEDS
When you eat pumpkin seeds, you get a great boost of zinc and magnesium. They contain antioxidants as well, and 8 ounces will supply 5 grams of protein.
12. NUT BUTTER
I’ve always been a fan of peanut butter, but now I go for other nut butters, too, every chance I get. Healthy fats, vitamins, and minerals, along with protein, make nutter butter an excellent high-protein go-to.
You may not realize it, but broccoli is a good protein source. One cup of this crunchy green veggie has 3 grams of protein. I often eat it as a quick high protein and high fiber snack.
Nuts provide a lot of protein in a yummy little package! An ounce of cashews, for instance, contains 5 grams of protein. The same amount of almonds has 6 grams of protein. Look for raw, unsalted nuts when possible.
Chickpeas are pretty impressive. The protein and fiber in this legume work together to keep you full. They’ve got amino acids, are low on the glycemic index, and the fiber I mentioned is also top-notch for the digestive system.
An 8 ounce serving of cheese cut into cubes packs 7g of protein, which makes it a great filling, high protein snack.
17. ENERGY BITES
A sweet (and healthy) cookie is always a great snack! I’ve got a few recipes you are going to love. With ingredients like chia seeds and peanut butter, these bites are perfect, and high in protein.
- Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter Edible Cookie Dough Bites
- Dark Chocolate Cherry Energy Bites – a little pop of protein in every bite
17. FULL-FAT PLAIN GREEK YOGURT
A one-cup serving of plain Greek yogurt has 20 grams of protein, really making it the star of the show. Not only is the protein count high, but it is also rich in calcium, which is excellent for the bones.
18. BLACK BEANS
Black beans have about 7.5 grams of protein in one-half a cup. They are low on the glycemic index (meaning they are slowly digested, absorbed. and metabolized), and have lots of fiber.
Believe it or not, but popcorn is a good source of fiber, protein, and contains antioxidants. Add 2 tbsp. of nutritional yeast to 2 cups of plain, air-popped popcorn, and you have a snack with 8g of protein.
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