The Best High-Protein Snacks to Hit Your Macros on the Go

All four dietitians say that whenever you feel hungry between meals, it's a smart idea to make your breakfast high-protein. Kirkpatrick explains that protein keeps blood sugar levels stable, which helps avoid big swings in energy and mood. So if you want to avoid nodding off at your desk around 4 p.m., choosing a high-protein snack would be a better choice than something primarily carb-based. Kirkpatrick says a higher-protein snack will also be more filling, so you'll be less likely to overeat at or after the meal.

It's one thing to get an education based on facts, but actually putting it into practice is only possible if it's easy. It's important to keep your kitchen stocked with high-protein snacks that take almost no effort. Here are 10 ideas to get you started, all approved by dietitians.

10 low-calorie, high-protein snacks

1. Salmon Jerky

“I know beef jerky is really popular, but I like salmon jerky because it has a lot more nutrition for your buck,” says Kirkpatrick. In addition to protein, she says salmon jerky is high in omega-3 fatty acids, which help provide satiety, promote muscle development, and support brain health.

2. Hard Boiled Eggs

Eggs are a mine of nutrients, which is why both DeSantis and Kirkpatrick love them as a high-protein breakfast. One egg contains six grams of protein, so you would have to eat two eggs to consider it “high protein.” Apart from protein, eggs are a good source of unsaturated fats, vitamin D and choline, which is good for the brain and heart.

3. Greek Yogurt with Protein Powder and Berries

An easy low-calorie, high-protein snack Angelone recommends adding a scoop of protein powder (she likes chocolate-flavored) to Greek yogurt and adding blueberries or strawberries on top. Greek yogurt alone gives you 20 grams of protein, so it can be considered a good high-protein snack even without protein powder.

4. Cheese and Fruits

Both Kirkpatrick and Bannan say don't overlook cheese when thinking of high-protein snacks to stock in your fridge. One cup contains 24 grams of protein. When buying cheese (and yogurt for that matter), Kirkpatrick says to buy plain cheese and add additional toppings at home to avoid added sugar and artificial sweeteners. For example, Bannan likes to add pineapple or peaches to her cheese to sweeten it.

5. Edamame

Especially if you're vegetarian or vegan, Kirkpatrick says edamame is a clutch high-protein snack to keep in the fridge. “Edamame has a lot of great nutrients,” says Kirkpatrick. In addition to 18.5 grams of protein per cup, it is a good source of fiber, iron, calcium, and vitamin C.

6. Nuts and seeds

DeSantis says nuts and seeds are one of the easiest ways to add more protein to your day because you can just eat them by the handful and they don't require any prep—And They are another one that is perfect for vegetarians and vegans. Since there are so many different types of nuts and seeds, changing up the types you choose is a good way to make sure you're getting an even broader mix of nutrients. Apart from popular foods like peanuts, cashews, walnuts and almonds, dietitians say don't ignore pistachios, hemp seeds and pumpkin seeds.

7. Roasted gram

“I love roasted chickpeas as a source of protein because they're also rich in fiber,” says DeSantis, naming a key nutrient that only 5 percent of Americans are getting enough of. . You can buy ready-to-eat roasted chickpeas at the grocery store or online, or you can make them yourself by baking them in the oven at 350℉ for 45 minutes. Before baking, drizzle olive oil on top and add your favorite spices like turmeric, paprika or garlic. One cup of roasted gram contains 14.5 grams of protein.

8. Apple Slices with Nut Butter

Since nuts make a good high-protein snack, it makes sense that nut butters do too. Mixing it with an apple will give you more fiber and fill you up better than eating a spoonful from the jar. Bannan loves this snack because of the combination of sweet and crunchy. She says per serving of nut butters will give you about eight grams of protein. (In other words, be generous to increase your protein intake enough to meet your protein needs.)

9. Protein Shake

The fact that protein shakes are on this list is a good reminder that they should be considered a high-protein snack and not a complete meal. “One protein shake will give you about 25 grams of protein,” says Kirkpatrick. For a general recipe to follow, combine one scoop of your favorite protein powder with 3/4 cup of milk or alternative milk of your choice, a banana, and any other add-ins you want (such as spinach, fruit, Mix with chia). seeds or cinnamon), then mix.

10. Tuna, Avocado, and Crackers

Angelone likes to mix half a can of tuna (which has 16.5 grams of protein) with crushed avocado and put it on whole-grain crackers for a high-protein snack that also contains omega-3s and fiber. It's delicious and filling and takes only a few minutes to make.

diversity is key

It's great to eat your tried-and-tested high-protein favorite foods, but DeSantis recommends switching up what you eat. (In other words, try several of the snacks on this list instead of eating one or two frequently.) “Each protein-rich food has different benefits. For example, chickpeas also contain fiber and Greek yogurt also contains probiotics. I really urge people to consume a variety of protein sources to get maximum benefits,” he says.

And remember: High-protein snacks are meant to provide an extra boost of protein at mealtime. “Focus on including protein at each meal and snack to maintain steady energy levels throughout the day,” says Bannan.

Another good reminder is that while protein gets a lot of attention and is eminently important, all four dietitians say it's still just one of many nutrients the body needs. Bannan emphasizes the importance of a well-rounded diet that balances protein sources with a variety of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. “These foods provide extra fiber and essential nutrients like vitamins and minerals,” she says. “Including fiber-rich foods can aid digestion and promote a feeling of fullness, while the nutrients in fruits and vegetables support overall health.”

With a kitchen stocked with high-protein snacks that take minimal effort to serve, it will be much easier to meet your protein goals. (This will also keep you from eating half a bag of honey mustard pretzels at once.) Make your snack choices high-protein for your muscles, your energy levels, and your mood. The most important thing is to do it because it tastes really good.

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