In the course of my work with nutrition clients, I talk about snacks a lot. The vast majority of people I see are either struggling with snacking behavior, or don’t know what makes for a “good” snack. Usually it comes down to portion control–a snack should bridge the gap between meals, but not fill you up so much that you’re not hungry for your next meal.
Another recommendation I often make is to go for a high-protein snack, since protein keeps us satisfied for longer and fuels our daily activities in a healthy way. The great news is, it’s not hard to find tasty, healthy high-protein snack options!
1. Hardboiled Egg
The egg may just be nature’s most perfect food, and it’s a great source of high-quality protein easily utilized by our bodies. Hardboiled eggs will last several days in the fridge, so they make for a great grab-and-go snack. Pair it with some veggies, arrange slices of hard-boiled egg on a wholegrain cracker, or just eat it straight up. The average egg rings in at about 7 grams of protein.
Powered by chickpeas, hummus serves up a good dose of protein plus lots of dietary fiber. Spread it on some seed crackers, pair with veggies for dipping, or make rollups with a whole wheat tortilla. Hummus is a versatile high-protein snack. Depending on your recipe, you could end up with as much as 8 grams of protein in a half-cup serving.
Beautiful green edamame beans are a healthy and tasty high-protein snack. And they’re fun to eat! Edamame is great warm, room temperature, or even cold, so it makes a good snack on the go. Simply steam, sprinkle with a bit of salt, and pack into containers to toss into your bag–or use it to make an Asian-inspired hummus. A half cup serving of shelled edamame provides over 10 grams of protein.
Nuts make a great high-protein snack! Go for raw, dry-roasted, or unsalted nuts for the healthiest option, and try mixing it up! A handful (one-ounce serving) of almonds, peanuts, or pistachios will provide about 7 grams of protein. Nut butters are another perfect high-protein snack, either eaten directly from the spoon (one tablespoon of peanut butter provides 7 grams of protein), spread on crackers, or my personal favorite, spread on slices of apple.
5. Cottage Cheese
Cottage cheese is loaded with protein, and it makes a convenient snack. I like to pair it with avocado for healthy fats, and a sprinkle of salt and pepper. Or go for a sweet option and put cottage cheese together with a fruit cup. A half cup of 2% cottage cheese provides about 11 grams of protein.
6. Greek Yogurt
Greek-style yogurt is naturally high in protein. Look for plain, unsweetened Greek yogurt, which you can top with fruit or sweeten with a bit of jam swirled in. Or, do like the Greeks and sprinkle with chopped walnuts (more protein!) and a drizzle of honey. A one-cup serving of Greek yogurt provides up to 18 grams of protein.
7. A Glass of Milk
Who says a glass of milk can’t be a snack? Sometimes it’s just the thing to get you to your next meal without filling your stomach too much. Cow’s milk and soy milk both provide 8 grams of protein per cup.
8. Deli Rollups
DIY a lunchable-style snack by layering deli meats such as turkey, cheese slices, and sliced red peppers together. Roll it up and snack away!
9. Tuna and Crackers
Water-packed tuna spooned onto crackers is a quick and easy way to get a boost of protein. Or, replace the crackers with slices of cucumber for a lower-carb option. A 3-ounce serving of canned tuna serves up a mighty 22 grams of protein.
10. Chia Pudding
Not just for breakfast! Chia pudding is a great make-ahead snack that’s loaded with protein and heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids. Chia seeds have about 2.5 grams of protein per tablespoon, so a chia pudding made with three tablespoons of chia seeds would serve up 7.5 grams of protein, plus the additional protein provided by any mix-ins.
11. Roasted Chickpeas
Crisp roasted chickpeas are a tasty and nutritious high-protein snack. They’re easy to make at home so you can control the fat and salt and mix up the flavorings. A half-cup serving of roasted chickpeas has about 7.5 grams of protein.
12. A Smoothie
Smoothies are a great blank canvas. A simple smoothie with high protein mix-ins such as Greek yogurt, nut butters, or hemp seeds can provide a much-needed protein boost mid-way through your day.17