Say goodbye to snacks that never fill you up. (Photo: nata_vkusidey/iStock/Getty Images)
Have you ever come home from work and polished off a bag of potato chips while cooking a healthy dinner? Felt the midday slump? Had trouble losing weight or gaining muscle? The problem may lie in your snacks – or lack thereof. Snacking on high-protein foods in particular “can help you feel more satisfied” in between meals than fat or carbohydrates, says McKenzie Hall, RD, co-founder of NourishRDs.com.
“Many protein sources also contain other good-for-you nutrients, such as healthy fats in nut butters, fiber in hummus or calcium in dairy,” says Hall. It’s an all-around nutrient star: muscle builder, metabolism booster and appetite stabilizer. To make it as easy as possible to fit high-protein snacks into your day, here are 7 portable options with at least eight grams of protein and fewer than four ingredients.
No-Bake Protein Bars
Carbohydrates and protein are the perfect post-workout mix. Many people hate the taste of protein shakes, so Arman Liew, the healthy-living blogger behind TheBigMansWorld.com, developed a no-bake bar that sneaks protein powder into the batter. “The key is using a good protein powder you enjoy on its own,” says Liew. “I find that a plant-based or casein protein powder works best, and you can never go wrong with adding some nuts or peanut butter for a dose of healthy fats!” he adds. This tasty snack bar contains 106 calories and 13 grams of protein. Get the recipe here.
Almond Butter-Stuffed Dates
One of nature’s sweetest fruits pairs deliciously with creamy, high-protein nut butter, says Alissa Rumsey, RD, CSCS. This higher-calorie snack is perfect for active people or pregnant women who need to add about 300 extra calories a day. And, since dates are full of fiber, “just a couple will keep you full for hours,” adds Rumsey. This nutty date snack has 333 calories and eight grams of protein. Get the recipe here.
High-Protein Yogurt and Granola
Both Greek yogurt and Icelandic-style skyr are strained high-protein yogurts. Siggi’s brand makes a skyr-style yogurt with simple ingredients, like the Orange & Ginger flavor that has pieces of real candied ginger. When it comes to granola, choose those “with less than 10 grams of sugar and at least three grams of fiber,” advises Rumsey. Look for a short ingredients list, she adds, “where the first ingredient is a whole grain (i.e., oats, whole wheat, barley, etc.).” This protein-packed snack has 270 calories and 24 grams of protein.
Beef Jerky and a Pear
“Beef jerky is making a comeback,” says Rumsey, “and this time without all the sodium, nitrates and other additives.” You can get eight grams of protein for just 80 calories, and it’s easy to toss in your bag, whether you’re heading to the gym or the airport. Rumsey suggests pairing it with “a piece of fresh fruit for lasting energy.” Healthier jerky brands include Krave, Country Archer, Chef’s Cut Real Jerky and Simply Snackin. This snack combo has 160 calories and nine grams of protein.
Edamame-Cranberry Trail Mix
You can use store-bought dry-roasted edamame or roast thawed shelled edamame at home in your oven. Rumsey adds, “The dried cranberries provide natural sweetness and supply you with some carbohydrates for energy.” This trail mix packs 228 calories and 12 grams of protein.
Hemp Hearts & Coconut Bar
This bite-size snack contains hemp hearts, a plant-based protein that’s packed with omega-3 fatty acids (which are linked to the prevention of heart disease and stroke), omega-6 fatty acids (which help lower “bad” LDL cholesterol) and fiber. In fact, “hemp hearts have more protein and omegas and fewer carbohydrates than the same serving of chia or flax,” says Kathy Siegel, M.S., RDN, nutrition consultant for Manitoba Harvest. This snack bar has 231 calories and eight grams of protein. Get the recipe here.
Sweet and salty, this snack may taste like dessert, but it has almost a quarter of your daily fiber requirement (a nutrient most people don’t get enough of), healthy fats and protein. Unlike the movie-theater candy version, Nestle Goobers and buttery popcorn, you get the flavor and benefits without all the sugar and saturated fat. This handy snack contains 286 calories and 10 grams of protein. Get the recipe here.
The original article “10 High-Protein Snacks You Can Eat On the Go“ appeared on LIVESTRONG.COM.
By Caroline Kaufman
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