Instead, eating healthy snacks that are good sources of protein will help you keep fuller for longer between meals. Eating more protein can also help with weight loss and lean muscle building.
Here are our top 10 favorite healthy protein snacks:
- Greek Yogurt
Greek yogurt has been strained, so it’s thicker and higher in protein than regular yogurt. A standard one-cup serving size offers about 20 grams of protein. You’ll also get calcium. Choose plain instead of flavored, since the latter often packs extra calories in the form of sugar. For a low-sugar topping, try adding fresh berries for extra fiber, or a tablespoon of raw nuts to boost the nutrition in this healthy snack idea.
- Cottage Cheese
If you get tired of yogurt, try cottage cheese for a high protein snack. A one-cup serving will give you about 25 grams of protein and a hefty dose of calcium. Cottage cheese can also be topped with fruit, jam or chopped vegetables, like cucumbers and celery, for a crunchy, savory snack.
- Turkey & Cheese Roll-Ups
Lunchmeat roll-ups are a quick and easy healthy protein snack that mimics a wrap or sandwich but without the bread. Try rolling two individual slices of roast turkey breast around a single serving of string cheese that is cut in half. A slice of deli turkey meat gives you 8 grams of protein, and a single string cheese contains about 6 grams of protein. You can also add raw vegetable strips, like bell peppers or cucumbers, to the roll-up for extra crunch and fiber.
- Trail Mix
Nuts and seeds are an excellent source of protein, healthy fats, vitamins and antioxidants. Almonds and pistachios tend to be higher in protein than other nuts. Skip store-bought trail mix, which can contain added oils and sugar-laden candy. Instead, mix a variety of raw nuts and seeds yourself. If you’ve got to add something sweet, reach for unsweetened dried fruit like raisins or apricots, or add a few dark chocolate chips.
- Pumpkin Seeds
Pumpkin seeds are one of the most satiating healthy snacks, with about 9 grams of protein per ¼ cup serving. They’re also an excellent source of iron, magnesium and zinc. Enjoy them raw or roast them at home with a bit of olive oil and your favorite seasonings.
- Hummus and Veggies
Hummus is a blend of chickpeas and tahini (sesame seed paste) with olive oil and spices, like garlic and salt. You can find a large assortment of store-bought flavored hummus, but it’s also easy to make a big batch at home in a blender or food processor. Use it as a dip for snacking on raw veggies. A 1/4 cup of hummus contains about 5 grams of protein, along with fiber, healthy fat, magnesium and iron.
- Protein Shake
You can find protein powders made from different protein sources to accommodate any diet, but research has found that whey protein is the most filling. Mix with water or your favorite milk for a quick and healthy snack. If you have access to a blender, you can add frozen berries, a banana, or a handful of greens for added nutrition.
- Hard-Boiled Eggs
It may not be the most exciting snack in the world, but hard-boiled eggs are a classic low-carb, high-protein snack. They’re portable, and it’s easy to prep a large amount at a time for a week’s worth of snacking. Two large hard-boiled eggs give you 12 grams of protein plus plenty of vitamins and minerals.
If plain eggs aren’t your thing, try spicing them up with a sprinkle of your favorite dried seasoning or a squirt of sriracha.
- Peanut Butter
Peanut butter can turn into a variety of snacks when paired with fresh produce. Use it for dipping celery, carrots and apple slices. If you want a different flavor, you can also try almond or cashew butter. Look for “natural” nut butters that contain only nuts and salt without added oils or sugars. Two tablespoons of peanut butter provide eight grams of protein.
- Chia pudding
If you crave sweet snacks, chia pudding can help satisfy your sweet tooth while still delivering protein, fiber, and a dose of omega-3 fats. A quarter cup of chia seeds contains 6 grams of protein. You make chia pudding by mixing water or milk (dairy or an unsweetened dairy alternative), chia seeds and a bit of natural sweetener, such as stevia, honey or maple syrup.
It can also be flavored with a bit of vanilla extract or cocoa powder for a chocolate version. Eat it plain or top with nuts (more protein!) and/or fresh berries.
Try incorporating these healthy snack ideas into your daily diet. Choosing high protein snacks is a nutritious way to manage hunger between meals while supporting your fitness goals.