Looking for some nutritious, satisfying snacks that taste as good as they are good for you? I have one word for you: Protein.
As most of us reach for quick and easy snacks, more often than not, they are loaded with processed ingredients and high in sugar, leaving us unsatisfied and craving more.
Having doubts about how to start a healthy lifestyle? Choosing snacks with protein as the main ingredient to add in your eating habits is a great way to snack sensibly, as protein is the most satiating of the three macronutrients (protein, fats, and carbohydrates). It also helps keep our immune system robust, balance blood sugar, strengthen bones, build muscle, and assist with weight loss.
Here are 8 Snacks That Satisfy and Pack a Powerful Protein Punch:
1.) Greek Yogurt. This rich and creamy snack is a great choice to satisfy your midday cravings, as a 7-ounce (240 grams) serving typically provides 17-20 grams of protein. For an added protein boost, top with a scoop of unflavored protein or collagen powder (for an added 10 grams of protein) and two tablespoons of chia seeds (for an added 4 grams of protein + 8 grams of fiber). Greek yogurt also provides beneficial bacteria, which will help to keep your gut healthy and balanced.
2.) Hard Boiled Eggs. High in B vitamins and trace minerals, eggs are undeniably healthy. They’re an excellent ready-made snack and something you can take on the go. Each egg contains approximately 6-8 grams of protein. I recommend a serving size of two to three eggs.
3.) Hummus & Veggies. Made from mashed chickpeas blended with olive oil and tahini, hummus comes in various flavors. Pairing it with veggies like carrots or celery makes for a quick, easy snack. Each 1/3 cup serving of hummus provides approximately 4 grams of protein. The fiber consumed from the veggies helps to keep you feeling full.
4.) Cottage Cheese. This protein-filled snack (approximately 14 grams of protein per ½ cup) also contains calcium, phosphorus, B12, riboflavin, and selenium. I suggest adding a handful of nuts for a protein boost and berries for extra fiber.
5.) Edamame. For a quick and easy snack, these soybeans, still in their pods, can be steamed and ready in mere minutes. In addition to protein and fiber, they are a good source of vitamin K and folate. I recommend adding a pinch of sea salt to enhance the flavor.
6.) Beef Sticks. Another great protein-rich snack you can grab quickly or take with you as you head out the door, beef sticks are a high-quality, sustainably sourced protein with multiple flavors to suit every taste bud. I recommend choosing one that’s “grass” fed (not “grain” fed). Two brands I like are Paleovalley and Chomps. Each serving provides approximately 6-9 grams of protein and zero added sugar.
7.) Nuts. A quick and convenient snack or an added boost to up the protein content of other foods, nuts are a great source of plant-based protein. For example, almonds provide roughly 7 grams of protein per ¼ cup, while pistachios offer about 6 grams of protein per ¼ cup.
8.) Chia Seed Pudding. Packed with protein (about 7 grams), healthy fats, fiber (roughly 13 grams), and only 1 gram of sugar, chia seed pudding is also delicious and a breeze to make. Check out my go-to recipe for Chocolate Chia Pudding from Seasonal Cravings.
Meghan Punda, NP, is a nurse practitioner and functional nutritionist focusing on women’s health. With a passion for identifying and treating the root cause of health issues, Meghan works one-on-one with her clients to develop personalized dietary and wellness plans to fit each person’s lifestyle so they can lead a healthier, happier, more balanced life.