Fifteen high-protein snacks that will help prevent grazing the candy bowls
This article is an extended version of the post: List: Ten High Protein Snacks.
We all have had one of those days. You are having one of those days with no white space and the marathon of back to back meetings all day long. Dinner will be late, and you know that the enemy to your weight loss or maintenance plans is the free snacks in the lunch room or the candy bowls at work. The last thing you need is to graze those low-quality snacks. Because of the grazing risk, I recommend that you pack some healthy snacks.
Higher protein foods and snacks tend to keep you satisfied longer. Certain foods can make us feel full for longer and others do not keep you full for very long. Fiber and protein will keep you full longer, and processed carbohydrates like sugar tend not to be very filling. In other words, processed foods are absorbed and metabolized quickly thus leading to an insulin spike and sugar crash. This consumption is immediately followed by a spike in your hunger and grazing will soon start again. I recommend that you consider packing small snack packs of 100-150 calories of high-quality fiber and protein. I wrote an article about making your own 100 calorie snack packs. This article is similar, but it focuses on high-protein snacks.
- Bean burrito: Spicy foods, dairy, and beans all help with weight loss so this snack is a triple threat. This recipe is not only filling, but it will create a fiesta of flavor in your mouth. Recipe: 1 Ole Fitness high-fiber tortilla, 2 tbsp low-fat refried beans, 2 tbsp shredded cheddar, and 1 tbsp of your favorite salsa. Nutrition: 150-170 calories with 8-9 grams protein and 13 grams of fiber.
- Hard-boiled eggs: Eggs are well known to support weight loss and satiety, and they are a great source of protein. Recipe: Boil the egg with shell intact and refrigerate. You peel the shell and enjoy the next day. Nutrition: 78 calories per egg with 6 grams of fiber.
- Jerky: I really like the Garlic Chili Pepper by Krave. Their jerky is tender, and the chili flavor has that extra kick that will keep you full longer. Nutrition: 90 calories with 9 grams of fiber. The only issue is they are often high in sugar.
- Greek yogurt: Greek yogurt is higher in protein than regular yogurt. The problem is the flavoring. So you need to watch the sugar. I really like the Stonyfield brand. Nutrition: 90 calories with 15 grams of protein in the plain.
- Cottage cheese: Cottage cheese has the best of dairy and protein. It is very filling and a good source of protein and calcium. Nutrition: Each serving has 80-120 calories and if you choose nonfat or 2% cottage cheese, it has 13-14 grams of protein.
- Celery and peanut butter: These are a childhood favorite for me. I love filling a few celery sticks with a serving of almond, cashew, peanut, pecan, sunflower, or walnut butter. Celery and peanut butter may be a superfood. Celery is mostly water and fiber, and peanut butter is a mixture of healthy fats and protein. This mixture can absolutely be a part of your weight loss plan. One serving contains a single stalk of celery and 1-2 tablespoons of peanut butter. Nutrition: Each serving has between 150-200 calories and 2-3 grams of fiber and 5-9 grams of fiber. The best part is it is high in the healthy mono-unsaturated fats.
- Toasted soybeans: These little jewels are very nutritious and filling. The best part is you can get them flavored with just about any flavor you can imagine from sweet to spicy to salty. Nutrition: Each serving has 120-160 calories with 5 grams of fiber and 9-10 grams of protein.
- Mixed Nuts: Mixed nuts are a great snack food. The nutritional value depends on the exact mixture of nuts. The most common mixture is a combination of nuts to include peanuts, almonds, walnuts, Brazil nuts, cashews, hazelnuts, and pecans. Nutrition: 170 calories per 1 ounce serving with 6-7 grams of protein and 2-3 grams of fiber.
- Roasted Chickpeas: I have never been a fan of chickpeas that are not a part of hummus. That is until I had them roasted. Like soybeans, you can get these in multiple flavors. The best part is they are a good source of fiber, folate, protein, and zinc. Nutrition: Each serving has 130-140 calories per serving with 3-4 grams fo fiber and 4-5 grams of protein.
- Roasted pumpkin seeds: They are also known as pepitas. These tasty pumpkin seeds pack an irresistible crunch along with a major health punch. Pepitas are especially high in protein and healthy fats. Eat them by themselves, toss them in a salad, mix them in a homemade trail mix, or add them to a smoothie for a boost of nutrition. Nutrition: Each serving has about 170 calories with 10 grams of protein and 3 grams of fiber.
- Hummus and Broccoli: A dish of Broccoli and hummus is high in fiber and protein, and it will keep you full for hours. In recorded history, no one has ever gotten fat eating broccoli that is not smothered in cheese or butter. Recipe: pack 1/8 – 1/4 cup of hummus to 2 cups of broccoli. Nutrition: 160-170 calories with 6 grams of protein and 7 grams of fiber.
- Cheese sticks or cubes: Cheese has a special ability to induce satiety. The mixture of protein, fat, and calcium is perfect for reducing hunger. Forget the fact that it is low in fiber, the mixture of calcium and protein seems to have a unique ability to increase satiety. Nutrition: One ounce of cheese has 100-120 calories with 7 grams of protein and 20% of your calcium requirements.
- Trail mix: Trail mix is a combination of things like dried fruit and nuts. It may also add small crackers, chocolate, grains, and seeds. I would recommend that you limit the ones with crackers and sweets, but a little sweet mixed with salty is key to a good trail mix. The key, as usual, is to limit your serving size but it can be a nutritious and filling snack.
- Vegetables and greek yogurt dip: Non-starch vegetables are a great snack. By themselves, they are high in protein but add the greek yogurt dip, and you have the best of both with fiber from the vegetables and protein from the Greek yogurt. You can increase your protein intake by pairing them with yogurt dip.
- Lunchmeat rolls: These little rolls are sandwiches without the bread, so they maximize the protein. I have made them with pimento cheese and cheese-egg salad. Since protein and cheese promote satiety, these may be a perfect snack. Lunchmeat can be high in sodium so read the labels.
The bottom line: Higher protein snacks have unlimited options. You can dream up limitless possibilities for higher protein snacks. Protein will keep you feeling full longer especially if you mix it with a little protein.