The word “snack” generally has a negative association. If you’re like most- a snack is thought of as a Snickers Bars, Potato chips or Oreo cookies. Snacks should serve as foods that hold you over from your meals in order to not binge eat when you finally get to your meal. Snack should be healthy and contain a lean protein to satiate you for longer. Healthy snacks can also boost your work outs and ultimately promote weight loss if chosen correctly.
The key to finding a high protein snack can make or break your day. If your snack is too high in sugar, you may crave more sugary foods throughout the day. Here, I break down the best snacks to help you stave off hunger and prevent binges at meal times.
My top 10 favorite high protein snacks
- Edamame: 1 cup offers 16gm protein and 140 calories. Edamame is also rich in many micronutrients including vitamin c,, calcium, phosphorus, iron, magnesium, thiamine, vitamin k and riboflavin and is high in omega 3 fatty acids and omega 6 fatty acids
- Beef Jerky/Turkey Jerky: Find the low sodium brands. Healthy Jerky boasts 17 g of protein per serving and is low in sodium at 140 mg. KRAVE jerky is also moderately low in sodium and 8 g of protein per ounce.
- Nut butter Boats: Almond butter, Cashew Butter, or All natural peanut butter is rich in protein and low in carbs. Use 2 tablespoons on cut up celery sticks, sprinkle with chia seeds or flax seed for a crispy, crunchy treat! Most nut butters contains between 5-8 g protein per 2 tablespoons. Nut butters contain both monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fatty acids (MUFAs and PUFAs). Both are known to decrease LDL cholesterol and triglyceride levels, lowering the risk of metabolic syndrome, heart disease, and diabetes.
- Hummus and Wasa Crackers : Use 2 tablespoons of Hummus and Wasa Crisp N Light Wholesome Wheat Cracker Bread, altogether 4-6 g protein . Hummus is rich in folic acid, phosphorus, fiber and Wasa crackers are whole grain which contains fiber, to hold sugars down longer and aid with using the bathroom regularly.
- Boiled egg with paprika: 1 egg contains over 6 g of protein, and a wealth of nutritional components including vitamin a, folate, phosphorus, and B vitamins. Eggs also can raise HDL (good cholesterol). Lutein is also found in eggs to promote eye health. And lastly, eggs are rich in choline for brain function. Paprika boasts vitamin a, vitamin e and b6.
- Cottage Cheese with Pomegranate Seeds: Choose a low fat cottage cheese (1-2% fat) which is chock full of protein at 28 g per cup. Sprinkle pomegranate seeds for a crunchy sweet touch. Cottage cheese is rich in calcium, B12, and phosphorus. Pomegranate seeds contain vitamin c, manganese and vitamin k.
- Nut mix: Cashews, Almonds, Pistachios and Peanuts: All dry roasted or raw. Nuts contain fiber and protein, but here is the crack down on each nut. Cashews are rich in flavanols which starve cancer cells and stop cancer cells from dividing, also have been shown to reduce colon cancer. Almonds are rich in magnesium, have shown to lower blood glucose levels and have antioxidants are anti -inflammatory. Pistachios are rich in B6, phosphorus, thiamine and magnesium. Peanuts are rich in calcium, magnesium, B6 and iron. Keep mixed nuts to ¼ cup which will provide around 6 g of protein.
- Turkey & Cheese Roll up: 2 slices of nitrate free turkey and 1 slice of low fat cheese, you’re looking at a solid 20 g protein snack. Add a squirt of mustard for a tasty treat. Turkey contains niacin, B6, B12, Choline, Selenium and Zinc. Cheese contains vitamin D, Calcium and phosphorus.
- Chocolate Milk! Chocolate Milk! Low fat milk (0-1%) 8 ounces with 1 tablespoon dark chocolate cocoa powder will give you calcium, vitamin A, vitamin D, choline, folate, magnesium, potassium and phosphorus. Chocolate milk will give close to 9 g protein.
- Kefir (kee-fur): Kefir is low fat drinkable yogurt bursting with probiotics to promote healthy gut flora growth. 1 cup of low fat plain Kefir boasts 11-14 g protein (depending on brand). Add a sprinkle of berries to boost flavor and antioxidants. Kefir is rich in calcium, potassium and vitamin A.
Written by Melissa Rifkin, MS, RD, CDN, CSO. Melissa is a Rise Coach and Registered Dietitian, living in New York City. In her free time, Melissa enjoys running and teaching spin classes. Want to work with Melissa or another registered dietitian like her? Get started at: http://www.rise.us/r/MELISSARIFKIN