Protein is essential for keeping you full and aiding weight management. It’s also necessary if you’re wanting to build muscle. A lot of people seem to struggle with healthy protein snack ideas and in a lot of cases turn to sugar-packed protein bars and shakes. While these supplements can potentially be handy (and some are actually somewhat healthy), I always encourage people to find support in real food. Your body works best with real food and in return you’ll reap the benefits much more.
When it comes to meals most North American people seem to have a fairly easy time finding ways to include protein. Traditionally we have a huge chunk of meat (protein) followed by two sides. However it’s also a great idea to squeeze this important macronutrient into your snacks as well. Why? Protein helps you feel full! So if you snack on some protein, by the time it comes to eat next you won’t be starving and in return won’t overeat. Portion control is the key to success if you’re looking to lose weight. Even if you’re wanting to bulk up, finding any excuse to add protein to your day is never a bad thing.
Thinking of snack ideas that are high in protein can be a little more challenging, especially if you’re wanting to add some variety from day-to-day. What I’ve done is just put together a small list of my 5 favourite high protein snacks and kind of why they are beneficial to include into your diet. I promise you that none are disgusting and are totally easy to stomach. I love my food too much to force down unwanted concoctions.
The list looks a little like this…
1) Greek Yogurt
Greek yogurt is thicker and creamier than regular yogurt because the water and whey is strained out during the manufacturing process. The thicker texture does help fill you up. It also has approximately 14-18g of protein for a 6oz serving. Greek yogurt is easy to pack up small and bring with you when pressed for time. You can even buy individual packaged servings that are ready to go. Choose brands that contain less sugar.
Nuts are a great way to sneak protein into your day. You can take your pick from whichever nuts are your favourite and come snack time enjoy a nice handful. Look for nuts that contain no other ingredients on the list. Expect to receive approximately 7g of protein per handful of nuts. The majority of fat in nuts are monounsaturated so you’ll be reaping several other health benefits as well.
Hummus is something you can enjoy several days after you make it. Make it up Sunday night and have a high protein snack at your disposal for the remainder of the week. Preferably try to make your own batch since supermarket brands tend to throw in a lot of unhealthy ingredients, and because it’s actually quite easy to fix up. 100g of hummus can provide you with approximately 7g of protein. Swap this Middle Eastern dish for butter on your sandwich, or for dip at your next get-together.
Tuna is hands down a great source of protein. The mistake a lot of people make is that they smother it with mayo when they’re making a sandwich, which turns this healthy snack upside down pretty quickly. If you absolutely need mayo in your tuna then try a brand made with olive oil and use as little as possible. Most people enjoy tuna on bread but it can also be eaten straight with a fork as well. A whole can of tuna in water is fat-free, around 110 calories, and gives you a whopping 25g of protein!
Eggs tend to scare people based on the reputation they’ve gained over the years of being bad for you due to fear of cholesterol and fat content. A lot of research has come out recently stating that eggs don’t negatively impact your health. It’s worth looking into because each egg gives you 6g of protein for only 70 calories. Eggs have so many benefits that you can check out in one of my earlier blogs (
https://sohealthynutrition.wordpress.com/2012/01/31/the-power-of-eggs/) and the best thing is, is that they’re super versatile!
These are just 5 really easy and cool ways to pop a little extra protein into your mix. A lot of things made with these ideas are easy to make and don’t take much time. By all means feel free to research any of them a little more so you can compare and find the best one for you. Most importantly remember to keep it simple. If you’re wanting to add more protein to your diet, drop one unhealthy snack at a time and swap it for one of these. Don’t rush yourself and force yourself to do something it doesn’t want. Like all things, you need to want the change more than anything. And trust me, you won’t regret it.