If you want to lose weight and get ripped, you need to up your high protein snacks intake. As the old adage goes, muscles are born in the gym but abs are revealed in the kitchen. If you’re a snacker, you know how hard it is to curb those 3 pm cravings. Next time this happens, you just need to make sure your pantry is filled with high-protein snacks. Whether it’s about managing your weight or nourishing healthy habits, we have discovered some of the yummiest high protein snacks in the grocery aisle or for you to make at home, for your next snack emergency.
What is Protein?
We all know that protein is an important nutrient to include in our diet to help us thrive and stay healthy, but what is it? Protein is a macronutrient that comes in many different forms and is the most important macronutrient for muscle, tendon, organ, and skin growth. Protein is made from molecules called amino acids, some of which your body is capable of producing naturally, but others must be supplemented through food and diet.
These are called amino acids. There are three main types; fibrous proteins, globular proteins, and membrane proteins. Protein sources include animal proteins like red meat, plant proteins like lentils and chickpeas as well as protein supplements. Protein also helps fuel the production of enzymes, neurotransmitters, and hormones that are vital for cognitive brain and muscle function. Overall, protein is a combination lot of things and something we really need!
Why is Protein important?
Making sure you’re getting enough protein is an essential part of a healthy diet. This is because proteins play a key role in the creation and maintenance of every cell in our bodies. It is also important for oxygenation, as red blood cells contain a protein compound that carries oxygen throughout the body. It also aids digestion, as half the protein you consume each day goes into making enzymes that aid in digesting food and making new cells and chemicals for digestion. Protein is therefore important for overall health, having huge fitness benefits like reducing muscle loss, building lean muscle, and regulating healthy hunger patterns.
Best High Protein Snacks
Now you’ve got an idea of how much protein to eat and why it’s important, it’s time to get stuck in. Here are some great food ideas you can try to ensure you’re getting that recommended protein intake.
1. Trail Mix
Nuts are packed with protein and make for one of our favourite high protein snacks. They also are a great source of healthy fats, so you’ll be getting two in one. This also means they’re super filling and calorie-dense, so just a handful will keep you going.
Contains: Magnesium, Vitamin B-6
2. Cottage cheese
This one may take you by surprise, but cottage cheese is high in protein, filling and a good source of calcium. We love dipping in some veggies or layering some on crisp-bread or crackers.
Contains: calcium, vitamin B12, phosphorous, selenium, riboflavin
3. No-bake Energy Bites
Also fondly known as protein balls, these are always good to have on hand for healthy snacking. All you need is rolled oats, nut butter, honey, and a protein powder. Combine it all up and let sit in the fridge until they set.
Contains: Vitamin B-6
4. Store-Bought Protein Bars
Unsurpisingly, bars are an easy protein fix. Healthier to make your own, but store-bought is great if you’re short on time. Beware as they are often high in added sugar. We suggest buying organic, natural brands or focusing on body-building supplement options. Look for brands like Musashi, BSC and Quest.
Contains: Cobalamin, Vitamin B-6, Calcium
5. Homemade Protein Bars
When making your own, you can pack them with plenty of ingredients, without the unnecessary sugar. Combine ingredients like protein powder, cacao powder, nut butter, maple syrup and some salt for one of the most delicious, high protein low-carb snacks.
Contains: Cobalamin, Vitamin B-6, Calcium
6. Veggies and Yogurt Dip
Veggies are nature’s healthy crackers and dipping them into yogurt is a top choice for weight loss. Even better, you get in another serve of veggies at the same time! Try chopping up some carrot, celery, or cucumber for a great flavor combo.
7. Hardboiled Eggs
If you’ve got a few spare minutes on your hands, a hardboiled egg can do no wrong in the healthy snack department. Full of protein and almost every vital nutrient our bodies need, they are also easy to pack in your lunch box!
Contains: Vitamin D, Vitamin A