- The 30 Most Filling Healthy Snacks
- Homemade Healthy Filling Snacks
- Avocado Toast
- Snap Peas with Hummus
- Protein Roll Up
- Ants on a Log
- Homemade Cheese Herb Popcorn
- Peanut Butter Stuffed Dates
- Snack-Sized Berry Spinach Smoothie
- Cottage Cheese with Pineapple
- Apricot Canapes
- Almond Butter and Peach Toast
- Dark Chocolate with Nut Butter
- ‘Cheesecake’ in a Bowl
- Store-Bought Healthy Filling Snacks
- Rhythm Superfoods Carrot Sticks
- Siggi’s Icelandic Style 4% Yogurt Vanilla
- Bolthouse Farms Veggie Snackers Carrot Meets Ranch
- Seapoint Farms Dry Roasted Edamame, Sea Salt, 100 Calorie Snack Pack
- Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free Brown Sugar & Maple Oatmeal Cup
- Pacific Organic Roasted Red Pepper & Tomato Soup
- Emerald Natural Almonds 100 Calorie Packs
- Blue Moose, Lemon Turmeric On The Go Hummus
- Beanitos Original Black Bean Chips with Sea Salt
- KIND Nuts & Spices Bar, Madagascar Vanilla Almond
- Iconic Lean Ready-to-Drink Protein Shake
- Enjoy Life Foods Chocolate Protein Bites, Dark Raspberry
- The New Primal Spicy Beef Jerky
- Biena Chickpea Snacks, Sea Salt
- I Heart Keenwah Quinoa Clusters, Chocolate Sea Salt
- The 10 Best Snacks for Weight Loss
- Guilt-Free Snacks That Fill You up and Help You Lose Weight
- 1. Mango with chili powder
- 2. Banana with peanut butter
- 3. Popcorn
- 4. Nuts
- 5. Hardboiled egg
- 6. Hummus and carrot sticks
- 7. Greek yogurt with berries
- 8. Cottage cheese with cinnamon
- 9. Jerky
- 10. Edamame
- 11. Homemade smoothies
- 12. Smoked salmon on toast
- 13. Veggie chips
- 14. Pumpkin seeds
- 15. Celery with almond butter
- 15 Tasty, Uncomplicated High-Protein Lunches
- Tarragon Chicken Salad Sandwiches
- Grilled Lemon Chicken Salad
- Waffle Iron Turkey Melt Panini
- Roasted Red Pepper Hummus Veggie Wraps
- 15-Minute Chicken Shawarma Bowls
- Tuna-Quinoa Toss
- Greek Slaw and Chicken Pitas
- Roasted Salmon with Kale-Quinoa Salad
- Chicken with Broccolini and Farro-Beet Salad
- Winter Salad with Easy Herbed Pork Tenderloin
- Mediterranean Chicken and Couscous Bowls
- Salmon with Kale, Walnut, and White Bean Salad
- Chickpea Spinach Salad
- Shrimp and Leek Spaghetti
- Chicken Salad Lunch Box
- 25 Best Store-Bought High-Protein Snacks
- How we chose the best store-bought high-protein snacks.
- siggi’s Icelandic-Style Yogurt, Orange & Ginger
- Purely Elizabeth Cranberry Pumpkin Seed Ancient Grain Oatmeal
- Wild Friends Classic Creamy Peanut Butter Squeeze Pack
- Seapoint Farms Dry Roasted Edamame
- Saffron Road Chipotle Crunchy Chickpeas
- Lemon & Pepper Seasoned Tuna Medley With Crackers
- Health Warrior Chia Bar
- Field Trip Jerky Original Beef Jerky
- PECKISH PECK Packs, Eggs & “Fried Rice”
- Blue Moose of Boulder Roasted Red Pepper Hummus
- Horizon Organic Mozzarella Cheese Sticks
- Sargento Balanced Breaks Natural White Cheddar Cheese with Almonds and Dried Cranberries
- Good Culture Organic Whole Milk Cottage Cheese
- KIND Fruit & Nut Snack Bar
- EPIC Grass-Fed Beef Apple, Bacon Bar
- Rhythm Superfoods Kool Ranch Kale Chips
- Enlightened Bada Bean Bada Boom Spicy Wasabi Crunchy Broad Beans
- Eggland’s Best Hard-Cooked Peeled Eggs
- Emerald Almonds
- Our Little Rebellion Protein Crisps
- Nature’s Path Qi’a Superfood Chia, Buckwheat & Hemp Cereal
- Iconic Protein Drink
- gimMe Seaweed Thins, Sriracha Almond
- KIND Healthy Grains Almond Butter Whole Grain Granola Clusters
- What’s GreenBlender?
- 1. Honey Nut Energy Bites
- 2. Salted Caramel Almonds
- 3. Protein Pops
- 4. Low Fat Cheese Sticks
- 5. Egg White Oatmeal
- 6. Lightly Salted Roasted Almonds
- 7. Zucchini Cheese Wedges
- 8. Vanilla Chia Pudding
- 9. Crustless Mini Quiches
- 10. Low Fat Greek Yogurt
- 11. Pumpkin Protein Bites
- 12. Blueberry Bananza Pick-Me-Up Smoothie
- 13. Cashew Coconut Fudge
- 14. Peanut Butter Banana Muffins
- 15. Roasted Pumpkin Seeds
- 16. Roasted Chickpeas
- 17. Homemade Jerky
- 18. High Protein Energy Balls (chickpeas & peanut butter)
- 19. Berry Shortcake Overnight Oats
- 20. Lentil Chili
- 21. Hummus and Vegetable Mason Jars
- 22. Spicy Ranchero Egg White Salad
- 23. Banana with Peanut Butter
- 24. Carrot Cake Bites
- 25. Black Bean Lime Dip
- 26. Chocolate Gelatin Squares
- 27. Three Cheese Portabella Pizzas
- 28. Cauliflower Pizza Bites
- 29. Edamame Popcorn
- 30. High Protein Avocado Dip
- 31. Sweet Quinoa Cookies
- 32. Ricotta and Spinach Fritters
- 33. Egg Chips
- 34. Frozen Greek Yogurt Bites
- 35. Kale Oatmeal Smoothie
- 36. Deli Meat Roll-Ups
- 37. Peanut Butter Mouse
- 38. Rice Salad With Cranberries And Nuts
- 39. Frozen Yogurt Covered Blueberries
- 40. Breakfast Cheesecake
- 41. Fruit And Almond Butter Quesadilla
- 42. Trail Mix
- 43. Sweet Potato Protein Smoothie
- 8 Healthy High-Protein Snacks to Help You Power Through the Day
- 35 Healthy Protein Snacks to Keep You Feeling Full & Satisfied
- The Top Rated Protein Snacks Directly from SnackNation Customers:
- Nuts & Seeds
- 15. Almonds
- 16. No-Bake Protein Bars
- 17. Almond-Butter Protein Balls
- 18. Roasted Pumpkin Seeds
- 19. No-Bake Pumpkin Seed Bars
- Beans & Legumes
- 20. Crunchy Garlic Lentil Snacks
- 21. Fast and Easy Black Bean Blender Soup
- 22. Vegetarian Traveler Garbanzo and Soy Medley
- 23. Raw Falafel
- 24. WOLO WanderBar Chocolate Protein Bars
- 25. Protes Pea Protein Chips
- 26. Chickpea and Black Bean Snack Mix
- Whey Protein
- Additional Resources:
- Why do we need protein?
- How much protein should I eat?
- Can you eat too much protein?
- High protein foods
- Fish and seafood
- Chicken and turkey
- Nuts and seeds
- Beans and pulses
- Enjoyed this? Now try…
- High-protein recipe ideas
The 30 Most Filling Healthy Snacks
If you typically have small healthy snacks before going out to eat, that’s definitely a smart move—and one that keeps you from ordering everything (healthy or not) off the menu the second you arrive. You see, the less ravenous you are when you sit down to a meal, the easier it will be to choose healthy snacks and foods that align with your better-body goals.
But that doesn’t mean you should reach for a piece of candy or some chips to quell your hunger. These types of snacks don’t provide any beneficial nutrients to your body and they won’t ward off hunger long enough to keep you from going overboard during mealtime.
Healthy filling snacks should have fewer than 250 calories and be rich in hunger-squashing nutrients like water, fiber, and protein. All of our weight-loss friendly snack recommendations below contain these slimming nutrients and are free of scary additives and chemicals.
And since it’s not always possible to fix a fresh snack, we’ve gathered both fresh and packaged options that are easy, healthy filling snacks to eat on the run. Ready to stock up your pantry? Great! But before you head to the store, skim these ways to save at the grocery store for the very best tips on losing weight—without lightening your wallet.
Homemade Healthy Filling Snacks
All of these simple, fresh bites can be pulled together in less than five minutes…
1 slice of Ezekiel bread, 1/4th avocado: 183 calories, 10 g fat (2.1 g saturated fat), 78 mg sodium, 19.3 g carbs (6.5 g fiber, 5 g protein
Avocado toast isn’t just for breakfast, guys. Thanks to its healthy fat, fiber, and protein content, the combo makes for a filling snack, too. To whip up a slice, toast a piece of Ezekiel or whole grain bread and top with chunky, mashed avocado. Sprinkle chili pepper flakes and a light drizzle of olive oil. For more tasty avocado ideas, check out these avocado recipes for weight loss.
Did You Know?!
Avocados are packed with something called monounsaturated fat, a type of fat that can prevent body fat from forming around the belly.
RELATED: Get lean for life with this 14-day flat belly plan.
Snap Peas with Hummus
1 cup snap peas, 1/4th cup hummus: 221 calories, 6.6 g fat (1 g saturated fat), 244 mg sodium, 30 g carbs (11 g fiber, 8 g sugar), 13 g protein
Veggies and hummus make for the perfect healthy snacks. Not only does the crunch help to keep you alert through the mid-afternoon slump, but the combination of fiber, protein, and water (snap peas are 90 percent H2O) is also sure to keep your stomach satisfied until suppertime. To ensure your snack remains diet friendly, plan to stick to one of our go-to hummus choices.
1 cup: 64 calories, 0.8 g fat (0 g saturated fat), 4.6 g carbs (5.4 g sugar), 1 g protein, 8 g fiber
Raspberries may be small, but they’re awful mighty—think of them as nature’s magical weight loss pill. Packing more fiber and liquid than most other fruits, they boost feelings of satiety without doing any damage to your waistline. Eat them solo or throw them in a Greek yogurt for creamy, more protein-rich healthy snacks.
Protein Roll Up
1 tsp. hummus, 1 oz deli turkey, 1 slice Swiss cheese, thick tomato slice: 149 calories, 9 g fat (5 g saturated fat), 412 mg sodium, 4.4. g carbs (1 g fiber, 1.5 g sugar), 11.7 g protein
Think of this as a flavorful sandwich minus the bread. To make a protein-filled roll up, lay a slice of Swiss cheese on a cutting board. Top with a slice of turkey, a thick tomato slice, and a spoonful of hummus. Wrap like a jelly roll and enjoy.
Eat This Tip!
Sick of your post-workout protein shake? Make this roll up without the cheese (its fat content will slow the absorption of the nutrients your body needs to recover) and pair it with an apple. The combination of protein and carbs is just what your muscles need post-pump. For even more recovery ideas, check out what fitness trainers eat after a workout.
1 medium fruit: 105 calories, 0.4 g fat (0.1 g saturated fat), 1 mg sodium, 27 g carbs (3.1 g fiber, 14 g sugar), 1.3 g protein
Not only can the humble banana’s water and fiber content keep you away from the vending machine (75 percent of the fruit is pure water), each one comes with a free carrying case, so you can grab it and go! The ultimate in healthy snacks!
Ants on a Log
3 celery stalks, 2 tbsp. peanut butter, 1 tbsp raisins: 233 calories, 16 g fat (3.4 g saturated fat), 189 mg sodium, 15 g carbs (3 g fiber, 9 g sugar), 9 g protein
To make this high-protein childhood favorite, slather celery with smooth or chunky peanut butter and then top it off with raisins. But before you whip up this tasty snack, you might want to find out where your favorite PB falls on our exclusive list of popular peanut butters—ranked to make sure it’s a good-for-you pick.
95 calories, 0.3 g fat (0 g saturated fat), 2 mg sodium, 25 g carbs (4.5 g fiber, 19 g sugar), 0.5 g protein
As one of the easiest fruits to eat on the run, apples are one of our go-to snacks. The best time to eat one? As pre-meal healthy snacks. According to Penn State University researchers, munching on an apple before a meal can reduce overall calorie consumption by 15 percent! If that doesn’t convince you to add them to your healthy snack time lineup, we’re not sure what will.
Homemade Cheese Herb Popcorn
189 calories, 8 g fat (4.6 g saturated fat), 265 mg sodium, 21 g carbs (6 g fiber, 12 g protein
A potent source of fiber and filling whole grains, popcorn makes for satisfyingly delicious healthy snacks. But pop the wrong kennels and you could be doing your body more harm than good. Many major brands of microwave popcorn, for example, line their bags with perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), the same stuff found in Teflon pots and pans; some studies have linked it to infertility, weight gain, and impaired learning. Thankfully pulling together a healthier snack is a simple task. Simply add 2 tablespoons (which yields about 2 ½ cups popped) of your favorite popping kernels to a small paper lunch bag and fold the top down a few times. Then, zap it in the microwave until you hear only a few pops every five seconds. While still hot, toss the popcorn with a half cup grated Parmesan and rosemary.
Peanut Butter Stuffed Dates
2 dates, 2 tbsp. peanut butter: 250 calories, 16 g fat (3 g saturated fat), 148 mg sodium, 25 g carbs (4 g fiber, 19 g sugar), 9 g protein
It may be hard to believe, but this salty-sweet combo serves up as much protein as a cup of milk and as much fiber as an apple. Making it is super simple, too. Just split open the date, remove the seed and top each half with your favorite all-natural nut butter. For some added flavor and texture, you can even sprinkle on some unsweetened coconut flakes. Yum!
Snack-Sized Berry Spinach Smoothie
1 serving: 230 calories, 2.5 g fat (20 g carbs (5 g fiber, 7 g sugar), 26 g protein
Short on time? Blend up a small, snack-sized smoothie. Registered dietitian Kristin Reisinger gave us one of her go-to recipes—which features fibrous berries and filling protein powder—for our New York Times bestselling book, Zero Belly Smoothies, and it makes for the perfect filling treat. To make it, toss ½ cup of mixed frozen berries, a handful of spinach, 8-ounces of almond milk, and vanilla protein powder into a blender, and combine until smooth. For more tasty blends, be sure to get your copy of the book today!
Cottage Cheese with Pineapple
1/2 cup 1% cottage cheese, 1/2 cup pineapple: 143 calories, 2.3 g fat (1.4 g saturated fat), 460 mg sodium, 15 g carbs (1 g fiber, 8.5 g sugar), 16 g protein
Sick of Greek yogurt? Break open a container of low-sodium cottage cheese and top it with some sweet yellow pineapple. So long as you stick to a half-cup serving of each, you’ll craft protein-packed healthy snacks that contain less than 150 calories! If you want some added flavor, top your bowl with some low-sugar or no-sugar-added coconut chips. The combination of flavors is reminiscent of a piña colada!
5 dried apricots, 3 teaspoons crumbled blue cheese, 5 pistachios, ¼ teaspoon honey: 137 calories, 5 g fat (1.8 g saturated fat), 139 mg sodium, 22 g carbs (4 g fiber, 17 g sugar), 5 g protein
It may look like a fancy appetizer, but this snack comes together in mere minutes. To pull it together, lay 5 dried apricots on a plate, smear each one with some crumbled blue cheese, and then sprinkle with some chopped pistachios and honey. With 5 grams of fiber and a ton of flavor, these healthy snacks are sure to keep your energy levels soaring.
Almond Butter and Peach Toast
1 tbsp. almond butter, 1 slice Ezekiel bread, 1/2 peach: 200 calories, 8.7 g fat (0.5 g saturated fat), 75 mg sodium, 25 g carbs (6 g fiber, 8 g sugar), 8 g protein
While pairing almond butter with peaches may seem like an odd combination, we can assure you that the salty and sweet mix is a pleasing one. After you’ve toasted the protein-packed Ezekiel bread, simply smear on the nut butter, and top it off with some fresh peach slices—super easy!
Dark Chocolate with Nut Butter
1 tbsp. peanut butter, 5 pieces dark chocolate: 202 calories, 17 g fat (7 g saturated fat), 82 mg sodium, 9 g carbs (3 g fiber, 4 g sugar), 6 g protein
This naughty-sounding snack duo is actually super low-sugar and satiating. In their purest forms, both peanut butter and dark chocolate are superfoods overflowing with nutrients. We adore Green & Black’s Organic Dark Chocolate 85% Cacao Bar for its high fiber count and low sugar content. When selecting a nut butter, look for something that contains just two ingredients: nuts and salt. If you see anything else printed on the label, there’s a very good chance it’s not a health food.
‘Cheesecake’ in a Bowl
1/3 cup part-skim ricotta, 4 strawberries, 1 teaspoon honey, 1 crumbled graham cracker: 210 calories, 8 g fat (4 g saturated fat), 189 mg sodium, 24 g carbs (2 g fiber, 13 g sugar), 11 g protein
While cheesecake is far from a meeting a healthy snacks standard, this combo of flavors is an entirely different story. While the ricotta lends a creamy texture reminiscent of the light and fluffy dessert (not to mention loads of protein!), the graham crackers and honey provide sweetness and a crust-like crunch. If you’re not a big fan of strawberries, feel free to sub in any other fruit you feel would be pleasing. Blueberries, kiwi, or a mix of various berries are all delicious and filling alternatives thanks to their high water and fiber content.
Store-Bought Healthy Filling Snacks
Sometimes you just need to grab something and go. These packaged eats can all be tossed in a bag and enjoyed on the run…
Rhythm Superfoods Carrot Sticks
1 bag (40 g): 150 calories, 2.5 g fat (1.5 g saturated fat), 310 mg sodium, 28 g carbs (11 g fiber, 6 g sugar), 3 g protein
Not only are carrots a great source of potassium and vitamin A, but they’re also packed with over a third of the day’s worth of satiating fiber and 3 grams of hunger-quelling protein. While raw carrots may be a bit harder to eat on-the-go because they’re perishable, this packaged, seasoned variety can be easily noshed just about anywhere.
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Siggi’s Icelandic Style 4% Yogurt Vanilla
1 container: 120 calories, 5 g fat (3 g saturated fat), 40 mg sodium, 9 g carbs (0 g fiber, 8 g sugar), 10 g protein
Although just about every yogurt is a good source of calcium and protein, few other flavored varieties are so low in sugar. Siggi’s uses Madagascar bourbon vanilla in lieu of traditional additives and sweeteners to produce healthy snacks that have a deliciously sweet flavor and won’t derail your weight loss efforts. (For us, it was love at first bite!) We reach for whole milk yogurts because they’re uber filling and tend to have more protein and less sugar than their leaner versions. In fact, a 4 percent yogurt is one of these best full-fat foods for weight loss.
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Bolthouse Farms Veggie Snackers Carrot Meets Ranch
1 pouch: 25 calories, 0 g fat (0 g saturated fat), 200 mg sodium, 6 g carbs (2 g fiber, 4 g sugar), 1 g protein
Carrots are one of the most satiating veggies out there, according to Australian researchers—likely due to their high water content. These healthy snacks come with a handful of carrots and a package of seasonings, which punches up the flavor like dips and dressings without the excess calories or fat. Need more calories to power through until your next meal? Pair this savory snack with one or two of these best snacks under 50 calories.
Seapoint Farms Dry Roasted Edamame, Sea Salt, 100 Calorie Snack Pack
1 pouch: 100 calories, 3 g fat (0.5 g saturated fat), 115 mg sodium, 8 g carbs (6 g fiber, 1 g sugar), 10 g protein
If you like noshing on nuts and seeds, you’re bound to enjoy dry-roasted edamame. Besides having a satisfyingly crunchy texture and a slightly salty taste, is provides 11 grams of soy protein and six grams of belly-filling fiber in each 100-calorie serving—it doesn’t get much better than that!
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Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free Brown Sugar & Maple Oatmeal Cup
1 cup (61 g): 240 calories, 5 g fat (1 g saturated fat), 310 mg sodium, 42 g carbs (7 g fiber, 10 g sugar), 7 g protein
This may look like your average cup of oats, but it’s worth a second glance. Made with a blend of whole gluten-free rolled oats, chia seeds, and flax seeds—an uber filling trio not typically found in oatmeal—this Bob’s Red Mill creation is the perfect blank canvas for just about any healthy filling snacks time creation. Top off your bowl with some nuts or a half-cup of raspberries for an additional 4 grams of satiating fiber.
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Pacific Organic Roasted Red Pepper & Tomato Soup
1 cup (8 oz): 130 calories, 3.5 g fat (2 g saturated fat), 720 mg sodium, 19 g carbs (2 g fiber, 15 g sugar), 6 g protein
According to a Purdue University study, slurping soup keeps people fuller longer than solid foods. While we wouldn’t suggest living on soup alone, it’s gaining some traction as an easier—and delicious—way to detox and boost weight loss results. We like Pacific’s slow-roasted red pepper variety because it provides a dose of bone-building calcium and can easily be stored, opened and warmed in an office break room.
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Emerald Natural Almonds 100 Calorie Packs
1 packet: 100 calories, 9 g fat (0.5 g saturated fat), 0 mg sodium, 4 g carbs (2 g fiber 1 g sugar), 4 g protein
This snack-sized serving of almonds serves up more protein and fiber than other similar nut blends. Plus, each pouch provides 25 percent of the day’s vitamin E, a nutrient that boosts immunity and helps maintain skin and eye health.
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Blue Moose, Lemon Turmeric On The Go Hummus
1 container: 140 calories, 6 g fat (0.5 g saturated fat), 160 mg sodium, 18 g carbs (5 g fiber, 3 g sugar), 4 g protein
This gluten-free mini meal is comprised of crunchy carrot sticks and a flavorful, creamy hummus that’s packed with fiber. Enjoy this hunger-taming duo as a healthy road trip or mid-afternoon office healthy snack.
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Beanitos Original Black Bean Chips with Sea Salt
1 oz: 130 calories, 7 g fat (0.5 g saturated fat), 120 mg sodium, 15 g carbs (4 g fiber, 1 g sugar), 5 g protein
If no one told you these chips were made from navy beans, brown rice, oils, and spices, you’d never be the wiser. This healthy snack time favorite has a texture and flavor reminiscent of traditional crisps. The primary difference? Beanitos will fill you up without filling you out. Pair it with a bean dip to boost satiety even more. We like Desert Pepper’s black bean variety.
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KIND Nuts & Spices Bar, Madagascar Vanilla Almond
1 bar: 200 calories, 15 g fat (1.5 g saturated fat), 15 mg sodium, 15 g carbs (6 g fiber, 4 g sugar), 6 g protein
The high fiber and protein content isn’t the only good thing about this bar. It also has fat-blasting Madagascar vanilla, which is a potent source of oleic fatty acids, monounsaturated fats that can help reduce appetite and promote weight loss. To see how all of your favorite KIND bars stack up in terms of nutrition, check out our special report, Every KIND Bar—Ranked!
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Iconic Lean Ready-to-Drink Protein Shake
1 bottle, 11.5 fl oz: 130 calories, 2 g fat (0 g saturated fat), 220 mg sodium, 8 g carbs (4 g fiber, 3 g sugar), 20 g protein
Full of sweeteners, toxic contaminants, chemical additives, and trans fat, many protein powder labels read like the stock list of a chemistry lab. But not this pre-made protein drink. Made with natural ingredients like grass-fed milk protein isolate, cocoa powder, organic agave, and sea salt, this is one of the better bottles in the supplement store. Not to mention, it has more protein than three hard boiled eggs which practically ensures it will keep you full and satisfied for hours between meals.
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Enjoy Life Foods Chocolate Protein Bites, Dark Raspberry
3 pieces: 170 calories, 10 g fat (5 g saturated fat), 10 mg sodium, 17 g carbs (2 g fiber, 11 g sugar), 6 g protein
While protein and snack bars can be healthy snacks for busy folks, sometimes you just want to slowly pick at something—like these small, chocolate raspberry protein bites. Not only do we like that you can grab three of these bites instead of committing to an entire bar, we’re also digging the clean ingredient label that’s common-allergen-free. The protein in this snack comes from sunflower protein, which explains the slow digesting (read: filling) protein and healthy fats.
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The New Primal Spicy Beef Jerky
1 oz (½ package), 90 calories, 2.5 g fat (1 g saturated fat), 250 mg sodium, 5 g carbs (0 g fiber, 3 g sugar), 12 g protein
Made with omega-3-rich grass-fed beef, and flavored with pineapple juice, coconut aminos, honey, lemon juice, jalapeno peppers, cayenne, and other delicious herbs and spices, this jerky is one of the cleanest options you’ll find at the market. Pair it with a piece of fiber-rich fruit like an apple or a pear to add some filling fiber to your snack-time lineup.
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Biena Chickpea Snacks, Sea Salt
1.2 oz: 150 calories, 5 g fat (0 g saturated fat), 200 mg sodium, 21 g carbs (8 g fiber, 0 g sugar), 7 g protein
These dried chickpeas are downright addictive. Luckily for you, they’re low in calories and sugar and loaded with fiber and protein. Snag a bag in every flavor. From Honey Roasted to Rockin’ Ranch, they’re all delicious—and are a welcomed break from raw nuts.
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I Heart Keenwah Quinoa Clusters, Chocolate Sea Salt
1 oz: 130 calories, 6 g fat (1.5 g saturated fat), 105 mg sodium, 17 g carbs (2 g fiber, 6 g sugar), 3 g protein
Quinoa isn’t just for your dinner plate anymore. Breakfast quinoa bowls and snacks made with the super grain have been trending for awhile now. We love that this bite-sized snack is wholesome and free of scary additives, yet taste like sweet, sinful treats.
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Want to lose 10, 20, even 30 pounds—all without dieting?! Get your copy of Eat This, Not That: The Best (& Worst) Foods in America!, and learn how to indulge smarter and lose weight fast!
The 10 Best Snacks for Weight Loss
Eating a snack between meals helps curb your hunger so that you don’t inhale your dinner when you finally sit down to eat a meal. Snacking can also help you get in all the nutrients you need. On the flip side, grazing all day-particularly on foods with little nutritional value-may result in eating too much. It’s a great idea to shop for snacks at the grocery store and pack them for work so you are prepared when hunger strikes. Many of these are also great on-the-go snack options.
Don’t Miss! Best Breakfast Foods for Weight Loss
Can snacking be a part of a healthy diet? Of course! When you choose a snack, choose one with protein, fat and/or fiber. All of these nutrients take longer to digest, so they fill you up. Snacks are also a great way to add extra nutrition to your day. Think of snacks like carrots and hummus, an apple with almond butter or whole-grain crackers with cheese.
What about evening snacking? The biggest problem with nighttime snacks is most of us reach for ice cream and chips-not fruit and yogurt. That’s not to say you can’t have a treat after dinner. Some of your favorite evening snacks may even be on this list (chocolate! popcorn!). One thing to note, if you’re always hungry after dinner, make sure your meal is made up of filling and healthy foods and you’re getting enough food. If all you’re nibbling on is a lackluster salad you may legitimately be hungry and need an evening snack(see our best dinner foods for weight loss). If you love an evening snack after dinner, serve yourself a healthy portion onto a plate or bowl so you’re not scooping straight from the container.
More healthy snacking inspiration? These 10 healthy snacks are smart choices that can help you lose weight.
Don’t Miss: Healthy Snack Recipes
Pictured recipe: Dark Chocolate Trail Mix
Nuts are a great healthy snack. And even though they’re high in fat, you don’t need to avoid them if you’re trying to lose weight. One study found that people who chewed almonds thoroughly (up to 40 chews) felt full longer than those who chewed the same amount of nuts fewer times. Plus, almonds deliver filling fiber, protein and healthy fats.
A serving of almonds, one ounce or 23 almonds, has 164 calories, 4 grams of fiber and 6 grams of protein.
Pictured recipe: Brown Sugar Broiled Grapefruit
You don’t need to go on a grapefruit diet to reap the health benefits of this ruby fruit. A whole grapefruit has about 100 calories and 4 grams of fiber. Not to mention, it delivers 100 percent of women’s vitamin C needs for the day. That’s a lot of nutrition packed into this tart citrus fruit (see other powerful health reasons to eat more grapefruit).
One study found that when people simply ate grapefruit with each meal, they lost up to 3 1/2 pounds over three months. Grapefruit may help manage appetite by lowering insulin levels, say researchers.
Pictured recipe: Roasted Buffalo Chickpeas
Keep chickpeas in the pantry. They have a meaty texture and a nutty flavor along with plenty of satiating fiber and a little protein-perfect when you’re watching your weight. Try roasting them for a crunchy snack that packs up easily.
1/2 cup of chickpeas has about 100 calories, 5 grams of protein and 5 grams of fiber.
Pictured recipe: Frosted Grapes
Toss grapes in the freezer for an easy snack. Because they’re sweet and you savor them individually and slowly, you’ll get a lot of satisfaction for just a handful of calories.
Even though grapes are high in sugar for fruit (see our ranking of fruits from lowest to highest carb here) they are a great way to naturally satisfy your sweet tooth. 1 cup of grapes has about 100 calories.
Pictured recipe: Mug Brownie
Losing weight doesn’t mean giving up the foods you love. Believe it or not, giving yourself little treats may be the secret to losing weight-for good. Aiming to be “too good” sets you up to fail and doesn’t allow you to fully enjoy your foods.
If you like a glass of wine with dinner, make room for it. Prefer dessert? Skip the drink and go for a small chocolate treat instead. Remember, if you have both-that’s OK too. Don’t beat yourself up. Just enjoy a healthy breakfast tomorrow.
Learn more: 4 Legit Health Benefits of Dark Chocolate
Pictured recipe: Lemon-Parm Popcorn
Popcorn is high in fiber and even delivers a little protein. A 1-ounce serving (about 3 cups) of air-popped popcorn has 4 grams of fiber, almost 4 grams of protein and clocks in at 110 calories. This combination makes it a snack with staying power. Popcorn is actually a whole grain and 3 cups is a huge serving-especially when you compare it to other crunchy, salty snacks like chips. Many companies are making bagged popcorn, see our favorite healthy popcorn picks.
Pictured recipe: Yogurt Banana Sundae
Use snacks to fill nutritional gaps. Choose those that provide calcium and fiber-two nutrients that people often skimp on. Yogurt with fruit delivers calcium and fiber, plus protein and gut-healthy probiotics.
Choose plain yogurt and add your own fruit for natural sweetness and fiber. Flavored yogurt often delivers lots of added sugar and extra calories. Whole milk and low-fat plain yogurt are healthy choices too. Newer research on dairy has debunked the myth that fat free is healthiest.
If you’re looking for even more of a protein boost in your yogurt snack, Greek yogurt has almost double the protein compared to regular.
Pictured recipe: Double-Tahini Hummus
Skip the vending machine and satisfy the afternoon “munchies” with a healthy snack you packed at home. You’ll save money and get a bigger bang for your nutritional buck. Try cut up veggies and some hummus. One serving of hummus is 2 tablespoons.
Planning snacks that provide both complex carbohydrates and protein will help tide you over until dinner. Learn more about the health benefits of hummus.
Pictured recipe: Slow Cooker Overnight Oatmeal with Apples and Walnuts
Oatmeal is a complex carb, meaning it helps fill you up without spiking your blood sugar. Plus, it’s a good source of fiber and eating more fiber helps people lose weight and keep it off. While we think of it typically as breakfast, a small bowl of oats makes a hearty, filling and delicious snack. To make this snack more convenient-keep a packet or two of unsweetened instant oatmeal at your desk or make overnight oats in a mason jar.
10. Dried Fruit
Pictured recipe: Homemade Trail Mix
Dried fruit is a portable, healthy snack. Eating fruit helps with weight-loss because it’s packed with filling fiber (and important vitamins and minerals). Look for fruit with no sugar or sweeteners added and pair dried fruit with nuts for a snack with a balance of healthy carbs and protein. Dried fruit is also a great option to keep at your desk at work.
Snacks can absolutely fit in your diet if you’re trying to lose weight. Having ideas for healthy snacks to pack for work snacks, grab and go snacks, store-bought snacks and snacks you can make yourself will help vary the nutrients you get and keep you from going hangry between meals. Remember, think nutrient-dense (fiber, protein, vitamins, minerals) and your snacks will help you get the nutrition your body needs and keep you full.
Keep Reading: 10 Ways to Snack Smarter
Guilt-Free Snacks That Fill You up and Help You Lose Weight
Don’t worry, we get it — there are some days when three square meals just don’t cut it. While your stomach growls, you may be tempted to stop at the nearest fast food place for fries and a shake. But before you go destroying your diet due to one bout of hunger, know you have plenty of options for snacking and staying on track for weight loss. Check out these guilt-free snacks that will fill you up without filling you out.
1. Mango with chili powder
A tangy snack is incredibly satisfying. | Bdspn/iStock/Getty Images Plus
Seems like a strange combination, doesn’t it? But actually, the sweetness of the mango and the spiciness of the chili makes the perfect delectable combination. Nutritionist Amy Gorin tells Redbook spicy foods can boost your metabolism slightly for a short amount of time, so why not spice up your fruit? And it goes perfectly with the flavor of the mango.
Next: There’s one singer who loves this classic combination on a sandwich.
2. Banana with peanut butter
This childhood snack is full of protein and healthy fats. | Professor25/iStock/Getty Images Plus
This snack combo is one Elvis would be proud of. Bananas will keep you full with their high fiber content and are only about 100 calories each. Add a tablespoon of peanut butter on top, and you’ll be getting satiating healthy fats for just an additional 90 calories or so. Don’t go too overboard with the peanut butter, though — you can easily eat hundreds of calories without realizing it if you don’t measure it out.
Next: Skip the movie theater popcorn and make your own.
Nix the heavy salt and butter from your popcorn. | Kitzcorner/ iStock/Getty Images Plus
You certainly have had this snack before — but it was probably doused in butter and salt, offering you way too many calories and grams of fat. When you make popcorn yourself and skip the unhealthy toppings, though, it’s actually the perfect snack.
CNN says 3 cups is only a mere 93 calories and 1 gram of fat. You’re also getting several grams of fiber, which helps keep you fuller for longer. Try adding a drizzle of olive oil and herbs on top for a fun treat.
Next: The healthy fats in these foods will keep you full for hours.
If you want healthy fats … it doesn’t get better than nuts. | Conejota/iStock/Getty Images Plus
The high fat and calorie content of nuts probably has you running the other direction. But there are many kinds of nuts that can actually aid in weight loss, particularly Brazil nuts, walnuts, and almonds, Eat This, Not That! tells us.
Brazil nuts contain a good amount of selenium, which aids in a healthy metabolism. And walnuts are rich in polyunsaturated fats, which help reduce belly fat, while almonds may aid in even more weight loss when combined with a calorie-restricted diet. You’ll want to watch your portion size when it comes to nuts, though, so pre-measure them out before you snack.
Next: This protein-packed food is perfect for on-the-go snacking.
5. Hardboiled egg
Hungry after that hike? Grab a hardboiled egg or two. | Irisstock/iStock/Getty Images Plus
If you haven’t cooked yourself up a pot of hardboiled eggs yet, we highly recommend you start. This inexpensive, low-calorie snack is really the perfect food to keep you satisfied. Each egg contains about 70 calories and up to 6 grams of protein. And CookingLight reminds us hardboiled eggs last up to five days in the refrigerator, so you can make them ahead of time, too.
Next: Who doesn’t love this chickpea dip?
6. Hummus and carrot sticks
Munch on some crunchy carrot sticks and fresh hummus | Robyn Mac/iStock/Getty Images Plus
Most dips will help expand your waistline, but hummus isn’t one of them. This chickpea dip is part of the Mediterranean diet, which you’ve probably heard by now is super good for you. And because chickpeas are so rich in protein, your hummus snack will keep you full for just about 30 calories per tablespoon, Shape reports. And don’t forget the carrot sticks for dipping, which offer a satisfying crunch and plenty of fiber.
Next: This treat is perfect for your sweet tooth.
7. Greek yogurt with berries
So sweet, you’ll think its dessert! | Nata Vkusidey/Stock/Getty Images Plus
Greek yogurt isn’t just for breakfast. This creamy treat feels decadent, but it’s actually rich in protein and low in calories, making it the perfect healthy snack. A 6-ounce container of plain, nonfat Greek yogurt is just 100 calories, and you’ll get 17 grams of satiating protein, Livestrong.com reports. For extra flavor, add a drizzle of honey or some berries for that fiber boost you need.
Next: This snack is one of the most filling on the list.
8. Cottage cheese with cinnamon
Way more interesting than a bowl of cereal! | Rez-Art/iStock/Getty Images Plus
You’ve probably passed the cottage cheese in the grocery store a hundred times without buying it, but it’s time to jump on the bandwagon. This fresh cheese is creamy, satisfying, and absolutely delicious with some cinnamon added.
Healthline mentions you can eat an entire cup for only 163 calories, and you’ll get 28 grams of protein and a wealth of other nutrients. As for the cinnamon, Fitday says it can also combat fat storage.
Next: Meat products can aid in weight loss, too.
Beef jerky is the perfect guilt-free snack. | Rez-Art/iStock/Getty Images Plus
You can find dehydrated meat products in just about any gas station across America, which may be why they get such a bad rap. But in reality, beef and turkey jerky is a fantastic low-calorie, high-protein snack that can aid in weight loss.
Dietitian Keri Gans tells Women’s Health most jerkies have around 10 grams of protein per serving with just 1 gram of fat or less. And they’re pretty tasty, too, as they come in a variety of flavors.
Next: Try out this tasty soy snack — and it’s not tofu.
A small bowl of Edemame is a healthy appetizer option. | Studio Mishka/ iStock/Getty Images Plus
You’ve probably seen this food pop up at local restaurants, and it’s really worth a try. Edamame are just boiled soybeans that, with a little salt, are actually quite delicious. And Health reminds us they’re super nutritious — 1 cup has 17 grams of protein, 8 grams of fiber, and less than 200 calories. If you prefer your snacks with a little crunch, roast them in the oven with some olive oil and bring them with you wherever you go. You’ll never reach for potato chips again.
Next: Make these yourself for an amazing treat.
11. Homemade smoothies
Sugary juices- no. Healthy homemade smoothie- yes. | Freeskyline/iStock/Getty Images Plus
Not all smoothies are created equal, which is why making your own is always the healthiest option. Prevention gives a few ideas on the best ingredients to add into your smoothie — think bananas, Greek yogurt, honey, and spices. And if you’re really going for a health kick, you can throw some veggies in there, too (carrots work especially well for added sweetness). You’ll never head back to Jamba Juice after tasting your own concoctions.
Next: This delicious fish makes for a great snack.
12. Smoked salmon on toast
You can put together this delicious light lunch in just minutes. | DronG/iStock/Getty Images Plus
Fish lovers, rejoice! Smoked salmon is one of the tastiest snacks out there for seafood fans, so feel free to throw some on toast with some tomato and capers for a truly satisfying snack. SFGate reports just 3 ounces of the fish offers over 15 grams of protein, and it’s rich in healthy fats that can also aid in weight loss. When choosing your toast, make sure you go for whole grain, too.
Next: Not all chips are bad.
13. Veggie chips
Time to replace junk food with baked veggie chips. | Jenifoto/ iStock/Getty Images Plus
We’re not talking about the bagged varieties — we’re talking about the delicious, warm, homemade veggie chips you can easily make yourself. Try a few of these ideas from Prevention for crunchy chips made out of sweet potatoes, zucchini, carrots, beets, or kale. By just adding a small amount of olive oil and spices, you can get amazing flavor with all the nutrients.
Remember — you can eat an entire sweet potato for roughly 115 calories, and a medium zucchini is just about 30 calories. Talk about a snack that’s good for your waistline.
Next: This snack is more nutritious than you’d expect.
14. Pumpkin seeds
A handful of pumpkin seeds is all you need to wade off those potato chip cravings. | Furo Felix/ iStock/Getty Images Plus
If you’re not saving the seeds after carving a pumpkin during the fall, then you should really start. These seeds are delicious when roasted and tossed with a seasoning of your choice. But you probably don’t realize just how good they are for your health and weight-loss goals. Healthline explains just 1 ounce of pumpkin seeds has 7 grams of protein and almost 2 grams of fiber when they’re de-shelled (even more when the shell’s on). You’ll want to watch your serving size, though — like nuts, you can end up eating a lot of calories if you’re mindlessly chewing.
Next: Here’s a classic combo with a twist.
15. Celery with almond butter
A snack of celery and a touch of almond butter is hydrating and sweet. | BWFolsom/iStock/Getty Images Plus
Who doesn’t remember having celery and peanut butter as a kid? Well, it turns out your parents were giving you a healthier snack than you thought. For something a little different than “ants on a log,” try dipping your celery in almond butter. ABC News explains studies show almond butter may aid in weight loss, as almonds help limit the amount of fat your body absorbs. And because of its protein content, 1 tablespoon is super satisfying.
Read more: Crazy Ways Weight Loss Can Actually Destroy Your Body
15 Tasty, Uncomplicated High-Protein Lunches
Packing an exciting, healthy, and filling lunch is always a harder task than expected. You want something to look forward to during the day, but it needs to keep you full and energized until dinner. That’s where protein comes into play.
The macronutrient helps rebuild damaged cells and make new ones. It’s essential in maintaining your metabolism, energy levels, and immunity. Though most people get way more protein than necessary, it’s recommended to aim for about 0.8g of protein per kilogram of body weight per day, but this varies based on your activity levels.
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We know protein is important to your diet. So, here are our tastiest packable lunches that bring more than 25g of protein per serving to the table.
Image zoom Photo: Jennifer Causey
Tarragon Chicken Salad Sandwiches
Give classic chicken salad a protein push with Greek yogurt. Clocking in at 31g of protein per sandwich, you’ll stay full way past 3 p.m.
View the recipe: Tarragon Chicken Salad Sandwiches
Image zoom Photo: Jennifer Causey
Grilled Lemon Chicken Salad
With a whopping 40g of protein, this simple salad is everything you need come lunchtime. Toss chicken and lemons on your grill pan (or outdoor grill) while making dinner, and pack it for tomorrow’s lunch.
View the recipe: Grilled Lemon Chicken Salad
Image zoom Photo: Jennifer Causey
Waffle Iron Turkey Melt Panini
The trio of crispy bacon, creamy cheese, and delectable turkey slices help this sandwich pack in 33g of protein.
View the recipe: Waffle Iron Turkey Melt Panini
Image zoom Photo: Jennifer Causey
Roasted Red Pepper Hummus Veggie Wraps
You’re not imagining it. This totally vegetarian sandwich contains protein-packed veggies, goat cheese, and hummus for 28g of powerful protein.
View the recipe: Roasted Red Pepper Hummus Veggie Wraps
Image zoom Photo: Caitlin Bensel
15-Minute Chicken Shawarma Bowls
Prep these bowls for an entire week of filling lunches. This bowl has 36g of filling protein from chicken, Greek yogurt, chickpeas, and so much more.
View the recipe: 15-Minute Chicken Shawarma Bowls
Image zoom Photo: Colin Price
This superfast lunch can be tossed together during your morning routine. A quick dressing coats a blend of quinoa, tuna, feta cheese, and chickpeas for 27g of protein.
View the recipe: Tuna-Quinoa Toss
Image zoom Photo: Jennifer Causey
Greek Slaw and Chicken Pitas
What could be easier than a 15-minute stuffed pita? Honestly not much. And for 32g of protein, this is a lunchtime masterpiece.
View the recipe: Greek Slaw and Chicken Pitas
Image zoom Photo: Colin Price
Roasted Salmon with Kale-Quinoa Salad
Crisp kale, flaky salmon, and juicy grapes come together for the perfect lunchtime salad — and add 43g of protein to your day
View the recipe: Roasted Salmon with Kale-Quinoa Salad
Image zoom Jennifer Causey
Chicken with Broccolini and Farro-Beet Salad
Last night’s leftover chicken becomes today’s high-protein lunch. Pair with farro, broccolini, beets, and fresh herbs for a delicious bite with 43g of protein.
View the recipe: Chicken with Broccolini and Farro-Beet Salad
Image zoom Photo: Colin Price
Winter Salad with Easy Herbed Pork Tenderloin
The combination of kale and spinach makes for a hearty base to creamy feta, bright grapes, and juicy pork. Just six ingredients and you’ll have a power lunch with 29g of protein in it.
View the recipe: Winter Salad with Easy Herbed Pork Tenderloin
Image zoom Caitlin Bensel
Mediterranean Chicken and Couscous Bowls
We choose to combine chicken, feta, cherry tomatoes, red onion, and cucumber, but switch up the veggies and protein for a different delicious take. This boasts 35g of protein in one bowl.
View the recipe: Mediterranean Chicken and Couscous Bowls
Image zoom Greg DuPree
Salmon with Kale, Walnut, and White Bean Salad
Creamy cannellini beans pair perfectly with flaky salmon, crisp kale leaves, and a pungent mustard dressing. In just 15 minutes you’ll have a packable lunch with 43g of scrumptious protein.
View the recipe: Salmon with Kale, Walnut, and White Bean Salad
Image zoom Greg DuPree
Chickpea Spinach Salad
High-protein spinach, chickpeas, chicken, and walnuts come together to bring you a meal boasting 37g of filling protein. Drizzle on the Green Goddess Avocado Sauce for an herb-packed creamy dressing.
View the recipe: Chickpea Spinach Salad
Image zoom Caitlin Bensel
Shrimp and Leek Spaghetti
Frozen peas and peeled shrimp make this meal a quick-fix. The sauce comes together easily for an oniony, creamy, and bright lemon flavor combining to bring you 28g of protein.
View the recipe: Shrimp and Leek Spaghetti
Image zoom Photo: Jennifer Causey
Chicken Salad Lunch Box
Our signature Lemon-Thyme Chicken Salad is super versatile. Spoon it over Bibb lettuce leaves and add celery, Peppadew peppers, goat cheese, and fresh cantaloupe for 38g of protein in your lunchtime fix.
View the recipe: Chicken Salad Lunch Box
25 Best Store-Bought High-Protein Snacks
Americans have a dual obsession with snacking and eating more protein. In fact, an NPD report shows that consumers want to get more protein in their diet but a whopping 71 percent don’t know how much they should getting (for reference, it’s at least 46 grams for women and 56 grams for men). Adding low-sugar, high protein snacks to your daily diet is an easy way to meet that quota.
High protein snacks can help fuel weight loss efforts by boosting metabolism and reducing hunger pangs. “Although snacks usually get a ‘bad rap’ for dieters, they can be quite essential when selected wisely. Proteins aren’t considered the building blocks of our bodies for nothing” says Bonnie Balk, RD, and Health & Wellness Expert for Maple Holistics.
“Snacks high in protein that are eaten between meals can reduce hunger, prevent overeating at mealtimes, and can help maintain weight loss,” says Balk.
Luckily, you don’t have to keep bags of chicken breast or turkey in your bag in order to reap the benefits. There are plenty of portable, non-perishable ways to sneak in some protein. Next time you go to the grocery store, don’t get overwhelmed. Instead, use this list as your guide to shop for the healthiest store-bought high-protein snacks. If you’re looking for more protein-packed goods, don’t miss these best low-sugar protein bars.
How we chose the best store-bought high-protein snacks.
Not just any snack landed on our list. We consulted registered dietitians to come up with some nutritional guidelines to follow when making our picks.
How much protein should you aim for? “I try to make sure the protein serving is 8 to 15 grams. If it’s over 20 grams, you won’t absorb all of it,” says dietitian Jessi Holden, MS, RDN, CSOWM. While you should aim to get at least 8 grams of protein in your high-protein snacks, we’ve also included some snacks with at least 6 grams of protein in case you want to mix and match.
Besides protein, what other nutrients should you look for? “I try to aim for a snack with less than 15 grams of sugar, and maybe some fiber, and healthy fats depending on the food,” says dietitian Kasey Hutchinson, RDN, owner of Vibrant Nutrition, RD.
What about ingredients? “It is important to read the nutritional label. Avoid snacks high in saturated fats. Be mindful of snacks that are high in sodium and preservatives,” says Lee Cotton, RDN, LDN.
With these tips in mind, we put together a list of the 25 best store-bought high protein snacks that follow these guidelines. Many of them are approved by dietitians themselves.
The following store-bought, high-protein snacks have at least 6 grams of protein per serving.
siggi’s Icelandic-Style Yogurt, Orange & Ginger
Protein Punch: 17 grams
Siggi’s Icelandic yogurt goes through multiple straining stages to increase the yogurt’s natural protein content. Per ounce, siggi’s has some of the highest protein counts on the market. And the extra protein is beneficial if you’re looking to pack on some extra muscle or trim down. Balk says she’s a big fan of siggi’s. “With its high protein content and minimal additives, it is a great choice as part of a breakfast meal, or snack.” If you’re looking to avoid sugar, Balk recommends selecting the plain flavor and adding in your own fresh fruit for sweetness.
Purely Elizabeth Cranberry Pumpkin Seed Ancient Grain Oatmeal
Protein Punch: 9 grams
Oatmeal cups make healthy protein-rich snacking easy and satisfying—without adding globs of sugar like some other brands. Keep a container or two in your desk drawer. When you’re eyeing your go-to vending machine indulgence, nip that unhealthy urge in the bud by simply adding water to one of these before zapping it in the break-room microwave. Your waistline will thank you.
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Wild Friends Classic Creamy Peanut Butter Squeeze Pack
Protein Punch: 8 grams
Ounce for ounce, peanuts are one of the most protein-dense nuts. On the run? Rip open the top of the squeeze pack and eat the palm oil- and sugar-free butter right from the pouch. For more of a sit-down snack, smear some of the flavonoid-packed spread onto a few pear slices. For a more comprehensive run-down of one of the most popular nut butters, don’t miss the 36 top peanut butters—ranked!.
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Seapoint Farms Dry Roasted Edamame
Protein Punch: 10 grams
Getting sick of snacking on almonds and walnuts? Mix things up (while still satisfying that craving for something crunchy) by incorporating packs of dry roasted edamame into your high protein snacks lineup. There are 11 grams of soy protein and six grams of belly-filling fiber in each 100-calories serving! “SeaPointe Farms Roasted Edamame is an excellent source of iron and calcium and makes for a great between-meal snack or pre-dinner appetizer!” adds NYC-based dietitian Rachel Fine, MS, RD, CSSD, CDN, and owner of To The Pointe Nutrition.
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P6rotein Punch: 12 grams
“As a rule of thumb, if you can pronounce all the ingredients listed in the nutrition facts, you’re in a good place. With RXBAR, there are 12 grams of protein per bar, stemming from egg whites, almonds, and cashews,” says Balk.
$18.89 at Amazon Buy Now 6
Saffron Road Chipotle Crunchy Chickpeas
Protein Punch: 6 grams
These high protein snacks are packed with crispy, roasted chickpeas that are hot, hot, hot! Foods loaded with capsaicin—the compound responsible for giving chilies their fire—have been proven to reduce belly fat, suppress appetite and boost thermogenesis—the body’s ability to burn food as energy.
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Lemon & Pepper Seasoned Tuna Medley With Crackers
Protein Punch: 19 grams
This tuna comes pre-seasoned with lemon and pepper, eliminating the need for mayo or sauces to amp up the flavor. Plus, this kit comes with a little knife and a few crackers so you can easily eat this protein-packed mini-meal no matter when you are when hunger strikes.
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Health Warrior Chia Bar
If you’re not ready to commit to buying an entire bag of pumpkin seeds, but you’ve always wanted to give the superfood a try, these bars are for you. Loaded with fiber, protein, and antioxidants, this sweet and spicy flavored snack will tide you over without stuffing you to the brim.
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Field Trip Jerky Original Beef Jerky
Protein Punch: 13 grams
Unlike Slim Jims, which use scary ingredients like sodium nitrite and monosodium glutamate (MSG), Field Trip’s take on the classic, naturally protein-filled snack is free of preservatives, MSG, nitrites (they even eschew the “natural” alternative celery juice powder), and corn syrup. Plus, it’s lower in fat and sodium than many conventional varieties, which is just another reason it earns a place on our list.
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PECKISH PECK Packs, Eggs & “Fried Rice”
Protein Punch: 12 grams
Egg protein is one of the cheapest, simplest sources of this macronutrient. “The incredible, edible egg is the ultimate high-protein snack,” says Laura Lagano, MD, RDN, CDN, integrative & functional nutritionist with an in-person & virtual private practice. “Eggs are a complete protein, portable in the hard-cooked version, and tasty. Numerous stores are selling hard-cooked eggs as snacks and a relative new-comer, Peckish, offers organic eggs with various crunchy dips. Love this product!”
$55 at Perfectly Peckish Buy Now 11
Blue Moose of Boulder Roasted Red Pepper Hummus
The best part about this hummus is that it’s portable. Snack on the high-protein hummus with the flax crackers or grab a pack along with a baggie of raw veggies for some extra belly-filling fiber on the run.
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Horizon Organic Mozzarella Cheese Sticks
Protein Punch: 7 grams
They’re portable, fun to eat, and packed with protein and calcium—just a few of the reasons we’re such big fans of these cheese sticks. They’re a welcome addition to both kids’ lunchboxes and adults’ brown bags.
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Sargento Balanced Breaks Natural White Cheddar Cheese with Almonds and Dried Cranberries
This snack pack is made with simple ingredients: cheddar cheese, almonds, and dried cranberries, and less than 200 calories per container. It has good protein-to-carb ratio with 14 grams of carbs and 7 grams of protein which will satisfy you without spiking your blood sugar.
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Good Culture Organic Whole Milk Cottage Cheese
To mix things up, opt for this oft-overlooked grab-and-go dairy item in lieu of your daily yogurt. With a low sugar count, it packs an impressive 19 grams of protein into its diminutive 5.3-ounce container. “The fact that includes live and active probiotics makes it a good alternative to anyone that does like yogurt but still wants to have a high protein snack that can help with gut heath,” says dietitian Emily Tills, MS, RDN, CDN, founder of Nourished With Emily.
Find the taste a bit bland? Mix in a few small pieces of pineapple or melon. Both fruits make for a delicious pairing.
KIND Fruit & Nut Snack Bar
KIND uses real fruit, peanuts, almonds, walnuts, Brazil nuts and not much else to make their wholesome high protein snacks. Coming in at 200 calories, this bar is great for warding off the afternoon slump or satisfying a craving for something sweet and crunchy.
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EPIC Grass-Fed Beef Apple, Bacon Bar
Protein Punch: 11 grams
These Paleo, gluten-free bars are made from hormone-free meats and poultry, organic spices and dried fruit. Although we don’t have any bones to pick with the wholesome ingredient list, they’re a bit high in sodium. Your best bet is to enjoy one after a sweaty workout. Since you’ll have just depleted your sodium levels, the extra salt may be beneficial, plus the protein can help rebuild the muscles broken down during your gym sesh.
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Rhythm Superfoods Kool Ranch Kale Chips
These kale chips are made by dehydrating organic kale that’s been tossed with a bold blend of herbs and spices. Rhythm Superfoods’ Kool Ranch Kale Chips are not only lower in calories and fat than Doritos, but they also serve up way more impressive amounts of two essential vitamins: vitamins A and K.
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Enlightened Bada Bean Bada Boom Spicy Wasabi Crunchy Broad Beans
Made from roasted beans, a kick of wasabi and a touch of sunflower oil, this portable, pre-portioned high protein snack is easy to throw into a purse, briefcase, or gym bag. With seven grams of protein and fiber, it’s sure to keep you satiated until your next meal.
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Eggland’s Best Hard-Cooked Peeled Eggs
Protein Punch: 12 grams (per 2 eggs)
These are organic eggs, cooked, peeled and ready to eat. Enjoying them is as easy as topping them with a pinch of salt and pepper before popping them in your mouth!
Nuts are a great source of protein and healthy fats; they provide all the energy-boosting nutrients your body needs while keeping portions in check. You’ll get 6 grams of protein for just 160 calories. “Almonds also make a great snack because they’re high in vitamin E, copper, and magnesium,” says Fine.
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Our Little Rebellion Protein Crisps
This gluten-free snack uses a combination of soy protein flour to pack 10 grams of protein into every serving, making them substantial enough to enjoy on their own. Can’t stomach plain crackers? Pair them with a pre-portioned piece of cheese.
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Nature’s Path Qi’a Superfood Chia, Buckwheat & Hemp Cereal
With impressive protein and fiber counts, and a whopping 1,500 milligrams of omega-3 fatty acids (about what you’d get from an order of salmon), this is a great go-to granola that will help keep your arteries clear and your brain fired up.
$9.00 at Amazon Buy Now 23
Iconic Protein Drink
Protein Punch: 20 grams
Using grass-fed protein from New Zealand cows milk, ICONIC makes a high-quality protein drink with not a lot of sugar. It’s a great option for a healthy workout recovery or when you’ve got a meeting planned during lunch.
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gimMe Seaweed Thins, Sriracha Almond
This high protein snack pack might have the appearance of a child’s snack, but its protein and vitamin-filled nutrient profile is nothing to kid about.
$38.99 at Amazon Buy Now 25
KIND Healthy Grains Almond Butter Whole Grain Granola Clusters
Start your day with delicious whole grains and 10g protein per serving. We combined creamy almond butter with our crunchy super grain blend and a touch of cinnamon to create a snack that’s perfect to enjoy by the handful or paired with milk or yogurt. That’s a much better a.m. meal than one of the worst breakfast foods on the planet.
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Even if you’re not an athlete, getting enough protein into your diet during the day can be difficult. Like fruits and vegetables, most of us don’t realize how much protein we should be eating, but protein is so good for both muscle growth and for keeping us full, that focusing on getting enough should definitely be a priority.
Instead of forcing yourself to eat five eggs before you leave the house every morning, we’ve compiled a list of 41 high-protein snacks that you can take with you to work, to the gym, picking up the kids from school — wherever! Whether you’re in the mood for sweet or savory, we’ve got you covered, and many of these recipes are gluten free and low in fat, too!
We’ve also got a post dedicated to vegan, high protein breakfast ideas that you can take anywhere, so make sure to check that out for even more ideas.
Smoothies are the ultimate fast food. Make amazing smoothies at home. Pre-portioned ingredients and superfoods delivered right to your door. Learn more >>
1. Honey Nut Energy Bites
Are you a fan of Honey Nut Cheerios? How about chocolate chips? Yes? Well when you combine them with some Greek yogurt and peanut butter, you’ve got a high-protein treat that most people would confuse with dessert! Greek yogurt is extremely good for you, especially if you buy the kind with zero percent fat, and one serving usually has about 17 grams of protein.
2. Salted Caramel Almonds
Almonds are full of good fats and protein, and are the perfect pre-workout snack. One ounce of almonds packs six grams of protein, three grams of fiber and zero cholesterol. Plus, show us someone who doesn’t like the flavor combination of salted caramel, and we’ll show you a crazy person.
3. Protein Pops
Bananas, protein powder and coconut milk? YES. For athletes, these frozen treats are a great alternative to drinking boring shakes day after day. And for everyone else, they’re a dessert with way more nutritional value than a cup of ice cream. (Tip: if you’re sensitive to pre-workout supplements, omit that part in this recipe.)
4. Low Fat Cheese Sticks
One stick of string cheese gives you about eight grams of protein, and if you buy a low-fat version, you’re looking at a high protein snack that comes in at under four grams of fat. Packing yourself two low-fat cheese sticks and an apple may make you feel like you’re back in elementary school, but hey, if it gave you energy to run around during recess back then, this snack will certainly power you though the second part of your day.
5. Egg White Oatmeal
Oats are a great source of dietary fiber, and when you combine them with egg whites, you get one of the healthiest breakfasts around. The fiber from the oats and the protein from the egg whites will keep you full all day, and if you think it’s odd to combine the two, just give this recipe a whirl. You probably won’t even know the egg whites are in there!
6. Lightly Salted Roasted Almonds
Spraying a bunch of almonds with a light coating of oil, mixing them with a little salt, and then roasting them in the oven for about 15 minutes creates the perfect savory snack.
7. Zucchini Cheese Wedges
Zucchini is an incredibly low calorie vegetable, and when you combine it with low-fat cheese and bake it, you’ve got a low fat, low calorie, and low carb treat that tastes like heaven. It’s kind of like eating pizza, except there’s non of the carbs and less than half the fat!
8. Vanilla Chia Pudding
Chia seeds are a great vegan source of Omega-3s, which are essential for overall health. Starting your day, or even ending your day, with this sweet chia pudding will add protein, fiber, and a plentiful amount of Omega-3s to your diet, all while tasting like dessert.
9. Crustless Mini Quiches
Who doesn’t love an adorable mini quiche? By going crustless and increasing the vegetable count, you get a delicious, portable breakfast that will keep your carb count low, and your protein count high.
10. Low Fat Greek Yogurt
Stick to the zero percent fat kind of Greek yogurt, and make it sweeter by adding berries, mandarin oranges, or pomegranate seeds. Try to steer clear of yogurt that comes with “fruit” or stir-ins already added — that’s sugar your body doesn’t need. If you want to sweeten your yogurt with more than just fruit, try a sprinkle of stevia or raw sugar instead.
11. Pumpkin Protein Bites
Low in fat and calories, but high in fiber, pumpkin is the perfect filler for a lot of recipes. And if you’re someone who knows you should be drinking a protein shake every day, but just can’t stomach it all the time, these cute little pumpkin balls are the answer!
12. Blueberry Bananza Pick-Me-Up Smoothie
This smoothie is made from pea protein, maqui berry, squash, blueberries, oats and a banana, which means that it’s not only a certified superfood drink, it’s also extremely satisfying and full of fiber, antioxidants, and yes, protein. If you’ve never tried squash in your smoothies before, you’ll become a believer after drinking this! (And if you don’t tell your kids, they’ll never know they’re actually drinking vegetables).
13. Cashew Coconut Fudge
When it comes to fat, cashews rank pretty low compared to other nuts, and when it comes to fudge, it’s always fantastic when you can have more than one piece – and feel good about it! The best thing about this recipe is that you can make it two ways, vegan or Paleo.
14. Peanut Butter Banana Muffins
Peanut butter and jelly may be the best combination ever, but peanut butter and banana is close behind, and nothing beats biting into a freshly baked muffin – except if that muffin is a certified protein powerhouse!
15. Roasted Pumpkin Seeds
One cup of roasted pumpkin seeds has 12 grams of protein. and when they’re roasted and salted they make a great alternative to chips or french fries.
16. Roasted Chickpeas
Much like roasted pumpkin seeds, roasted chickpeas are a tasty, crunchy alternative to chips, and one cup provides a whopping 39 grams of protein, which is more than any protein powder on the market.
17. Homemade Jerky
Beef or turkey jerky is delicious, but it’s usually quite expensive. If you love this high-protein snack but don’t want to spend $12.00 for a tiny packet, follow this recipe to make your own! It’s surprisingly easy.
18. High Protein Energy Balls (chickpeas & peanut butter)
The protein powerhouses, chickpeas and peanut butter, are front and center in this recipe. If you have no idea how to work an oven, that’s fine – these don’t require any baking. But they do require chocolate chips, which is FINE WITH US! If you have a peanut allergy, almond or cashew butter would work just fine.
19. Berry Shortcake Overnight Oats
Need a new way to eat your steel cut oats in the morning? Soaking them in almond milk and yogurt makes the oats nice and plump, and also increases the protein quotient of this breakfast tenfold. Oatmeal is fine and all, but if you want something a little different, and if you want to eat it out of a cute mason jar, this is the recipe for you.
20. Lentil Chili
Not all chili has to be full of meat! Lentils are a great vegan source of protein, and this chili is so rich you’ll hardly miss the meat. Pack this in a little to-go cup and treat yourself to a delicious and hearty snack any time of day.
21. Hummus and Vegetable Mason Jars
Chickpeas for the protein win again! Hummus is basically just ground up chickpeas with a lot of spices, and when you put a dollop in a cute mason jar full of cut up vegetables, it’s almost too adorable to eat. Almost.
22. Spicy Ranchero Egg White Salad
Egg salad is an old school favorite, but traditional egg salad has a lot of fat. This version takes out the yolks and adds some zest in the form of Southwestern flavors. Perfect with bread or by itself!
23. Banana with Peanut Butter
Pure, simple and to the point. Make yourself one of these before you head out for work or hit the gym, and you’ll have all the extra energy you’ll need, without the crash that comes with caffeine or a preworkout drink. Bananas have almost no fat, a ton of fiber, natural sugars, and a good amount of vitamin C and B-6, which makes them a gym superfood.
24. Carrot Cake Bites
A low sugar, high protein carrot cake bite? Sign us up! Carrots are rich in vitamin C and K, and also have good doses of beta carotene and fiber. This recipe is great for omnivores and vegans alike. It’s also good for people who don’t consider themselves cooks, since it’s completely no-bake.
25. Black Bean Lime Dip
Coming in at seven grams of protein and nine grams of fiber per serving, this black bean dip is also high in magnesium, which is great for both bone health and balancing out our nervous systems.
26. Chocolate Gelatin Squares
If you’ve always wondered what chocolate jello would taste like, here’s the recipe for you! The best part is that there’s protein powder hiding out in these sweet squares, which makes it a great alternative to another boring protein shake.
27. Three Cheese Portabella Pizzas
Pizza that’s actually healthy for you? Who needs a crust when you have cute, portable portabella mushrooms? Bake them up with a few low-fat cheese blends and you’ve got the cutest mini pizzas in the world. Portabellas are an extremely low-carb vegetable, and one cup of chopped portabellas has two grams of protein, which is pretty good for a vegetable.
28. Cauliflower Pizza Bites
Another mini pizza contender, these little cheesy muffins are made with cauliflower, which is a great non-gluten alternative. Cauliflower is also low in calories, but high in fiber and protein, making it a favorite among athletes. In fact, cauliflower is becoming so popular, it’s evening showing up as the crust of pizzas are regular pizza joints.
29. Edamame Popcorn
Like chickpeas, roasted edamame becomes light and crispy, making it a great snack to take to work. And with one cup packing as much as 17 grams of protein, you’ll feel a lot more full after a bag of these than you would after eating a bag of chips or regular popcorn.
30. High Protein Avocado Dip
It you want to get away from those high calorie dip options out there, try this recipe, which incorporates yogurt, cottage cheese and an avocado. This dip is a delicious way to get a serving of monounsaturated fat — the good kind of fat — which helps to lower bad cholesterol.
31. Sweet Quinoa Cookies
If you have kids in the house, this recipe is perfect. If you leave out the M&Ms, it’s even a good alternative for a quick breakfast. But let’s be honest, most of us are going to put the M&Ms in because, hey, everything in moderation! Plus, because quinoa is loaded with fiber and protein, you’ll only need one cookie to feel satisfied.
32. Ricotta and Spinach Fritters
Low in calories but high in nutrients that benefit our skin, hair and bones, spinach is one of those super leafy greens. Even though the ricotta has the majority of the protein in this recipe, spinach has some too, as well as iron, which is an essential nutrient for women.
33. Egg Chips
After trying this simple recipe, egg whites, some cheese, and a little cooking spray may just transform into the go-to snack you never realized you love. If you’re a fan of chips but want to find an alternative that isn’t full of fat and carbs, these egg chips are a great experiment. Plus, they’re full of protein.
34. Frozen Greek Yogurt Bites
Ice cream is one of those treats that’s just so hard to give up. Luckily, this recipe channels ice cream and kicks it up a notch in the health department by using Greek yogurt instead of cream. The added pomegranate seeds bring the power of antioxidants and a burst of natural sweetness. If you really want to make this recipe healthy, halve the amount of sugar it originally calls for.
35. Kale Oatmeal Smoothie
This smoothie contains tahini paste, which is made from ground up sesame seeds. Tahini is a better source of protein than most nuts, and is also full of B vitamins and calcium. Add in some kale and a serving of rolled oats, and you’ve got yourself a perfect pre- or post-workout drink that will put other store bought versions to shame.
36. Deli Meat Roll-Ups
If you’ve had enough salads in your life and want to find something more satisfying to take to work for lunch, try this simple and yet genius idea: Buy some nitrate-free deli meat and wrap it around your favorite vegetables. It eats like a sandwich, but still has enough healthy green stuff to make you feel like you’re doing good things for your body. Plus everyone else in your office will be amazed at your creative lunch skills.
37. Peanut Butter Mouse
For all you vegans out there, this mouse will make you smile! Using peanut flour, tofu and almond milk, you can create something that tastes like a rich dessert, but has only 290 calories and 37 grams of protein. Even if you’re not sure you’re into tofu, this recipe might be the one thing that changes your mind.
38. Rice Salad With Cranberries And Nuts
Combining sweet and savory flavors is a great way to wake your pallet up , and this “salad” is the perfect combination. While there’s healthy fat and protein included in the pecans, pistachios and cashews, wild rice also has protein – about 24 grams in one in one uncooked cup.
39. Frozen Yogurt Covered Blueberries
Blueberries are some of the healthiest little fruits you can eat. Packed with fiber, folate, vitamin C and phytonutrients, they’ve also more antioxidants than most other produce. Combining them with low-fat Greek yogurt, which typically has 17 grams of protein, is kind of like making a super dessert. Not only is it low in fat and calories, it’s actually making you healthier with each bite.
40. Breakfast Cheesecake
Cheesecake for breakfast? With this recipe, it’s not only possible, it’s healthy, too. Using ingredients like an oats and applesauce crust, and a bananas and cream-cheese filling, you can actually feel okay about having one (or two) of these treats with your morning coffee. And since one serving has almost no fat and 13 grams of protein, this cheesecake is actually better for you than a bagel.
41. Fruit And Almond Butter Quesadilla
Quesadillas are delicious, but when you put almond butter (which usually has less sugar and more protein than regular peanut butter) and fruit into one, you get something that’s almost better than the original. When buying any kind of nut butter, go for the one with the least amount of sugar added. It may take a little bit of time to get used to the taste, but once you get used to the natural goodness of plain nut butter, you’ll never want to go back.
42. Trail Mix
Kick traditional trail mix up a notch by adding different pieces of protein bars to the mix. By adding sweetness that way, you’ll get your chocolate fix along with your protein fix, and can skip all the scary refined sugars that usually come with the pre-made variety.
43. Sweet Potato Protein Smoothie
Pea protein is a fabulous way for vegans and those who have issues digesting whey to get an extra dose of protein during their day, and sweet potatoes are one of the best complex carbs (carbs that keep you energized for a long period of time) you can eat. Pecans are delicious, and anything with allspice and cinnamon reminds us of pie. So really, this smoothie is like drinking a pie. A delicious, nutritious pie.
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8 Healthy High-Protein Snacks to Help You Power Through the Day
When it comes to healthy eating, there’s a lot of focus on what you shouldn’t be eating. Skip the “added sugars,” “bad fats,” and “bad carbs.” But, what should you be eating? And when you realize your last meal was a bit too light — and your next meal is still a ways off — which snacks are smart choices?
Foods high in protein are good snacking picks because the macronutrient helps keep you feeling fuller longer, explains Mary Wirtz, RDN, a wellness dietitian at the Healthy Living Program at the Mayo Clinic: “Protein takes longer to digest than carbohydrates, so it therefore keeps us satisfied and satiated.”
And the longer you feel satisfied and satiated, the less likely you’ll want to reach for other less-healthy snacks or extra calories, she adds.
Several epidemiological studies that have followed large groups of people over the course of several years have indeed found improved health outcomes in people who eat diets high in protein. Some of those health benefits include lower risk of hypertension, heart disease, and stroke.
Other research suggests diets high in protein can help with weight loss and maintaining a healthy weight. A study published in May 2015 in the International Journal of Obesity, which followed 932 obese families, found that a high-protein diet helped control blood pressure and inflammation in both kids and adults — and helped both the kids and adults in the study lose weight and keep it off.
Why is protein so important? Protein is used by every cell in the body (including our muscles, bones, blood, cartilage, and all tissues) for basic functioning, Wirtz says. Once digested and transported to where we need it, the protein we eat helps our bodies do just about everything we do, from repairing and rebuilding muscle after we exercise to making the hormones and chemicals that help keep our organs functioning and regulate our sleep, digestion, and immune function.
So when we get hungry between meals, high-protein snacks may provide the energy our bodies need (calming our hunger signals) and keep our systems functioning optimally.
It’s important to remember, however, that just because a food is high in protein, that doesn’t mean you should overdo it. Some foods that pack a lot of punch when it comes to grams of protein per calorie, like red meat or full-fat cheese, can also serve up a lot of saturated fat, which should be eaten in moderation.
Here are eight good-for-you snacks that deliver when it comes to protein.
Additional reporting by Brianna Steinhilber.
35 Healthy Protein Snacks to Keep You Feeling Full & Satisfied
Protein, protein, protein! We hear about it so often, but what is this wonder substance and what foods should we eat to get enough of it?
Keep reading to learn about healthy protein snacks and find out how to snack like a person who understands protein.
The Top Rated Protein Snacks Directly from SnackNation Customers:
- Whole Food Protein Balls, Chocolate Coconut Peanut Butter by simplyFUEL (4.68 out of 5)
- SmashPack Protein Fruit Smoothie Pouch (4.62 out of 5)
- Quest Nutrition Tortilla Style Protein Chips, Chili Lime (4.57 out of 5)
- FlapJacked Mighty Muffins (4.54 out of 5)
- Quest Nutrition Double Chocolate Chip Protein Cookie (4.51 out of 5)
- Twin Peaks Low Carb, Allergy Friendly Protein Puffs, Jalapeno Cheddar (4.46 out of 5)
- Smart Tart Protein Toaster Pastries (4.45 out of 5)
- Promix Whey Protein Isolate Puff Bar, Vanilla Bean (4.42 out of 5)
- Cheddies, Cheese Crackers (4.39 out of 5)
- FDL Protein Powder Cookie Butter, Frosted Cinnamon Roll (4.37 out of 5)
What is protein?
A protein is a molecule made of amino acid chains. The chains attach to form different structures and therefore different proteins, including essential antibodies, enzymes, and hormones. Protein does more than just build muscle; it features in many of your body’s primary functions.
What does this have to do with snacking?
As we mentioned above, proteins are made from amino acids. Your body can make some of its own amino acids, but it needs to get many of the essentials, what we officially call “essential amino acids,” by eating a variety of foods. When your body has all the necessary amino acids, it can make all the essential proteins.
Making protein vs eating protein.
Whether it’s from a plant or animal source, the protein you eat doesn’t immediately supply you with protein because it comes from a different organism, and it is designed for the particular needs of that organism. Your body breaks down the consumed protein into amino acid components and then does some restructuring to build protein you can use.
This restructuring process is why you need to consume proteins, and therefore amino acids, from a variety of foods, healthy foods in particular. According to experts at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, the “package,” or the health profile, of the protein-packed food you’re eating has a big impact on your overall health.
Your high-protein snacking strategy
To be your best self, you should snack on a range of nutrient-rich, healthy protein snacks that are low in fat and calories.
Below, we’ve broken down some of the basic foods that deliver the healthiest, leanest protein and amino acids packages. We’ve also listed snacks you can buy and make to get your fill of each protein source. Are you ready to get your protein on?
Eggs—compact packages filled with lots of powerful nutrients. One large egg has 70 calories, 6 grams of protein, and a variety of other nutrients, including vitamin D, riboflavin, and selenium. Combine that nutrient profile with flavor and versatility, and you’ve got an ideal source of lean protein.
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2. Egg and Pesto Stuffed Tomato
Via Paleo Leap: Egg and Pesto Stuffed Tomatoes
To make a high-protein snack, the cook behind Paleo Leap cracks an egg into a tomato and bakes it. Voila—you’ve got a nutrient-rich snack that won’t make you feel like a deprived, spartan bodybuilder.
3. Healthy Egg Salad on Cucumber Rounds
Via Well Plated: Healthy Egg Salad
Make egg salad the Well Plated way, with nonfat Greek yogurt and mustard. This technique removes a lot of the fat and even adds in some extra protein. You can also ditch the bread and eat your egg salad on dainty cucumber slices. It might sound like a tea party snack, but it packs some serious protein.
4. Microwaved Eggs – 3 Ways
Who has time for a skillet? Luckily, you can eat wholesome high-protein eggs in three different ways thanks to the microwave.
Poached: If you have an egg, a mug, and some water, you can enjoy a snack-fast poached egg. Get the instructions.
Scrambled: Stir together eggs, milk, and salt…and then zap! Get the instructions.
Quiche: Microwavable mug quiche is the savory snacking equivalent of mug cake. Get the instructions.
With about 140 calories and 12 grams of protein per serving, yogurt* makes one tasty source of healthy protein, not to mention other good things, such as vitamin A, phosphorus, and calcium. Yogurt’s protein density and mild flavor make it an ideal base for a variety of healthy snacks.
(*Based on data for plain, low-fat yogurt.)
5. Plain Yogurt + Orange Blossom Honey + Toasted Sesame Seeds
Skip the pre-flavored yogurt and make your own gourmet concoction with enough protein and flavor to keep you satisfied for hours. You can find pre-toasted sesame seeds in the Asian section of many grocery stores.
6. Greek Yogurt Pops
Via Lemon Bowl: Raspberry Greek Yogurt Popsicles
The cook behind the Lemon Bowl freezes some fruit and some yogurt in paper cups to make a high-protein snack that’s also a delightful frozen treat.
7. Greek Yogurt + Hemp Hearts + Strawberries
Mix some robust Greek yogurt with hemp hearts and naturally low-sugar strawberries to create a powerhouse protein bowl that tastes more indulgent than it is.
8. Easy Mediterranean Parfaits
These nutrient-dense parfaits surpass every other sugary, frivolous, and empty parfait you’ve ever tried. Turn the “high-protein parfait” into a delicious new reality by layering Greek yogurt, apricot preserves, granola, and pistachios.
9. Greek Yogurt Peanut Butter Dip
If you’ve never thought about mixing peanut butter and yogurt, then you’ve been missing out on some scrumptious flavors and healthy protein. Eat this dip from Food, Fun & Life with any kind of fruit you want or straight off the spoon (we won’t judge). You can also skip the honey in this recipe if you want to cut sugar from your diet.
10. Rose Water and Cardamom Yogurt Lassi
This rose-water lassi (from the clean-eating experts at Whole Foods) makes high-protein eating fancy. Try it if you want to change up your protein smoothie routine.
Many fish are remarkably high in protein and low in calories and fat. Take wild Atlantic salmon for example. One fillet (198 grams) has nearly 40 grams of protein and less than 300 calories. Fish is also full of monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fatty acids that are ideal for satiety.
11. Salmon Cucumber Rolls
Via Eat, Spin, Run, Repeat: Salmon Cucumber Rolls
Make like the foodie behind Eat, Spin, Run, Repeat and roll up salmon and cucumber to make a snack that’s like a protein-packed sushi roll without the added carbohydrates of sticky rice.
12. Healthy Mediterranean Tuna Salad
Classic tuna salad has lots of protein. Lighten up on the fat to make a snack that delivers a leaner, meaner protein package. This recipe from Tori Avey gets flavor and moisture from lemon juice and olive oil instead of mayonnaise.
13. Salmon Pops with Dill Sauce
Via Only Gluten Free Recipes: Salmon Pops with Piquant Dill Sauce
Eating fish on a stick has never been so delicious, healthy, or fun. This snack from Only Gluten Free Recipes uses sesame seeds, lemon juice, and dill to bring out the flavors in naturally delicious salmon.
14. Quick Tropical Tuna Salad
Stir together some high-quality canned tuna, pineapple chunks, cubed avocado, and cilantro to make a healthy tropical tuna salad. Eat the mixture straight off the spoon or dollop it onto fresh cucumber slices.
Nuts & Seeds
Nutrient-dense nuts and seeds have everything you need to stay full, including protein and good fats. Nuts and seeds are also incredibly versatile; they can be used in a wide range of sweet and savory protein snacks.
The pure and simple almond makes a steadfast, go-to source of protein. If you need fast and clean protein on the go, then almonds are your best friend.
16. No-Bake Protein Bars
Via Oh She Glows: Quick ‘n Easy No-Bake Protein Bars
If you’re trying to prepare most of your own food, these no-bake bars, a quick alternative to their packaged counterparts, are an awesome choice. Oh She Glows uses vegan protein powder and almond butter to pack these tasty bars with plenty of protein.
17. Almond-Butter Protein Balls
Via Real Food Dietitians: Almond Butter Banana Protein Balls
Protein balls are often faster and easier to make than protein bars, and these no-bake morsels from the Real Food Dietitians are no exception. These bites are filled with protein from almonds, chia seeds, and clean protein powder.
18. Roasted Pumpkin Seeds
Who knew all those mucky seeds we scoop out of our jack o’lanterns were filled with protein? Well, they are—a 2-ounce helping contains 10 grams of protein. Find pre-roasted pumpkin seeds in your grocery store, or salt the raw seeds and roast them at 300 degrees for about 45 minutes.
19. No-Bake Pumpkin Seed Bars
Versatile pumpkin seeds feature in these no-bake protein bars from A Big Man’s World. The bars are sweet, salty, and good for your body.
Beans & Legumes
Beans and legumes have been the choice protein of plant-based diets for years. These high-protein packages are mildly flavored, super low in fat and calories, and filled with protein, folate, and of course, fiber. In fact, beans and legumes contain a magical combination of protein and fiber that keeps you full and produces some healthy protein snacks.
20. Crunchy Garlic Lentil Snacks
Via Food, Fitness, Fresh Air: Crunchy Garlic Lentil Snack
Lentil soup is great, but these crispy, portable lentils might change the way you snack forever. This recipe from Food, Fitness, Fresh Air makes it easy to enjoy the fiber and lean protein of lentils when you’re on the go.
21. Fast and Easy Black Bean Blender Soup
Blender soups are like savory smoothies. They’re fast, easy, and super healthy. They’re also perfect if you’re watching fruit sugars. Combine lime juice, tomato juice, cilantro, salt, and a pinch of hot sauce in a blender to make a protein-filled soup that tastes amazing hot or cold.
22. Vegetarian Traveler Garbanzo and Soy Medley
Made with garbanzos and soybeans, this snack medley offers an anytime protein boost. Snack on the mix alone or add it to your salads, soups, and buddha bowls—anything that could benefit from extra protein.
23. Raw Falafel
Combine garbanzo beans and a few other tasty ingredients in a food processor, roll the meal into balls, and voila—you’ve got Rawmazing’s protein-rich falafel that’s quick to make and awesomely tasty, no frying required.
24. WOLO WanderBar Chocolate Protein Bars
chocolate chips, protein powder, and other nutrients fill these WOLO WanderBars with a healthy dose of protein that goes down as easy as any tasty treat.
25. Protes Pea Protein Chips
Pea protein goes into each of these golden-triangle chips. Eat a whole bag to get 15 grams of protein while downing only 120 calories. You can enjoy the protein-packed goodness of Protes chips in lots of tasty flavors, including spicy chili lime, toasted coconut, and salted caramel.
26. Chickpea and Black Bean Snack Mix
Via Dizzy, Busy, and Hungry: Chickpea and Black Bean Snack Mix
Simply season and bake chickpeas and black beans to make a crunchy snack that tastes like it came right out of a package. This recipe from Dizzy, Busy, and Hungry make it easy with only five minutes of preparation time.
Healthy, high-protein whey is a by-product of cheese making. Basically, cheese is made, and the left-behind whey is processed further to remove stuff that isn’t protein. The result is a concentrated protein powerhouse that has plenty of amino acids and integrates easily into nearly any food imaginable.
27. Ips Protein Chips
Eat chips and get your protein. Who says life isn’t fair? Delicious Ips Protein Chips are made from wholesome corn flour and whey protein concentrate. The result is a puffy chip with half the fat and twice the flavor of regular fried potato chips.
28. Avocado Whey Smoothie
Blend one avocado, a scoop of whey protein powder, almond milk, and strawberries together to make a creamy smoothie that will keep you full for hours.
29. Plain Yogurt + Fig Butter + Whey Protein
Add a scoop of fig butter and your favorite whey protein powder to some plain yogurt to create a high-protein snack with rich and satisfying flavor.
30. Banana Protein Milk
This snack is lighter than a smoothie, but it’s just as satisfying. Simply blend one ripe banana with a scoop of whey protein powder and about 3 cups of your favorite milk. The result has a creamier texture than normal milk and a lightly sweet banana flavor your inner child will love.
A lean protein source, turkey* has about 125 calories, 2 grams of fat, and 26 grams of protein. It makes a perfect, satisfying base for tons of good-for-you protein snacks.
(*Data based on skinless roasted turkey breast.)
31. Country Archer Herb Citrus Turkey Bar
These savory, paleo-friendly bars have all the herby citrusy flavors of a home-roasted turkey. Made with clean turkey raised without antibiotics or hormones, each Country Archer bar contains only 1 gram of sugar.
32. Easy Homemade Turkey Jerky
Who knew you could make your own clean healthy turkey jerky by skewering some turkey slices to the top rack of your oven? Well you can, and you should. Just follow this recipe from Mark’s Daily Apple.
33. Turkey-Wrapped Apple (or turkey wrapped anything)
Grab a nitrate-free, low-sodium slice of packaged turkey breast and wrap it around a tart slice of Granny Smith apple to make a protein-rich snack with a refreshing flavor. And just so you know, you can make this snack with pretty much anything you want: pickles, carrots, mango, hot peppers, and more. Consider it your go-to reverse sandwich.
34. Grown-Up Sandwich Crackers
Reconnect with the kid-style fun of creating cracker sandwiches. Use quality ingredients to make your nostalgic snack super healthy. Grab whole-grain seeded crackers, protein-packed sliced turkey, and light sliced cheese. Use a pizza cutter to slice the cheese and turkey into quarters and start making your sandwiches. Get creative with condiments to add even more adult flare to these healthy snacks.
35. Epic Turkey Almond Cranberry Bar
Get your turkey fix in snack bar form with the Epic Turkey Almond Cranberry Bar. This bar has all the satisfying flavor of a harvest feast, but it also gets down to business with 11 grams of protein. Epic puts only the best turkey into their bars—that means turkey raised without growth stimulants.
What’s your favorite healthy protein snack? Let us know in the comment section below!
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Why do we need protein?
Protein is an essential nutrient, responsible for multiple functions in your body, including building tissue, cells and muscle, as well as making hormones and anti-bodies. Everyone needs protein in their diet, but if you do endurance sports or weight training you may benefits from increase your protein intake, as well as factoring it into your training routine at specific times to reap its muscle-building benefits.
Studies also suggest that as we get older we may benefit from eating more protein because it helps minimise the muscle loss associated with aging.
How much protein should I eat?
For most people a daily dose of around 0.8-1g of protein per 1kg of body weight is recommended. For weightlifters and strength athletes 1.4 – 2g of protein per kg of body weight is recommended per day, with a recommendation of 1.2-1.6g of protein per kg of body weight per day for endurance athletes. After exercise, protein is particularly important since muscles need it to recover and grow. A portion of protein (15-25g) is recommended within 30 minutes of exercise, when your muscles are particularly receptive to protein synthesis.
Can you eat too much protein?
For most of us, our daily protein requirements are easily achieved by a healthy, balanced diet. The Department of Health advises adults to avoid consuming more than twice the recommended daily intake of protein (55g for the average man and 50g for the average woman). This is because, in the long term, consuming too much protein might lead to health issues such as an increased risk of osteoporosis and a worsening of an existing kidney problem. However, research in this area is mixed and it is likely that other factors may influence outcome, such as whether the protein is of animal or vegetable origin and how balanced the diet is in terms of vitamins and minerals.
One of the main issues with our Western diet is that often, our breakfasts and lunches are low in protein but high in carbohydrates, with a protein-packed evening meal. It is better to aim to spread your protein intake out throughout the day. Try our suggestions for high protein breakfasts, high protein lunches and high protein dinners.
High protein foods
You can get protein from both plant and animal sources – here are some of the best food sources of protein.
We love to cook with them, but how much protein is in an egg? One medium egg has around 6g of protein in an easily digestible form. A healthy omelette is a good way to start the day and is a good recovery snack too.
Try our healthy egg recipes and read about the health benefits of eggs.
Dairy foods are packed with protein and contain bone-building calcium, too. Chocolate milk is the age-old recovery food after exercise, since it contains energy-replenishing carbohydrates and a blend of both slow and fast release whey and casein proteins. You can get the same recovery-boosting effects from a milk-based fruit smoothie – such as this cranberry & raspberry smoothie recipe.
Read more about the best calcium-rich foods.
A combination of casein and whey protein, yogurt is a great protein-rich food. Since some of the lactose is removed, it may be a useful option if you are lactose intolerant, but check with your healthcare professional if you have any concerns.
Try making your own healthy bio yogurt.
Fish and seafood
Fish and seafood are good sources of protein and are typically low in fat. While slightly higher in fat than other varieties, salmon packs in heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids which can reduce joint stiffness and inflammation.
Try our favourite healthy fish recipes and read more about the health benefits of salmon.
Chicken and turkey
Opt for lean protein from white meat poultry such as chicken and turkey.
Try our healthy chicken recipes and healthy chicken breast recipes.
If you’re dairy intolerant, eating soya protein foods such as fortified tofu and soya-based drinks will help post-recovery, plus they can help to lower cholesterol and may reduce the risk of heart disease.
Read more about the health benefits of tofu and the health benefits of soya.
Nuts and seeds
Nuts and seeds are a practical protein choice if you’re on the move. Around 50 pistachio nuts provides 6g of protein, plus sodium and potassium, the electrolytes lost in sweat during exercise. This clementine & honey couscous recipe with pistachios makes for a great breakfast or speedy snack.
Read more about the health benefits of nuts.
Meat supplies branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs), which are key in supporting muscle recovery. Leucine, in particular, makes up one third of muscle protein and helps to stimulate repair after exercise. Pork is one of the richest sources of leucine and therefore a great addition to a post-exercise meal or snack. Eggs, chicken and lean beef also provide good amounts of leucine.
Try our healthy pork recipes.
Beans and pulses
Beans and pulses are great, cheap protein sources. They are also a useful plant source of iron and and are rich in fibre.
Try our favourite lentil and chickpea recipes.
Enjoyed this? Now try…
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High-protein recipe ideas
More high-protein recipes
This article was last reviewed on 18 January 2019 by Kerry Torrens.
Kerry Torrens is a qualified Nutritionist (MBANT) with a post graduate diploma in Personalised Nutrition & Nutritional Therapy. She is a member of the British Association for Nutrition and Lifestyle Medicine (BANT) and a member of the Guild of Food Writers. Over the last 15 years she has been a contributing author to a number of nutritional and cookery publications including BBC Good Food.
All health content on bbcgoodfood.com is provided for general information only, and should not be treated as a substitute for the medical advice of your own doctor or any other health care professional. If you have any concerns about your general health, you should contact your local health care provider. See our website terms and conditions for more information.
What are your favourite sources of protein post-workout? Are you still unsure whether you’re getting enough? Post your questions and comments below…