12 High-Protein Snacks that You Will Feel Good About Eating
Protein – it’s what every fitness influencer, celebrity athlete, and TV doctor is talking about these days. Protein is a key player in the trio of major macronutrients alongside carbs and fats, earning tons of positive press for a few reasons.
First off, protein is key to maintaining strong muscles, vital organs, and healthy skin, nails, and hair. It’s also nourishing and filling, meaning you don’t have to eat very much to feel full, so it can be helpful if you're aiming for weight loss.
The key point, however, is that the average American does not get nearly enough protein each day due to the starchy, salty diets we tend to follow. Almost everyone is facing a shortage of protein in their diet, and that needs to change.
Here are 12 great high-protein snacks to add to your regimen right now.
1. Beef (or Vegan) Jerky
Nothing says “out on the open road” like a bag of beef jerky that keeps your mouth busy and your stomach full for hours at a time. This satisfying snack is an absolute classic, offering a boatload of protein with each salty strip.
Jerky of all types can be found at the store these days, from beef and bison to venison and turkey. Plant-based dieters can also find jerky made from tofu or seitan, providing them with a protein-rich snack reminiscent of the real thing.
It’s not the most cost-efficient snack out there, but it sure tastes good and travels well.
2. Meaty Wraps and Roll-Ups
Here’s another one for the meat-eaters out there: deli meat wraps and roll-ups that deliver big on protein with any type of cheese, veggies, and condiments you desire. Roast beef, turkey, ham, sliced chicken breasts – it’s all on the table for healthy and hearty snacks that only take minutes to make. You can even grab a yummy dip to add some extra vitamins and minerals into the mix.
Load up a handful of wraps in the morning and you have a snack to return to throughout the day as you get hit with hunger or cravings. Just be sure to keep them cool during the summertime.
3. String Cheese or Mini Wheels
Cheese is known for its fat content, and that can’t be denied, but we shouldn’t overlook its protein value, either. In one slice of standard cheddar cheese, you can find 7 grams of protein with no carbs to weigh you down. For those looking to cut down on starch, cheese is a hidden gem, provided you pick the right type.
Super processed string cheese and individually-wrapped slices are easy to find, but you owe it to yourself to spend a bit extra on the more natural offerings at the store. Look for stuff that’s locally produced to make sure it’s fresh and from a good place.
4. Cottage Cheese and Greek Yogurt
Have you been skeptical of cottage cheese or low-fat yogurt in the past? You’ll learn to love them once you experience the protein-packed energy first hand.
At the grocery store, you can find these healthy snacks in larger containers for home use or individual containers for extra convenience. You can also load them up with tasty toppings like fruit, nuts, and seeds to make them even more appetizing and nutritious. Just avoid the versions that include added sugar.
5. Peanut Butter and Cracker
Who doesn’t love to dig into a big scoop of peanut butter (or any other nut butter like almond butter) when hunger pangs kick in? This is one of the most nutrient-dense foods on the planet and can be found in many different varieties. Try to stick with the all-natural versions to avoid extra sugar, salt, and seed oils.
If eating peanut butter off the spoon sounds a bit weird, we understand. Find a tasty and healthy way to turn this into a great snack and add some extra crunch in the meantime. There are plenty of nutritious whole-grain crackers to be found at the store these days, many of which are relatively low-carb and gluten-free. Do some digging to find healthy versions of your old favorites. You could also smear a bit on a tortilla and add a few banana slices for a snack that's truly out of this world.
6. Mixed Nuts
Unlike chips and pretzels, you can only eat so many cashews or pistachios at a time. That’s because nuts are high in healthy fat and are a great source of protein that fills you up fast. It’s almost impossible to go overboard when snacking on nuts, making them a perfect protein snack.
You’ll find a lot of pre-packaged products in the store that seem appealing but may include a lot of unwanted extras, so proceed with care. Look for roasted nuts that contain minimal salt and sugar, and go organic when possible. Pay a little extra if you need to – it’s worth the price.
If standard nut varieties aren't calling your name, try out edamame (immature soybeans) or pumpkin seeds for a little diversity while still maintaining the same high amount of protein.
7. Protein Shakes and Smoothies
Sometimes you don’t feel like unpacking and unwrapping a traditional daytime snack and chewing away like usual. To enjoy a change of pace while still getting your protein intake, try a shake or smoothie that covers all your bases for nutrition.
Whey protein powder is readily available everywhere, but for the plant-based crowd, pea and hemp protein can also fulfill your needs and satisfy the taste buds.
The process is foolproof: just load a scoop of powder into a shaker bottle, add water or milk, then rapidly shake the mixture until it’s smooth enough to drink. In seconds, you have over 20 grams of quality protein ready to absorb. For even more nutrients and sustenance, add protein powder to a veggie and fruit smoothie with extra carbs and nuts.
8. DIY Granola and Trail Mix
You might have been buying granola for years and not realized how easy it is to make in the comfort of your own home. It only takes a few simple ingredients, some parchment paper, a baking tray, and an oven set to 400 degrees. What are you waiting for?
Homemade granola isn’t just easy to make – it’s far healthier and more affordable than anything you can find in the store. Come up with your own favorite recipe or browse the web for inspiration. Add nuts, seeds, dried fruit, and some dark chocolate chips to make an epic trail mix combo in minutes.
9. Veggies With Hummus
You’ve heard it a million times before: raw veggies are a healthy snack to add to your routine that's full of vitamins and antioxidants. Cucumbers, bell peppers, carrots, cauliflower – it’s all been done before.
The problem is that most veggies fall short on protein, which is why you need to pick up some all-natural hummus to bulk up your snack and bring more protein into the picture.
Hummus is affordable, nutrient-dense, and super tasty, plus it works well with any vegetable from the produce section. The chickpeas that make it up make it a good source of protein, while the veggies give you several grams of fiber. Try a bunch of different brands and flavors to see which combination works best for you. You could also try to make your own hummus with a swirl of olive oil to get in some omega-3 fatty acids.
10. Homemade Energy Bars
Tired of being disappointed by the pre-wrapped protein bars from the store that cost too much and never seem to satisfy? You can make a way tastier version at home that saves you cash and delivers far more nutritional value per serving.
Just look up a basic recipe online and lay the groundwork with a trial run. Your bars won’t be pretty at first, but with time, you’ll find the sweet spot and make perfect batches every time.
Try ingredients like chocolate, dates, chia seeds, hemp hearts, coconut oil, and other certified superfoods to create the ideal energy bar for your needs. Bake them in bulk, portion out single servings, and have them prepared for the week ahead!
11. Plant-Based Pork Rinds
Believe it or not, pork rinds are a pretty powerful snack in terms of protein content. The problem is that they’re also high in fat and salt, which doesn’t sit well with many dieters. Then there’s the issue of pork itself – not everyone is into animal products these days.
We tackled all these concerns head-on by creating Pig Out Pigless Pork Rinds, a 100% plant-based snack that delivers big on flavor and protein without all the drawbacks.
25 grams of protein per bag, amazing flavors, and certified vegan? That’s a winning recipe!
With flavors like Nacho Cheese, Texas BBQ, and Salt & Vinegar, you can’t go wrong. To get a powerful crunch and healthy protein boost, you’ve got to try these for yourself.
12. Protein-Packed Cheese Puffs
Remember back in the day when a bag of cheese puffs would disappear in front of your eyes in a matter of minutes? You can tap into that nostalgia and get a full meal’s worth of nutrition with our Outstanding Puffs.
Not only do you get 21 grams of protein per bag, but you also fill up on at least 30% of key daily nutrients like iron, calcium, and vitamins B12, D, and E. That’s a nutrition panel that outmatches anything from the vending machine, and it's basically a mini-meal.
Click here to learn more about how we do things our own way at Outstanding Foods.
Hitting your daily protein requirement doesn’t have to be a challenge anymore (although if you're really concerned, we do suggest speaking with a dietitian). We’ve got your back with healthy, tasty snacks that work great in any scenario. Try them all, figure out your favorites, and never fall short on protein again.
17 High-Protein Snacks You Can Eat On the Go | Health.com
30 High Protein Snacks That Are Healthy and Portable | Healthline