Protein snacks are not just for people on the keto diet! They are great for anyone looking to create a well balanced diet. Making sure our bodies get enough protein throughout the day is important for our bodies to function properly. Healthy high protein snacks should contain simple ingredients with real food. If you can’t pronounce the ingredient, it is likely processed and you should avoid consuming it! High protein foods help to make you feel satisfied and reduce hunger. Studies have shown that if you increase your protein intake you will increase your metabolism and how many calories you burn. (1)

 

So, what is protein and are protein snacks good for you?

A protein is an essential macronutrient that your body uses to build, maintain, and replace all the tissues in your body. When you consume protein, it provides your body with the energy needed to create these tissues. Proteins also play an important role in almost every system in your body, from making muscles, skin, hair, bones, enzymes, hormones and antibodies. Therefore, yes, protein snacks are good for you as they provide essential nutrients your body needs in order to thrive! High protein snacks are a great way to get the recommended daily grams protein.

What foods are the highest in protein?

The highest sources of proteins are typically animal products. Most animal sources of protein contain all the amino acids your body needs to be sustained. Other protein sources such as vegetables, grains, legumes, and nuts lack one or more of the 20 essential amino acids that our bodies need. Adding a mix of animal based protein and plant based protein to your diet will help create a well balanced diet.

 

 

How many grams of protein do ADULTS need per day?

Depending on how much you weigh, your health, and how active you are, will depend on how many grams of protein you need. If you tend to be mostly seated throughout the day and do not receive a lot of physical activity, your optimal daily protein intake would be on the lower end of the chart below. The more active you are throughout the day, the more protein you should consume. These are general guidelines to follow below.

Optimal Daily Protein
Image Source: Examine.com

How many grams of protein do KIDS need per day?

Infants get their daily intake of from solely from breast milk or formula. Unless your baby has a medical reason and it is recommended by a doctor, there is no need to supplement infants with more protein. Excellent high protein snacks for toddlers and older children are string cheese, cheddar cheese, Greek yogurt, homemade granola bars, eggs, celery sticks and peanut butter, etc. Many of the foods below would also be great for toddler and children. None of the suggestions below contain protein powder recommended for adults.

Image Source: Examine.com

Which snacks are high in protein?

As a general rule, eggs are considered to be a high protein food. One egg contains 6 grams of protein per serving. Anything over 6 grams per serving size is considered a high protein snack. A majority of the snacks below are 6 grams of protein or higher.

What are healthy protein snacks?

A healthy protein snack contains foods from their whole sources and are minimally processed. Healthy protein snacks have simple ingredients and do not contain refined sugars. You also want the protein source to be low in saturated fats and high in omega3 fatty acids. Saturated fats are one of the unhealthy fats that is linked to heart disease and other health problems. Omega 3 fatty acids are considered a good fat and comes from sources like nuts and seeds. The protein sources that I’ve listed below are all examples of healthy snacks from real food that will help to increase your protein intake. These are also some of the most budget friendly types of protein you can buy at the store.

 

Here is a list of Healthy Snacks with an Excellent Source of Protein.

Meat/poultry

  1. Lunchmeat (7 grams/ 2 slices)
  2. Hard Boiled eggs (6 grams/ egg)
  3. Beef jerky (7 grams/piece)

Vegetable

4. Kale Chips (3 grams/serving)

Dairy

5. String cheese (7 grams/string cheese)

6. Babybels (5 grams/piece)

7. Greek yogurt (17 grams/ container)

8. Plain yogurt (12 grams/container)

9. Glass of milk (7.7 grams/glass)

10. Cottage Cheese (25 grams/cup)

11. Cheddar cheese (7 grams/slice)

12. Frozen yogurt (6 grams/cup)

Nuts

13. Almonds (6 grams/22 almonds)

14. Almond butter (6.8 grams/ 2 tbsp)

15. Peanuts (19 grams/ 0.5 cup)

16. Healthy Peanut butter- without added sugar and salt (8 grams/ 2 tbsp)

17. Pistachios (12.5 grams/ 0.5 cup)

18. Cashews (5 grams/ 18 nuts)

19. Glass of Almond Milk (1 gram/glass)

Seeds

20. Pumpkin seeds (6 grams/ 0.5 cup)

21. Sunflower seeds (14.5 grams/ 0.5 cup)

Legumes

22. Edamame (8.5 grams/ 0.5 cup)

23. Roasted chickpeas (6 grams/0.5 cup)

Other snacks

24. Trail mix (10.5 grams/ 0.5 cup)

25. Hummus with cut up veggies (2.4 grams/ 2 tbsp)

26. Fruit and nut mix (6 grams per 2/3 cup)

27. Celery Sticks with peanut butter (8 grams/ 2 tbsp of peanut butter)