Protein needs no introduction – it fills you up, keeps you lean, and gives you energy. That’s why eating snacks that are high in protein throughout the day is ideal – not only are they healthy, but they curb your appetite as well.
The problem is that when we think of high-protein foods – cottage cheese, milk, almonds, etc. – our taste buds don’t really jump for joy. A lot of the standard foods that naturally have a lot of protein don’t make for good snacks during class, around the house, or in the office. They might be hard to eat, or just simply taste bad.
High-protein, delicious snacks do exist, though. 8 of them are listed below. These snacks are geared towards women – we know that a lady doesn’t always want to be gnawing on a piece of beef jerky or chugging down a thick shake as a snack.
Ladies, eat these practical snacks throughout your day and you’ll get all of the benefits of protein alongside the treat of a good snack.
Snack #1 – Salted, mixed nuts
Unless you really love them, eating those unsalted almonds will leave you with a foul taste in your mouth, but adding some diversity and some oh-so-addicting salt can make mixed nuts a perfect snack for protein.
Unlike other snacks, you don’t need a whole lot of nuts to fill you up. Because of the high fat and protein content within each nut, the calories are condensed. For example, if you look at a pack of fancy mixed nuts from Costco, a single serving of ~28 nuts has 170 calories. Included in that serving is 5g of protein.
Some simple math reveals that each nut has about six calories in it. You should always be aiming to have your snacks in the 200 to 400 calorie range – it’s enough to fill you up, but not enough to be considered a meal.
If you eat 50 nuts, that’s 300 calories, and roughly 10g of protein. Not bad! Mixed nuts are #1 on the list because of how easy they are to carry as a woman. Toss a small ziploc bag full of them in your backpack or purse and because of the long shelf life of nuts, you’ll have a high protein snack whenever you need it in the future.
Snack #2 – A simple glass of chocolate milk
Sick of having to compromise on taste with low-fat milk? We’re not recommending that you do so. A glass of the fattiest chocolate milk is still a fantastic snack that’s incredibly high in protein.
Snacks aren’t always just a way to curb hunger – sometimes, they’re a pick-me-up in your hectic day. And who doesn’t love chocolate milk?
You have two options here. If you’re out and about, you can grab a bottle of chocolate milk, like one from Nesquik. They’re carried in almost all convenience stores. Surprisingly, a full bottle of Nesquik chocolate milk not only boasts 16g of protein but also stays within our optimal range of 200 to 400 calories with a lean 300. And that’s only if you drink the full bottle!
Another cheaper option is getting a carton from the supermarket. A full-fat cup of chocolate milk from a brand like Hood will tack on 220 calories and a solid 8g of protein. A half-gallon carton will cost you around $3. There are eight cups in a half-gallon, so each snack will only run you a little bit over a quarter. Sweet!
Snack #3 – a small heap of peanut butter
If you’re one of those people who can eat peanut butter right out of the container, you’re in luck.
Peanut butter is notorious for being high in protein.
In fact, two tablespoons have around 10g of protein, and only around 200 calories. So if you’re running late for something and need a quick, high protein snack, grab a spoon, grab the tub of peanut butter, and take a “bite”.
Just make sure that you have some water to wash that down afterward! (We realize that not all people like peanut butter straight up. If you need something else with it, slather it onto some celery, which has virtually no calories. Add in some raisins for flavor and you’re good to go!)
Snack #4 – grapes ‘n’ cheese
Feeling sophisticated today? Need a sophisticated snack that maintains your mood, but still has a lot of protein within?
The first step is getting some toothpicks, which you may or may not already have. You can go with the standard ones, or you can match your feeling of eloquence in your toothpick with a more fancy solution like the ones in the picture, it doesn’t really matter.
Next, you need both grapes and cheese. Grapes are self-explanatory. For cheese, we like sharp cheddar because of its slicing taste and its protein content. A mere ounce of sharp cheddar has 7g of protein and 113 calories.
You can safely double that to 2 oz and stay within the 200 to 400 calorie range. Heck, if you really like cheese, triple it for a whopping 21g of protein in a single snack. (Grapes are almost entirely water, so they just contribute to the texture and assist the pallet; they don’t add in any more protein or calories.)
You can make these grape/cheese snacks when you want them, or you can make them at the start of the day, toss them into a baggie, and take them out whenever you need a mental boost.
Snack #5 – string cheese
Yes, those pre-packaged string cheese companies still exist. Yes, they still taste the same as when your mom used to pack one in your lunchbox every day.
You probably remember the mascot who was some sort of hybrid between a man and a piece of string cheese. The company with that mascot is called Frigo, you can find this basically anywhere!
One package has 12 pieces of string cheese within. Each of those has 50 calories and 7g of protein. That’s not a typo – these things are almost entirely protein.
It’s up to you if you want to eat it by chomping into it or by methodically pulling down individual pieces: rest assured that the protein content stays the same either way. They’re portable, too. The only downside is the price can add up. You’ll probably be eating two or three of these to make it a full snack, and considering that a pack is usually over $6, even at a place like Walmart, your costs will add up quickly.
Still, who can put a price on nostalgia?
Snack #6 – a little bit of hummus + chips/vegetables/whatever
Be careful with this one. Let’s start with the good: hummus is healthy and high in protein.
A half-cup of it only has around 200 calories with 6g of protein. We consider that to be high in protein, although it’s not the highest of everything on this list. Rest assured that the remainder of the calories is made up of complex carbohydrates and unsaturated fats, making them healthy.
The bad: you have to pick a dipping instrument that’s also low in calories.
The easiest way to do this is to go with carrots or celery. You’d have to eat an obscene of either one of these vegetables to contribute anything noticeable to your calorie intake. If you have to go with chips, stray from potato chips. They don’t fill you up, and they’re completely processed. Go for a pita chip – 10 chips of Stacy’s Simply Naked chips have 130 calories combined. You can up that number to 15, and when you combine that with a half cup of hummus, you’ll be right around 400 calories.
Here’s what to watch out for: if you start eating chips out of the bag, your snack will quickly turn into one which revolves around carbohydrates, not proteins. Always divvy out your chips beforehand so that you don’t go overboard. You can be a little bit more liberal on the hummus, but it’s hard to eyeball a half-cup out of the container, so we recommend separating that out first, too.
Snack #7 – make a very specific sandwich
Sandwiches are usually considered meals, but with a little bit of effort, they can become high protein snacks.
You just need to know what to put in each one, and we’re about to tell you.
To start, you’re going to want to get bread that’s high in protein. We recommend Arnold Bread, which is carried at most supermarkets. You can also just browse for your favorite brand and check its protein content – the contents of what you put in between the bread will determine if it’s a high-protein snack more so than the bread itself.
In between, you want to make sure that you hold off on any fatty condiments – we’re looking at you, mayo. It’s all fat with minimal protein. Try to find a sauce that gives you the flavor you’re after, but not through calories. The reason why mayo tastes so good is the fat content. However, if you look at something like ketchup, it barely has any fat content – we just like how it tastes. Aim for something like that, although we don’t recommend putting ketchup on a sandwich unless of course, you’re one of those people who likes it on everything.
The final ingredient that you need is lean chicken breast or lean turkey breast from your supermarket or local butcher. In coldcut form, it’s ridiculously easy to store, has a decent shelf life (4-5 days), and is relatively inexpensive. 4 oz of Boar’s Head chicken breast or turkey breast has roughly 160 calories and 25g of protein. Add that to the 10g or so of protein that you have from your bread, and assuming you didn’t go overboard on the sauce, you now have a snack that’s around 400 calories (~200 from the bread, and ~200 from the cold cuts) with 140 of those coming from the 35g of protein.
To get the calories even lower, you can add lettuce, tomatoes, pickles, etc. But once you start doing that, it starts becoming a meal rather than a snack. If 400 calories are too high for you, you can keep lower it by choosing another type of bread. There is lighter bread out there with only 50 calories per serving, so this snack can turn into 300 calories instead of 400. Perfect for ladies on a diet. Check your supermarket.
Snack #8 – using protein powder to make healthy dessert snacks
If someone told you to eat a brownie as a snack every day, you’d look at him like he’s crazy. Brownies are packed with fat, and they barely have any protein. But if you make any dessert – brownies, cookies, even an entire cake – from scratch, then you can control exactly what goes into it. If you toss protein powder in, then whatever the result is will have a lot of protein.
You just have to make sure that you’re straying away from ingredients like sugar – while the final product will taste better, it’ll be packed with carbohydrates, which isn’t conducive to your protein goals. Not a natural cook? Unless you know what you’re doing down to the letter, your protein desserts will probably come out dry or rubbery. It’s why they’re not more popular. To get around this, follow an established recipe to get a perfect snack, even if it’s your first time ever turning on an oven.
- This guide is great for peanut butter protein cookies.
- This guide is relatively good for protein brownies. Brownies are by far the most popular protein dessert, so if you don’t like how those ones taste, you’ll find a million other ones around the web
- If you’re looking for something a little bit different, we’ve made protein cheesecake from this recipe and it turned out phenomenally. Always keep in mind that while protein desserts are a great snack for a lot of protein, they’re not so good in the calorie department, even if you do make a healthy recipe.
So if you’re actively trying to lose goi, then you might want to go with a healthier alternative. — Try one of the snacks above and see if you like it.
If you do, congrats – you now have a snack that you can slip into your daily life and feel good about. By replacing chips and soda with healthy, high-protein snacks, you’ll look better, feel better, and go further with your fitness goals.