15 Healthy and Delicious Protein Snacks

Published April 20th, 2022 by Chris Riley
Fact Checked by
Erik Rivera

If you're looking for high-protein snacks that are both delicious and healthy, you've come to the right place.

Protein is an essential nutrient that your body needs in order to function properly as it plays a role in muscle growth, repair, and maintenance.

Not only is protein necessary if you are an athlete or regularly work out, but it's also important if you lead a relatively sedentary lifestyle too.

In this article, we will discuss what protein is, why it's so beneficial to your health, and provide 15 recipes for high protein snacks.

What is protein?

Protein is a nutrient that is essential for the growth and repair of tissues in your body, signaling between cells (responding to stimuli), and DNA replication among other functions.

It is also necessary for the production of enzymes and hormones. Protein can be found in both animal and plant foods and it is estimated that the human cell contains between 1 to 3 billion proteins.

Why is protein so healthy?

Protein is an important part of a healthy diet because it helps to build and repair your body’s tissues, including muscles, bones, skin, and blood.

It also helps to make enzymes and hormones that are necessary for your body to function properly while also helping you feel more full after eating and promoting slower digestion which can help you maintain your blood sugar levels.

How much protein is healthy when I snack?

The amount of protein you need depends on your weight, activity level, and health goals. When you want a snack between meals, 10-15 grams of protein is the recommended amount to make you feel full until your next meal.

For most people, the recommended daily intake (RDI), also known as the recommended daily allowance (RDA), is 0.36 grams per pound (0.80 grams per kg) of body weight a day. So, if you weigh 150 pounds (68 kg), you would need 54 grams of protein a day (0.36 x 150 = 54).

You can also determine how many calories you can have for your snacks by determining your caloric intake for your diet.

high protein snacks image

For example, if you are on a diet of 2,000 calories per day and eat 600 calories per meal (3 x 600 = 1800) then you have 200 calories that you can have for your snacks in between meals.

Even though many of the snacks listed below are healthy, you also want to stay within the parameters of your diet to maintain a healthy weight.

Using these two methods will allow you to determine which snacks are best for you and provide boosted energy levels without adding any unwanted pounds.

What are 15 healthy snacks?

A high protein diet can help you lose weight, build muscle, and improve your overall health.

Here are 15 delicious snacks that are great sources of protein and can help you reach your goals:

Greek yogurt with berries

Greek yogurt, which is healthier than regular yogurt, with berries is an excellent source of protein and low in sugar, making it a great choice for those looking to lose weight or build muscle while satisfying your sweet tooth.

Greek yogurt also contains probiotics, which are beneficial for gut health. One container (150g) of greek yogurt with strawberries contains 12.1 grams of protein.

Peanut butter and celery sticks

Peanut butter has a high protein content and healthy fats, while celery is a low-calorie food that is provides a dose of fiber, which promotes digestion and helps you feel full.

The combination of these simple ingredients makes for a filling snack that can help you lose weight or maintain your weight.

Two tablespoons of creamy peanut butter contain about 7.2 grams of protein, while one medium stalk of celery contains about 0.64 grams of fiber.

peanut butter and celery sticks image

Tuna and crackers

Tuna is a high-protein, low-fat food that is also high in omega-3 fatty acids, which are beneficial for heart health.

You can add crackers that provide complex carbohydrates and fiber to help you feel full and satisfied.

One can of tuna (171g) contains almost 50 grams of protein so be careful with your portions.

Cottage cheese and fruit

Cottage cheese is high in protein and calcium, while fruit is a good source of vitamins, minerals, and fiber making this snack is a great way to get your daily recommended intake of protein and other nutrients.

Four ounces (113g) of cottage cheese with fruit contains 12.1 grams of protein.

Jerky

Jerky has lots of protein and is a low-fat, healthy snack food that is perfect for those who are looking to lose weight and build muscle while eating a portable snack.

One ounce (28.35g) of beef jerky contains about 9.4 grams of protein.

jerky image

Hard-boiled eggs

Hard-boiled eggs are protein-rich snacks that are low-calorie and also high in B vitamins and minerals.

One large egg contains about 6.3 grams of protein and you can always have another for extra protein if needed.

Roasted edamame

Edamame is a plant-based protein that is a low-fat, vegan-friendly snack that is also high in fiber and antioxidants, which have antiaging properties and are also anticancer.

One cup (155g) of roasted edamame contains 18.4 grams of pea protein.

Protein shake

A protein shake may seem like cheating but it is a quick snack and easy way to get your daily recommended intake of protein.

One scoop (19.5g) of whey protein powder contains about 13 grams of protein.

Hummus and carrots

Hummus is high in protein and fiber, while carrots are a good source of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants which makes this snack perfect for those who are looking to lose weight or maintain their weight as it will help you feel full and satisfied.

One tablespoon (15g) of hummus contains 1.22 grams of protein while one baby carrot contains about 0.3 grams of fiber.

Almonds

Almonds are a great way for a quick dose of protein that is also high in fiber, vitamins, and minerals. One ounce of almonds contains about six grams of protein.

Be sure to check the labels to ensure they use minimal ingredients and no added salt.

Protein bar

A protein bar is another quick protein fix that provides a healthy dose of protein. It is a high-protein, low-carbohydrate snack that is perfect for those who are looking to lose weight or build muscle.

One protein bar (68g) contains about 20 grams of protein.

Pistachios

Pistachios are another nut that are a protein-packed snack that is also high in fiber and vitamins.

One ounce (28.35g) of pistachios contains about 5.73 grams of protein.

Pumpkin seeds

Pumpkin seeds, also called pepitas, are a high-protein snack that is also a good source of dietary fiber, niacin, magnesium, and phosphorus.

One ounce (28.35g) of pumpkin seeds contains 8.56 grams of protein. For better flavor, you can also try unsalted, roasted pumpkin seeds.

Trail mix

Trail mix is a perfect on-the-go protein source that is also is a good source of healthy fats. One ounce (28.35g) of trail mix contains about 4 grams of protein.

Popcorn

Air-popped popcorn contains approximately 3.66 grams of protein per ounce (28.35g).

Air-popped is generally healthier than oil-popped popcorn although you need to avoid salt, butter, and other unhealthy toppings to make it as healthy as possible for you.

Please note that all of the amounts of protein and their serving sizes are from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) website.

As you can see, there are many snacks from various food sources with plenty of protein that are also healthy and delicious.

So the next time you are looking for a snack, reach for one of these high protein options and your body will thank you.

Summary

Protein is an essential nutrient for your body as it helps to replicate cells, build muscle, and signal between the cells in response to stimuli.

However, it can be hard to get enough protein intake from your diet while using delicious ingredients.

Luckily, there are plenty of high-protein snacks that are both healthy and delicious. The next time you're looking for a snack, try one of these 15 high-protein options.

They will help you reach your daily recommended intake of protein and keep your body happy and healthy. If you have any more questions regarding protein and your diet, please talk to your doctor or dietician.

References and Sources:

https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/bies.201300066

https://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/how-much-protein-do-you-need-every-day-201506188096

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