Eating foods high in protein has many benefits, including muscle building, weight loss, and feeling fuller after eating. Though eating lots of protein may be beneficial, eating a balanced diet is an essential part of staying healthy.
The benefits of a high protein snack go beyond hitting your macro goals.. As well as boosting your metabolism, reducing appetite and increasing muscle mass, munching protein foods results in healthy bones, cartilage, skin, tissues, and blood
As well as helping to side-step the inevitable food coma that processed snacks bring on, incorporating protein foods into a low carbohydrate diet yields proved health benefits. Reducing your carb intake can help to reduce inflammation and regulate blood sugar, studies show. In fact, it could even make you live longer.
Save your complex carbs for dinner time – we’ve picked out 15 of the healthiest high protein low carb snacks below. Get them prepped before ‘hanger’ strikes.
15 best high protein low carb snacks
One large egg contains, on average, six grams of protein and just 0.6 grams of carbs. They’re packed more nutrients, calorie-for-calorie, than pretty much any other food and they make portion control easy for even the most reluctant of meal preppers. Just boil, cool, and go.
A 30g spoonful of peanut butter provides around eight grams of protein and six grams of carbs. Spoon into celery boats – an entire stalk racks up just 1.2 grams of carbs – or chop up some carrots for a strange-but-satisfying snack.
The protein content of cheese varies depending on the style – Parmesan, Swiss, Pecorino, Edam, and Gouda offer the most bang-for-buck, providing between 26g and 35g of the muscle macro per 100g serving, with around 1.3g of carbs. Pair with antioxidant-packed grapes to power through the 3 pm slump.
Tangy and filling, Greek yogurt contains roughly twice the amount of protein of regular yogurt, coming in between 10g and 20g depending on the brand. Don’t go for the flavored versions, though: sweeten it with a drizzle of honey and a handful of fruit.
5. Pumpkin seeds
Containing seven grams of protein per 30g serve, as well as antioxidants iron, zinc, potassium, calcium, magnesium and many other nutrients, these tiny green seeds do far more than just fill the gap between lunch and dinner. Roast them in mineral-rich tamari for a health boost, or lightly toast them in a frying pan.
Unripened soybeans don’t sound appetizing, we’ll grant you that, but they’re a great source of protein. Like meat and dairy, edamame provides all of the amino acids your body needs. One 50g serve contains around six grams of protein and four grams of carbs.
Ah, the tried and tested protein shake It’s been said time and time again, but there’s no quicker and more efficient way to up your protein intake in a bid to build muscle mass. The amount of protein does vary wildly from brand to brand, so it’s worth forking out for a half-decent one (and making sure there are no nasties in it). As for whether to pick whey protein or plant-based protein powder? We’ll leave that up to you.
Classic bodybuilder fare, cottage cheese packs 11 grams of protein and 3.4 grams of carbs per 100g serving. It’s high in casein, a slow-digesting diary protein, and super versatile, so you don’t need to look too hard to find a snack that suits your palate. Mix cottage cheese with peanut butter, honey, and strawberries, or top with pineapple and blueberries, to combat a sweet tooth. If you’re a savory fan, stir in some lemon pepper (or make it into tzatziki) and dip your favorite crunchy veg.
No time to prep? Pick up one of the various pouched tuna, salmon or mackerel options on your nearest supermarket shelf with the added benefit of omega-3 fatty acids. You can choose from various options – with or without dressings and other ingredients like bulgur wheat, lentils, and quinue. Rip the top off and dig in.
A better source of protein than two chicken breasts, half the calories of a bag of cashews, super convenient and no need for refrigeration: jerky has the busy man’s back. So it must be decent.
The bird is a safe snacking bet – 100g contains a whopping 30 grams of protein and just 0.1 grams of carbs. The grab-and-go packets in supermarkets take the ache out of meal prep and come on a ready-made plate. Wafer-thin roast turkey slices rolled around a wedge of avocado make for a slightly more filling snack with added vitamins and minerals, folate, magnesium, copper, iron, and zinc. Boom.
Almonds are nature’s vitamin pills, packed with heart-protecting HDL cholesterol, fiber, selenium, zinc, magnesium, vitamin E and B Vitamins as well as – you guessed it – a decent wedge of plant-based protein. Around 10g per 50g serve. Grab a ziplock bag and bridge the gap between breakfast and lunch without being tempted to finish the lot.
They’re a bit wellness and your girlfriend will probably eat half of them, but don’t underestimate the power of the no-bake energy bite. Whizz up some almond butter, high-quality protein powder, coconut flour, vanilla extract and almond milk in a blender, roll the mix into balls and stick them in the fridge. If you squint they look like cookie dough.
Meat lovers might be skeptical, but hear us out. Racking up eight grams of plant-based protein and 1.9 grams of carbs per 100g, tofu can be a useful addition to even the most carnivorous of diets. It’s great at sucking up the flavour, so chop it into cubes and pan fry with spices for a portable protein boost. Still, think it’s super weird? Tofu is made by curdling fresh soya milk pressing it into a block and cooling it – which is pretty much how most cheeses are made.
When all else fails, let the experts take care of it for you. When picking your fighter, check the label for obscene sugar content (some brands contain more than a chocolate bar) potentially derailing your weight loss goals), as well as weird hidden ingredients and misleading protein content claims.
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