If you've heard you need to get more protein in your diet but still don't really understand why, this one's for you. First of all, protein is essential for building and repairing muscle tissue, which is important for athletes, bodybuilders, and pretty much anyone who is physically active. Protein is more satiating than carbohydrates and fats, meaning it can help you feel fuller for longer periods and reduce snacking.
If you're trying to lose weight, consuming more protein can help because it increases metabolism and reduces appetite, leading to fewer calories consumed overall. Protein is also necessary for the maintenance and growth of strong bones. Adequate protein intake can help reduce the risk of osteoporosis and bone fractures.
Other benefits of protein include promoting healthy skin, hair, and nails and supporting the immune system. Protein is also good for your heart. Some studies have shown that a high-protein diet may improve heart health by reducing blood pressure and lowering levels of LDL cholesterol.
But how to get more protein in your diet? Of course, lean meats are an obvious choice. But if you want to supplement your diet, quality protein powders can do the trick. Beyond that, here are eight high-protein snacks you can keep on hand in your kitchen:
- Nuts: Nuts like almonds, peanuts, and cashews are high in protein and make for a great snack. They are also a good source of healthy fats.
- Jerky: Beef, turkey, and other types of jerky are high in protein and make for a convenient and portable snack. Be sure to choose a variety with low added sugars and sodium.
- Protein bars: There are many different types of protein bars available, some of which are high in protein and low in sugar. Look for bars with at least 10 grams of protein per serving. With 18g of protein and 10g of dietary fiber, Sourcewell Nutrition's Source Crisp are a good choice!
- Roasted chickpeas: Roasted chickpeas are a crunchy and satisfying snack that are also high in protein. You can buy them pre-made or make them at home.
- Hard-boiled eggs: Hard-boiled eggs are a great source of protein and can be eaten on their own or used in recipes like egg salad.
- Cottage cheese: Cottage cheese can be eaten on its own or used in recipes like dips and spreads.
- Greek yogurt: Greek yogurt is high in protein and can be eaten on its own or used in recipes like smoothies and dips.
- Edamame: Edamame is a type of soybean that is high in protein and can be eaten as a snack or used in recipes like salads.
When it comes to snacks, always be sure to read the labels and choose ones that are low in added sugars and sodium. Also, keep an eye out for chemical additives that you can barely pronounce! Sometimes, the fewer the ingredients, the better. Happy snacking!