Snacks with Protein That Are Low in Calories

Healthy Snacks That Boost Your Protein Intake

Whole grain toast with almond butter
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When you're hungry, do you choose snacks with protein? Research has suggested that people who consume more protein throughout the day have greater weight loss success than people who consume less. So when you're trying to lose weight, you should not only include protein in your meals, but also in your snacks.

The problem is that many high protein snacks are also high in fat, calories, and sugar. Some are designed for athletes who are trying to gain weight and some high-protein snacks are simply not healthy.

So what's a dieter to do? Use these lists to find healthy, low-calorie snacks with protein.

Healthy, Quick Snacks with Protein

If you're on the go and you need to find a quick bite, you don't have to go to a specialty vitamin store. You'll find a few healthy, high-protein snacks in your local grocery or convenience store.  Look for any of these healthy, convenience items.

  • Hard-boiled egg
  • Sushi or sashimi
  • Beef Jerky
  • Cottage cheese
  • Non-fat or low-fat Greek yogurt (unsweetened is best to avoid added sugar)
  • Edamame
  • Almonds or walnuts  (just a small handful)
  • Skim Milk or skim chocolate milk (higher in sugar)
  • Peanut or almond butter with low calorie crackers (like Wasa) or whole grain toast
  • Grab-and-go quinoa salad with veggies

You'll also find that some fast food restaurants, like Jamba Juice, make smoothies that are easy to grab and go. Be careful, however, because some drinks contain more sugar than protein and can easily derail your diet.

Be sure to check the nutrition data before you order.

Packaged smoothies can be a healthy, convenient snack with protein, but be careful to check the Nutrition Facts label before you buy. Some bottled protein shakes are made fruit juices to boost sweetness. The end result is that you get added sugar without fiber and less protein.

 

More Low-Calorie Protein Snacks

With some planning and smart shopping, you can fill your refrigerator and pantry with healthy protein snacks. You can even make protein bars and other snacks to save money. If you have different protein snack options ready all the time, they are easier to grab when you're hungry. Then you'll be less likely to go for the low-nutrient snacks like chips and cookies.

Lastly, always keep in mind that even though protein helps to build lean muscle and boost your metabolism, more protein is not always better. Eat the right number of calories each day and the right amount of protein to lose weight and keep the pounds off for good.

Sources:

George A. Bray, MD; Steven R. Smith, MD; Lilian de Jonge, PhD; Hui Xie, PhD; Jennifer Rood, PhD; Corby K. Martin, PhD; Marlene Most, PhD; Courtney Brock, MS, RD; Susan Mancuso, BSN, RN; Leanne M. Redman, PhD. " Effect of Dietary Protein Content on Weight Gain, Energy Expenditure, and Body Composition During Overeating." Journal of the American Medical Association 2012;307(1):47-55.

Russell J de Souza, George A Bray,Vincent J Carey, Kevin D Hall, Meryl S LeBoff, Catherine M Loria, Nancy M Laranjo, Frank M Sacks, Steven R Smith " Effects of 4 weight-loss diets differing in fat, protein, and carbohydrate on fat mass, lean mass, visceral adipose tissue, and hepatic fat: results from the POUNDS LOST trial." American Journal of Clinical Nutrition January 18, 2012.

Andrea R. Josse, Stephanie A. Atkinson, Mark A. Tarnopolsky, Stuart M. Phillips. " Increased Consumption of Dairy Foods and Protein during Diet- and Exercise-Induced Weight Loss Promotes Fat Mass Loss and Lean Mass Gain in Overweight and Obese Premenopausal Women." The Journal of Nutrition July 20, 2011.

Phillips SM, Zemel MB. " Effect of protein, dairy components and energy balance in optimizing body composition." PubMed.gov 2011;69:97-108.

Lisa A Te Morenga, Megan T Levers, Sheila M Williams, Rachel C Brown and Jim Mann. " Comparison of high protein and high fiber weight-loss diets in women with risk factors for the metabolic syndrome: a randomized trial." Nutrition Journal April 2011.

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