If you live a busy lifestyle, snacking can often be useful when the hunger hits and you don’t have time to prepare a full meal. Many snack foods available today are high in refined carbohydrates and sugars, which can leave you feeling unsatisfied, craving more food and can put your diet off balance. The key is to ensure your snacks are nutritious and contain protein.
Snacks high in protein promote fullness as it signals the release of appetite-suppressing hormones. Furthermore, it slows down digestion and stabilises your blood sugar levels. Here are our top 5 healthy and portable, high-protein snacks that you can enjoy “on the go”.
Trail mix is a term for a mix of bite-sized ingredients that travels well. Whatever you call it, trail mix typically includes nuts, seeds and dried fruit tossed together without cooking or lightly roasted. It’s perfect travel food as no refrigeration is necessary. Mixed nuts provide an easy way to get a delicious dose of protein in a convenient, shelf-stable package. Store bought trail mix do tend to contain a lot of carbohydrates, so its not an everyday snack – but certainly a great alternative for active days.
Greek Yogurt Parfait
Typically, a yogurt parfait consists of layers of yogurt, grains such as granola or crushed gram crackers and fruit. When the fat and calories are low, it can be a healthful choice at fast-food restaurants and coffeehouses. When not loaded with additional sugar, low-fat or fat-free versions of yogurt are an excellent source of protein, calcium, and probiotics. Use grains such as, oatmeal, low-fat granola or crushed crackers. These grains are considered healthiest as they are rich in complex carbohydrates, which regulate your digestive system and your blood sugar levels. For a sweeter flavour, drizzle some honey on top. This will also help boost your immune system and help reduce inflammation throughout your body.
This is a great dish to be made at home in a Tupperware container, to keep in your bag when hunger strikes. If made fresh it can keep unrefrigerated for up to 5 hours.
A protein bar could seem like a very obvious choice. But be aware, there are many different brands out there which vary in quality. Go to any grocery store in the country and you’ll find a wall of protein bars of all flavors staring back at you – typically promising 6 grams or more of “pure” protein. However, these much-hyped bars are not always good for you. Make sure you check the ingredients list of the bar you choose. This is a must to determine exactly what you’re eating, so don’t rely on labels on the front of the packaging to make your decision.
Don’t even consider protein or fat content until you’ve ensured the bar is made with good-for-you ingredients that you actually recognise.
In addition to checking out the ingredients, it’s important to keep an eye on protein, fat, carbs, sugar, and fiber—although the ideal amount of each depends on exactly what you hope to get from your bar. If you’re using it as your primary source of protein, then you definitely want a bar with at least 10 grams of protein. Try to find bars with less sugar for travel snacks or pre-bed snacks. If you’re mindful of what’s going into your bar and why you’re eating them, you don’t need to be overly concerned with calories.
The avocado is a nutrition knockout. It’s packed full of healthy fats, fiber, and vitamins. It makes an excellent addition to just about any meal, and is the perfect way to round out snacks or simply enjoy on its own.
Avocados have a high fat content, which is a detractor for many people. But fat is an essential macronutrient, and it helps keep you feeling full, just like fiber.
That fact alone makes avocados a beneficial snack. Furthermore, it is high in potassium – even higher than banana – which helps regulate heart contractions and allows your muscles to expand and contract effectively.
These days you’ll find avocados in almost every corner store and grocery store. Some fast-service restaurants may even have them already cut up and ready to eat.
Dry Roasted Edamame
Edamame is, in essence, soybeans that have been harvested before they have reached full maturation. The nutritional benefits that come from edamame, can be seen to equal those found in most well balanced meals.
With 14 grams of protein in every quarter cup of dry roasted edamame, it is comparable to having an almost equivalent amount of protein as meat.
Furthermore, edamame contains fiber of whole grain, antioxidants, vitamins and minerals of dried fruits and vegetables. It is truly a ‘power’ food. The dry roasting process will reduce the soybean’s water content while intensifying its flavor.
In summary, there are many more healthy snacking options these are a few that recently caught our attention. Regardless of snack, the most important part is to read the label and be aware of the content of the product(s).
Stay healthy! 🙂