High protein snacks that will keep you fuller for longer

Want to increase your protein intake? Here are some tasty high protein snacks to add to your diet

high protein snacks
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Whether you want to increase your protein intake for your general health or you're working on building muscle, it can be tricky to find ways to sneak more protein into your diet. That’s where high protein snacks can help to bridge the gap. 

Not only are these snacks delicious and high in protein, they're also filled with other healthy ingredients like fiber and essential vitamins and minerals. Plus, if you want more ways to help you hit your protein goals, try adding the best protein powder for weight loss to protein pancakes and overnight oats for a filling and satisfying breakfast. 

Here, we’ve debunked the myth that snacking is bad for you. Plus, dietitians Jamal Ramsay and Sarah Schlichter of Bucket List Tummy offer some of the best protein-filled snacks to try throughout the day.

Why is protein important?

Protein is found throughout your body in places such as the muscles, bone, skin, hair and virtually every other body part or tissue. 

Scientific consensus has determined that the source rather than the quantity of protein consumed is key to long-term health. Regularly consuming processed red meat is linked to an increased risk of heart disease (opens in new tab) and stroke (opens in new tab), whereas healthy protein sources such as beans, nuts, and soy foods reduce this risk. Choosing a healthy protein diet has also shown to lower the risk of type 2 diabetes (opens in new tab) and reduce the risk of breast cancer (opens in new tab)

Finally, as well as disease prevention, healthy protein sources can help weight control (opens in new tab) and increase fullness

Person using a spoon to scoop food out of a jar.

(Image credit: Getty)

Is snacking bad for you?

Impulsive snacking on high carbohydrate foods such as potato crisps, chocolate and processed cereals are harmful to your long-term health as they contain saturated and trans fats. This can increase the likelihood of developing cardiovascular disease and other serious health consequences. 

However, healthy protein-based snacks can help you to curb hunger in-between meals, maintain a healthy weight, aid recovery after exercise and reduce muscle loss (opens in new tab). Adults are recommended to consume a minimum of 0.8 grams of protein for every kilogram of body weight per day. The National Academy of Medicine (opens in new tab) provides further guidance that an acceptable intake of protein should range from 10 to 35% of calories each day. 

So, by choosing the right snacks, you can definitely snack in a healthy way. 

man holding a bowl of nuts

(Image credit: Getty Images)

High protein snacks

Tuna avocado snack

Try making a tasty tuna avocado snack by mashing tuna, avocado and sweetcorn together. Serve up the dish right in the avocado shell. 

"Combining tuna and avocado is a filling snack option, filled with protein and healthy omega-3 anti-inflammatory fats, that can boost brain and heart health," explains Schlichter.

Ramsay adds: "Tuna is a great source of protein — per 100g it has around 28g of protein, whilst only having around 132 calories. It also has less fat than other fishes. Avocados are a great source of your healthy fats, making the combination a match made in heaven."

Blueberry chia seed pudding 

Make your own yogurt or soy pudding with added blueberries and chia seeds for a healthy, protein-filled dessert.

"While chia seeds offer some protein, as well as healthy fats and micronutrients such as iron and calcium, when combined with dairy or soy milk or yogurt, this snack is a high protein option that also offers ample fiber, to help keep you full," says Schlichter. "Plus, several antioxidants to reduce inflammation."

"For how small they are, chia seeds pack a lot of goodness inside," adds Ramsay. "Paired with a good plant based milk to make a glorious pudding, and topped with some blueberries for antioxidants, this snack is a no brainer."

Greek yogurt and granola 

This is a simple, tasty dish that's easy to whip up in the morning for breakfast or as an afternoon snack.

"Greek yogurt is an excellent source of protein, along with calcium and Vitamin D," Schlichter says. "Pairing it with a complex carbohydrate, such as granola, helps add fiber and energy sustenance that will keep you full for hours."

"What separates Greek yogurt from the yogurt crowd is its straining process," explains Ramsay. "The straining process means that it can retain high amounts of protein whilst reducing the amount of fat per serving. Per 100g it can have around 10g of protein."

Fruit and nut mixture 

Create your own trail mix with fruits and nuts like peanuts, walnuts and almonds.

As Schlicther explains, this snack will help you avoid unhealthy mid-day snacks. "Mixing fruit and nuts can be a great way to hold yourself over between meals, as this combination offers a blend of energy-boosting carbohydrates, healthy fats and protein," she says.

Ramsay adds: "Nuts are usually quite underrated when it comes to their protein content. 100g of cashews can contain up to 18g of protein, whilst 100g of almonds can contain up to 21g of protein. Paired with some fruits and you’ve got yourself a nutritious combination."

Chickpea hummus and crudites 

Cut up some carrots and cucumbers and dip them in hummus and voila — an easy, on-the-go snack.

"There’s a reason everyone uses hummus as a dip, and why there are so many variations," adds Ramsay. "Chickpeas are packed full of protein and are low in calories, meaning it makes a great addition to any vegetable snack."

Schlicter adds: "When paired with fiber-rich veggies and crudites, this snack can be satisfying and filling.”

Meg is a freelance journalist and features writer based in the UK. She covers culture, entertainment, lifestyle and health. Her writing has appeared in Cosmopolitan, Shondaland, Healthline, HelloGiggles, Reader’s Digest, Apartment Therapy, and more.