By Brianna Elliott
When you live a busy lifestyle, snacks can be useful for when hunger hits and you don't have time to prepare a meal.
The key is to make sure your snacks are nutritious and contain protein.
Here are 30 high-protein snacks that are healthy and portable, so you can enjoy them even when you're on the go.
Jerky is meat that has been trimmed of fat, cut into strips and dried. It makes an excellent and convenient snack.
Beef, chicken, turkey and salmon are often made into jerky. It can be found at most grocery stores, but keep in mind that store-bought versions are typically high in added sugar and artificial ingredients.
Your best bet is to make your own jerky, using only meat and some seasonings.
2. Trail Mix
The dried fruit and nuts in trail mix make it very high in calories, so it is important to not eat too much at a time. A handful is a reasonable serving.
3. Turkey Roll-Ups
Turkey roll-ups are a delicious and nutritious high-protein snack, consisting of cheese and veggies wrapped inside slices of turkey breast.
They are essentially a sandwich without the bread.
You can make roll-ups by placing four turkey breast slices on a plate and then spreading each with a teaspoon of cream cheese. Place a pickle or strip of cucumber and a tomato slice on the turkey and roll them into wraps.
Each wrap provides about five grams of protein from the turkey and cheese, as well as some extra nutrients and fiber from the tomato and cucumber.
4. Greek Yogurt Parfait
Greek yogurt is an ideal healthy and high-protein snack, with 20 grams of protein per one-cup serving (224 grams). It has been shown to be more filling than yogurts with lower protein contents (14, 15).
To make yogurt even more delicious and filling, you can make a parfait by combining one cup of yogurt with granola and mixed berries in layers.
The addition of granola to yogurt provides four more grams of protein per ounce. However, be mindful of how much you use, as granola is high in calories and easy to overeat. A tablespoon or two is a reasonable serving size (17).
5. Veggies and Yogurt Dip
Veggies are great for snacking, but they're not very high in protein on their own. You can increase your protein intake by pairing them with yogurt dip.
Yogurt dip is typically made by combining yogurt with herbs and flavorings, such as dill and lemon juice, as in this recipe. For more protein, it's best to use Greek yogurt, which contains almost twice the amount of protein as regular yogurt (18, 14).
For convenience, make a batch of yogurt dip ahead of time and portion it out into snack-size containers so you can grab it when you need it.
Tuna is loaded with protein and makes a very healthy and convenient snack. One cup contains an impressive 39 grams of protein, making it extra filling (19).
7. Hard-Boiled Eggs
In addition to being nutritious, they are also versatile. Hard-boiled eggs make a great portable snack.
One hard-boiled egg consists of six grams of protein, which will keep you full and satisfied until your next meal. Their fullness-promoting properties may also reduce the number of calories you consume later in the day (20, 21).
8. Peanut Butter Celery Sticks
Celery sticks spread with a tablespoon or two of peanut butter make for a delicious and easy snack. They contain a decent amount of protein from the peanut butter, which provides 4 grams of protein per tablespoon (32 grams) (22).
One study found peanut butter to be more filling than whole nuts, such as almonds or chestnuts (23).
9. No-Bake Energy Bites
Energy bites are a delicious, high-protein snack made by combining a variety of ingredients, such as nut butter, oats and seeds and then rolling them into balls.
The best part about energy bites is that they don't require baking. You can prepare a batch ahead of time so that you have a snack available when you need to grab one and go.
Here is a recipe for peanut butter energy bites, which provide five grams of protein per serving.
10. Cheese Slices
Cheese is incredibly healthy and filling, in addition to being a quick and easy snack. It is an excellent source of calcium, phosphorus and selenium and it contains small amounts of many other nutrients (25).
In one study in overweight men, calorie intake decreased by 9 percent after they consumed cheese for a snack (26).
Another study found that children who ate a combination of cheese and vegetables for a snack needed significantly fewer calories to make them full, compared to those who ate potato chips (27).
A reasonable portion size for cheese is around 1–2 ounces (28–57 grams). Since it contains a significant amount of calories, it is best to consume it in moderation.