Six of the best … high protein snacks
Protein is an essential part of our daily diet. It’s responsible for the creation and maintenance of every cell in our bodies. It builds bones, muscle, cartilage and skin. Your body uses it to repair and build tissue. It helps red blood cells carry oxygen through your body. It enables your body to produce enzymes to digest your food and regulate your hormones. It also reduces muscle loss as we age, curbs hunger and helps maintain a healthy weight. So, in short, we all need it, every day!
How much is enough? The daily recommended intake is 0.84g per kg of body weight for men and 0.75g per kg of body weight for women. For those over 70 years old, the recommended daily intake is 1.17g per kg body weight for men, and 0.94 g for women.
Many of us rely on a big protein intake for our main meal (usually dinner) – but if you don’t want a heavy meal at the end of the day it is useful to distribute your protein intake throughout the day. This will help with satiety (feeling full) and might stop you reaching for a carb or sugary snack during the day. It will also help your body to more efficiently use the protein consumed. It’s also beneficial to source your protein from diverse sources - nuts, fish, dairy, legumes and whole grains - because all of these offer nutritional benefits besides their protein content.
Try these ideas as high protein snacks to take to work or pack into the school lunchbox (avoid nuts if your school has a no-nut policy):
1. Home made trail mix - mix together 1 tablespoon each of whole raw almonds, pepitas, walnuts, dark chocolate chips, and dried apricots.
230 cal, 6g protein
2. Yoghurt parfait – mix together ½ cup low-fat plain Greek yoghurt, ½ cup mixed berries, ¼ cup chopped raw almonds
240 cal, 17g protein
3. Hummus and veggies – cut into batons 2 sticks celery, 2 carrots and dip into 1/3 cup store-bought hummus.
200 cal, 8g protein
4. Hard-boiled eggs – these are great to keep in the fridge to add to a lunch box or for a brekkie on the run.
140 cal, 13g protein
5. Cottage cheese with berries – combine ½ cup of low fat cottage cheese with ½ cup of berries.
100 cal, 14g protein
6. Edamame - generally available in the freezer section, simply boil one cup of edamame in water on the stovetop or cook in the microwave, and sprinkle with a little sea salt.
224 cal, 18g protein