Whether you want to lose weight, burn fat, or build muscle, protein is the cornerstone of your diet. Stock up on powerful protein with these tasty options.

When it comes to healthy eating, the focus is often on what not to eat, such as added sugars, ultra-processed foods, and carbs that are digested so quickly they spike blood sugar levels. blood sugar. But when you realize your last meal was a little too light, and your next meal is still a long way off, which snacks are smart choices?

A good snack contains at least some protein to help keep you full, and more protein is usually better. Protein takes longer to digest than carbs, keeping us satisfied and full. And the longer you keep hunger at bay, the less likely you’ll be to have another snack, so it’s a good way to control calories.

Protein’s ability to keep you full longer than other macronutrients may explain why high-protein diets like the paleo diet have become so popular. According to a study published in September 2020 in the Journal of Obesity & Metabolic Syndrome, research has shown that eating more protein than recommended can aid in weight loss, particularly by decreasing fat while maintaining lean muscle. . Therefore, high protein diets may also help prevent obesity-related chronic diseases, such as metabolic syndrome, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, type 2 diabetes, and cardiovascular disease.

Of course, there’s also evidence that high-protein diets may contribute to cardiovascular disease and a shorter lifespan, according to research published in March 2019 in Current Biology. People who follow a very high-protein diet also have an increased risk of kidney stones, according to a study published in March 2020 in Nutrients.

The source of the protein you eat plays a role in many of these adverse health effects. Some high-performing foods in terms of grams of protein per calorie, such as red meat or fatty cheese, can also be high in saturated fat, which should be consumed in moderation. This is why plant-based proteins, which tend to be lower in saturated fat, are often recommended. In fact, a systematic review and meta-analysis published in July 2020 in The BMJ concluded that increasing the percentage of total daily calories from plant protein by just 3% was associated with a 5% reduction in the risk of death. premature. Another study, published in July 2020 in JAMA Internal Medicine, showed that replacing 3% of the calories in your diet with plant-based protein was associated with a 10% decrease in deaths from all causes during this period. , both in men and women.

How much protein is healthy to eat is still debated. Some recommendations are based on body weight (0.8 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight), others say that 10% of the calories you eat per day should come from protein, while still others give amounts in grams for both men and women, reports Harvard Health Publishing. Gender, age and activity level also affect protein requirements.

The results also indicate that it’s best to spread your protein intake over the day, which is why high-protein snacks are a good idea.

Here are eight options that contain 6 grams (g) or more per serving.

1 Hard boiled eggs are low in calories and high in protein

For years, eggs got a bad rap because of their high cholesterol content. But things have recently changed. It is the preparation methods used (such as frying in oil or butter) and the foods high in saturated fat eaten with the eggs (such as bacon, sausages and ham) that increase the risk of heart disease, and not the eggs themselves. You can therefore limit yourself to one whole egg per day, in accordance with the recommendations published in January 2020 in the journal Circulation. A large whole egg contains 1.6g of saturated fat, 6g of protein, 207 milligrams of cholesterol and only 72 calories. One of the easiest ways to enjoy eggs as a snack is to eat them hard. Keep a bowl in your fridge for a healthy, on-the-go snack.

2 Nuts contain healthy proteins and fats

Whether you’re a fan of peanuts, almonds, cashews, walnuts or pistachios, whole nuts are a healthy, high-protein snack choice. Plus, nuts are high in fiber, which keeps you feeling full longer. High-fiber foods tend to take longer to eat and fill you up with fewer calories than low-fiber foods. Although nuts are loaded with heart-healthy fats, it’s important to measure portions because they’re a high-calorie food. Be careful not to exceed about a handful. Peanuts are the highest in protein, but most tree nuts contain at least 6g.

3 Greek yogurt is thick, creamy and full of protein

In the space of a few years, Greek yogurt has gone from being a relative newcomer to the superfood scene to becoming a supermarket staple. Filtered to remove the whey, Greek yogurt is thicker and creamier than regular yogurt, making it a satisfying snack option, according to research published in December 2017 in the Journal of Dairy Science. Plus, it’s higher in protein than regular yogurt: 220g of low-fat plain yogurt contains 13g, while an equal serving of low-fat plain Greek yogurt contains over 20g.
Enjoy plain Greek yogurt as a base for fresh fruit, cereal or nuts.

4 Cottage cheese is high in protein but low in calories

Low-fat cottage cheese has long been on the grocery lists of health-conscious consumers, and for good reason: it’s an excellent source of protein, with 14 g of protein per ½ cup, and it contains less 100 calories per serving. Accompanied by diced fruits or vegetables for dipping, or on its own, it makes a great snack that will keep you going between meals.

5 Bowl of Black Beans: The protein choice that will satisfy your salty craving.

Beans are an easy choice when you need a protein boost (plus they have filling fiber), and when mashed or blended. Black beans are a tasty option with nearly 8g of protein per half cup. Simply combine drained and rinsed beans, chopped onion, minced garlic, chopped cilantro, lime juice and your favorite seasonings in a blender. In case of cravings, enjoy a half cup with vegetable sticks for a satisfying snack.

6 Celery and nut butter

This tasty blend of vegetables and nuts is also a source of fiber and protein. Nut butters are high protein foods, with 2 tablespoons providing about 7g of protein. Although nut butter contains fat, it is healthy unsaturated fat that can lower blood pressure and reduce the risk of heart disease. Enjoy spreads over celery (or carrots or other vegetables) to keep calories in check.

7 Edamame: The ideal high-protein snack for eating with peace of mind

Half a cup of cooked edamame, or fresh soybeans, contains 9g of protein, making it a satisfying 112-calorie snack. Try them in their pods, sprinkled with a little sea salt. Pinch the beans from the pods as you eat, which slows down your eating and gives your brain time to realize you’re satiated, so you will eat less.

8 Chia Seed Pudding: Because Jelly Doesn’t Contain Omega-3s

Like many seeds, chia seeds are nutritionally dense, with nearly 10g of fiber per 220g and plenty of calcium. What makes them unique is that they are also a rich source of omega-3 fatty acids, an important nutrient that reduces inflammation and the risk of cardiovascular disease. Finally, they are very absorbent: When soaked in liquid, they produce a gelatinous substance with a consistency similar to that of pudding. For a nutritious and fun-to-eat snack: Mix 2 tablespoons of chia seeds with 110 ml of skimmed milk or high-protein milk, add 1 teaspoon of honey and refrigerate for 1-2 hours. When ready to serve, add fresh or frozen berries or a teaspoon of unsweetened cocoa powder for extra flavor and fiber.

* criptom strives to transmit health knowledge in a language accessible to all. In NO CASE, the information given can not replace the opinion of a health professional.