When mid-afternoon hunger strikes, the type of snack you reach for could determine how the rest of your day will go. Choose something sugary and full of refined carbs, and your energy levels may take a nosedive, causing you to overeat.
But, choose something protein-packed and you may be pleasantly surprised at how little you need to eat to feel full. “Protein is an important nutrient that helps keep you fuller for longer,” says Amy Gorin, RDN, founder of Amy Gorin Nutrition in New York City.
But how much protein should be in a snack? Gorin says around 10 grams is the ideal amount. “I would consider anything more than 15 grams as more of a mini-meal, so 10 grams is the sweet spot,” says Shaw. Aim to keep your snack under 300 calories, too.
“I like to pair protein-rich ingredients with foods that offer healthy fats and fiber, both of which also help keep you satiated,” adds Gorin. “If you eat a snack that’s mainly carbs, you’ll likely be hungry again a lot more quickly.”
With that, this list of snacks features healthy combos that come in around 10 grams of protein with plenty of healthy fats and fiber in the mix. Ready to beat hunger? Reach for these high-protein snacks when you need something tasty to beat hunger in between meals.
Cottage cheese toast
Protein: 14 grams per toast
Toast can be a high-protein snack to enjoy morning, noon, and night, says Shaw. “Using your favorite whole grain toast as a base, mix a little cinnamon and a dash of honey with full-fat cottage cheese and slather it on toast,” she says.
Chia seed pudding
Protein: 14 grams per serving
Everyone could use a sweet pick-me-up in their day, and this blueberry chia pudding does the trick. It’s the ideal combination of tasty treat, protein, fiber, and healthy fats. Plus, it’s beyond simple to meal prep for a grab and go snack. In a small container, combine 1 cup of unsweetened almond milk, ¼ cups chia seeds, 2 tablespoons honey, 1 cup fresh blueberries, and 1 cup plain Greek yogurt. Stir it together and refrigerate overnight.
Protein: 9 grams per 1/2 cup
When hunger strikes, don’t head to the fridge. Instead, look to the freezer for your favorite microwaveable sushi appetizer. These green bean pods serve up plant-based protein and gut-filling fiber for just 95 calories per serving.
Black bean wrap
Protein: 9 grams per wrap
If you had a sad desk lunch and need a little protein to power you through the afternoon, roll up a black bean and hummus wrap. Cut a whole wheat tortilla in half and fill with a ½ cup of black beans, ¼ cup of hummus, a tablespoon of chopped bell pepper, a teaspoon of diced red onion, and a squeeze of lime juice. Because who doesn’t want to feel like their having a Mexican fiesta for a snack?
Black bean salsa
Protein: 8 grams per 1/3 cup
Don’t have tortillas? No problem—throw together a few simple ingredients to make a protein-rich vegan salsa. The combination of black beans, tomato, orange juice, and tomato makes the quickest and most flavorful salsa recipe that you’ll want to put on everything from crackers to crudité.
Protein: 7+ grams per stick
Serious question: Do you peel your string cheese or take a bite out of it? Either way you eat it, this portable snack contains just 80 calories per stick, plus a healthy dose of bone-building calcium.
Protein: 10 grams per 1 cup cooked
Oatmeal isn’t just for breakfast. Make a heaping bowl of loaded oats (roughly ½ cup raw makes 1 cup cooked) for a fiber-rich, high-protein snack. To up the protein ante, cook the oats with ½ cup of milk and ½ cup of water. Top with fruit, like apples, pears, berries, unsweetened coconut flakes or bananas, and a tablespoon of chopped nuts, hemp seeds, or flax seeds.
Tuna salad wrap
Protein: 15 grams per wrap
Make tuna salad fun again with this fresh, flavorful wrap. Mixed with tangy Greek yogurt and lemon juice, grapes and celery for sweetness and crunch, arugula for greens, and walnuts for healthy fat, this tuna salad wrap recipe is a simple high-protein snack to make that will instantly squash your hunger.