Like the fashion runway, the snack aisle sees trends come and go. Case in point: Diet crazes like low-fat, low-carb, gluten-free, and sugar-free all came with a slew of packaged treats touted as the new “it” snack. The latest food fad hitting supermarket shelves? Protein-packed goodies. And unlike some food faux pas from years past (hello, fat-free fare!), these healthy snacks are worth your consideration.
Frequent noshing can keep your hunger in check, and a University of Missouri study found that higher-protein snacks, in particular, increase fullness and prevent overeating. But that doesn’t mean the presence of protein automatically makes for a smart snack food. The most nutritious options rely on quality ingredients and natural sources of protein, rather than processed ingredients and chemical additives.
So to help you maximize your next snack attack, I rounded up three of the best protein-rich choices on the shelf.
Egg-white chips Chip companies have experimented with numerous nutritional modifications over the years—offering baked, lightly salted, and fat-free varieties, to name a few—but these healthy makeovers still left snackers with relatively “empty” carbs that do little to stave off hunger. But there’s a new chip on the block that contains a secret, hunger-halting ingredient: egg whites. Options like ips All Natural Egg White Chips deliver 7 grams of filling protein, at only 130 calories per one-ounce serving. They’re also pressure puffed, rather than fried, so they contain about half the fat of traditional potato chips. My favorite flavor is barbeque, and the cinnamon sugar option is perfect for soothing an aching sweet tooth.
*Disclaimer: I work with ips All Natural to help people learn how to make healthy food choices and find ways to add more nutrients into their diets.
Move over, kale! Chickpeas are having a moment. Also known as garbanzo beans, they’re the primary ingredient in hummus, and they’re packed with healthy nutrients like fiber, protein, iron, and folate. They’re delicious when roasted and seasoned, making them a nutritious alternative to nut or trail-mix snacks. My pick: Crunchy Chickpeas from Saffron Road. I like to mix all 3 flavors into one bowl: Bombay Spice, Falafel, and Wasabi. A 1-ounce serving contains 6 grams of protein and only 4 grams of fat. They also use organic chickpeas, and are certified gluten-free.
Artisanal jerky If you’re making a pit stop at café petrol (a name one of my female clients uses to describe gas station shops) or rifling through your boyfriend’s cabinets for a quick bite, you’re likely to encounter beef jerky. Until now, you’ve probably shunned the dried-meat snack because of its chemical ingredients, high sodium content, and general leathery-ness, but you might want to give this bro snack a second chance. New artisanal brands like KRAVE Jerky are made without nitrates or artificial flavors, and are surprisingly low in fat. Plus, coming in at 9-11 grams of protein and under 100 calories per 1-ounce serving, jerky makes a perfect pre- or post-workout portable pick-me-up. You can also store it at the office or toss it in your carry-on when you travel. I love to pair the Sweet Chipotle flavor with dried apricots for a satisfying sweet-and-spicy hit.
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