What is the difference between a snack that has long-term staying power and one that will leave you feeling peckish only a few hours later? Protein.
Why? Because Protein slows digestion, keeps blood sugar steady and cravings at bay and in the long term, results in actually eating less food overall because its means you remain fuller for longer.
It is recommended that 10 to 35% of your daily food intake should be lean protein. That?s 46 grams a day for women and 56 grams for men. In a study published in Nutrition Metabolism, dieters who increased their protein intake to 30% of their diet ate nearly 450 fewer calories a day and lost about 11 pounds over the 12-week study.
The most obvious choices of protein include meat and fish, which let?s be honest are not the easiest of foods to cook up from scratch when you?re not at home in the kitchen. “Protein isn?t as portable as other foods. The best sources – fish, meat, dairy, aren?t as quick or convenient as most carbs or even fruits and veggies. Traditional protein sources aren?t usually grab and go. And if they are, they?re often fried or unhealthy,” says nutrition expert Angela Ginn, R.D., a spokesperson for the American Dietetic Association.
There are plenty of easy, portable, protein snacks that you can take with you anywhere. Here are our 9 recommendations:
Almonds There are 14 almonds per 100-calorie serving. Almonds can help lower levels of harmful LDL cholesterol. They are also high in fiber, minerals and vitamins.
Hardboiled egg Bragging six grams of protein and only 70 calories, eggs are a powerhouse breakfast as they give vitamin D and vitamin B-12.
Peanut butter Two tablespoons provide seven grams of protein. Delicious when smeared on a banana, which means you also receive an injection of fiber and antioxidants.
Edamame Just one serving of dry roasted edamame boasts 14 grams of protein.
Greek yogurt This contains 15 to 20 grams of protein in a 6-ounce serving, versus 9 grams found in regular yogurt. ???
Whey protein bars Read the label carefully as many are filled with sugar and often come packed with unwanted preservatives and artificial colours in order to optimize shelf life and taste. Make your own and combine whey protein powder, nuts, seeds for an intense injection of protein.
Cup of oatmeal Just add hot water and stir, fiber-packed oats in minutes for 150 to 200 calories per serving. Easy!??
Hummus Made from pureed chickpeas, olive oil and tahini, hummus offers a mix of protein and fiber.
Whey protein shake Adding whey protein to your drink ensures it contains all of the essential amino acids your body needs to build and maintain muscle. You control the ingredients and therefore control the sugar input.