Who doesn't love a good snack?
Problem is, if you're not careful, the snacking never stops. Unless you pick the right snack, that is -- something tasty enough to quell your cravings and satisfying enough to keep you from coming back for more.
The key may be protein. In a 2012 study, University of Missouri researchers found that among healthy women, those who ate a high-protein snack (defined as one containing 24 grams of the good stuff) felt full for longer than women who ate medium- or low-protein snacks.
"Twenty-four grams of protein is more than some people have in a meal," Elizabeth M. Ward, RD, tells The Huffington Post. "Snacks with that much protein will have substantial calories, and people need to account for that."
A few points of reference: A large hard-boiled egg clocks in at six grams of protein. Two tablespoons of crunchy, unsalted peanut butter contains eight grams. And four ounces of low-fat cottage cheese has 14 grams. Greek yogurt, the current darling of the high-protein snack world, can have as much as twice the protein as traditional yogurt.
We asked Ward and other nutrition experts to share some suggestions for a tasty snack meeting the 24-grams-of-protein requirement -- and some truly do seem like a meal. Check out the expert-approved snacks below, then share your favorite high-protein snack in the comments!
Turkey And Cheese
Two pieces of deli turkey rolled with two pieces of reduced-fat Swiss cheese will give you those 24 grams, says Katherine Brooking, MS, RD, of Appetite for Health
. (Ed Note: We'd choose whole cut turkey, which is less processed. Processed deli meat is high in sodium and can contain food preservatives like sodium nitritite and even additives like corn syrup.)
Cottage Cheese And Grapes
Dawn Jackson Blatner
, RDN, combines cinnamon, cottage cheese and grapes for an easy snack that packs in 26 grams of protein.
Soynuts And Figs
Two ounces of soynuts and about four figs will clock in around 22 grams of protein, says Angela Ginn-Meadow, RD, LDN, CDE, spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.
Today Show health and nutrition expert Joy Bauer's
only takes 10 minutes to make and packs 21 grams of protein.
Julie Upton, MS, RD, of Appetite for Health
, suggests three ounces of beef jerky for those 24 grams of protein
. (Ed. Note: Jerky is another instance in which we'd make sure to choose a reduced-sodium, preservative-free variety.)
Rochelle Sirota, MS, RD, CDN, advocates for plant protein along with "good quality fats from avocados, raw, unsalted nuts or seeds and lots of vegetables." When it comes to a protein-rich snack, she suggests a bean or lentil salad.
Yogurt With Almonds
Elisa Zied, MS, RDN, CDN, author of the upcoming book, Younger Next Week
, recommends mixing 1 cup of nonfat yogurt with 1.5 ounces of chopped almonds for about 21 grams of protein.