Whether you’re a vegan or vegetarian, an athlete, or just looking to add more protein into your diet, chances are you’re aware of the plethora of processed bars and “protein” snacks available at the supermarket. And while the variety of foods available may seem too convenient to pass up, the reality is that they may actually be hurting your health.
The truth is, even foods labeled vegan and gluten free may be full of artificial ingredients as well as added sugars. As a result, while you may be benefiting from the boost of protein in these products, you may simultaneously be harming your body with excessive amounts of sugar.
Luckily, there are several all-natural, non-processed options for protein-filled snacks with little to no sugar. And even if you’re not necessarily looking for extra protein for any specific reason, eating snacks with high levels of protein can slow down your digestive tract, keeping you feeling fuller for a longer period of time. This slowed digestive process can ultimately help you lose weight and maintain stable energy levels in-between meals.
So exactly which foods provide low-sugar, high-protein benefits? Check out the list below for just some of these snack options:
Hard Boiled Eggs - Eggs make a great snack with only about 78 calories, they pack 6 grams of complete protein with all of the amino acids, providing women with 14% of their daily protein intake and men with 11%. Additionally, hard boiled eggs provide vitamin A and B for extra health benefits. Keep in mind that in a large egg, about 43% of the protein is stored in the yolk, so eating the egg whites will only provide you with about half the amount of protein.
Yogurt - While some brands of yogurt are full of sugar and added ingredients, others have taken it upon themselves to provide a healthier alternative to many of the popular brands, cutting extraneous sugar from their yogurt. Therefore, when you’re at the supermarket, it’s important to compare brands of Greek yogurt and read the nutrition labels in order to ensure that you’re purchasing and consuming the healthiest choice. Top with homemade granola for an extra boost!
Roasted Edamame - Edamame, soybeans that are picked during their premature stages, contain all essential amino acids, like hard boiled eggs, providing complete protein. One half-cup serving of edamame has about 127 calories and 11 grams of protein, and these delicious soybeans taste great cold or warm, providing us with some variety in our snacking.
Raw Veggies and Dip - Raw vegetables such as celery, carrots, cucumbers, and red peppers make a delicious snack when paired with a high-protein dip, which can come in many forms! For example, pairing your favorite Greek yogurt with a veggie or two can add a savory twist to what you otherwise might consider a sweet snack. Additionally, hummus or bean dip can provide protein without the sugar or sodium found in many processed choices. We like to mix superfoods like cranberry powder or beetroot powder into dips and sauces. Click here for a great hummus recipe!
Protein Smoothie - Of course one of the easiest ways to sneak in more protein is in a delicious smoothie. Simply add in your favorite protein powder, plus sugar alternatives like cacao powder, cacao nibs or yacon powder. Adding healthy fats like coconut butter or nut butter will help keep you satiated.
We love the plethora of snacking options available to us when we’re looking to get some extra protein without any added sugars, but it’s also important to remember that sometimes a smoothie with plant-based protein can also do the trick! Click here for some high-protein, low-sugar smoothie recipes. Enjoy!