Weight Loss

10 High-Protein Snack Ideas, Straight From Dietitians

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Protein is pretty darn important — so important that every system in the human body depends on it to function, says sports dietitian Hillary Ake, MS, RD, LD, CSSD. Proteins help make up our physical structure and are a component of muscle, tendons, ligaments, skin, and hair, Ake tells POPSUGAR. Anywhere from 10 to 35 percent of your daily intake of food should come from protein. For example, if your caloric needs are 2,000 calories per day, that means you should be getting anywhere from 200–700 calories from protein, or 50–175 grams, according to the Mayo Clinic. (You can use this calculator from the USDA to get a more personalized look at your nutritional needs.)

To boost your protein intake, it’s as simple as adding protein-rich foods to your meals. Good examples of protein-rich foods include meats, fish, nuts, and legumes, according to the U.S. National Library of Medicine. However, bringing some protein-dense snacks to your plate is equally wise. After all, it’s best to have protein at all meals — including snacks, says Kaitlyn Willwerth, MS, RD. “High-protein snacks are great because they give your body sustained energy and help you feel and stay full between meals,” Willwerth explains. “High-protein snacks are especially beneficial after exercise to help your body repair and regenerate after a workout.”

From cheese sticks to deviled eggs and pistachios, there are plenty of protein-rich snacks to choose from, even if you’re vegan or vegetarian. To level up your snack game, here are ten of the best high-protein snack ideas to keep you energized and full — all recommended by registered dietitians.

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