Healthy snacking is an important part of our diet and lifestyle for many reasons:
- It prevents us from being too hungry and over-eating for lunch or dinner by helping keep blood sugar levels stable;
- It is an opportunity to sneak in some veggies or fruit to increase our nutrient intake of vitamins, minerals and fibre;
- Keeping our lean muscle on throughout life depends, apart from exercising, also on eating enough protein, therefore, balanced, protein snacks are a great way to help us reach our daily protein requirements.
When creating meal plans for clients, snacks play an important part for all the reasons mentioned above. For a snack to be considered healthy, we need to take into consideration both energy it gives us (we want just enough calories to keep hunger at bay until next main meal) and balance (low in carbs and high in protein, healthy fats and fibre, which all nourishes, but combined, also keeps blood sugar levels stable).
With that in mind, here are some of my favourites snacks I enjoy regularly and also recommend to clients and they are all under 150 calories and around 5-10 grams of protein, some even more, which is even better:
- 125ml greek style plain low-fat yoghurt with some berries or few slices of banana, sprinkled with some cinnamon (around 8 grams of protein). Some Yoghurt makes have more protein: 10 grams per 100ml, which is ideal (Liberte, Skyr).
- 100 gr of low-fat cottage cheese with some tomatoes or cucumber (10gr of protein)
- 20 grams of almonds has 120 calories and around 4 grams of protein only, so great sometimes or for those with low daily protein requirement. It is similar with other nuts like pistachios, walnuts or hazelnuts
- 1 egg and 1 egg white would give you 12 grams of protein for only 100 calories. Check out those egg white snacking delights
- Edamame or soya beans are delightful roasted or steamed from frozen. 80 grams of steamed edamame beans with a bit of salt, pepper or a dash of sweet chilly sauce is under 150 calories and has 14 grams of protein
- Instead of Edamame beans, you can use 80 grams of cooked red kidney or white beans and mix with some chopped tomatoes. That is 8 grams of protein in 140 calories.
- Humus is a delightful snack with some raw veggies, although 40 grams is under 140 calories, but only packs in 2.5 grams of protein. So great from time to time, but if you need to up your protein intake, seek other higher protein alternatives or make a soya bean dip
- Half baked sweet potato with 100ml of yoghurt or cottage cheese is a fabulous 150 calorie snack of just over 10 grams of protein. Or you can try toasted or grilled slice of sweet potato with some cottage cheese, it is an even quicker snack than when baked.
- Half a shake is another great snack: 10 grams of protein of around 150 calories: 150 ml of milk with 1 scoop of Formula 1 (14gr) and some berries (Here are some Formula 1 Healthy Breakfasts, just half them for a healthy snack. The one as Formula 1 Chia Pudding is extra yummy)
- Protein Bar is a fantastic quick snack on the go. Some of them can pack in a lot of protein but a lot of calories too, so chose those under 150 calories and at least 10 grams of protein.
- Sliced tomato with 50 grams of feta cheese is a delicious snack of around 150 calories and 8 grams of protein.
- Vegetable soup is a great way to pack in some nutrition and fibre. To increase protein content, add a couple of tablespoons of low-fat creme freche to it.
- Protein, Energy Balls made with some protein powder, almonds, coconut oil and raw honey could be a snack that can be prepared in advance and enjoyed over few days by whole family.
- Courgette and goats cheese or mozarella cheese curls are another interesting snack that pack under 150 calories and around 10 grams of protein.
- I am a firm believer we need to eat more aubergines, I absolutely love this veg. Grilled Aubergine sandwich or a Baked Aubergine filled with cottage cheese or yoghurt is another great high protein snack. 100gr of cottage cheese gives 10 grams of protein and aubergine is a great source of soluble fibre, B vitamins, potassium, manganese, copper, magnesium and a great source of antioxidants.
- For a quick and tasty snack, also try Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms for a delightful 10 grams of protein.
- If you like spinach, these Spinach and Feta Frittatas are a great snack of 80 calories and 8 grams of protein, or two would be 160 calories and 16 grams of protein.
- My favourite Herbalife snacks are Protein Bars (140 calories and 10 grams of protein), Roasted Soya Beans (110 calories and 9 grams of protein) and Herbalife’s Tomato Soup (100 calories, 8 grams of protein and 4 grams of fibre). We also have a very handy Protein Drink Mix: it measures 15 grams of protein in only 100 calories, add some fruit or veg and you have a terrific smoothie for a snack, like the one with watermelon I made during summer, check it out, it is delicious, not just a pretty little think.