15 High-Protein, Low-Carb Snacks
A protein-packed snack will help keep you feeling full until it's time for your next meal. Here, EatingWell offers up 15 favorites.
Eating a protein-rich snack might be the key to having your snacks actually fill you up.
"It's an important nutrient, helping to fill you up, and eating protein regularly throughout the day will help keep your energy levels up," says Chris Mohr, Ph.D., RD, of MohrResults.com. Because protein slows the digestion of carbohydrates, it prolongs the release of carbs and, thus, the energy you get from those carbs. "Including protein in your snacks will help you fight the afternoon slumps and, of course, fuel those (hopefully) hard-working muscles," adds Mohr. Plus, if you're trying to lose weight—or just keep your weight where it is—a protein-packed snack may be quite helpful.
Related: 30 Healthy Low-Carb Foods to Eat
To give you a point of reference, one large egg has 6 grams of protein. That said, here are 16 healthy, protein-packed, lower-carb snacks we recommend snacking on.
With 6 grams of plant-based protein and 3 grams of fiber in a 1-ounce serving (about 50 nuts), pistachios will help you stay fuller longer. "As a busy mama on the go, that's a big win for me!" says Shannon Garcia, M.S., RD, of KISS in the Kitchen Blog. "I like a lot of flavor in my snacks, so I'm loving Wonderful Pistachios' No Shells new flavors—Chili Roasted and Honey Roasted! No Shells are quick and easy, convenient and these new bold flavors help keep better-for-you snacking interesting. Plus, they're one of the lowest-calorie snack nuts, so you get more nuts per serving than most."
2. Eggland's Best Hard-Cooked Peeled Eggs
Offering nearly 6 grams of protein per egg, Eggland's Best Hard-Cooked Peeled eggs are the perfect on-the-go snack to keep you energized throughout the day. "In addition to a protein boost, they also contain 25% less saturated fat, 10 times more vitamin E and double the omega-3s compared to ordinary eggs," says Mohr. "The best part? They're already cooked and peeled, making them über convenient for me and my family."
3. BelGioioso Fresh Mozzarella Snacking Cheese
These mini mozzarella balls come preportioned in individual 1-ounce servings (or about 3 mini balls). Each portable, on-the-go snack delivers 5 grams protein and less than 1 gram carbohydrate, all for just 70 calories. Eat them as is, or pair with some nuts or jerky for an extra hit of protein, without too many carbs. They're also delicious with tomatoes and basil.
4. Biena Baked Chickpea Puffs, Aged White Cheddar
These new baked puffs offer 7 grams of plant protein and 11 grams carbohydrate per serving. "They are my favorite high-protein snack when I need something crunchy and salty on long afternoons working," says Katie Andrews, M.S., RD, of Wellness by Katie. The puffs are made with chickpea flour for a boost of protein and fiber.
Related: Best Vegetarian Protein Sources
5. Cottage Cheese
Surprisingly high in protein (at 24 grams per cup), cottage cheese also gives you healthy amounts of calcium. "I like to add fresh salsa from the refrigerated section of the grocery store to the top of my cottage cheese. That's my kind of snack," says Tiffany Davis, chef and co-owner of Nourish Foods Co. (Learn more about why cottage cheese is having a comeback and why we're loving it.)
6. The New Primal Beef Thins
Protein-packed and full of crunch, these Beef Thins are a great snack: each 1-ounce bag offers 13 grams of protein, and is Whole30-approved (if that's your thing!). "I've been enjoying their unique crunch when I want a break from chewy jerky. They remind me a little bit of a chip. I also love the simple ingredient list and it's such a convenient shelf-stable high-protein snack on the go," says Garcia.
7. Frozen Edamame
You really can't go wrong with these—they're perfect solo as a snack, or packed into kids' lunches, or added to salads—and there's about 9 grams protein and 4 grams fiber in a 1/2-cup serving (and around 7 grams carbs). "You really cannot go wrong with this affordable protein source that is now found in every grocery freezer!" says Andrews.
Related: The 10 Best Vegan Protein Sources
8. Sargento Balanced Breaks
These portable, preportioned cheese, nut and dried fruit combos are quite delicious—plus they clock in at under 200 calories and provide 7 grams of protein and about 12 grams carbohydrate (give or take a few depending on the nut and fruit combo).
9. Siggi's Raspberry & Apple No Added Sugar Yogurt
For years now, yogurt has been a go-to, portable, protein-rich snack. "I'm so thankful, though, that Siggi's now offers 'no added sugar' flavors, so I don't have to waste even a second reading labels," says Andrews. Pick up this particular version and you'll get 11 grams protein and only 7 grams carbohydrate in a single-serve container.
10. Fishpeople Wild Alaskan Salmon Jerky
Any type of salmon jerky will be protein-rich and relatively low in carbs, so long as there's not too much of a sugary-sweet flavor. Fishpeople's, however, does a great job of keeping all of their flavors low in carbs at just 4 to 5 grams per serving, yet you get 12 grams protein per serving.
11. Perfect Bar
This refrigerated protein bar comes in a variety of (delicious) flavors. For the biggest protein hit, though, stick to the peanut butter-based flavors (you'll get around 17 grams protein per bar). Each bar also gives you a nice mix of micronutrients, thanks to the whole food powder that's added to each. They tend to also have slightly more carbs than some of the other snacks on this list—delivering between 20 and 30 grams per bar.
12. Vital Proteins Matcha Collagen Original
One scoop will give you 9 grams protein and only 3 grams carbohydrate—plus a kick of caffeine, a load of disease-fighting antioxidants and, of course, collagen. To really keep your carbs at a minimum, blend the matcha collagen powder into a latte using a low-carb, plant-based milk like almond, coconut or cashew. A cup of cow's milk, though, will give you more protein and about 12 grams carbohydrate. You can also dissolve the collagen powder in water or coffee.
13. Trader Joe's Mini Brie Bites
"Single-serving cheese is nothing new, but these single-serve Brie bites elevate the typical cheese stick experience," says Andrews. Each mini bite has 4 grams protein, 1 gram carbohydrate, and only 70 calories. To keep carbs in check, pair a bite with a low-carb fruit like berries, melon or watermelon, for a satisfying snack.
14. Biena Roasted Chickpeas Snacks
"This is my favorite brand for both the story (female founded and run!) and the product (high-protein, high-fiber, low-saturated-fat snacks in a multitude of flavors)," says Andrews. "Last year they collaborated with the Girl Scouts for Thin Mints Chickpea Snacks—my kids still talk about those." Each serving (regardless of flavor) has 5 to 6 grams protein and 6 grams fiber—two nutrients that'll keep you feeling fuller, longer. Carbs range from 16 grams to 20 per serving.
15. Mint Chocolate RxBar
These shelf-stable bars are more like a mini-meal, delivering 210 calories, 12 grams protein and 23 grams carbohydrate in a bar. "But it is my go-to when I'm craving something chocolaty or when I need to pick up something in the airport," says Andrews. There's 5 grams of fiber in here as well, which helps fill you up, in addition to the protein.