Protein is an essential macronutrient made up of building blocks called amino acids. Your body needs amino acids to power various chemical reactions and keep your skin, muscles, bones, hair, and virtually every one of your organs healthy. According to research, the recommended daily amount of protein for the average adult is approximately 0.7 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight.
It can be challenging to maintain that level of protein intake if you've got a busy job that takes you away from home for extended periods. Spending eight hours per day at the office often means that you won't have the time or energy for a protein-packed meal when you get home. Fortunately, there is a solution. Here are the top 9 high-protein snacks you can bring to work.
1. Peanut Butter
If you enjoyed PB&J sandwiches when you were a kid, growing up doesn't mean that your enjoyment of peanut butter has to stop. You can eat it on crackers, dip apples in it, or spread it on celery sticks. Peanut butter's versatility means that you can eat it in any number of portable and convenient ways. And with 4 grams of protein per tablespoon, peanut butter can serve as a filling snack that will carry you to your lunch break or dinnertime at home.
2. Hard-Boiled Eggs
Over the years, the opinion on eggs has swung back and forth. Some say they're good, some say they're bad, others say that the whites are good and the yolks are bad, and still more people say the complete opposite. The fact is that eggs are good for you and one of the best high-protein snacks, regardless of whether you scramble them, bake them, or fry them. Hard-boiled eggs make an incredible portable snack that provides your body with virtually everything it needs to function.
Served as a popular appetizer or side dish with Japanese cuisine, these soybean pods are packed with far more protein than you might think. With 18 grams per cup, edamame is a heavyweight among plant-based proteins. You can boil them or steam them ahead of time, then pop them out of their pods and sprinkle them with a bit of salt for a quick and healthy snack for work.
4. String Cheese
A traditional staple of home-packed home lunches for years, string cheese makes for a perfect on-the-go snack. Not only is each stick loaded with over 7 grams of protein, but they also provide your body with a healthy dose of calcium to give an extra boost to your bones. In addition, they fit right in your pocket and don't require any sort of preparation. You can simply peel and eat them, or you can just eat them.
5. Roasted Pumpkin Seeds
Pumpkin seeds make a great snack around Halloween when fresh pumpkin is plentiful and cheap. When carving out your Jack-O-Lantern, instead of discarding the seeds, toss them with olive oil and the seasonings of your choice, and roast them in the oven at 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes. Then, while you're at work, you can pop them for a punch of protein at 9 grams per 1/4 cup serving.
This traditional Middle Eastern chickpea dip is loaded with flavor and can be served with almost anything. Spread it on your crackers, dip some veggies in it, or eat it by the spoonful. It's a quick and reliable method of getting some protein in your diet without filling you up too much. You can make a large batch ahead of time and put it in small containers to take with you to work.
7. Greek Yogurt
If you're looking for some digestive and heart benefits to go with your protein, look no further than a cup of Greek yogurt. With 20 grams of protein per cup, it's more filling than other types of yogurt. Greek yogurt is also packed with calcium, which enhances bone health.
You can enjoy Greek yogurt on its own, or you can mix in jam, pumpkin seeds, fresh fruit, or syrup. Alternatively, you can make a delicious parfait by layering granola and fresh berries with Greek yogurt. Be warned, however, that granola can be high in calories. Nevertheless, a tablespoon of granola should be enough for a tasty snack that won't overdo it on caloric content.
Nuts are a great source of protein and healthy fats. However, pistachios stand above the other nuts in terms of nutritional content. A half-cup serving of pistachios contains 13 grams of protein, as well as 4 grams of saturated fat, 9 grams of polyunsaturated fat, and 16 grams of monounsaturated fat, making the pistachios lower in fat than most other tree nuts. You can eat them by the handful or mix them in with your Greek yogurt or peanut butter.
Jerky is meat that has been stripped of fat, cut into strips, and dried to preserve it. Artisanal jerky is becoming more and more popular, as this meat snack is full of protein and flavor. And you can find jerky made from beef, chicken, or turkey.
If you're going to go with jerky for your work snack, you'll want to choose a high-quality jerky that is bursting with flavor and individually wrapped for easy portability. And that's where Tony Roma's BBQ jerky bites come in. Saucy, moist, and bold, these jerky bites pack all the protein you need to get through your day. So order a pack and bring home the flavor.