There are a dizzying array of snacks, from fruit and veggies to bars and protein snacks, but opting for snacks that are packed with protein will set you up for success.
“Snacks high in protein are critical for maintaining muscle mass,” said Dr. Angel Cuesta of Youthful Balance Medical Center in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla., who points out 40% of the body is muscle and 20% is muscle protein.
Although you can get protein from vegan sources like legumes, walnuts, and almonds, these are high calorie snacks; meats like jerky, tuna, chicken and fish are ideal snacks, said Cuesta.
“Eating meats on the go is the trickiest part. Jerky or smoked meats are a great way to get your protein refueled when you are on the go,” said Dr. Matt Tanneberg, a sports Chiropractor and Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist at Arcadia Health and Wellness Chiropractic in Phoenix, Ariz.
“Every meal you eat should contain some source of protein, whether the protein comes from meat or is plant based. Protein is what keeps us full. It refuels or muscles and allows them to heal and function properly,” said Tanneberg.
Snacking on a baked chicken breast might not be convenient or practical, so eating a protein snack can be a great alternative for busy snackers. Our favorite protein snack is jerky. Lorissa’s Kitchen handcrafts four varieties of protein snacks packed with flavors like sweet chili pork. This sweet and savory snack is made from responsibly-raised pork with no added growth hormones, antibiotics, nitrates, or preservatives. With 11 grams of protein per serving, this sweet and spicy snack will keep you fuller longer.
“Aside from being a great source of protein, pork provides important vitamins and minerals. A three-ounce serving of pork is an ‘excellent’ source of thiamin, selenium, protein, niacin, vitamin B6 and phosphorus, and a ‘good’ source of riboflavin, zinc, and potassium, according to the National Pork Board.
Still not convinced? Consider the many health benefits: muscle burns more calories than body fat and can potentially help fight against diseases like diabetes, osteoporosis, and obesity. Plus, protein and muscle can increase immune system protection and libido, decrease risk of heart disease, keep hormone levels balanced and help your mood, said Cuesta.