Unless you’re on a carnivore diet, chances are you could use a little bump in protein, especially when it comes to snacking. Protein is more satiating than carbohydrates and it promotes muscle recovery and growth.
I know it’s so much easier to reach for a bag of chips or crackers when you’re busy, but there are good alternatives that are equally accessible. I’m going to give you four examples of foods you can keep in your truck or desk drawer that will provide a lot more nutrition than empty calories.
First, the easy one: protein bars. These are a protein supplement, and definitely not better than the real thing, which is of course eating animal meat. But in a pinch, it’s better than eating junk food. Not every protein bar is created equally. Some people assume a granola bar is a protein bar. It’s not. Here are the things to look for: We want about 20 grams of protein. No more than about 200 calories and ingredients you can for the most part pronounce. There are MANY on the market that fit these criteria, and one of my personal favorites are ONE bars. Remember if it’s going in your vehicle, it needs to withstand some pretty hot temperatures, so avoid things that will melt in the summer months.
Ok next, a meat stick. Now that may not sound like the most delicious snack to everyone out there, but a couple of food brands have done a good job creating a softer, tasty snack. Epic is the most well-known and they have varieties like bison, bacon, sriracha chicken, and more. Each of them has about 8 grams of protein per bar.
Next, another real meat product you might have forgotten about – tuna. These days it comes in packets as well as cans, and many of those packets have seasoning, so all you need is a fork and you can eat it right out of the container. I can personally vouch for the lemon pepper, which has 17 grams of protein and 80 calories.
Finally, nuts and seeds. The ones with the highest amount of protein per 200 calories are pumpkin seeds, peanuts, almonds and pistachios. Go for the dry roasted variety so you’re not also getting a big whack of sketchy oil too. Seeds and nuts are very easy to overeat, so try to keep portions to a couple ounces, or about the size of two of your thumbs.
Until next time, stock up (protein bars, meat sticks, tuna and nuts and seeds) and enjoy eating more protein throughout your day!
For AgNet West’s Health Bite, I’m Rachel Eslick. I can help you reach your health and fitness goals at www.reachfit.net.