We all know that biltong packs a serious protein punch – it’s a double whammy when you consider how convenient it is to grab and enjoy on the go, but what other quick and easy high protein snacks out there can compete with the best in the biz?
Not only does it slow digestion and keep blood sugar levels steady, it helps to keep distracting cravings at bay. Let’s face it, everyone’s susceptible to hunger throughout the day, even between meals. It’s not practical to walk around with a cooked ham or fried chicken leg in your back pocket either. Know what is? Convenient protein snacks to grab and indulge on the go – especially ones that have staying power. Avoid mindlessly munching on chips, candy bars or cookies and switch over to healthier low carb snacks packed with the nutrients you need.
Other than what’s already been mentioned, protein helps you feel fuller for longer (you can eat less, yet still feel satisfied). It also aids in building and maintaining muscle, skin and bone, repairs tissue and increases your immune function.10 to 15 grams of protein is an excellent amount for a healthy snack. More than 15 grams and it becomes a mini-meal, with 10 grams being the ideal ratio. As a major building block for your body, protein is low in fat and will keep you fueled between meals.
Kickstarting our list is biltong’s equally delicious cousin: biltong sticks (also known as droëwors – Afrikaans for “dry sausage” in South Africa). Made in a similar fashion to biltong i.e. also cured in vinegar and natural spices, then air-dried to exquisite taste, texture and tenderness, biltong sticks are most often made using ground beef (other meats can also be used, but beef remains the most wildly popular) and aromatics like coriander, black pepper, nutmeg, cloves, coarse salt and of course brown vinegar. The mixed ingredients are stuffed into a sheep or collagen casing and made into thin sausages that are then patiently air-dried. With a soft, crumbly and oh so chewable texture compared to biltong, not only does biltong sticks have a satisfying snap when you break it into delectable pieces, it’s one of the more addictive high protein snacks you can enjoy in a snap at any time during your busy day.
If you can look past the smell (which is understandably not for everyone), hardboiled eggs are a satisfying high protein snack that will definitely take the edge off your hunger between main meals. They’re a powerhouse breakfast or snack when enjoyed in moderation, as two eggs contain roughly 13 grams of protein and less than 1 gram of net carbs, making it an ideal low-carb snacking option. In addition to protein, eggs also gives you a healthy dose of vitamin D and vitamin B-12 for just 77 calories apiece. No wonder nutritionists call egg yolks nature’s multivitamin. Remember to peel the shells before sealing the eggs in plastic wrap or packing it in air-tight containers to cut down on the aroma; this will also make eating them on the go that much quicker and convenient. A dash of salt and off you go.
Whether kept in your car, gym or school bag or even in a perfectly respectable briefcase, you could haul a whole jar of peanut butter with you wherever you go (alongside a handy dandy spoon), but it’s best to remove the temptation to clear said jar’s contents in one frenzied go by resorting to individual peanut butter squeeze packs for the sake of convenience and natural portion control. A single-serving portion of certain peanut butter packs contains 190 calories and is made with just peanuts and palm fruit oil—no added sugars there. Some natural peanut butter packs also contain up to 9 grams of protein, making it a desirable energy-inducing snack to get you through your fast-paced day. Unfortunately, peanutty deliciousness comes with a significant amount of net carbs, so if you’re looking for a lower-calorie snack, moderation is key.
Cottage cheese is a great anytime snack due to being low in fat and sugar, yet can pack up to 20 grams of protein per 5 ounce container. A popular choice from the dairy aisle, cottage cheese is an affordable, protein-rich snack that’s less expensive than Greek yogurt. Each half-cup serving contains around 5 grams of net carbs. No matter what fat percent option you choose, cottage cheese is a great source of protein that pairs well with just about anything. Try it plain or add tomatoes, fresh fruit or about a kazillion other tasty options.
Greek or plain yogurt is strained and takes on a thicker consistency, containing more protein and only half the sugar compared to traditional yogurts. Depending on the brand, you’ll find 12 to 20 grams of protein per container, not to mention bone-building calcium and gut-friendly probiotics your body will thank you for later. Similar to cottage cheese, Greek yogurt is an excellent dairy based source of protein and pairs well with different flavors. Make it savory style with a drizzle of olive oil and Mediterranean veggies, or sweeten it up with fresh fruit and honey. Creamy, tangy and ready when you are, all you’ll need to enjoy this anytime treat is your appetite and a spoon.
This snack may seem like an obvious choice (protein even features in the name), but before you chow down, be sure to read the label carefully. Unfortunately some protein bars are also loaded with sugar and fat. Avoid those and only choose the kind that are packed with energy-enhancing ingredients and vitamins instead. Also avoid varieties that are ridiculously high in sugar, as you might as well be scarfing down a candy bar. Aim for ones with 10 to 15 grams of protein with at least 5 grams of fiber and less than 15 grams of sugar. It makes for a filling snack and is a great on-the-go protein snack option in a no-fuss, easy-to-carry package that can fit right into your pocket.
Blazing a trail for protein, the beauty of trail mix is that you can purchase it store-bought or mix and match your own tailormade combo. When creating your own, add an assortment of seeds, dried fruits, nuts and/or yogurt covered raisins for the best result. Light to carry and shelf-stable, trail mix makes for a delicious, satisfying and no-mess snack to merrily munch on throughout the day. If in doubt, double down on almonds and pistachios. Contrary to popular belief, these are seeds – not nuts. They also have a higher protein count than their nutty peers.
Rounding off the list – and certainly saving the best for last – we have the king of all meat snacks, a legend that’s been around for more than 400 years and a mighty meaty morsel that’s far healthier than jerky, tastier than its envious competitors and just the protein packed energy boost your body needs, especially before or after a strenuous sesh at the gym… biltong (insert jaw-dropping fireworks and dazzling street parades here)!
Whether sliced or in slabs (just begging to be cut down to whatever wafer thin shavings or robust, chewable mouthfuls you desire), biltong remains the perfect protein snack to stash in a dash and devour on the go. Made by True’s sliced biltong packs provide 16 grams of protein per 28 gram serving. Talk about packing a powerful punch! So if you’re a meat lover, accept no substitutes. You only live once, no matter how busy your day is. Why not make the most of it?