Finding snacks that keep you full without making you feel heavy and bloated or spiking your blood sugar, leaving you with a mid-day bonk, can be a challenge.
It can also be difficult to come up with ideas for snacks when you are following a keto or other low carb diet plan due to the strict dietary restrictions. Therefore, we have come up with four great high protein low carb snacks for you that will keep you full and happy.
In this article, we will discuss the macronutrients proteins and carbs, high protein low carb diets, and give you our very own high protein low carb snacks for you to try out.
We will get into the following:
- What Are Proteins?
- What Are Carbs?
- Who Should Eat a High Protein, Low Carb Diet
- 4 Great High Protein Low Carb Snacks
Let’s jump in!
What Are Proteins?
Proteins are macronutrients that are made up of amino acids and have many functions within the human body. Proteins are especially important for helping the human body grow, maintain certain bodily processes and repair tissues.
In order to rebuild cells, muscles, organs, skin, hair, and nails, proteins need to be present. They also aid in digestion, energy production, and detoxification within the body. Let’s not forget the role protein has in the immune system as well.
The number of roles that protein has within the human body seems endless.
For athletes, some of the most important roles are the way protein aids in muscle and tissue repair, carry oxygen to the lungs and tissues, and its ability to be broken down and used for energy when needed.
Dietary proteins, or proteins that come from foods, are broken down into individual amino acids during digestion and absorbed into the body. Your body then uses these amino acids to synthesize new proteins or perform necessary functions.
Consuming protein-rich foods is really important because it ensures a sufficient supply of amino acids for the body’s needs.
It also helps to promote satiety, which refers to the feeling of fullness after eating. This can help you to avoid overeating because you feel fuller longer.
Eating snacks high in protein is a great way to keep you energized and full throughout the day.
What are Carbs?
Carbs are another macronutrient. They are composed of carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen atoms and are the body’s main source of energy. When you eat carbs, also known as carbohydrates, your body breaks them down into glucose.
Your body uses the glucose made from carbs to fuel various cellular processes within the body. Glucose is the primary type of sugar that the body utilizes, and it is important as it is responsible for providing energy to the brain and central nervous system.
If you have ever heard the term “brain fog” used, this often refers to a feeling you experience when the brain is lacking adequate energy.
This can sometimes be the result of not eating enough carbs, leaving your brain without a steady supply of glucose and therefore taking away its ability to function properly.
Athletes tend to have a good understanding of the importance of carbs in their diets due to the important role they play in energy production.
Without the proper amount of carbs, athletes and other individuals may notice a decline in both mental performance and physical performance.
Your muscles need energy from glucose to properly contract, and your entire body needs the energy to avoid fatigue during intense physical activity.
When you exercise, your body immediately starts using the available glycogen stores that your body has used carbs to create.
If you do not replenish those stores, it will eventually struggle to pull energy. At this point, your body may start feeding off your fat stores for energy instead.
Who Should Eat a High Protein Low Carb Diet?
Some individuals opt for a high protein low carb diet due to weight loss goals or health issues, while others feel that their body responds best to a diet that is heavier on protein than carbs and do it simply due to personal preference.
Needs can vary a lot from one individual to the next, and there is no one-size-fits-all approach to diet.
As a current endurance athlete, I was once 100 pounds overweight and utilized a high protein, low carb diet to reach my goals.
While this diet approach would no longer be sustainable for me due to my energy needs, it once helped me to make a drastic life change.
Some doctors recommend high protein low carb diets to their patients who have health issues such as pre-diabetes, PCOS, or certain metabolic disorders. Restricting carbs can help to regulate blood sugar, improve insulin sensitivity, and support weight management.
High protein low carb diets may have benefits for certain individuals but may not be appropriate or necessary for everyone.
Since every person’s nutritional needs and goals are unique, it is important to consider individual factors and chat with a healthcare professional or registered dietitian to determine the most suitable dietary approach for you.
All of that being said, let’s go over five great high protein low carb snacks to fuel your day!
4 Great High Protein Low Carb Snacks
There are endless possibilities when it comes to high protein snacks, but sometimes you need to be creative!
As for specific ingredients to keep in mind, many dairy products are high in protein and low in carbs, and a variety of vegetables and berries can also be utilized to make a well-rounded snack without too many carbs.
#1: Cottage Cheese with Berries or Tomatoes
Dairy products are a great source of protein, and various options are available as far as fat content goes if that is something that you are also concerned with.
One of the best ways to eat cottage cheese is by combining it with fresh ingredients and flavorful seasonings. It may sound odd at first, but it is a must-try if you are looking for a great high protein low carb snack idea.
Half a cup of 2% fat cottage cheese typically contains about 13 grams of protein, only 5 grams of carbs, and only 90 calories. The exact nutritional facts will vary based on brand but should be in the same ballpark.
For a more savory high protein low carb snack, you can add a half cup of chopped tomatoes which do not add any additional protein worth mentioning but do add plenty of flavor and less than 2 grams of carbs.
Try sprinkling unique seasonings on top as well, such as everything bagel seasoning, or check your local Trader Joe’s or other grocery stores for unique seasoning combinations.
Companies like FLAVORGOD make unique seasonings that are great for savory high protein low carb snacks.
If you are looking for a snack that can shake a sweet tooth, add half a cup of fresh or frozen strawberries or other berries and a sprinkle of dessert topper seasoning from FLAVORGOD. This will only add an additional 25 calories, give or take, and about 6 grams of carbs.
#2: Hard Boiled Eggs and Everything Bagel Seasoning
Eggs are a great source of protein and contain less than one carb per serving. One medium egg has about 7 grams of carbs and is only about 70 calories which makes it a great high protein low carb snack.
Hard-boiled eggs take little time to prepare and store well in the fridge, which makes them an ideal snack.
Hard-boil your eggs the way that you prefer and then slice them in half and sprinkle with everything bagel seasoning.
Serve them up hot or cold! If you are feeling spicy, sprinkle them with some Tabasco sauce for an extra kick.
#3: Strawberry Almond Butter Protein Shake
Protein shakes can get boring, and they tend to have a bad reputation.
If you do not like a basic protein shake, try this creative spin. It’s super easy and may make you more excited about drinking protein shakes in general.
Simply take a scoop of your favorite protein powder and add a half cup of frozen strawberries and a tablespoon of almond butter.
We recommend using a simple flavor like vanilla, but chocolate would be a fun twist too! Instead of using water to blend the mixture, use almond milk.
The macros will vary depending on the protein powder you use, but it should get you about 16 grams of protein and as few as 7 grams of carbs with each serving.
#4: Deli Meat and Cheese Rollup
This snack seems basic, and it is. However, this is also a quick and delicious snack to which you can add a lot of variety. You can make these ahead of time and store them in the fridge for easy grabbing when in a hurry.
Purchase a variety of freshly sliced deli meats like ham, turkey, and roast beef. Then get yourself set up with different cheese options. Try pepper jack, cheddar, and Swiss for a variety of flavor combos.
Simply lay out two slices of the meat, add a slice of cheese, and then fillers. You can add things like pickles, lettuce, tomatoes, and sliced bell peppers.
If you want, you can also add a squirt of your favorite condiment into the middle. Then roll up, secure with toothpicks, and store or enjoy immediately.
One roll should contain somewhere around 18-20 grams of protein and as low as 140 calories and 3 grams of carbs.
Enjoy these 4 high protein low carb snacks the next time you get peckish.
Remember to be creative and come up with new and exciting food combinations to keep yourself on track so you can meet your goals in no time!
If you need a bit more than one of our high protein snacks, how about some delicious high protein lunch ideas? Click here for your next high protein meal.