Snack time is a sacred time—staving off those mid-afternoon stomach rumbles is crucial part of a good day. But fighting off the pangs with high-protein snacks? Well, that’s a genius move. By keeping protein-packed snacks at your desk (or at the ready in your home office), you can make snack time work for you, fueling you up quickly so you can get back to your day ASAP.
Along with the many body functions that protein supports (like maintaining muscle mass and helping your immune system function, as SELF reports), eating enough protein helps ensure you aren’t hungry again 45 minutes after your snack. This is because the amino acids in protein take a while for your body to digest, Rebecca Scritchfield, RDN, certified exercise physiologist and author of Body Kindness, tells SELF.
Another benefit of protein-rich snacks: They can help you overcome “three-thirtyitis,” that pesky wave of lethargy that washes right over you in the late afternoon. This is why Scritchfield recommends eating sources of protein throughout your day—not just in your main meals, though that’s important too—so that your energy levels can remain consistent all day, and that sneaky three-thirtyitis becomes a thing of the past.
To really get the most out of your high-protein snack, though, it’s best to have one that includes other major macronutrients as well. According to SELF columnist Jessica Jones, M.S., R.D., certified diabetes educator and Food Heaven cofounder, it helps to pair your high-protein snacks with a solid source of fat and/or carbs too—the most satisfying snacks usually have at least two different food groups. (Besides, factoring in more nutrients will only make your snack game more interesting.)
Coming up with healthy high-protein snacks that can be kept in your desk drawer can be tough. (Look, we all love a Greek yogurt, but it is not exactly shelf-stable!) Luckily, we’ve done the hard work of thinking up ideas for you. Here are 30 desk-friendly, healthy, filling snacks that will satisfy any kind of snacker—no fridge required.
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