Bariatric surgery patients need to focus on consuming adequate protein to support optimal recovery, maintain lean body mass, and achieve long-term weight loss success. High-protein snacks are essential for meeting daily protein requirements, while also providing essential nutrients and aiding in satiety. This article highlights the best high-protein snacks for bariatric patients, with a list of sample options and a conclusion to help guide your snacking choices post-surgery.
12 Protein-Rich Dairy Snacks
Dairy-based snacks provide a great source of high-quality protein, along with essential nutrients such as calcium and vitamin D.
A creamy, nutrient-dense option that delivers a significant amount of protein per serving.
Pair versatile and protein-rich cottage cheese with fresh fruit or vegetables as a snack.
Cheese sticks or cheese cubes:
Convenient and portable, these snacks provide a quick and satisfying protein boost.
An Icelandic-style yogurt with an even higher protein content than Greek yogurt, offering a filling and nutritious snack.
A creamy, high-protein dairy product similar to cottage cheese, but with a smoother texture.
Enjoy this mild-flavored cheese with a sprinkle of cinnamon and a drizzle of sugar-free syrup for a sweet, protein-rich snack.
A fermented milk drink that’s high in protein and probiotics, which can be enjoyed on its own or blended into smoothies.
Choose a milk variety with added protein, such as ultra-filtered or protein-fortified milk, for a quick protein boost.
Make your own using a sugar-free pudding mix and high-protein milk, or opt for a store-bought version with a focus on protein content.
A Middle Eastern strained yogurt with a creamy texture and high protein content, which can be enjoyed with herbs and spices as a savory snack or with a sugar substitute for a sweet treat.
High-protein ice cream:
Opt for a low-sugar, high-protein ice cream brand for a satisfying and protein-packed treat.
Cheese and vegetable skewers:
Combine cheese cubes and cherry tomatoes or cucumber slices on skewers for a fun and protein-rich snack.
12 Meat and Poultry Snacks
Lean meats and poultry provide an excellent source of protein, as well as other essential nutrients such as iron and B vitamins.
Rolled-up deli meat:
Choose low-sodium, lean options like turkey or chicken for a protein-packed snack.
Jerky or biltong:
Opt for low-sodium, low-sugar varieties of these dried meat snacks for a high-protein option.
Chicken or turkey meatballs:
Prepare bite-sized, lean meatballs for a satisfying and protein-rich snack.
Tuna or chicken salad:
Mix with low-fat mayo or Greek yogurt and enjoy on cucumber slices or with veggie sticks for a protein-filled snack.
Bake a mixture of beaten eggs, lean protein (such as turkey or chicken), and vegetables in a muffin tin for a portable, protein-packed snack.
A high-quality source of protein and healthy fats, enjoy it on cucumber slices or with low-fat cream cheese.
Mini turkey or chicken sausage:
Choose a lean, low-sodium variety for a tasty and protein-rich snack option.
Combine eggs, lean meat, and vegetables in a muffin tin and bake for a protein-rich, bite-sized snack.
Rich in protein and omega-3 fatty acids, enjoy these on cucumber slices or mixed into a salad for a nutrient-dense snack.
Opt for a lean, low-sodium variety and enjoy a couple of slices as a high-protein, low-carb snack option.
Roast beef roll-ups:
Spread low-fat cream cheese on lean roast beef slices and roll them up for a tasty, high-protein snack.
A versatile and portable source of protein, enjoy them on their own or with a sprinkle of seasoning for added flavor.
16 Plant-Based Protein Snacks
Incorporating plant-based proteins into your snacking routine can provide variety, fiber, and essential nutrients.
A high-protein, fiber-rich soybean snack that can be enjoyed steamed or roasted.
A crunchy, protein-packed option that can be seasoned to your liking.
Pair this protein-rich chickpea dip with raw vegetables for a filling snack.
Nut and seed butters:
Almond, peanut, or sunflower seed butter can be paired with fruit or vegetable slices for a tasty, protein-dense snack.
Mix cooked lentils with a light dressing and chopped vegetables for a fiber and protein-rich snack.
Season and enjoy seitan, a wheat protein, in various ways for a high-protein, plant-based option.
Opt for low-sugar, high-protein bars made with plant-based protein sources like soy, pea, or brown rice protein.
Chia seed pudding:
Combine chia seeds with almond or soy milk, and allow the mixture to thicken for a protein-packed, plant-based snack.
Season and enjoy tempeh, a fermented soybean product that’s high in protein and fiber, in a variety of ways.
Nut and seed mix:
Combine a variety of nuts and seeds, such as almonds, pistachios, sunflower seeds, and pumpkin seeds, for a protein- and healthy fat-rich snack.
Pea protein crisps:
Look for crisps or chips made from pea protein, which can provide a crunchy, high-protein alternative to traditional snack foods.
Blend plant-based protein powder with unsweetened almond milk, ice, and a small serving of berries or spinach for a nutrient-rich, high-protein snack.
Roast soy nuts for a crunchy and protein-rich alternative to traditional nuts, and enjoy them on their own or mix them into a trail mix.
Black bean dip:
Blend cooked black beans with spices and seasonings for a protein-packed dip to enjoy with raw vegetables.
Prepare oatmeal with a plant-based protein powder or high-protein milk and top with a small serving of nuts or seeds for added protein.
You can enjoy these high-protein, low-calorie lupini beans as a snack on their own or mix them into salads for added protein and texture.
High-protein snacks are crucial for bariatric patients to support optimal recovery, maintain lean body mass, and ensure long-term weight loss success. By incorporating a variety of protein-rich snacks, including dairy, meat and poultry, and plant-based options, bariatric patients can meet their daily protein requirements, enjoy essential nutrients, and stay satisfied between meals. Prioritizing protein-rich snacks will help bariatric patients maintain their health and achieve their weight loss goals post-surgery.