High Protein Snacks for Vegetarians

A vegetarian diet can provide all the nutrition you need, as long as it is carefully planned. Although many protein sources are animal-based, vegetarians can still meet the Institute of Medicine's recommendation to consume 10 to 35 percent of daily calories from protein. Many high-protein snack options are available, whether you are a vegetarian who still eats eggs and/or dairy, or a vegan who does not eat any animal products whatsoever. Inadequate protein intake can lead to slow or stunted growth, a weak immune system, muscle loss and failure, including heart attack and death, according to Harvard School of Public Health..

Ovo-Lacto Options

Bowl of hard boiled eggs (Image: tycoon751/iStock/Getty Images)

Ovo-lacto vegetarians who consume dairy and eggs have many options for protein-rich snacks. Two hard-boiled eggs with whole wheat crackers provide 12 gram of protein, 8 ounces of nonfat Greek yogurt with berries and 1 tablespoon of almonds provides 20 grams of protein and 1 ounce of low-fat string cheese with a cup of grapes provides 9 grams of protein. An ovo-lacto vegetarian plan may also include whey protein, which offers between 15 and 25 grams of protein per serving, depending on the brand. Mix it into a cup of milk for another 9 grams of protein.

Soy

Soy beans and firm tofu (Image: Karen Sarraga/iStock/Getty Images)

Soy is one of the only complete plant proteins, meaning it provides all the amino acids your body cannot produce on its own. Choose soy yogurt at snack time for 8 grams of protein. Firm tofu provides 20 grams of protein per 1/2-cup serving. Make it into a snack by tossing cubes with soy sauce and garlic and baking until browned and chewy. Create a high-protein smoothie by blending soy protein powder with fresh fruit and soy milk.

Nuts

Sunflower seeds and sunflower (Image: Karen Sarraga/iStock/Getty Images)

Nuts are a source of protein, as well as vitamin E, magnesium and heart-healthy fats. Two tablespoons of peanut or almond butter on a slice of whole grain bread provides 11 grams of protein. A serving of trail mix that includes 1/4 cup sunflower seeds and 1/4 cup of peanuts, along with dried fruit, provides 13 grams of protein.

Beans

Hummus with oil, spices and olives (Image: Fudio/iStock/Getty Images)

Hummus, which combines chickpeas with sesame paste, is a complete protein. Dip fresh vegetables and baked chips into a ½ cup serving for 6 grams of protein. Experiment with making your own hummus and use alternative beans, including white navy or black beans for a change of pace. Make a snack taco with 1/2 cup black beans, a corn tortilla and a tbsp. of salsa for 8.5 grams of protein.

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