With 86% of UK adults admitting to eating snacks at home, it is no surprise that we have started to look for ways to get more ‘benefits’ out of each bite.1
The world of protein snacks has grown significantly over recent years, with health-conscious individuals looking for convenient and nutritious options to fuel their active lifestyles.
High protein snacks can provide essential amino acids that aid in muscle recovery, and support overall well-being.2
While traditional protein snacks like bars and shakes continue to be popular choices, new and exciting options have emerged, such as protein crisps. These crispy snacks offer a satisfying crunch while packing a substantial amount of protein per serving.
Stay with us and we’ll give you the full lowdown on protein crisps. What to look out for, what to buy and why you should be buying them.
Protein crisps are essentially what it says on the tin – tasty crispy snacks packed full of protein!
It is estimated that here in the UK, we collectively consume roughly 6 billion packets of crisps a year! It’s safe to say we are a crisp-loving nation.3
While ‘normal' crisps may be enjoyed as an occasional indulgence or treat, they offer very little in terms of nutritional value.
Typically made from potatoes or corn and often fried in oil, ‘normal’ crisps generally have a high-fat and calorie content. As they are usually low in protein and higher in carbohydrates, you may still find yourself feeling peckish after finishing a pack.
That said, while popped or baked crisps are generally lower in fat, you should still look at the nutritional composition and stick to the recommended portion sizes.4
After all, snacks are still to be used as treats rather than relied upon as part of your healthy diet.
The most important thing when choosing your protein crisps is to understand their nutritional content.
Fortunately, these days the hard work is done for you with labelling that appears on packets, which not only lists the ingredients but also offers valuable information on other important factors like salt and sugar content.
Take the time to check the label and make an informed decision on whether the snack aligns with your dietary needs and goals.
While protein crisps do tend to be slightly ‘healthier’ than their fried potato counterparts, it’s still worth looking out for a couple of pitfalls that could see you slip up – so if you’re trying to watch those calories, look out for the following four things:
Check the label and ingredient list for artificial additives, preservatives, or excessive amounts of sugar. Choose crisps with a simpler ingredient list, focusing on natural and whole ingredients.
Check the protein source used in the crisps. Opting for crisps made from quality protein will help maximize the benefits of the snack, such as muscle support.
Pay attention to the fat and carbohydrate content. Aim for crisps that are lower in unhealthy fats and carbohydrates, especially if you're watching your overall calorie intake or following a specific diet plan. The NHS recommends no more than 20g of saturated fat per day.5
Many of us love a sweet & savoury hit from our snacks, but too much sugar can lead to various health issues such as weight gain, diabetes, and increased risk of heart disease. The NHS recommends that adults consume no more than 30g of ‘free sugars’ per day.6
By choosing low-salt protein crisps, you can minimize your sodium intake while still enjoying the protein-rich benefits. The NHS recommends no more than 6g per day.7
Additionally, excessive salt can mask the natural flavours of the crisps, so opting for lower-salt options allows you to fully appreciate the taste of the snack.
Protein crisps come in many forms.
They can be made from vegetables or lentils, but here are some of our favourites (and some you might not have heard of):
Sprouted sorghum is an excellent choice for making protein crisps due to its impressive nutritional profile.8 It is rich in protein, fibre, vitamins, and minerals.
Moreover, sprouting enhances its digestibility and nutrient absorption, making it a wholesome and nutrient-dense ingredient for protein crisps.9
Lentils are a great plant-based protein source.10 Incredibly versatile, lentils add both nutritional value and delicious flavour to crisps.
Chickpeas provide a satisfying crunch and a delicious flavour, making them a great base ingredient for protein crisps.
In addition to their high protein and fibre content, chickpeas also offer a range of essential nutrients, including iron, folate, and magnesium.11
Packed with protein, fibre, and healthy fats, including omega-3 fatty acids, flax is a wonderful ingredient for protein crisps.
Flaxseed also offers antioxidant properties and contributes to heart health, making it a beneficial addition to protein crisps.12