A high protein breakfast can satisfy your appetite and help you eat healthier throughout the day. Here’s how to make your favorite morning meals more nutritious and filling.
Your morning meal may not contain enough protein
Eating more protein for breakfast can also help keep you full in the afternoon. Case in point: According to a study published in the Journal of Nutrition, people who ate a high protein breakfast consumed about 100 calories less for lunch than those who ate a calorically identical meal with less protein. It’s possible that protein increases satiety by lowering ghrelin levels and increasing YY peptide, a hormone that causes your brain to realize, “Hey, I’m full.” It can also increase glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP1), also released in response to food. When you don’t get enough protein, your health can suffer, so try to get the Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA) of the nutrient each day. For women over 19, it’s 46 grams (g); for men, it is 56 g. Here are some easy breakfasts to help you reach your goal.
Basic breakfast: milk and cereals
High protein idea: some grains are high in protein while others have very little. Some great options: Kashi GoLean Original, which contains 12g of protein and 13g of disease-fighting fiber per serving; Bear Naked Fit Almond Crisp, which contains 6g of protein and 5g of fiber; and Kellogg’s Special K Protein, which contains 15g of protein and 5g of fiber per serving. For even more of a boost, sprinkle an ounce of dry-roasted sunflower seeds for 5g more protein along with the anti-aging vitamin E.
Basic breakfast: egg and cheese on a roll
High protein idea: Choose a burrito for breakfast with beans, or try this easy recipe for about 25g of protein in your morning meal from eggs and beans: Fill a corn tortilla with two scrambled eggs, 1/4 cup sautéed diced onions, and 1/4 cup black beans. Then garnish with a tablespoon of pico de gallo (or more to taste). Here’s the latest egg nutrition information you might find useful.
Basic breakfast: butter or jelly on toast
High protein idea: Replace the butter with 2 tablespoons of peanut butter or almond butter (or one of those nut alternatives, if you’re allergic), which adds about 7g of protein to your meal. Since processed nut butter can be a sneaky source of sugar and other unhealthy ingredients, look for a very short ingredient list (like nuts and maybe salt).
Basic breakfast: yogurt
High Protein Idea: Swap a 6oz fat-free yogurt for a version of Greek yogurt for about 6g more protein per serving (for a total of 14g). Make your breakfast even healthier by adding berries that are high in fiber to naturally sweeten your meal, and sprinkle with seeds, nuts, or grains that are high in protein and fiber to boost the protein even more.
Basic breakfast: oatmeal prepared with water
High protein idea: Swap the water for skim milk (8g protein per cup) and sprinkle with chopped nuts to help you feel full until lunch. Try this Apple Nut Oatmeal recipe from US News and World Report: Cook 3/4 cup dry oatmeal with 1 1/4 cups skim milk. Add 1 chopped apple and 1/4 cup chopped walnuts. Sprinkle with cinnamon and drizzle with honey. Total: 24 g of protein. Or throw in one of those other healthy oatmeal toppings you might not have tried.
Basic breakfast: homemade muffin
High protein idea: Try baking these high protein oatmeal banana muffins from Men’s Journal, which contain 8g of protein per muffin. (Did we mention that they are also under 100 calories and only have 1g of fat?) It’s a much healthier alternative to baked goods, which can contain 300-500 calories per serving and are generally high in fat, sugar and sodium. To further boost the protein in your homemade products, spread a split muffin with a tablespoon of peanut butter (for an extra 4g of protein) and enjoy it with a cup of fat-free milk (for an extra 8g).
Basic breakfast: banana on the run
High Protein Idea: Nothing beats a banana for on-the-go portability, but if you pair it with a high protein breakfast dairy source, like a cup of cottage cheese, you can add over 20g of protein to your daily meal. morning. Cottage cheese is also a good way to squeeze in calcium and vitamin A.
Basic breakfast: Scrambled eggs
High protein idea: Simplify your morning eggs by swapping out your usual scrambled fare for baked mini egg muffins. Women’s Health recommends mixing whole eggs, egg whites, and sautéed vegetables together before putting them in mini muffin tins. Or put an egg-citing twist on your dish with these ideas. Depending on how many eggs you use, these muffins could pack a serious protein punch.
Basic breakfast: Toasted bagel
High protein idea: Turn your morning bagel into a high protein breakfast by adding some smoked salmon. Trade your bagel for whole wheat bread, and you’ll be fuller even longer thanks to the added fiber. The salmon not only adds about 5 g of protein per ounce, but it also has omega-3 fats that can benefit everything from your brain to your skin, according to the National Institutes of Health.
Basic breakfast: Pancakes
High protein idea: Pancakes might not seem like an opportunity for a high protein breakfast, but a few key ingredient swaps make all the difference. Try making this SELF recipe that combines Greek yogurt (a known muscle-builder, just like these 9 other foods), eggs, whole wheat flour, and blueberries for about 23 g of protein per serving.
Basic breakfast: French toast
High protein idea: Egg whites and peanut butter are the key ingredients in this high protein breakfast recipe from SELF. Fresh raspberries, unsweetened cocoa powder, and vanilla keep the toast sweet without compromising on protein—one serving has about 21 g of protein.
High protein idea: Just like French toast, a few ingredient swaps are the key to making high protein breakfast waffles. This recipe from Damn Delicious only requires eggs, cottage cheese, oats, vanilla, and salt. One serving has about 20 g of protein and only 1 g of sugar.
High protein idea: Chia seeds are one of the best foods to eat in the morning thanks to their high fiber and antioxidant count, according to the American Society for Nutrition. Plus, one serving of chia seeds offers up about 4 g of protein. This recipe from Chocolate Covered Katie only requires three ingredients: milk, chia seeds, and vanilla extract. One serving has just over 5 g of protein. Or try out one of these delicious chia seed pudding recipes you’re bound to love. Not a pudding person? Whip up a yummy chia jam.
High protein idea: Skip the pre-packaged granola bars that are sometimes sneaky sources of sugar and try making these no-bake high protein blueberry bars from Inspired Edibles instead. Oats, almonds, flaxseed, and almond butter are just a few of the ingredients that contribute to the 8 g of protein found in each bar.
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