High Protein Breakfast Ideas
Breakfast tends to be the meal where most people lack protein.
Why Do We Need More Protein As We Age
Nutritional needs change as we age and one change is that we require more protein. But why? The muscles attached to your bones is where protein is needed the most. These muscles are the ones that move your body. In lean, young adults, 30% of the bodys protein lives in the muscles. 50% of their total body weight could be muscle .
As you age, muscle mass can decrease. By 75-80 years old, only 25% of one’s body is made of muscle, on average. Most of the muscle you is lose in the legs, which leads to weakness, tremors and feeling tired and achy when walking.
Aging also uses up your reserves. When you are young, you can survive on a diet lower in nutrition. Because you have nutritional reserves. By the age of 65, you may have used up your reserves. A poor diet can cause you to be weak and frail.
Why Eat High Protein
Strong research evidence shows that eating more protein can help you lose weight, reduce your hunger, and keep your muscles strong without slowing your metabolism. 2
Eating high protein at your first meal sets you up to experience less hunger for the rest of the day. Studies of 116 diets in humans show that people on average may eat almost three times more calories on a low-protein diet than on a very high-protein diet. 3 Called protein leverage, this means when the body gets enough protein, it naturally reduces its appetite for high-energy food. So by consuming high protein at the start of your day, in most cases, you will naturally consume less energy for the remainder of the day.4
Diets with increased protein can prevent or help treat type 2 diabetes and metabolic syndrome, and possibly even reduce the risk of heart disease. 5Higher protein intake also helps prevent a condition called sarcopenia, which is a loss of muscle mass that can occur as you age. Plus, it can help keep your bones strong, reducing the risk of osteoporosis, which is a loss of bone mass.6
Diet Doctor has lots of information and recipes to help you eat a high-protein diet. Check out our other high-protein guides:
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Replace Cereal With Eggs
Many breakfast foods are low in protein, including toast, bagels, and cereals.
Although oatmeal contains more protein than most cereals, it still only provides about 5 grams in a typical 1-cup serving .
On the other hand, 3 large eggs provide 19 grams of high quality protein, along with important nutrients like selenium and choline .
Whats more, several studies have shown that eating eggs for breakfast reduces appetite and keeps you full for several hours, so you end up eating fewer calories later in the day .
According to one older study, eating whole eggs can also modify the size and shape of your LDL cholesterol particles in a way that may even decrease your heart disease risk .
Replacing cereal with eggs boosts protein consumption, makes you feel more full, and helps you eat fewer calories.
Simple Ways To Get Protein In At Breakfast If You Dont Eat Eggs
Starting your day with adequate protein is a must. For one, the macronutrient keeps us satisfied for a long time, which lowers our risk of getting hangry and overeating later in the day.
Eating enough protein is also important for maintaining lean muscle mass, supporting immune function and balancing our blood sugar levels.
Wondering how to get protein on your breakfast plate apart from eating an omelet every day? Weve got you covered. Read on for 35 high-protein breakfast foods that arent eggs.
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Why Do Seniors Need A High Protein Diet
Protein is one of the foundational nutrients that make up your body. Every cell in your body relies on protein to function including:
Protein is essential for healing, building and repairing cells and body tissue. You need protein to:
- Heal from injuries
- Keep your fluid levels in balance
- Recover from surgery or illness
- Maintain healthy vision
- Balance your hormones and digestive enzymes
Without protein, your body starts to break down muscle mass and bone strength. Research has found that seniors are not able to use protein as easily as younger people, so their bodies may need more protein to meet its needs.
A diet high in protein can protect you from losing muscle, and muscle is important because you require the use of your muscles for everything you do.
Strong bones and muscles allow you to get out of a chair, walk to the store, do yard work, go dancing, or play with your grandchildren. Even simple tasks like pulling on your socks and getting out of the shower are made easier by healthy and strong muscles.
As we age, it is normal to lose muscle mass, but a loss of strength can also cause you to fall. You may also be more susceptible to illness and injury.
The National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey found that seniors were not getting enough protein, with 6% of men over 71 and 4-6% of women over 50 not getting the recommended amounts of protein.
Easy Ways To Add More Protein To Your Breakfast
Almond milk or other nut milks may be lower in calories, but they usually only provide about a gram of protein per cup. Skim milk provides 8 grams of filling protein per cup. Add skim milk to your smoothie or cereal in the morning for more protein. If youre lactose intolerant, you can try lactose-free milk, a2 milk, or soymilk.
Put an egg on it
Egglands Best eggs are a great source of protein and other essential nutrients, and a morning staple for me. Just one Egglands Best egg provides more vitamin D, Vitamin B12, Vitamin E and heart-healthy omega-3s, all with fewer calories and less saturated fat than regular eggs. When Im not making scrambled eggs or a veggie omelet for breakfast, Ill sauté some vegetables and add an over-easy egg. If you dont have time to cook eggs in the morning, boil and peel some ahead of time to top avocado toast or go alongside a piece of fruit and cereal bar.
Sprinkle some seeds
When it comes to building a high-protein breakfast, every bit counts. Just one tablespoon of pumpkin seeds contains 3 grams of protein, and one tablespoon of chia seeds provides 2 grams. Top your favorite breakfast with a generous sprinkle of seeds for an extra protein boost.
One 6-oz container of Greek yogurt can pack up to 18 grams of filling protein. If youre someone who likes a smaller, grab-and-go breakfast, go for a convenient cup of Greek yogurt with berries or blend some Greek yogurt into your morning smoothie.
Stir in some egg whites
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How To Get More Protein In At Breakfast
Traditional breakfast foods usually consist of bagels, pancakes, waffles, home fries, cereal, etc. These savory and comforting foods are perfectly fine to have for breakfast, but adding in a protein source will give you a more complete diet. Adding in protein at breakfast helps keep your blood sugars stable, which helps with mood and hunger.
One serving of protein is equivalent to 7 grams of protein. You want to try and aim for 3-4 servings of protein per meal, which equals about 20-30 grams of protein per meal. If you barely get protein in your diet now, its a good idea to start by adding in just one serving of protein to your breakfast.
Many people have a difficult time adding in protein to breakfast due to their existing eating habits, especially if youre not a fan of eggs.
Here are examples of how to get in one serving of protein at breakfast:
- 2 tbsp. peanut butter
- ½ C beans
- 1 oz. cheese
- 1 oz. uncured, low sodium deli meat
- 1 oz. Canadian bacon
- ¾ C Kashi GO cereal
- Special K Protein Plus cereal
- 1 oz. almonds, cashews, peanuts, walnuts
- ½ C edamame
- 2 tbsps. chia seeds
Overnight Oats With Nuts
No time to simmer oatmeal on the stove? No problem. You can make a no-cook version in seconds. Mix equal parts oatmeal with milk. Pop it in the fridge, and the oats will soften overnight. In the morning, top it with cinnamon or, for extra protein, nuts or ground flaxseed. You can warm it up in the microwave or enjoy it cold.
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Turmeric Quinoa Breakfast Bowls With Peppers And Kale
Quinoa and eggs are the main protein sources here, but onions, peppers, and, of course, turmeric also provide lots of flavor.
If you add 2 eggs to your quinoa bowl, youll get about 26 grams of protein overall.
The Benefits Of Eating A High
What kind of benefits are you looking at when you start your day with a protein-packed meal? For starters, protein is filling. As your body breaks down protein into amino acids, one of these amino acids triggers an increase in levels of the gut hormone peptide YY. This hormone then sends a signal to the brain that you’ve eaten your fill, enhancing satiety as well as promoting weight loss.
That’s not all. Protein also slows down the body’s absorption of carbohydrates, which helps keep blood sugar levels even-keeled. Not only does this reduce hunger, but it also wards off fat storage to help you get toned.
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Have A Protein Shake For Breakfast
Many smoothies contain a lot of fruit, vegetables, or juice, but very little protein.
However, a shake or smoothie can be a great breakfast option, especially if you choose nutritious ingredients.
Whey protein powder has been studied the most and seems to have an edge over the others when it comes to helping you feel full (
Heres a basic whey shake recipe:
Whey Protein Shake
- 8 ounces of unsweetened almond milk
- 1 scoop of whey powder
- 1 cup of fresh berries
- stevia or another healthy sweetener, if desired
- 1/2 cup of crushed ice
Combine all ingredients in a blender and process until smooth.
Having a protein shake for breakfast helps you start the day off right. Whey may be the best type to use.
High Protein Blueberry Kale Smoothie
No breakfast story would be complete without a smoothie and this one brings a lot of nutrition to the table thanks to the kale, blueberries, banana and flax meal. Protein powder takes the feel-full factor up a notch. Just make sure you select a version that doesnt have too much junk in it, and is low in added sugars. For more on picking the best protein powder, read super-smart and talented Cynthia Sassstake.
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Easy Tofu Breakfast Tacos
If you arent into eggs, this simple tofu scramble is a great vegan alternative. A serving of tofu has 9 grams of protein even more than an egg! And if concerns about soys safety are on your mind, rest assured. The American Institute for Cancer Research says up to two servings of soy foods, including tofu, soy milk, and edamame are safe, even for breast cancer survivors.
How Much You Need
A study in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that eating a high-protein breakfast is more satiating than eating high-carb one, which means you’ll stay fuller for longer. This will help curb your mid-morning cravings and make you much more likely to pass up those tempting donuts in the breakroom.
So what’s the magic number? White recommends 15 25 grams of protein for breakfast. To put that into perspective, that’s like starting your morning with about 3 or 4 large eggs, a single scoop of protein powder, or a 5.3-ounce container of Icelandic skyr.
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Greek Yogurt With Fruit
Depending on your brand, Greek yogurt is a fabulous source of protein. 1 cup contains 17-24 grams of protein. You can buy it, but you can also make homemade greek yogurt here!
Quinoa! Tastes like a grain, but its a seed- therefore a good source of protein! This high protein breakfast has 10 grams of protein per serving.
New Research On Protein
A landmark systematic review recently published in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition suggests that consuming protein above current recommended levels helps prevent age-related bone loss, a condition known as osteoporosis. Current protein guidelines focus on preventing muscle loss as we age, but our study suggests we need substantially more to keep our bones strong, says lead author and George Mason University professor Taylor Wallace. The study showed a 16% reduced risk of hip fractures with higher protein intakes .
Thats a large dose of prevention for over 2 million osteoporotic fractures that occur annually in the United States. That is why Wallace recommends forgoing low fat or low carb breakfasts, and rather focusing on eating more protein at breakfast to stay healthy and energized.
Chicken and steak may not be what youre craving at breakfast, but dont count it out. Here are five ways you can up your protein in the morning.
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How To Get Your Child A High Protein Breakfast Every Morning
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A high protein breakfast is critical for kids, especially during the school year. Protein fuels your child for learning and keeps them full longerespecially when paired with fiber: The goal for the first meal of the day is to pair a protein with a high fiber carbohydrate. These two nutrients will aid in balancing blood sugars, which is key to keeping children fueled and attentive during the day, suggests medical experts at Cleveland Clinic.
Yet, kids naturally crave sweets, like fruit or higher-carb foods, because thats what our body is hardwired to want. This makes it harder to make sure they get enough protein. Not to mention, picky eaters may turn away from certain meats and those with dietary restrictions may not be able to indulge in other high-protein foods, like yogurt or nuts and seeds. Pair that with chaotic school mornings and its simply easier to give them what they want and get out the door in time.
The good news is, a little creativity goes a long way. Use the following tips, recipes and ideas to get your student a high protein breakfast every morning.
How Protein At Breakfast Helps You Lose Weight And Belly Fat
High-protein breakfasts can reduce appetite and cravings. They may also help you lose belly fat.
Dietary protein is inversely related to belly fat, meaning the more high-quality protein you eat, the less belly fat you have .
One study of obese, Chinese teens showed that replacing a grain-based breakfast with an egg-based meal led to significantly more weight loss over 3 months.
The higher-protein breakfast group lost 3.9% of their body weight , while the lower-protein group lost only 0.2% .
In another study, people on a weight loss program received either an egg breakfast or a bagel breakfast with the same amount of calories.
After 8 weeks, those eating the egg breakfast had a 61% higher reduction in BMI, 65% more weight loss and a 34% greater reduction in waist measurements .
Eating protein for breakfast can lead to significant weight loss, especially if you have a lot of weight to lose.
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Adding Protein To Your Morning Bowl Is A Smart Choice
If you wake up famished or are prone to afternoon slumps, you may be lacking protein as a fuel source in your morning routine. Starting the day with a balanced breakfast helps us feel energized, satisfied, and in a better mood throughout the morning, says Malina Malkani, RDN, of Rye, New York, creator of Solve Picky Eating.
While most Americans get enough protein overall, per Harvard University, many start the day off with carbohydrate-heavy breakfasts like granola, cereal, and pastries, jamming protein into only lunch and dinner. Thats a mistake, says Karen Ansel, RDN, the Syosset, New Yorkbased author of Healing Superfoods for Anti-Aging. Unlike carbs or fat, the body cant store protein, so we need to consume it at regular intervals throughout the day, says Ansel. By spreading out your protein intake throughout the day rather than consuming it all in one sitting, research in the June 2014 Journal of Nutrition showed youll recover better after exercise, among other benefits.
According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration , the average person should shoot to get 50 grams of protein per day. For someone on the smaller side, Id recommend 15 to 20 g of protein per meal breakfast, lunch, and dinner and 20 to 25 g for someone who is larger, Ansel says. To figure out the best amount of protein for your individual health, consult a registered dietitian nutritionist, because age, gender, and factors like pregnancy can affect how much protein you need.