Are you eating a high protein breakfast?
Have you ever eaten a plain bagel (with nothing on it) and been hungry an hour afterward? Yes? It’s the equivalent of 4-5 pieces of bread (sad, but true) and primarily carbohydrates quickly burned for fuel. But eat half the bagel with a nice slather of peanut butter and it sticks with you longer. Why? It’s a much better combination of nutrients—carbs, protein, and fat.
In my last post I wrote about quick tips for managing weight. One of those was to have protein with each meal—low fat dairy (milk, cottage cheese, Greek yogurt, cheese), egg, chicken, fish, lean red meat, edamame, and soy milk.
7 High Protein Breakfast Ideas
For most people, getting adequate amounts of protein for lunch and dinner are not a problem—breakfast seems to pose the most challenge. In this post I offer a number of high protein breakfast ideas with 25 or more grams of protein.
- 1 cup 1% cottage cheese, ¾ cup pineapple, 12 almonds (about ½ ounce)
- 310 calories, 32g protein, 9g fat (2g sat), 25g carbs, 3g fiber, 920mg sodium
- Breakfast burrito: 1 egg & 2 egg whites scrambled, 3 tablespoons mozzarella cheese, 2 tablespoons salsa, wrapped in whole wheat tortilla, one whole orange
- 430 calories, 25g protein, 12g fat (4.5g sat), 56g carbs, 9g fiber, 990mg sodium
- w/o orange: 360 cal, 25g protein, 38g carbs, 6g fiber
- Basic smoothie: 1 large banana, 1 cup (8oz) nonfat milk or soy, 1 scoop whey protein powder*, ice to desired consistency (add other fruit e.g. berries for variety)
- 310 calories, 36g protein, 1.5g fat (1g fat), 43g carbs, 4g fiber, 270mg sodium
- 1 cup plain nonfat Greek yogurt with 1 cup mixed berries (defrosted frozen work great), 1 hard-boiled egg
- 290 calories, 30g protein, 7g fat (2g sat), 30g carbs, 3g fiber, 150mg sodium
- 1 slice whole wheat toast with 1 tablespoon almond (or peanut) butter, 6 oz nonfat flavored Greek yogurt, mozzarella cheese stick
- 410 calories, 26g protein, 14g fat (3.5g sat), 43g carbs, 5g fiber, 420mg sodium
- 1 cup Kashi Go Lean Crunch and 8 oz nonfat milk (or soy), 2 oz nitrite-free Canadian bacon, small/medium fruit
- 420 calories, 29g protein, 6g fat (1.5g sat), 70g carbs, 12g fiber, 780mg sodium
- w/o fruit: 350 calories, 28g protein, 6g fat (1.5g sat), 50g carbs, 8g fiber, 780mg sodium
- ½ cup dry oats made with 1 cup (8oz) nonfat milk vs water, 2 tablespoons each – walnuts and dried cranberries, 1 hard-boiled egg
- 460 calories, 24g protein, 17g fat (2.5g sat), 55g carbs, 6g fiber, 170mg sodium
Neily’s favorite breakfast protein sources
Here’s a list of my personal favorite sources of protein for breakfast. Note that I love milk. I use more than 8 ounces in the several cups of coffee I drink each morning. It’s the only liquid beverage with calories I consume. Unlike other liquid caloric beverages it actually satisfies the appetite—and it’s very nutrient-rich. I probably sound like a commercial for the dairy council but mind you I have no affiliation with them.
If you don’t do dairy because it’s trendy not to (kinda like it’s trendy to be gluten-free), I’m really sorry—you don’t know what you’re missing. Plus there is some research indicating it may help manage troublesome belly fat—gotta love that.
*Most whey protein powders have at least 15 grams protein per scoop. I especially like unflavored whey protein isolate because it can be added to anything. The particular brand I use is Isopure which has 26g per scoop. That is why the protein is so high in that smoothie.
Jennifer Neily, MS, RDN, LD, FAND
Registered Dietitian Nutritionist | Wellcoach® Certified Health Coach