Protein at breakfast

When most people think of protein, it conjures images of steak, chicken, fish- the usual suspects! And for many people, (though not all!) breakfast doesn’t bring any of these foods to mind.

It’s no wonder then, that while many people enjoy breakfast every day- their breakfasts are often low in protein.

Protein is an important part of a balanced breakfast for many reasons. While our bodies can digest and use carbohydrates very quickly, protein takes longer to break down, and so provides that satisfied, full feeling that we need to be productive at work or school without counting down the hours until lunch time.

The second reason it’s so important, is that our bodies are pretty inefficient at storing protein over long periods. That means you either use what you eat, burn it off, or store it as fat. But by morning time, that chicken breast you ate for dinner is long gone!

So when you need some help to fix a cut, or build antibodies to fight an infection (all the job of mighty protein) your body looks no further than your own muscles! According to the National Institute of Health, adults consuming less than 20 grams of protein per meal can lead to Sarcopenia, the loss of lean muscle.

Consuming adequate protein with each meal can help to prevent sarcopenia in adults , namely 25-30 grams per meal.

Now before you go chomping away on a steak before sunrise, let’s talk about some of the undermentioned protein sources that might be more appropriate for the morning. Dairy products, nuts, seeds and eggs are all good sources of protein. Mix and matching one or two protein rich breakfast items for a balanced meal.

Food Serving size Protein content
Greek yogurt ¾ cup 18-20g
Cottage cheese ½ cup 14 g
Milk 1 cup 8 g
Cheese 50 grams 12-15 grams
Eggs 2 eggs or 1 plus 2 egg whites 12 g
Peanut butter 1 tbsp 4 g
Tofu 3 oz 12g
Wheat germ 1 oz 4 g
Nuts (varied) ¼ cup 7-9 grams
Roasted soy nuts ¼ cup 11 grams
Smoked salmon 60 gram portion 20 grams

Some easy ways to achieve your 25-30 grams protein:

1. Enjoy whole grain cereal with a full cup of milk, 2 tbsp hemp hearts and a piece of fruit

2. peanut butter and banana sandwich on whole grain bread with a cup of milk

3. 3/4 cup greek yogurt with homemade nut granola and raisins.


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