Benefits of a High-Protein Breakfast

Diets with low carbs and fats may come and go, but protein never goes out of style! Why you may ask? Well, while our bodies can store excess carbs and fats, they’re unable to store proteins. So, we have to eat it daily for our bodies to survive and thrive, and adding it into your first meal of the day - breakfast - is a great place to start!


Ahh, breakfast! Starting your day with a healthy and hearty breakfast is like waking up to chirping birds, or feeling accomplished after making your bed. It starts your morning off right, making you feel satisfied, energized, and strong for the day ahead! 

Protein is an essential nutrient for our body - we must fuel it with protein for the normal functioning of all of the cells in our body, or else they won’t work… and we won’t work! As any good body-builder will tell you, protein helps to build and maintain muscle mass. But it’s also very important for metabolism, hormone development, body temperature regulation, structure, and so much more!  

Protein is also a macronutrient, which simply means that our body needs it in large doses. For a healthy adult, the current recommendation for protein is 0.8g per kg of bodyweight, which calculates to about 55g of protein a day for a 150lb person. While many may be reaching these goals, if you suspect that you may not be getting enough protein daily, then you should consider adding more. 

Typical North American breakfasts have the lowest protein content of all other meals, so if you’re looking to beef up your protein intake, breakfast is a good place to start - for three main reasons: 

1. Kick-start your day (and digestive system!)

For starters, eating protein at breakfast ensures that you are getting a good dose of protein daily. Many of us are too busy to keep track of how much protein we eat throughout the day. So starting with a meaty portion of protein (pun intended), is a good way to start the day! 

Also, high doses of protein in one sitting can be difficult for your body to digest. So eating smaller, more frequent amounts of protein is easier on your digestive system, and can be a life-saver for those with a sensitive stomach!

2. Maintain a healthy weight & stay satisfied longer

You may have already heard that people who eat breakfast generally can maintain a healthier body weight than those who often skip breakfast. Well, current research shows that a high-protein breakfast reaps even greater benefits in helping you maintain a healthy weight!

Inone study, people were split into two diet groups, where one group was fed a high-protein egg breakfast, and another was fed a high-carbohydrate bagel breakfast. Both breakfasts contained the same number of calories, and no other aspects of the diet were controlled. After 8 weeks, those eating a high-protein breakfast had 65% more weight loss, reduced their waist measurements by 34%, and reported 16% more fat loss than those eating a high-carbohydrate diet. 

The reason for this? Well, researchshows that protein keeps you feeling fuller and satisfied for longer, meaning you’ll consume fewer calories throughout the day. Who knew that a simple change could make such a difference? Try it for yourself, and tell us how it goes!

3. Beef up without the meat with plant-based proteins

Protein? In plants? Heck yes! In North America, we’ve been taught to associate protein with animals, and plants as vegetables and fruits. Makes sense right? Well, actually, get your erasers out, because many plants are also an incredible source of protein! As opposed to many animal sources of protein, which can be high in fats, cholesterol and may also be highly processed, plant-based proteins are a great option for those watching their health. Plant-based proteins are also typically high in fiber, providing an even greater health boost! This combination of high protein and high fiber is a win-win for your body; known to kickstart your metabolism, boost brain health, help with focus and mood, balance blood sugar, and may help you crave less throughout the day. Plants are magical, pass it on! 

Here are some great sources of plant-based protein that you can easily incorporate into your breakfast:

  • Oats are an ingredient that almost everyone has in their pantry. They’re a deceivingly good source of protein, providing 6g in a single half-cup serving.
  • Chia seedsare one of the best sources of plant-based protein, offering 15g of protein in a half-cup serving! Get your chia breakfast on, you won’t regret it!
  • Hemp Seedsare such an amazing source of plant-based protein, coming in at 10g per 30g serving. Bonus - they also provide 3g of plant-based Omega 3 fats per serving, which exceeds the daily recommendation!
  • Quinoa for breakfast? Yep, it’s a thing and super delicious if done right! A ½ cup serving of this super-grain packs 12g of plant-powered protein.
  • Beans are another hearty breakfast option sure to keep you full all morning with 6g of fiber in a half-cup serving - enough to fill your breakfast burrito.

Be sure to try adding some of these plant-based proteins into your breakfast, and feel the difference!

 

References

Lonnie, M., Hooker, E., Brunstrom, J. M., Corfe, B. M., Green, M. A., Watson, A. W., Williams, E. A., Stevenson, E. J., Penson, S., & Johnstone, A. M. (2018). Protein for Life: Review of Optimal Protein Intake, Sustainable Dietary Sources and the Effect on Appetite in Ageing Adults.Nutrients,10(3), 360. https://doi.org/10.3390/nu10030360
Nepocatych, S., Melson, C. E., Madzima, T. A., & Balilionis, G. (2019). Comparison of the effects of a liquid breakfast meal with varying doses of plant-based soy protein on appetite profile, energy metabolism and intake.Appetite,141, 104322.https://doi.org/10.1016/j.appet.2019.104322
United States Department of Agriculture. Food Data Central. Retrieved from:https://fdc.nal.usda.gov
Vander Wal, J. S., Gupta, A., Khosla, P., & Dhurandhar, N. V. (2008). Egg breakfast enhances weight loss.International journal of obesity (2005),32(10), 1545–1551.https://doi.org/10.1038/ijo.2008.130