The 12 Best High-Protein Foods To Eat for Breakfast

High-Protein Foods – Protein has gained significant attention in recent times, and rightfully so. What was once considered crucial solely for individuals aiming to build muscle and bulk up is now recognized as an essential macronutrient for everyone, irrespective of their health goals.

Ensuring an adequate protein intake throughout the day, typically around 0.8 grams per kilogram of body weight for the average sedentary adult, can be kickstarted by consuming high-protein breakfast foods.

Including protein in your breakfast keeps you feeling full until lunchtime but also aids in muscle building and supports healthy physical recovery after a morning workout.

Surprisingly, consuming more protein during breakfast offers additional benefits, such as increased satiety that reduces the likelihood of indulging in unnecessary snacking, subsequently assisting with weight loss efforts.

For instance, a study on young women discovered that those with a high-protein breakfast were less prone to late-evening snacking.

Similarly, research involving overweight or obese young individuals revealed that incorporating extra protein into their first meal prevented body fat accumulation.

Now, let’s delve into the top high-protein breakfast foods that have received approval from dietitians. Keep reading to discover the best options to kickstart your day with a protein-packed breakfast.

Chia seeds

Regarding morning meals, incorporating chia seeds can be a fantastic choice. Whether added to yogurt, smoothies, overnight oats, or sprinkled on top of a bowl of cereal, chia seeds offer a range of benefits. Mary Sabat MS, RDN, LD, highlights that chia seeds are an excellent protein, fiber, and omega-3 fatty acids source.

Notably, a study published in Nutrition Research and Practice revealed that individuals who included chia seeds in their morning yogurt experienced greater fullness, resulting in reduced calorie intake throughout the day.

Tofu

Tofu is not just for plant-based eaters. Even meat enthusiasts can enjoy the benefits of this versatile protein source.

Sabat suggests using tofu in various breakfast recipes, such as scrambling it as an egg substitute or incorporating it into a breakfast stir-fry or tofu breakfast burrito.

Aside from its high protein content, tofu is a valuable source of calcium—a nutrient essential for muscle, bone, and nerve health.

Steak

While steak may not be the first food that comes to mind for breakfast, exploring options like steak and eggs or incorporating leftover steak into a delicious breakfast burrito can Introduce you to a world of delicious protein-packed breakfast meals!

Mary Sabat suggests cooking a lean cut of steak, such as sirloin or flank steak, and slicing it into thin strips. Combine these strips with scrambled eggs and wrap the mixture in a whole wheat tortilla with vegetables like bell peppers and onions for a satisfying and protein-packed breakfast burrito.

It’s important to note that while steak is rich in flavor and protein, it’s also crucial to consider total fat and saturated fat levels. A serving of steak typically contains around 4 grams of saturated fat.

The American Heart Association advises limiting daily saturated fat intake to about 13 grams for the average person. If you are monitoring your saturated fat consumption, it may be wise to reconsider having steak regularly.

Protein pancakes

While pancakes are often seen as a delightful morning indulgence, traditional pancakes typically contain refined carbohydrates and high sugar levels. It can lead to blood sugar spikes and leave you unsatisfied and hungry.

To address this, Mary Sabat suggests trying protein pancakes as an alternative. You can make them from scratch using protein powder, cottage cheese, Greek yogurt, whole-grain flour, and your preferred sweetener.

By doing so, you can create protein-rich pancakes that are both nutritious and delicious.

If you prefer a convenient option, quality store-bought high-protein pancake mixes are available. Simple Mills offers a fantastic solution with their Protein Almond Flour Pancakes.

These ready-to-use mixes provide a convenient and time-saving option when you’re short on time but still want to enjoy a stack of protein-packed pancakes.

Turkey bacon

If you’re in the mood for a savory side to accompany your scrambled eggs at breakfast, consider adding a few slices of turkey bacon to your plate. Turkey bacon offers a satisfying and high-protein option to start your day.

Cured turkey bacon typically provides around 6 grams of protein per serving. While some brands of uncured turkey bacon may offer slightly less protein, they are still considered high-protein products.

Unlike the cured variety, uncured turkey bacon has not been preserved with nitrates or nitrites, chemicals associated with cancer.

For instance, an Applegate Uncured Turkey Bacon slice delivers approximately 5 grams of protein to your breakfast plate.

Eggs

Eggs are popular for high-protein breakfast options, frequently found in breakfast burritos and morning omelets. They offer affordability, versatility in cooking methods, and a delightful savory flavor that complements a wide range of ingredients.

Notably, each small egg contains approximately 6 grams of protein, meaning that you can easily obtain 12 grams of protein by scrambling or poaching just two eggs. Eggs are considered a “complete” protein as they provide all the essential amino acids the body requires from food.

Concerned about the cholesterol content in eggs? Research on eggs’ impact on heart health is constantly evolving. If you have high cholesterol, it is advisable to consult your doctor to determine the frequency of egg consumption that suits your specific needs.

To boost the nutritional profile of your meal, pair eggs with high-fiber and nutrient-rich foods like leafy greens, whole wheat toast or fresh fruit for maximum benefit.

Cottage cheese

While all dairy products contain protein, the protein content can vary among cheeses.
Cottage cheese stands out as a protein powerhouse due to its high ratio of casein to whey, two distinct types of animal proteins.

Some brands of cottage cheese provide around 10 grams of protein per serving. However, for an even higher protein option, consider Organic Valley’s low-fat variety, which offers an impressive 15 grams of protein and just 100 calories per half cup.

At breakfast, incorporating cottage cheese into your meal requires minimal effort. You can spread cottage cheese on a bagel or toast and sprinkle some bagel seasoning for added flavor.

Another quick and nutritious option is to mix cottage cheese with your favorite berries, creating a delicious and protein-rich meal that is also high in fiber.

Greek yogurt

Greek yogurt is renowned for its protein content, making it a top choice in the dairy category. For instance, Fage’s 2% Plain Greek Yogurt, available in a 5-ounce container, offers a substantial 15 grams of protein.

Like cottage cheese, Greek yogurt’s high protein levels are attributed to its elevated casein content compared to regular yogurt.

Contrary to concerns about dairy fat, research indicates that milk proteins, including those found in Greek yogurt, may support weight loss efforts and enhance overall metabolic health due to their satiating properties.

If you’re seeking inspiration to incorporate Greek yogurt into your breakfast routine, consider freezing it with a drizzle of maple syrup and some dried fruit to create a delicious and nutritious “bark.”

Alternatively, you can add Greek yogurt to your overnight oats to boost protein and creaminess. Greek yogurt’s versatility and protein-rich nature make it a valuable addition to your morning meal.

Smoked salmon

Opting for salmon in your meals is a smart choice, as this fatty fish is packed with brain-boosting omega-3s, immune-supporting vitamin D, and a generous amount of protein.

However, it’s understandable that you may not be inclined to pan-sear a salmon filet for breakfast on a busy weekday morning. Instead, consider incorporating smoked salmon into your morning meal.

With nearly 16 grams of protein in a 3-ounce serving, smoked salmon offers a convenient and protein-rich option. You can easily top bagels with pre-cooked slices of smoked salmon, mix them into an egg scramble for a flavorful twist, or use it to create a unique breakfast sandwich that stands out from the usual fast-food options.

You can enjoy its nutritional benefits without extensive cooking or preparation by choosing smoked salmon for breakfast.

Oats

While protein is often associated with animal products, it’s worth noting that certain grains also provide notable amounts of this essential nutrient. Oatmeal, for instance, can be regarded as a high-protein breakfast option.

Steel-cut oats offer the highest protein content, with approximately 6 grams per quarter-cup, among the different oat varieties.

Beyond their inherent protein content, oats can be a canvas for additional protein from delicious mix-ins. Enhance the protein profile of your oatmeal by incorporating nuts such as almonds or walnuts, swirling in some Greek yogurt, or even adding a scoop of protein powder.

These additions contribute to the overall protein content and introduce enticing flavors and textures to your breakfast.

Nut butter

The options for incorporating nut butter into your breakfast are truly endless. Beyond the classic pairing of peanut butter on toast, you can also add a spoonful of nut butter to elevate the protein content of oatmeal, smoothies, muffins, or snack balls.

Two tablespoons of either peanut butter or almond butter provide approximately 7 grams of protein.

An intriguing study published in the British Journal of Nutrition revealed that consuming peanut butter at breakfast positively affected blood sugar control and appetite throughout the day, particularly in women with obesity.

When selecting your preferred nut butter, you must check the labels to ensure you’re not consuming excessive amounts of added sugar and fat. High-quality peanut butter typically contains just two simple ingredients: peanuts and salt.

You can enjoy its natural protein content by choosing nut butter with minimal additives while avoiding unnecessary extras.

Quinoa

Have you ever considered adding quinoa to your breakfast? Please don’t make assumptions until you give it a go! Don’t pass up this opportunity without giving it some consideration first!

This versatile grain can be a wonderful addition to your morning meal, offering a variety of nutritional benefits.

With 8 grams of protein per cup, quinoa is a protein powerhouse. It is also rich in fiber, folate, copper, iron, and zinc. Moreover, its mild and nutty flavor adds a delightful touch to kickstart your day.

If you have leftover quinoa from a previous meal, don’t let it go to waste. Save it for breakfast and use it as a topping for a yogurt parfait or incorporate it into an omelet for added texture and protein.

Another option is to prepare a quick and delicious quinoa porridge from scratch. Simply cook the grains on the stovetop with milk and cinnamon until they reach a creamy consistency similar to oatmeal. This homemade quinoa porridge is a satisfying and nutritious way to begin your day.

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