If breakfast is the most important meal of the day, experts say you are better off making it a healthy one.
Registered dietitian Nicole Osinga based in Courtice, Ont., says often, most people start their day with high-carb and low protein choices for breakfast, and this can include everything from cereal to toast to waffles.
“I would say 70 per cent of the people I see don’t get enough protein for breakfast,” she tells Global News. “Packing in the protein at the beginning of the day helps regulate our hunger hormones throughout the day so we don’t feel like binging on food once we get home.”
She says there’s a limit on how much protein our bodies can use at one time, which is why it’s important to eat small amounts of protein throughout the day.
“This takes advantage of protein’s ability to promote muscle growth and repair.”
Health Canada notes, like carbohydrates and fat, protein is also a source of energy (or calories). Sources of protein include everything from dairy products (cheese, milk, yogurt), eggs, seafood, legumes, meat (beef, lamb, pork), poultry and nuts and seeds.
Canadians should aim for 0.8 grams of protein per kilogram of their body weight if they are 19 and over.
Osinga says for breakfast, in particular, there is such a thing as too much protein in the morning.
“Although I barely ever see people getting too much protein at breakfast, protein utilization does have an upper limit, so for most people, I wouldn’t advise having more than 40 grams for a meal.”
And for any non-meat eaters wondering about plant-based protein sources, Osinga recommends legumes, tofu, tempeh, nuts, seeds, and Greek yogurt or eggs for vegetarians.
Below, Osinga shares six easy recipes on how to up your protein game every morning. Not only are these recipes healthy, but they provide a variety of choices throughout the week.
These burritos have 15 grams of protein per serving, and are made with black beans, goat cheese, eggs and sweet potatoes.
If you want a plant-based protein, try this tofu scramble made with 13 grams of protein per serving. This 15-minute recipe includes sliced red pepper, sourdough bread, cherry tomatoes and turmeric.
Raspberry overnight oats
These overnight oats have 16 grams of protein per serving, Osinga says, and can be designed to your particular taste buds. This recipe includes chia seeds, frozen raspberries, rolled oats and Greek yogurt.
Green protein pancakes
Skip your regular pancakes and go for something made with protein. This dish has about 16 grams of protein per serving. Each recipe is made with quick-cook oats, eggs and baby spinach.
A protein-filled smoothie is ideal for people on the go. This recipe includes 20 grams of protein, and is made with lactose-free milk, chia seeds and two kiwis.
Hemp protein muffins
Baking a large batch of these protein-filled muffins over the weekend can fill up your breakfast slots for a whole week. Each muffin (which has eight grams of protein per muffin), is made with over-ripe bananas, hemp seed protein powder and blueberries.