Could a high-protein breakfast be the ideal New Year’s Resolution? We think so…
January is typically the time of year when people make more drastic changes to their eating habits. How about aiming to make resolutions attainable? Such as eating a high-protein breakfast?
The Benefits of a High-Protein Breakfast
Studies estimate that 40% of people regularly skip important morning meal! Eating a protein-packed breakfast helps you stay full and stabilize blood sugars, and may help maintain a healthy body weight. A study of teens who ate a protein-packed breakfast (about 35 grams) stabilized their blood sugar and prevented unwanted weight. In addition, they reported reduced feelings of hunger.
Big Breakfast & Body Weight
Studies have shown that those who eat a large breakfast have a smaller BMI than those who eat a small breakfast. Our bodies are more sensitive to insulin in the morning making it ideal to eat larger meals earlier in the day. Studies have also shown that women who ate half their daily calories at breakfast reported feeling less hungry during the day, making it easier to stick to their meal plan. The lower hunger scores were paralleled by lower blood levels of ghrelin, which is a hormone that stimulates hunger.
But “Weight,” High-Protein Breakfast Matter
Eating a high-protein breakfast is equally important. By eating protein in the morning, you ensure that you have a lasting fullness to make it to lunch time. The latest protein research to support optimal muscle mass is to take in 0.25 g/kg of protein per meal. For a 150 lb person, this would be about 17 grams/meal. These protein needs can increase if you are an athlete or experiencing an injury/ sickness.
Studies suggest protein-rich solid foods curb appetite better than protein-rich drinks, so it would be better to opt for eggs or yogurt over a protein shake. High-protein breakfast foods include eggs, eggs whites, cottage cheese, greek yogurt, regular yogurt, low fat milk, turkey breast, smoked salmon and tofu.
Big Breakfast, PCOS & Fertility
While the exact cause of PCOS is unknown, we do know that it is a variety of hormonal imbalances that can lead to missed periods and infertility. A study done in women with PCOS aimed to see whether meal timing would affect their insulin and testosterone levels. After 12 weeks, half of the women who ate a big breakfast were able to ovulate while only ⅕ of the women who ate a big dinner experienced ovulation. What we can extrapolate is eating more earlier in the day could improve the chances of these women conceiving.
Big Breakfast & Heart Health
Research suggests that those who skip breakfast have an 87% higher chance of developing heart disease than those who eat a regular morning meal. Eating breakfast can help prevent a number of heart disease risk factors such as diabetes and obesity. The behavior of skipping breakfast often correlates to other behaviors such as drinking, smoking, lack of exercise, and eating food late at night.
Our High-Protein Breakfast McDaniel Short-Cut
For this week’s McDaniel Short-Cut, we incorporated two short-cut ingredients to make this quick and satisfying breakfast idea: Trader Joe’s new Chili Onion Crunch Oil + Prairie Farms Cottage Cheese Single-Serve Cups. Prairie Farms’s milk and cream used to make their cottage comes fresh from local family-owned dairy farms. It’s flavored with only the finest ingredients and has won several dairy industry best-in-class awards to boot. If the TJ product is too spicy, Prairie Farms also offers a “Zesty” Fiesta flavor of cottage cheese that could make an ideal substitution. One single-serve cup of their cottage cheese contains a whopping 14 grams of protein. Check out the total protein content of this recipe below:
The Trader Joe’s Chili Onion Crunch Oil that we used for this recipe is a new favorite of mine and it can be stirred into all sorts of dips, dressings, and sauces to give them a unique and spicy kick. It can also be used in place of other sauces in dishes such as stir fry, fried rice, and tacos to give them a flavor change.
*Note: The calories in this breakfast are ~250. To make it a BIG breakfast, feel free to load up more of the cottage cheese portion or add a piece of fruit and latte!
Check out another McDaniel Short-Cut Recipe: Fall Farro Salad