When it comes down to nutrition macronutrients are considered to be most important. Macronutrients, usually just referred to as macros, consist of carbohydrates, fat, and protein. These three macros often serve as a basis for every diet, regardless of which particular one you might subscribe to.
While there are some strong arguments when it comes to carbs and fats, there is little controversy about the importance of protein. Typically there is little fear over consuming too much protein. In fact, it’s more likely that the average person should be consuming more protein than they currently are. Fitness fanatics and athletes probably have the best grasp on why protein is so important.
Ensuring you are getting enough protein, especially after a workout or strenuous activity, will lead to better fat loss, better muscle gain and maintenance, and a better performing metabolism.
Science also shows that high-protein diets are beneficial for metabolic health as well as specific concerns, such as healthy, sustainable weight loss. People that are just starting on a weight loss or fitness journey must increase their protein intake to compensate.
While drinking protein supplements is certainly a reliable and easy way of meeting your daily protein macro, anyone should agree that getting protein from real food is the best route.
For many people, save for those practicing intermittent fasting, breakfast is still one of the most important meals of the day. Being the first meal of the day it is the perfect opportunity to really pack in the protein, especially if you work out first thing in the morning.
If you want a healthier body you need to throw away the sugary cereals and start eating real food. When it comes to high-protein breakfasts you can’t go wrong with these 8 tasty ideas.
Greek Yogurt Parfaits
Yogurt parfaits are a tasty breakfast idea but aren’t always the most nutritionally sound. Firstly, a shocking amount of sugar can be in a yogurt parfait, between the natural sugar in fruit and the sugar in store-bought sweetened yogurt. A better idea is to swap out your normal yogurt for Greek yogurt.
Approximately one cup of plain, nonfat Greek yogurt has roughly 25 grams of protein. One cup of nonfat, plain regular yogurt only has 14 grams of protein. Start off your parfait with a nonfat (or low fat) unsweetened Greek yogurt and then add some healthier fruits.
Berries are a classic choice and will add sweetness. If the yogurt still isn’t quite sweet enough, consider adding a little honey or Stevia to the yogurt before the fruit. Finish with some chia seeds or granola, depending on what your diet allows.
Frittatas and Quiches
Eggs will always be a breakfast staple, but you don’t have to settle for scrambled every time. Frittatas and quiches are perfect ways of packing a protein-packed breakfast and use up leftover vegetables or meats as well. The only real difference between a frittata and a quiche is how it’s cooked – frittatas are fried in a pan while quiches are baked in a casserole dish.
There are hundreds of recipes for both of these meals, but all will be high in protein thanks to the egg. Just one egg has 6 grams of protein, not to mention all the additional protein of any vegetables or meats. Diced ham is a tasty choice, as well as is chicken, sausage, or even thin-sliced steak.
If you love a stack of pancakes you don’t have to give them up completely. Protein pancakes are simply pancakes that have had protein powder added to the dry mix. You can do this quite easily yourself by adding a scoop to most powders and reducing the wet ingredients very slightly to compensate. You can also find recipes for protein pancakes made from scratch. Want it even easier? Check your local supplement/health store to see if they have pre-made protein pancake mix as they are becoming more popular.
Hemp, Flax & Chia Overnight “Oats”
If you’re on a low-carb or no-grain diet you won’t be able to enjoy the simplicity of overnight oats, but flax and chia seeds are a perfect alternative. These types of recipes use hemp hearts, chia seeds, and flax in place of oats. You may choose to add dairy like Greek yogurt or milk as a liquid, but you may also use coconut milk if you are also avoiding dairy.
One cup of hemp hearts has 4 grams of protein and chia is very similar. Adding Greek yogurt will help bring up the protein levels more as will adding peanut butter or nut butters. You could also mix in a scoop of chocolate protein powder for a high-protein, delicious breakfast.
Old-Fashioned Bacon and Eggs
When it comes to high-protein breakfasts the old-fashioned bacon and eggs idea is still a popular one, particularly amongst high-fat low-carb dieters. The only change is to try and cook the food in a healthier way.
Again, one egg has 6 grams of protein so you’ll likely have between 12g and 18g of protein with just the eggs, depending on your appetite. Bacon will usually be about 2.5 to 3 grams of protein per slice. Classic bacon is pretty high in salt so look for a low sodium choice. Turkey bacon is another choice. You’ll get roughly 6.5 grams of protein with a serving of 4 turkey bacon slices.
Baked Egg Avocado
Like the avocado toast trend but it doesn’t align with your no-carb diet? Whether you have a diet restriction or you simply want to try something new, a great recipe to try for breakfast is a baked egg avocado. Simply preheat your oven to 425F and prepare an avocado by removing the pit and about 2tbl worth of flesh.
Once your avocados have a hole, crack an egg into each half. A handy tip is to try and put just the yolk in first, then fill with egg white. Sprinkle with salt, pepper, and any herbs/spices you’d like, place in a baking dish, and bake for 15 minutes. If after 15 minutes the egg is cooked enough to your liking just add another 5 minutes.
Avocado Toast with Cottage Cheese
Toast is another classic breakfast item but far from a healthy choice when all you have is toast with sugary jelly. Avocado toast might seem like an Instagram trend but it’s actually a great idea for a high-protein breakfast. To make this toast healthier try to use a sprouted bread or some other healthy choice for the base.
Once your bread had been toasted smear on a ⅛ to ¼ cup of cottage cheese, then add your avocado slices and a couple of slices of tomato. You can get really creative with this so don’t be afraid to experiment with toppings. Between the use of sprouted bread, avocado, and cottage cheese you could be upwards of 31 grams of protein for 2 slices.
Peanut Butter, Banana & Chia Bagel
Bagels are a delicious alternative to toast and just like their breaded cousin they can be turned into a high-protein breakfast. A super easy and very tasty idea is to toast a bagel, schmear on peanut butter or nut butter (if you don’t eat peanuts), add sliced banana, and top with chia seeds. You could also top with flax seeds or substitute a different fruit for the banana.
This meal doesn’t really require a recipe but you can use basic nutrition to figure out how much protein you’re getting. A plain bagel has about 9 grams of protein, 2 tablespoons of peanut butter have 8 grams, a tablespoon of chia has about 2g, and a banana has about 1g.
Consuming more protein has numerous health benefits and it doesn’t have to be difficult. Regardless of the kind of person, you are, and whether you like to cook in the morning, you can find high-protein breakfast ideas to help you start the day off right.
Remember that some breakfasts can be made the night before to save time in the morning. Running late and you have zero time to cook? Don’t resort to an unhealthy meal! You can also make a green smoothie with a scoop of protein powder to go.
Health enthusiast, runner, protein nut. Owen likes to write about protein, particularly alternatve supplementation and supplement comparisons.