April 24, 2024

4 Easy High-Protein Breakfast Ideas From a Dietitian

  • Protein helps us feel full for longer, as well as build and maintain muscle mass. 
  • A dietitian who follows a high-protein diet shared her four go-to breakfasts with Insider.
  • To increase the protein content of a breakfast, try adding extra egg whites or milk.

A dietitian who follows a high-protein diet shared four breakfasts she makes when she’s running low on time.

Jordan Hill, a registered dietitian and sports dietetics specialist working with Top Nutrition Coaching, a network of dietitians, told Insider that while no one nutrient trumps another, protein is important because it makes us feel full, helps to build or maintain muscle mass, and is a building block for red blood cells and tissues in the body.

Insider previously reported that the amount of protein a person needs per day depends on a number of factors including their weight, or whether they are trying to build muscle, for example. But, the baseline recommended daily intake is around 46 grams for women and 56 g for men, or 0.36 g of protein per pound of body weight.

As well as lean protein, she focuses on complex carbohydrates, healthy fats, and fruits and vegetables. “I really want people to focus on getting fruits and vegetables since that’s where a lot of our micronutrients come from,” she said.

However, Hill doesn’t strive to have a perfect diet because “we don’t live in a perfect world,” she said.

“All foods can fit and it’s just a matter of how we are balancing them and what portion sizes we are eating when we do have them,” Hill said.

Egg scramble with sautéed vegetables

One of Hill’s quick go-to breakfasts is scrambled eggs with some vegetables and added protein.

She likes to use asparagus or bell peppers, and add in either some leftover chicken or a turkey sausage.

Hill typically uses two whole eggs, but for even more protein you can pour in some extra egg whites because that is where the protein is concentrated, she said.

To make it in one pan, start by sautéing your vegetables with some oil. Add in your diced chicken or a protein of your choice to heat it up.

Lastly add the eggs, either with some milk, butter, or oil, and combine them with the contents of the pan.

“I typically eat it with a slice of toast or sometimes I’ll put it in a tortilla, and that’s a nice option because you can hold it while you’re running out the door,” she said.

Oatmeal with cinnamon, nuts, and berries

When she is really in a rush, Hill makes herself a bowl of oatmeal with some toppings for extra nutrients.

She typically uses one-minute oats, puts a serving in a bowl, adds either water or milk, and heats it in the microwave for 30 seconds.

Hill likes to sprinkle some cinnamon on top for the flavor, and because it has anti-inflammatory properties, she said.

“I also will add granola or nuts as a healthy fat source, and then I’ll top it with berries to have that color that I’m looking for,” she said.

Hill said that this dish contains around 15 to 20 grams of protein from the oats, milk, and granola or nuts.

Greek yogurt

“Greek yogurt’s a really great versatile food that is high in protein,” Hill said, and a very quick breakfast.

She puts at least half a cup of Greek yogurt in a bowl, sprinkles on some cinnamon, and adds some berries.

There are so many yogurt options in the store but you should avoid non-Greek yogurts because they tend to be high in added sugar, she said. Insider previously reported on how to read a nutritional label correctly.

High-protein pancakes

Another one of Hill’s quick high-protein breakfasts is pancakes. She uses a higher-protein pancake mix from the brand Kodiak. Most Kodiak pancake mixes contain around 14g of protein, according to its website.

“I’ll make pancakes and I’ll add in milk for additional protein, and then I’ll top it with nut butter, banana, and a bit of maple syrup,” she said.

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