Most Americans get 10 to 15 grams of protein at breakfast, but 30 grams may be the magic number to keep your appetite in check throughout the day and prevent weight gain. New research presented at the Obesity Society’s annual meeting found that women who ate a protein-packed breakfast (30 grams from eggs and sausage) felt more satisfied and ate about 100 calories less at lunch compared to those who ate a low-protein pancake breakfast. A high-protein morning meal also quelled evening snacking (by about 135 calories) in a small study of teenagers.
“Protein is key for satiety because it activates the body’s signals that curb appetite, reduce food cravings and prevent overeating,” says Heather Leidy, Ph.D., lead author and assistant professor in the Department of Nutrition and Exercise Physiology at the University of Missouri. Her research shows protein does double duty on appetite control by helping reduce ghrelin, a hunger hormone, and stimulating the gut hormone peptide YY, which helps you feel full.
Try one of these healthy breakfast recipes, packed with 30 grams of protein, for a healthy start to your day.
High-Protein Breakfast Tacos
Whisk 2 eggs and 2 egg whites. Coat a medium nonstick skillet with cooking spray; cook the eggs over medium heat, stirring, until almost set, 4 minutes. Fold in 2 Tbsp. shredded Cheddar cheese and 1/2 cup canned black beans, rinsed. Serve on 2 warm corn tortillas, with 4 tsp. salsa.
Nut & Berry Parfait
Layer 1 cup nonfat plain Greek yogurt, 1/2 cup fresh or frozen berries and 1/4 cup sliced almonds in a bowl. Drizzle 2 tsp. honey on top.
Whisk 2 eggs and 2 egg whites. Heat 1 tsp. olive oil in a medium nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add 1/2 cup chopped broccoli and 1 minced shallot; cook, stirring often, until tender, 5 minutes. Pour in the eggs, top with 1/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese, cover; cook until set, 3 to 4 minutes. Serve with sprouted-grain toast.