First Meal of the Day: Healthy Reasons to Pack Plenty of Protein into Breakfast

The importance of eating breakfast is something we’ve had drilled into us for many years. But unfortunately, it is still one of the easiest meals for us to skip, especially when we’re busy getting the kids’ breakfasts and we’re running out of the door to work. Then, by the time we think about getting breakfast, it’s nearly lunchtime, so we wait for that instead.

However, as your body constantly renews itself; replenishes your nails, hair and skin; renews old tissues and regenerates bones, it’s important to remember that it needs nutrients from food to do this. And, after you’ve been asleep all night, breakfast plays a vital role in this because your body will be low on minerals, vitamins, protein and energy. And if that’s not a good enough reason to eat breakfast, here are a few more:

1. Skipping Breakfast is Linked to Being Overweight

Previous studies have indicated that you are more likely to be overweight or obese if you skip breakfast. And one study even found that those who skipped breakfast compared to those who ate breakfast were 4.5 times more likely to be heavier. This research also suggested that obesity was linked to the number of meals that were eaten out instead of at home – so be sure to pack up some lunch or breakfast before you go out the door!

2. It Balances Out Your Protein Intake

Getting enough protein isn’t an issue for most people but the majority of this protein is eaten with an evening meal. To maintain and develop lean muscle, our bodies require protein but if there isn’t enough of this provided throughout the day, the maintenance of these muscles isn’t working at maximum capacity. Then when we finally provide our bodies with protein at night, a lot of it can be wasted as our bodies can only digest so much protein at one time.

That’s why it’s important to make sure protein is included within your breakfast – you can include lean meats, cheese, yogurt, milk and eggs into your breakfast to provide your body with this much-needed protein. Or, why not try the Paleo diet, which focuses on protein-based meals, including breakfasts (PaleoHacks has details)?

Another great reason why you should eat protein for breakfast is because it’s more likely to keep hunger at bay as it leaves you feeling fuller for longer.

3. It Provides You with More Nutrients

OK, so you aren’t going to get many nutrients from fatty breakfasts and pastries but when you eat whole grain toast, eggs, yogurt, fruit, milk and whole grain cereal for breakfast, you’re providing your body with far more nutrients.

4. Your Cholesterol and Blood Sugar Levels Will Benefit

One study found that when a healthy, lean woman skipped breakfast, their cholesterol and fasting blood sugar levels were higher, which increased their risk of chronic diseases like heart disease and diabetes. Researchers also found that not eating breakfast meant these women were also eating more throughout the day compared to when they did have breakfast.

5. It Won’t Save You Calories

Even though eliminating an entire meal from your day may seem like a sure-fire way to lose weight, the exact opposite seems to be the case. As many studies have found, those skipping breakfast tend to eat more throughout the day and are more likely to be heavier. And another study found that skipping breakfast leads to a higher risk of developing chronic diseases like high blood pressure, metabolic syndrome and diabetes. These results could be associated with the additional weight that breakfast-skippers carry or could be due solely to skipping breakfast (further research needs conducting to find out).

So, the next time you think about skipping breakfast, think again! With so many facts and statistics pointing towards the benefits of breakfasts, it does reiterate the fact that breakfast is one of the most important meals of the day. If you can eat a high-protein breakfast, you’ll reduce the urge to snack later on in the day, thus reducing the amount of overeating you may be doing. And it will also improve the quality of your diet too, especially when you implement high-quality, protein-based breakfasts into your diet.

It is recommended to eat approximately 35 grams of protein in your breakfast or if you’re vegetarian, you can supplement these for nuts, quinoa, tofu and beans to provide you with the fuel you need to get through the day.

Leah Warren works as a nutritionist and loves sharing her recipes, healthy eating tips and food ideas around the web. At home she enjoys yoga, hanging out with her nieces and nephews and horse riding.

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