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  • Shannon Crocker MSc RD

Protein: Do You Get Enough at Breakfast?

Cottage cheese bliss bowl with egg, avocado and strawberries.

I've teamed up with Egg Farmers of Ontario (one of my clients) to share some egg protein love on TV and radio this week. While it is a paid partnership, eggs are a nutrient-rich, whole food that have always been part of my healthy eating pattern.

Do you get enough PROTEIN at breakfast? The latest Canadian Community Health Survey found that we are meeting our protein needs for basic functions, but there’s room to improve. About 17% of our calories are coming from protein -- which is on the lower end of the daily recommendation of 10-35% of calories.

Emerging evidence from top protein researchers shows that we need higher protein intakes for optimal health — especially for older adults and for those of us preparing to be our best as we age. (Ahem, all my 50-year old friends, listen up!). Higher protein intakes at meals (along with exercise) are linked with maintaining lean muscle mass as you age.

Protein also helps you to stay satisfied for longer, so you might eat fewer calories later in the day, helping you to manage a healthy weight.

It works out to about 20-30 grams of protein at each meal. Most of us get more than enough at dinner, but breakfast is another story.

So how do you get 20-30 grams of protein at breakfast?

Plan to include a couple of different high protein foods, both animal and plant-based proteins such as eggs, cottage cheese, Greek yogurt, cheese, milk, green peas, black beans, tofu, peanut butter, and nuts or seeds.

Take a look at this picture of my cottage cheese bliss bowl:

One egg has 6 grams

1/2 cup of cottage cheese has 15 grams

My latte (about 1 cup of milk) has 8grams

Plus a little bit from the berries and avocado (1-2grams) Bam! 30 grams!

So, if you're a tea and toast lover, add some peanut butter, make that a tea latte and consider adding another protein source, like an egg, some Greek yogurt or a few nuts.

Vibrantly Yours,



Fallaize, R.; Wilson, L.; et al. Variation in the effects of three different breakfast meals on subjective satiety and subsequent intake of energy at lunch and evening meal. Eur J. Nutr 52(4):1353–9, 2013.

Ratliff, J.; Leite, J.O.; et al. Consuming eggs for breakfast influences plasma glucose and ghrelin, while reducing energy intake during the next 24 hours in adult men. Nutr Res 30(2):96–103, 2010.

Symons, T.B.; Sheffield-Moore, M.; et al. A moderate serving of high-quality protein maximally stimulates skeletal muscle protein synthesis in young and elderly subjects. J Am Diet Assoc 109(9):1582–6, 2009.

Leidy, H.J.; Bossingham, M.J.; et al. Increased dietary protein consumed at breakfast leads to an initial and sustained feeling of fullness during energy restriction compared to other meal times. Br J Nutr 101(6):798–203, 2009.

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