There’s an old saying, “Eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince and dinner like a pauper.” Emerging research confirms that a hearty breakfast with ample protein may indeed be the most important meal of the day, but many Americans either skip breakfast or eat a hasty breakfast that’s low in protein. Data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey indicate that Americans typically consume 15% of their daily protein at breakfast.
There’s an old saying, “Eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince
and dinner like a pauper.” Emerging research confirms that a hearty
breakfast with ample protein may indeed be the most important meal of
the day, but many Americans either skip breakfast or eat a hasty
breakfast that’s low in protein. Data from the National Health and
Nutrition Examination Survey indicate that Americans typically consume
15% of their daily protein at breakfast. A balanced breakfast should
include high-quality protein in order to start the day off right, fuel
morning exercise and promote satiety. Dairy proteins are ideal
ingredients for a wide variety of breakfast
Eating a healthy breakfast sets the tone for
the day. New research reveals actual physiological differences after
consumption of a protein-rich breakfast versus a carbohydrate-rich one.
A number of studies suggest that consuming protein at breakfast
promotes satiety, lean body mass preservation, weight management and
nitrogen balance. One recent clinical trial by M.M. Mamerow (see
References) compared two diets: one with even protein distribution (30
grams at breakfast, 30 grams at lunch and 30 grams at dinner) versus
one with skewed protein distribution (10 grams, 15 grams, 65 grams).
Initial data indicate that muscle protein synthesis was 25% greater in
participants who consumed protein evenly throughout the day. Indices of
satiety were also greater in the group who consumed protein evenly
across the three meals.
Adequate protein at
breakfast is important for all age groups, but especially seniors who
may be less efficient at protein utilization and require slightly
higher doses of protein at each meal for muscle synthesis, according to
D. Paddon-Jones. More than 90% of seniors age 60 and older eat
breakfast, but this group may have diminished appetites and difficulty
with chewing or swallowing. For some seniors, liquid meal replacements
or yogurt-based smoothies may be helpful to boost protein
Typical breakfast foods,
such as cereal, toast, pastries, waffles, pancakes and juice, are low
in protein. With more than 25% of adults eating breakfast away from
home, opportunities abound for higher-protein convenience foods that
can be eaten on the go. Let’s explore some breakfast options, including
some new products from around the world.
smoothies. Smoothies often combine yogurt and fruit. The addition of
either whey protein or milk protein can boost protein content of
ready-to-drink (RTD) products. Smoothies are available in a variety of
formats, including shelf-stable, refrigerated and frozen. Starbucks now
offers three flavors of Vivanno smoothie, each providing at least 15
grams of protein from milk and whey.
breakfast products. Whey protein is an ideal addition to a variety of
grain-based products, including nutrition bars, oatmeal, waffles,
bagels and pancake mixes. New muesli introductions are prolific on the
international scene in 2011. Dannon recently introduced a yogurt-muesli
combo in Turkey.
Breakfast sandwiches. Cheese is an
ideal component for breakfast sandwiches, which may also contain meat
or dairy protein to achieve 20 or more grams of protein. Carulla, a
Colombian company, features Pandequeso cheese breads for breakfast. The
first three ingredients are cheese, cheese products and whole milk.
Coffee-based beverages. Milk and whey proteins can
be incorporated into coffee-based beverages. Hydrolyzed whey proteins
offer advantages of increased heat stability in coffee-based RTD
beverages, and their slightly bitter notes work well in these flavor
profiles. California-based Bolthouse Farms sells Perfectly Protein
mocha cappuccino with low-fat milk and whey protein isolate.
Yogurt. Whey combines well with yogurt, a popular
breakfast food throughout the world. Greek and other higher-protein
yogurts are gaining in popularity. Germany-based H. & J.
Brüggen introduced muesli with yogurt flakes and red fruit. Yogurt
powder is used as an ingredient.
typically is eaten after an overnight fast, it may be the ideal time to
replenish the body’s amino acid and protein reserves. Sample breakfast
menus, each featuring 20 grams of protein, are available at
www.Wheyforyou.org/Recipe.aspx. The U.S. Dairy Export Council has a
monograph on whey protein and breakfast, available at
www.innovatewithdairy.com, which highlights some of the newer market
and nutrition research on the benefits of breakfast with dairy protein.
Gerdes is a food industry consultant who works with the U.S.
Manufacturing & Ingredient Marketing program at the U.S. Dairy
Export Council to promote the use of dairy ingredients in food and
“What We Eat in
America,” National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey,
Mamerow MM, et. al. “Protein Distribution
Needs for Optimal Meal Response.” The FASEB Journal
Paddon-Jones, D. “Dietary protein
recommendations and the prevention of sarcopenia.” Current Opinion In
Clinical Nutrition and Metabolic Care, 2009
DK. “Dietary Guidelines should reflect new understanding about adult
protein needs.” Nutrition & Metabolism 2009