We’ve already looked at why it’s important to get some protein in every meal - protein helps provide satiety, it helps avoid over eating and it helps our body maintain optimum health. But breakfast is a time when many people struggle to increase their protein intake. So we’ve taken a look at how you can start your day with more protein.
A muesli containing lots of nuts and seeds topped with a little milk and yoghurt is a great source of protein.
In New Zealand, a cereal that claims it’s “high protein” must contain at least 12 per cent protein - all Te Atatu Toasted mueslis meet this claim so are considered high protein cereals, making them an excellent option if you are looking for a high protein breakfast.
What about cereal toppings what are the best options?
Cows’ milk is generally the best source of protein at about 3.3 – 4 per cent. Plant-based milks range from less than 1 per cent protein up to 3 per cent for soy, however, they can be much lower than this depending on how high the water content is. Protein-enriched plant milks tend, on average, to be a percent higher. What is surprising is how low almond milks are in protein, especially when you consider how high almond nuts are in protein. This is due to the fact that almond milk contains such a low percentage of almonds. The other thing to watch out for with plant-based milks is that many of them have added sugar, which is a trap if you are trying to reduce your sugar intake.
Verdict: If you are looking for the best protein milk, cows’ milk is the best option followed by soy milk. If you do choose soy milk, go for one without added sugar.
Plain dairy yoghurts range from around 3.5 to 11 per cent protein, with most of the yoghurts that claim to be higher in protein all over 8 per cent. The yoghurt with the highest amount of protein, coming in at a whopping 11.7 per cent, was Cyclops Thick and Creamy and the Cyclops range of yoghurts are delicious.
The plant-based yoghurts are all much lower in protein, typically registering at 1 to 2 per cent.
Verdict: If you are looking to up your protein, dairy yoghurts are your best option and the best of these is Cyclops Thick and Creamy yoghurt. If your budget can stretch to it, definitely go for this - it is delicious. If not, any of the plain ones will do. Don’t feel you should opt for a yoghurt that claims to be high in protein – it’s probably not worth the extra money. Also, avoid all the flavoured or added fruit yoghurts because of the added sugars.
Fruits are not a good source of protein - they are typically less than 1 per cent, however, fruits have many other benefits as they contain a range of vitamins, minerals and fibres.
Verdict: Choose your favourite fruits not for their protein source but for their other nutritional benefits to make an all-round delicious breakfast.
Use your portion cup at breakfast time and have 1 portion cup of Te Atatu Toasted muesli (your favourite), add ½ a portion cup of lite blue milk, a portion cup of plain yoghurt and top with half a kiwifruit. This combination will give you about 14grams of protein or roughly 1/3 of your daily requirements. The perfect way to start your day.