Protein- Are You Getting Enough at Breakfast?

Breakfast is a common meal in which many individuals lack sufficient protein intake.

Think about it. Typical breakfast examples include:

a) 1 or 2 pieces of bread + hint of nut butter or butter + a piece of fruit

b) 1/2 c- 1 c cooked oatmeal with a piece of fruit

c) 1 egg (scrambled/poached/hardboiled) + a bagel with cream cheese

d) 1- 1.5 c of cereal + enough milk or milk alternative to cover the cereal

e) Yogurt with some berries and maybe some nuts/seeds


How much protein is in each breakfast example?

a) One slice of bread typically has 6 grams of protein; however, do you absorb all of this protein? No! You only absorb ~3 grams of protein from one slice of bread. 2 Tbsp of peanut butter contains ~ 7 grams of protein; however, you only absorb 3 grams.

Reality: 6 grams of protein absorbed

b) In every one cup cooked oatmeal, it will offer you 5 grams of protein.

Reality: 2.5 grams of protein is absorbed

c) 1 large egg will give you 6 grams of protein.

Guess what? You absorb all 6 grams of protein. 🙂

d) In every cup of milk, there is 8 grams of protein.

You get to absorb all 8 grams of protein as dairy products provide a higher quality protein compared to other sources. Make sure to drink every last bit of the milk when eating cereal.

e) What kind of yogurt are you eating?

Regular yogurt contains 8 grams of protein in a 3/4 c serving.

Greek yogurt contains 18 grams of protein for every 3/4 c serving.

SKYR yogurt contains 21 grams of protein in a 3/4 c serving.


As mentioned above, dairy products provide a higher quality protein compared to other sources; therefore, all amounts of protein are absorbed by the human body.

How much protein is recommended to be had at each meal? 

Answer: At each meal, 20 grams of protein is suggested.

Food For Thought: How can you increase your protein intake at breakfast now knowing that the protein bioavailability is not equal between all protein sources?

Potential Suggestions:

  1. Would you like to add some lentils into your oatmeal to make your meal where you can get all your amino acids?
  2. Would you consider mixing yogurt into your oatmeal to increase protein intake?
  3. Would you consider a Greek yogurt parfait for breakfast?
  4. Could you change up your toast combination where you can try:
    1.  Add some pumpkin seeds on top of your peanut butter to increase fibre and protein content.
    2. Have you considered using ricotta cheese as a spread? Add some blueberries and some sunflower seeds on top for added flavour and protein.
    3. Have you considered using goat cheese as a spread? Add some strawberries & edamame for added flavour & protein.

breakfast toast

5. Would you consider having 2 eggs at breakfast each day?

                       What change do you plan on making?

**Please Note: By adding more protein content to your breakfast, you may find that your carbohydrate intake will decrease.

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