As I said in my previous post, I think the emphasis on protein is overblown, given that most Americans consume double the Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA) for protein, but that is not often the case for women over 45. So I do believe it's important to get the right amount of healthy protein foods, especially as women age and for women over 45 who want to lose weight. To help you start your day with a healthy protein source, here are my Top 5 Best Breakfast Protein Foods for women.
Greek Yogurt: A ½-cup serving has 12 grams of protein, along with 125mg of calcium to help women maintain healthy bones. I recommend buying plain Greek yogurt because so much sugar is added to the flavored varieties . If it’s to tart for you, add your own sweetener (stevia, sugar, fruit, honey or low-sugar jam), which allows you to decide how much sugar to add, rather than the manufacturer add much more than is really needed.
Eggs: Considered a complete protein, eggs have all the amino acids (building blocks of protein) that our body needs. One large egg provides 6 grams of protein and although they’re high in cholesterol, they have great nutritional value, so including them as one of your breakfast options is a healthy choice.
Tofu: A 1/2-cup serving contains 10 grams of protein. If tofu in the morning doesn’t appeal to you, 1 cup of soy milk (7 grams protein) or 1 cup of cow’s milk (10 grams of protein) makes a great substitute. Note that rice milk and almond milk are significantly lower in protein, so they aren't equivalent in nutritional value.
Cottage Cheese: A 1/2-cup serving contains 13 grams of protein, along with 100mg of calcium, so just like Greek yogurt, it’s a great breakfast choice for women. Combined with fruit or tomatoes, this makes a satisfying breakfast that will keep you full throughout the morning.
Nuts: 1 ounce, or about ¼ cup, of nuts has 6-7 grams of protein, and 2 Tablespoons of peanut butter or almond butter has 7 grams of protein. Be sure to choose nut butters without added sugar and preservatives to maximize the nutrition you get without the extra stuff your body doesn't need. Adding nuts to oatmeal, quinoa or yogurt boosts the overall protein content, adds a great crunch and is filling so you won't be hankering for a snack two hours before lunchtime .
Keep in mind that it’s also important to get a good, quality carbohydrate at breakfast along with protein. Your body needs the right combination to allow protein to be used for maintaining muscle as women age, while carbohydrate gives women the energy we're often lacking.
The bottom line: Don’t skip the carbs, but instead get a tasty combination of carbs and protein at this “must-have” meal in the morning.
I’d love to hear about your favorite breakfast combinations and recipes that provide protein and fill you up. Email me: Jill@jillwestrd.com.