In case you missed the memo, September is Better Breakfast Month. I'm a big breakfast person. Just ask my family and friends—I'm constantly trying to convert the non–breakfast eaters into morning feeders.
A 2007 study published in the Journal of Obesity found that pre-obese or obese women who consumed a high protein (30% of total food intake from protein) weight-loss diet were more satisfied compared to women who ate less protein (18% of total food intake from protein).
I know that when I start the day with an egg-and-cheese sandwich, I'm full for far longer than when I have fruit and cereal. I took a look at some of the new to-go offerings for breakfast to see what might fit with a higher protein breakfast. Here's what I found:
Known more for its high-fat doughnuts than for being a purveyor of healthy breakfast options, Dunkin has stepped up its efforts recently, introducing the new DDSmart menu. The Egg White Turkey Sausage Flatbread Sandwich is just as satisfying as the regular egg-and-cheese sandwiches but has a much better nutrition profile. One sandwich has 280 calories, 6 grams of fat (2.5 saturated), 3 grams of fiber, and a hearty 19 grams of protein. The only drawback is the 820 mg of sodium it comes with (more than 30% of your daily allotment). Their Veggie Flatbread Sandwich clocks in with only 11 grams of protein, but the sodium is also less—680 mg.
The coffee giant has recently been working feverishly to come up with healthier breakfast options, including new baked goods and customizable oatmeal. In the high-pro category, the Protein Plate With Peanut Butter definitely lives up to its name. It includes cheddar cheese, apples, grapes, a hard-boiled cage-free egg, a whole wheat bagel and peanut butter. And surprisingly, it only racks up 330 calories. You get 16 grams of protein, 5 grams of fiber, and the sodium isn't bad at 540 mg. You'll want to be aware that this plate also gets nets you 16 grams of fat, 4.5 of which are saturated. But if this helps you fill up in the morning, that means you'll be much less likely to run to the vending machine for an 11 a.m. sugar rush.
No doubt we'll be seeing more breakfast options like this soon from other companies. And if you're a do-it-yourselfer, hard-boil a bunch of eggs on the weekend so that you have one for each day of the week. Or try Greek yogurt: It's triple strained, so three times more milk goes into it versus regular yogurt, which means that it has about three times the protein. Sprinkle on some nuts and you'll get an extra hit of protein.
And for all of you who still say you hate breakfast: Just give it a try. Do it for Mom. Your hips will thank you.
By Frances Largeman-Roth