There seems to be plenty of advice on offer about what makes a satisfying breakfast, but much of it is simplistically focused on protein and misses the importance of the kilojoule content and the amount of fibre. So what does make for a breakfast that will see you through the morning?
Firstly, you need to eat enough at breakfast! A coffee and a slice of toast just won’t get you there.
Most nutrition experts recommend having at least 20% of your daily kilojoules at breakfast. That’s about 1700kJ for many adults, or a bit less if you are a smaller eater, aiming to lose weight or planning a morning snack.
Secondly, choosing a breakfast with both fibre and protein is important because these are the key nutrients that promote satiety and keep hunger at bay.1,2 In fact, increasing fibre intake is well known to reduce kilojoule intake, body fat and body weight.3 We also know that eating higher fibre breakfast cereals is linked with keeping fuller for longer4 and eating less at breakfast and lunch.5
Luckily, breakfast is a great meal for fibre and protein because so many delicious breakfasts deliver just that.
Eating breakfast also helps to stabilise our blood sugar levels, which regulates appetite and energy levels, and means we are less likely to be hungry and overeat during the rest of the day.6,7
Here are some quick and easy breakfast ideas that are all about 1700kJ and give you good levels of fibre and protein.
If you are aiming to lose weight then reduce these portions by about one third. If you are taller or more active increase the portions a little or add in fruit, yoghurt or whole grain toast to match your energy needs.
Remember the kilojoule content needs to suit you or you may find you are still hungry or eating more than you need.
- Slavin J and Green H. Dietary fibre and satiety. Nutrition Bulletin 2007;32(Suppl 1): 32-42.
- Paddon-Jones D et al. Protein, weight management and satiety. Am J Clin Nutr 2008;87(suppl):1558S-1561S.
- Slavin JL. Dietary fibre and body weight. Nutrition 2005;21(3):411-418
- Williams PG. The Benefits of Breakfast Cereal Consumption: A Systematic Review of the Evidence Base. Adv Nutr 2014;5:636S-673S. https://academic.oup.com/advances/article/5/5/636S/4565784
- Hamedani A et al. Reduced energy intake at breakfast is not compensated for at lunch if a high-insoluble-fiber cereal replaces a low-fiber cereal. Am J Clin Nutr 2009; 89:5:1343-1349.
- Deshmukh-Taskar PR, et al. The relationship of breakfast skipping and type of breakfast consumption with nutrient intake and weight status in children and adolescents: The national health and nutrition examination survey 1999-2006. J Am Diet Assoc 2010; 110: 869-878.
- De la Hunty A, Ashwell M. Are people who regularly eat breakfast cereals slimmer than those who don´t? A systematic review of the evidence. Nutrition Bulletin 2007; V32-I2: 118-128.