High-Protein Cereal: Why It’s a Good Idea to Start Your Day
Does it feel like no matter how big the serving size, your breakfast just isn't cutting it? Are you constantly feeling ravenous after what seems like mere minutes after your first meal of the day?
Experts say it's a good idea to eat breakfast because it has the potential to aid in weight loss, stop you from snacking during the day, improve your body's ability to burn fat, and reduce your risk of developing type 2 diabetes and heart disease. So how is it that you've barely finished breakfast when you find yourself already thinking about what’s for lunch? Is that what having breakfast is all about?
It's not, and the problem isn’t that you’re having breakfast — it’s what you're having for breakfast. Or more specifically, what you're missing in your breakfast: protein.
The Role of Protein in a Healthy Breakfast
We're guessing that when we said the word "protein,” images of bodybuilders and gym junkies flashed through your mind. While protein is the macronutrient of choice to build (and repair) muscle mass, it also plays a crucial role in helping you feel full — and stay full.
A high-protein breakfast can also encourage you to make better food choices throughout the day and reduce your risk of type 2 diabetes and heart disease.
The recommended amount of protein you should have each day depends on your gender, weight, and type of lifestyle you lead (such as office-worker-sedentary or outdoorsy-active).
You can get a customized reading with this handy online calculator, but as a rough gauge, here’s an example: A 25-year-old five-foot-five woman who weighs 150 pounds and leads a fairly sedentary lifestyle will need at least 55 grams of protein a day.
FYI, if you’re concerned that eating protein will turn you into a muscle-bound beast, don’t give it a second thought. Eating protein alone won't cause you to gain muscle mass — you'll need to exercise and weight train for that as well.
What's the Big Deal About High-Protein Cereal?
It's crunchy, it's convenient, and it creates such a pleasant taste sensation it feels like fireworks have just gone off in your mouth. Such is the allure of a big bowl of breakfast cereal. You can't tell us it isn't a big deal.
The bigger deal, however, is high-protein cereal. Why? The problem with most commercial cereals is that they're not exactly a healthy breakfast option, much less one that can keep you feeling full for any extended period of time.
Often, they're full of added sugar (which could be disguised as dried fruit) with hardly any fiber or protein — a guaranteed recipe for a blood sugar spike and crash before lunchtime.
Of course, you could add protein powder to your normal bowl of cereal, add copious amounts of peanut butter to your breakfast sandwich, or have other types of high-protein breakfasts, such as hard boiled eggs or grilled salmon. But we're here to tell you that trying to feel fuller for longer can be as simple as pour-and-go.
The trick to choosing the right high-protein healthy cereal is to make sure it’s low-fat, low-carb (and therefore low-sugar), with a high-fiber and low-sugar content.
7 High-Protein Cereal to Keep You Going (And Going)
High-protein cereals do exist and aren’t that difficult to find, so don't fret if all you want to do in the morning is pour something into a bowl. The cereals below don't just score high on the convenience factor, they're also high in protein to put that extra spring in your step right until lunchtime.
1. Kashi GO Crunch! Honey Almond Flax
It used to be called Kashi GoLean Crunch Honey Almond Flax and this newly named version is every bit as high in protein and fiber as its predecessor. There are 9 grams of protein and 8 grams of fiber per serving, with almonds and flax to help boost levels of omega-3 fatty acids, which are believed to help reduce inflammation and the risk of heart attack.
2. Cascadian Farm Purely O's
This is like the organic, healthier, and heartier version of Cheerios, with four times more protein per 1.5 cup serving. Made from whole grain oats and barley, this cereal also comes in flavors such as chocolate, honey, and the multi-hued fruitful O’s. Colored naturally by the likes of elderberry juice and pumpkin concentrate, you don't need to worry about any artificial coloring when eating this.
3. Quaker Protein Instant Oatmeal
You'll love this if you're a fan of hot cereals. With a cook time of two minutes or less, this instant oatmeal contains 10 grams of protein in every serving, which means you'll feel fuller for longer. Made from whole grain oats, it's also a good source of fiber to keep your digestive tract happy.
4. Kellogg's Special K Protein
Reflecting consumer demands for healthier cereal, Kellogg's recently released the Special K Protein line. With 15 grams per serving, they've certainly packed in the protein in this whole wheat cereal. The range also includes protein meal bars, protein granola bars, protein shakes, and flatbread breakfast sandwiches.
5. Nature's Path Original Chia, Buckwheat & Hemp
There are only three items on the ingredient list of this organic, gluten-free cereal: buckwheat and hemp and chia seeds, which are high in fiber content. With six grams of protein per serving, enjoy it as a normal bowl of cereal, as a breakfast topper on yogurt, or blended into a superfood smoothie.
6. Barbara's Multigrain Squarefuls
This kosher and vegan option is made from whole grain wheat and uses maple syrup as a sweetener. You'd probably want to have this as an occasional breakfast treat and not everyday, since it does have a slightly high sugar content (9 grams of sugar per cup serving). Each serving also gives you 4 grams of protein.
7. The Cereal School
Yes, we saved the best for last and it's not simply because we're biased about our own creation. Well, we are biased, but we've got a good reason for being so. We've packed a whole 16 grams of protein (that's almost three boiled eggs’ worth) in each serving of The Cereal School Cereal, made from all-natural, non-GMO, gluten-free and grain-free ingredients. Not only that, each serving contains absolutely no sugar and just one teeny tiny carb, which means it's perfect if you're also on the hunt for a delicious low-carb breakfast.
It's Time to Go-Go-Go With High-Protein Cereal
Breakfast really is the most important meal of the day and we believe it should also be one of the healthiest. It sets the pace for the rest of your day and you certainly don't want to spend the morning feeling less than your best.
We also believe it should be the happiest meal you can have. It's why we reinvented the comfort food of your childhood, so you can enjoy the same sweet and crunchy cereal you grew up with every morning, but with far fewer carbs, more protein, and no sugar. Now that’s a good start to your day any way you look at it.