After watching 'Britain's Favourite Food' last week, I was reminded of the benefits of lean protein and how it keeps you fuller for longer. (Protein is very slow to digest and provides a sense of satisfaction to a meal or a snack.) They also discussed on the programme how scientists are looking at reactions in the brain when we eat protein, and studies suggest that eating protein can help control food cravings, therefore helping to control your appetite. So if you are an overeater, it may be worth looking at the amount of protein you are eating, and tweaking your diet so it is more balanced. I for one am guilty of a more carb heavy diet, so I am working towards adding more lean protein into my breakfast for a more overall balanced diet. It's quite hard to be exact on how much protein you should eat per day, as it varies depending on your weight, gender and activity level. On average men need 55 grams and women 45 grams a day Protein Calculator. As with a lot of things it is the quality of the protein over the quantity you are eating, too much processed meat has been associated with bowel cancer so when looking for lean protein look for...
Lean red meat
Poultry (no skin)
Including Protein at Breakfast Time
Chopped fruit and low fat Greek yogurt - to increase protein add in 2 tablespoons of nutty granola (see recipe below).
Wholegrain toast spread with natural nut butter. (I have just brought a natural one by Meridan - Nature's Energy crunchy peanut butter - its contains 100% nuts (nothing else).)
Boiled egg sliced on a muffin.
Protein smoothies (recipe below).
Porridge oats - increase protein by making with milk instead of water. Depending on what I fancy I add fresh fruit, dried fruit, dark chocolate, and to increase protein a sprinkling of chopped nuts and seeds.
Breakfast muffins - recipe for sweet and nutty raisin breakfast muffins.
Oat squares - recipe for oatmeal breakfast bars.
2 tbsp. vegetable oil
125ml maple syrup
2 tbsp. honey
1 tsp. vanilla extract
300g rolled oats
100g chopped nuts
50g sunflower seeds
50g pumpkin seeds
100g dried fruit
1. Preheat oven 150C/gas mark 2 - Mix the vegetable oil, maple syrup, honey and vanilla extract together in a large bowl. Add in all the remaining ingredients except the dried fruit.
2. Spread the mixture evenly over baking trays and bake for 15 minutes. Then add in the dried fruit and bake for a further 10 minutes.
3. Remove from the oven and leave to cool, then store in an air tight container. (It will last for a month).
A quick version I make is to add 1 tbsp. chopped nuts - 1 tbsp. seeds - 1 tbsp. dried fruit - 3 tbsp. of oats and 1 tsp. sugar. Toast in the oven 150C for 15 to 20 minutes. Sprinkle on yogurt and fruit or porridge oats.
Natural Protein Smoothie
1/2 cup of yogurt
2 tbsp. of natural nut butter
1 cup of cold milk
Flavour with 1/4 tsp. cinnamon and a pinch of nutmeg
1. Blend all the ingredients until smooth.
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