What 30 Grams of Protein Looks Like at Breakfast

by Danielle Omar, RD
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What 30 Grams of Protein Looks Like at Breakfast

Mornings can be hectic and grabbing a bagel or granola bar for breakfast can be an all-too-common occurrence. But eating high-carb, low-protein foods can result in a blood sugar spike followed by a mid-morning energy crash nobody wants.

To avoid that roller-coaster ride, studies have shown that eating a high-protein breakfast helps prevent body fat gain, increase weight loss, reduce cravings and hunger hormones and even decrease the temptation to snack at night. According to these studies, people reap the most benefits when breakfast includes about 30 grams of protein.

Consuming 30 grams of protein first thing in the morning prevents a mid-morning blood sugar crash and keeps your metabolism humming all day. It also helps build lean muscle mass, which means the more muscle you have, the more calories you burn sitting at your desk.  

To help you visualize what a breakfast with 30 grams of protein looks like, we’ve put together six breakfast ideas, ranging from sweet to savory, each with about 30 grams of protein.


About the Author

Danielle Omar, RD

Danielle is an integrative dietitian, culinary nutritionist, author and consultant, frequently lending her love of creating to high-profile food and nutrition media outlets. She’s a regularly featured blogger and founder of foodconfidence.comwhere she inspires men and women on their journey to become their healthiest self. Connect with her on Instagram and Facebook.


83 responses to “What 30 Grams of Protein Looks Like at Breakfast”

  1. Jacquie Mowlam says:

    Is there anything I can swap the chicken sausage for in the omelet that’s vegetarian but equally high in protein?

  2. Lili Blanco says:

    Can I use oatmeal instead of the kashi cereal

    • Rinu says:

      Yes, I think so. 1 cup of oatmeal has 12 grams of protein and 1 cup of skim milk circa 8 grams.

      I would like to point out that it is recommended to cook or bake oats to improve the digestion.

  3. MaidenMN says:

    Only the omelet for me, thanks. The rest are so bloated with diabetes and heart disease-causing carbs you may as well serve up a plate full of cyanide capsules.

    • Shaun Bell says:

      When did blueberries, raspberries and oatmeal start causing diabetes and heart disease? Holy Keto insanity lol.

      • Jean Harman says:

        exactly – none of the carbs are going to cause a diabetic issue….

      • Atticus Daniel says:

        The blueberries are great. Skim milk and highly processed cereal aren’t as good in my opinion.

        • Shaun Bell says:

          Steel cut oats is as close to cereal as I get.

          • Elizabeth Gibson says:

            Same here. Otherwise the milk would be dumped after eating the cereal or spoil in the refrigerator. Besides I watch how much milk I intake. I grew up with certain food allergies.

      • Shawna Petty says:

        I have type 1 diabetes and am totally capable of eating all of these meals as part of a healthy lifestyle, these breakfasts are great options for someone like me, especially since my normal is dry cereal and a chessestick (shh! don’t tell my endocrine!) But I totally agree with you. While we should limit our sugar and carb intake, getting those nutrients from whole grains and fruit is the right way to do it.

      • Elizabeth Gibson says:

        Vegetables and fresh fruit are all low carbs. Don’t know what book she’s read or where she got that information, but I’ve never heard of such a thing.

  4. Lindsey Beckwith says:

    Just made the PB Smoothie. It is not a smoothie. It’s a pile of thick goop that sticks in the back of your throat. I even added crushed ice, and it was still too thick to drink. Gross.

    • Elizabeth Gibson says:

      I love peanut butter and smoothies. But I don’t like the hassle of making them in a blender. I tend to stick with simple breakfasts like the avocado toast minus the eggs.

      • Irma says:

        Get an immersion blender. They are not very expensive and they work great. The clean up is quick and easy too! Eliminates the use a bulky blender.

    • Hazel Allen says:

      i dont buy pb because i know i will eat it! like just eat it

  5. Dan Monek says:

    Every single one of these, except for the cereal, have more calories coming from fat than protein LOL

  6. Shaun Bell says:

    Why one egg and two egg whites? Ick. Just go for whole eggs.

    • Jean Harman says:

      YES – absurd on multiple levels to continue promoting egg whites over whole eggs…

      • Atticus Daniel says:

        People are still acting like dietary cholesterol is an issue for most people. It’s not.

      • Toro says:

        not at all true. as an amateur bodybuilder, i have to cap my fat intake based on my other macros, and protein comes first.

        during a cutting cycle, i’ll consume 60g protein per meal, and 5 carbs, which dictates how many grams of fat i can get based on my remaining caloric intake – during a cut, that’s 15 grams. it may go up to 30-40 during bulking

        • Jack says:

          This is a special case. It’s irrelevant to the scope of the article. The extra fat would deter weak minds from binging donuts later on

      • Clifford T. Mosley Jr. says:

        It’s funny how they say don’t eat the yolk but at the same time they say eating chicken is good for you. Correct me if I’m wrong but isn’t chicken the yolk?

    • Al Taylor says:

      It might be the fat content which would almost double the calories.

    • funkydow says:

      Exactly! The old “don’t eat cholesterol” meme is dead and buried…,throwing out nutrition is so 1990.. eat the yolks, it’s the best part!

    • Margaret Sleeper says:

      1 large egg = 70 calories & 6 g protein; 2 egg whites from large eggs = 34 calories & 8 g protein. I think this recipe is just trying to be more economical in the calories:protein ratio.

      • Atticus Daniel says:

        Sure, but the yolks taste good, and practically speaking what are you doing with the other two yolks? Let’s say you got some eggs from your local farmers market, and paid a premium for that fresh, humanely raised chicken product. Are you going to throw away those yolks? I know I’m not.

        • Marie says:

          When I was into egg whites, it was recommended to buy the ones in a carton. Easier to measure for meals and recipes, too. Any time I baked a tiny snack, i just used the egg whites in place of eggs because I could do a third of an egg, for example. This was definitely less wasteful to me.

          • Atticus Daniel says:

            True but I try to buy only locally raised eggs. I feel like the quality of food is the most important thing. The conditions the chickens live under that fill those cartons of egg whites is probably appalling.

          • usa anon says:

            Plus, if the chickens miss the carton, they get have to do the dishes

    • Joy says:

      Yeah I am 100% with you guys…THE WHOLE EGG EVERY TIME 🙂

    • Charles says:

      My choice has nothing to do with cholesterol, the yolk just tastes awful to me.

  7. Carrie Ann Underwood says:

    Except for the omelet, all of these have a whole lot of sugar and carbs!

  8. donnadee says:

    Most of these have far too many carbs for a diabetic. Those that don’t look pretty yucky

    • Thrender Grone says:

      Where exactly does it say these recipes cater to those with diabetes? The whole point of the article is getting 30g of PROTEIN in the morning. Another person who thinks the world should revolve/cater around them.

    • usa anon says:

      wah, wah the author didn’t write just for your disease or taste

  9. PIX999 PIX999 says:

    Did the avocado toast today, with half an avocado but no salmon.

    I make a sort-of omelet with a whole egg plus some egg beaters and then a slice of plain old American cheese and maybe some bacon. I put that on Safeway’s “English Muffin Toasting Bread” and have one heck of a sandwich. Some days just egg mixture but no cheese or bacon. The bread is great toasted.

  10. Atticus Daniel says:

    The omelette wins with only 2 grams of sugar.

  11. jim says:

    Looking at the pictures is as close to eating as I’ve come in years. Coffee and oatmeal for breakfast and often for dinner!
    Seriously, the cost of living in Seattle sux.

    • JD says:

      Not to mention the weather. The company I work for is located there and every time I go there I’m depressed for the week. Oh it’s got some great places, don’t get me wrong, but it makes me sad.

    • Tammy Snyder says:

      What does that have to do with these recipes?

  12. Is anyone else’s page rendering all scrambled? For some reason, when I click on a MyFitnessPal link, the page is all messed up and the text is crammed at the bottom.

  13. Jan C. says:

    You only need one egg yolk for the good taste. It will taste just as good with one yolk versus 3.

  14. Elizabeth Gibson says:

    I don’t eat eggs or Tofu. What are some substitutes for these so that protein doesn’t decrease?

  15. Clayton Donnell says:

    Please explain “skim” milk. I thought that went the way of the low fat diet. Why not whole milk. I’m still seeing recipes with low fat, or egg whites – sounds like the 80’s to me.

    • Nonsense! says:

      Skim milk has a place. Those who are barely lactose intolerant can often drink skim. In addition, those who don’t like the fatty film left over by whole milk prefer it. But most of all, those who want the protein of the milk, but really don’t like milk can usually use it.

  16. Robert Lewis says:

    It’s easy to rely on eggs, yogurt, and meat to create meals. Vegan meals are more creative and more of a challenge. But I’m vegan and thriving. If I were a chef I’d consider it cheating to use any animal ingredients. That’s easy and anyone can do it and call themselves a chef. But a real chef can blow your mind with only plant-based meals. Most delicious food I have had is vegan. I hope you look into this and find those great and easy vegan recipes.

  17. theslaw says:

    Nothing vegan?

  18. Tim LeBarron says:

    I want to know simple snacks that don’t involve me spending all my time preparing food but meet diabetic requirements. More like foods that can or cannot be eaten and what types of per meal and per day quotas for nutrients that I need to be trying to stay in. Example: Try not to exceed 30 grams of sugar in a day. OR Always eat 15 grams of protein with each meal/snack.

  19. Heather E Morrison-King says:

    When I put the Banana PB Smoothie in as a recipe, it shows around 500 calories, 15 grams protein, double the fat and more carbs!!

  20. Gina says:

    Why do the egg breakfasts include two egg whites in addition to one egg? And what’s a healthy way of eating the leftover egg yolks?

  21. Gina says:

    Sorry, I posted that question before reading the discussion. Perhaps the article’s author could respond?

  22. Mary R says:

    Everyone is bagging on the egg white thing – as a macro counter, those egg yolks can add up to a lot of fat that I may not be able to afford in my diet that day. Sometimes I can afford to have 2-3 whole eggs, sometimes I can only afford 1, and sometimes it’s none. Yolks contain many beneficial nutrients and I’m not afraid of the cholesterol. It’s just sometimes the fat content is more than I need. These egg recipes are great for a healthy amount of fat without totally overdoing it.

  23. Marc Smith says:

    Could you please list the Sodium in the recipes, it’s not going to help me eat these yummy protein snacks if they are going to push my sodium total over the top for the day

  24. Itsallovernow says:

    Some of her suggestions have way too many carbs. 30 or more

  25. zls health says:

    nice contentThis information thought us that there are many protien based breakfasts in the early morning. and different types of high protien breakfasrt types.How many grams of protein should you have for breakfast?
    thanks for your information

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