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Pack a protein punch in your breakfast

December 17, 2013

Americans may think they consume plenty of protein, but newer research highlights the beneficial effects of consuming more protein than the recommended daily allowance, especially when you are trying to lose weight, says registered dietitian Katie Rankell, program director of the UCI Health Weight Management Program.

Some people may benefit from consuming 24 to 30 percent of their total calories from protein when reducing calories for weight loss. Most Americans take in less than 10 to 15 percent at breakfast and 40 to 50 percent at dinner. The suggested goal is  24 to 30 grams of protein at each meal.

Here are a few menu suggestions to increase protein, keep calories down, and provide a nutritious start to your day:

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Homemade Breakfast Sandwich

1 egg
2 slices Canadian bacon
1 ounce cheese
100-calorie bread

Total calories: 300
Protein: 29 grams

Yogurt Parfait

1 cup plain Greek yogurt
6 tablespoons high-protein cereal (such as Special K Protein Plus)
2 tablespoons wheat germ
1 cup berries

Total calories: 262
Protein: 28 grams

Lox and Bagel

1 bagel (thin, 100 calories)
4 ounces smoked salmon
2 tablespoons cottage cheese

Total calories: 263
Protein: 29 g