When you think of breakfast food you’ll no doubt cast up imagery of bacon and eggs sizzling away or perhaps a toasted bun filled with sausages and dripping with sauce. Maybe even just a bowl of your favourite corned or frosted flake? I'd wager that what doesn’t come to mind though is a slab of prime beef to start your day.
Having a steak breakfast, often paired with eggs, hasn’t always been an obvious outlier on our breakfast tables.
Steak and eggs were once a popular breakfast meal in roadside diners over in the states. Hatted businessmen and leather-jacketed teens would tuck into this hearty meal before starting their day, but what caused it to fall out of fashion and become such a controversial option?
You can trace the decline of the hearty breakfast meal of meat, dairy, and starches back to the 1800s when our not so distant ancestors began to move out of the countryside and into industrialised cities. Away from rising with the sun for a hard day of hard manual field labour and transitioning gradually into more sedentary lifestyles sat behind desks in offices.
In 2021, the year of working from home, the sedentary lifestyle has never been more prevalent. What could once have been a brisk walk to work now consists of meandering to the living room and opening your laptop, although a morning walk was no comparison to a day of plough pulling, a lot of us have lost that little piece of activity. With us spending more time than ever sat down, what’s the need for a protein-heavy breakfast? I certainly couldn’t stomach it.
While the need for a big breakfast might be low right now, let's turn our thoughts toward the future. I think we’re all guilty of putting on a little “Lockdown Timber” and the gyms will no doubt be absolutely heaving when they reopen, perhaps it's time to revisit the health benefits of a large protein intake first thing in the morning.
Can a steak breakfast really be beneficial?
Having a nice piece of steak and a couple of eggs for breakfast can be an excellent, healthy meal choice. While we’re all used to the notion of cereals and other such sweet things for breakfast, switching those carbohydrates for proteins is proven to keep us fuller for longer and help to prevent mid-morning snacking.
Studies have shown that a breakfast proving around 35g of protein will help maintain stable blood sugar levels in your body, it is this that keeps you feel sated and kickstarts your metabolism all the way through to lunchtime.
On top of the protein benefits, you also have a multitude of micronutrient benefits to enjoy when having your steak and eggs. The steak is high in iron which may be sorely lacking in modern diets and the eggs are packed with healthy choline and vitamins which you simply will not find in your usual cinnamon swirl.
In fact, the steak and egg breakfast has recently enjoyed a popularity resurgence thanks to the wildfire like spread of the “keto” diet. This diet is all about keeping carbs to a minimum while getting the majority of your calories from fat and protein.
The idea is that this will force the body to burn its stored fat instead of the sugars from carbohydrates as its fuel. While the science behind this diet is mixed, the results for many have been irrefutable. Perhaps it's not so much changing the body fuel source as it is a high protein diet keeping us fuller for longer? However you look at it, steak and eggs play an important role.
Well, this all sounds marvellous, why isn’t everyone eating steak for breakfast?
Good question. With most good things, there must also be a negative.
Switching from a sweet and soft breakfast of cakes and cereals to a more savoury meal of eggs and sometimes tough steak will be a hard change for some. Technically, any steak you can find will make for a good “breakfast” steak, there really isn’t any fast and hard rules but we would certainly recommend going for a more tender cut such as a ribeye or a t-bone. Nobody wants to spend half of their morning chewing.
Another drawback is time. There's no way to cut it or get around it, cooking steak and eggs for breakfast takes a lot more time than grabbing a bowl of cereal or popping some toast in. If like most people, you’re stretched for time in the morning then some preplanning will be needed.
As we said before, there are no fast and hard rules on breakfast steak, you don’t have to just cook a steak and plonk some eggs on top. You can really get creative with it, perhaps some lean steak sliced into strips and put into a breakfast burrito? Easily storable, easily heated, easily consumed.
Having a steak for breakfast is a great way to pack your body full of nutrients and goes a long way to keeping you feeling full all the way until lunchtime. This helps prevent overeating, the dreaded midmorning snacking and contributes to a healthy lifestyle.
If you’re not awash with time in the morning then it’ll take some extra steps to get that protein fix so you’ll have to make a hard choice some mornings.
Either get your protein fix for a healthy day or hit the snooze button again.