Healthy Breakfast Tips: Part 1
By: Samantha McCarthy MS, RD/LDN
A healthy breakfast should be:
High in protein
Low in added sugars
Low in saturated fats
Low in salt
Breakfast sets the tone for the rest of the day. By choosing a healthy breakfast, you set yourself up for healthier decisions throughout the day. It should also be one of your bigger meals of the day. This will help you stay energized and focused. Without a good breakfast, you could feel tired, lethargic, and less focused.
You want to make sure your breakfast is well-balanced. It should contain two, if not 3, of the major food groups: carbohydrates, fats, and proteins. Most Americans consume primarily one food group, carbohydrates. Muffins, bagels, donuts, sugary cereal, danish, granola bars, and breads are the staples of our breakfast. All of these refined carbohydrates set us up for cravings and energy lows later in the morning. A well-balanced breakfast that has protein, carbs, and fats will keep us feeling full throughout the morning and less likely to snack on healthy foods.
Your breakfast should also be limited in added sugars and saturated fats. Typical breakfast items like muffins, pastries, donuts, and waffles can be loaded with added sugars (aka unhealthy carbs) and saturated fat from butter and cream products. Carbohydrates should come from natural sugars in fruit and dairy and also whole grains like oatmeal and 100% whole grain bread. Fat should come from healthier fats like avocado, smoked salmon, nut butters, and healthy oils.
Make it a point to try and add some vegetables to your morning meal. Tomatoes, spinach, broccoli, onions, and mushroom all make great additions to omelets, scrambled eggs, and breakfast sandwiches. Try and have some whole fruit as well in a smoothie or alongside your eggs.
You also want to make sure you are eating something within an hour of waking. It doesn’t have to be your whole breakfast. Half your breakfast or a small piece of fruit will do the trick.
Stay tuned next week for part two with healthy breakfast ideas!