I’m sure many of you have heard people say, “Breakfast is the most important meal of the day.” Despite all of the facts proving that statement, many people still skip breakfast on a daily basis! Why is that? A few reasons (or excuses) that people tend to skip eating breakfast include 1) not enough time in the morning, 2) not hungry, and 3) I do not like breakfast foods.
Fortunately, I have solutions for the above excuses:
- Not enough time in the morning. GET UP EARLIER! Make time.
- Not hungry. Eat something light, even if it is just a piece of fruit and a cup of yogurt.
- I do not like breakfast foods. Breakfast does not have to be eggs or pancakes. It can be any healthy food!
Now that we have debunked some of the excuses people use for not eating breakfast, let’s look at a few of the benefits of eating a healthy breakfast every morning:
- can help prevent overeating throughout the day
- increased energy throughout the day
- studies show people who eat a healthy breakfast tend to be leaner than people who skip breakfast
- can help normalize blood sugar levels
- can help reduce cholesterol
- can help boost short-term memory
- can help increase nutrient and vitamin intake
All of the above benefits can be achieved by simply eating a healthy breakfast in the morning. It is not very difficult. Even if it were difficult, the benefits far outweigh any reason for not eating breakfast.
Also, many people believe that eating breakfast will make them fat. This is a ridiculous assumption. In fact, in most cases, the opposite is true. However, if you are concerned about your calorie intake, do not avoid breakfast. Instead, determine daily calorie intake by calculating your basal metabolic rate using a BMR calculator. That way, you can successfully add breakfast to your nutrition regimen without eating too many calories throughout the day.
So with all that being said what is a good breakfast? What are some healthy options I can choose for eating breakfast?
What is a Good Breakfast
While I could literally list hundreds of foods and meals here, I am only going to list some of the most common, convenient, and healthy breakfast foods that I have come across. You can also combine some of these foods together so that there is more variety when eating breakfast.
- Whole grain cereal. Whole grain cereal that is low in saturated fat and cholesterol is an excellent choice. There are so many different varieties of cereal on the market making it simple to choose one that you like. Add some skim or low fat milk to the cereal and you have yourself a balanced breakfast filled with vitamins and nutrients, protein, and carbohydrates.
- Oatmeal. Although I think cereal is a much more satisfying breakfast, I still eat oatmeal on a daily basis. Oatmeal is rich in carbohydrates, protein, and is also low in saturated fat and cholesterol. You cannot go wrong with oatmeal. Add a touch of brown sugar, honey, or cinnamon for a spike of flavor. You can also add skim or low fat milk to increase the amount of protein if you’d like. Additionally, for those of you who suffer from celiac or gluten allergies, Bob’s Red Mill gluten free oats are an excellent choice and are sold in most grocery stores.
- Eggs. Although eggs are high in cholesterol, there are many studies that show moderate consumption of eggs can actually improve cholesterol levels (by moderate I mean 2 per day). Additionally, an egg contains 6 grams of protein and has all of the 9 essential amino acids. If you want to eat eggs but eliminate the fat and cholesterol, you can always have egg whites. However, the yolk of the egg is where much of the vitamins come from, including vitamin B12, vitamin E, vitamin D, vitamin K, DHA (which is great for pregnant women), and carotenoids.
- Fruit. Fruit is an obvious healthy breakfast food as it contains virtually zero fat and cholesterol and contains multiple vitamins and minerals. Additionally, it contains carbohydrates which can increase energy levels in the morning and throughout the day. Add a protein source such as toast with peanut butter or a cup of skim or low-fat milk and you’ve got yourself a healthy breakfast!
- Yogurt. Yogurt is an excellent option, especially for people with limited time in the morning. Although plain yogurt is healthiest because it does not contain as much sugar, you can go with fat-free or low fat flavored yogurt as well. Yogurt contains protein, carbohydrates, vitamins, and healthy bacteria which can aid in digestion. Add your own fruit on the top to make it even healthier!
- Granola. Granola, like whole grain cereal, is typically low in fat and cholesterol , high in carbohydrates and protein, and high in fiber. Try to avoid the overly sugary granola. Some granola and whole grain cereals contain high fructose corn syrup, which serves no health benefit whatsoever.
Bottom line is, you cannot go wrong with eating a healthy breakfast. I cannot think of a single reason that eating breakfast is an unhealthy decision, unless you are eating foods extremely high in saturated fat and cholesterol. There are too many studies that show the amazing health benefits of eating breakfast to ignore. If you are looking to lose fat and live a healthier lifestyle, you cannot afford to skip breakfast!
Although the above foods are great options for eating breakfast, any healthy food that is low in fat and cholesterol and high in protein and carbohydrates will suffice. Some fat is okay and is actually healthy, however, you should be aware of how much fat to eat in a day.