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7 Ideas for a Healthier, Better Breakfast
Everyone has been told that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. However, a survey of 2,000 Americans found that most people only eat breakfast in the morning 3 times a week. 13% of the individuals polled said that they rarely eat breakfast, if ever.1
Many Americans choose to skip breakfast because they believe that they don’t have the time or that they can make up for it by what they eat later. Yet numerous studies show that eating breakfast gives you the energy you need to start your day.
A few reasons why breakfast is important include:
- Maintaining weight. According to a study conducted by The National Weight Control Registry, those who lost 30 lbs were more likely to keep it off if they ate breakfast every morning.2 One reason why breakfast helps with weight maintenance is because it can control your hunger, which can prevent you from overeating later in the day.
- Giving You Physical and Mental Energy. When you wake up in the morning, your body has gone 12 hours without replenishing its glucose levels. Glucose is important for helping your body store and utilize energy. Eating breakfast will restore your blood glucose levels, which gives you the energy needed to power your body and brain throughout the day.3
- Reducing Illnesses. Those who eat breakfast in the morning are less likely to experience high cholesterol and high blood pressure. People who skip breakfast are also 27% more likely to develop heart disease later on in life.4 Breakfast prevents you from snacking to make up the difference later in the day, and many snack foods such as chips, popcorn, and chocolate are unhealthy and provide little nutritional value.
Even if you eat breakfast in the morning, it isn’t a good idea to go buy your favorite childhood cereal from the grocery store. You should be mindful about what you’re eating for breakfast because it has an impact on your overall health.
Here are 7 ideas how you can eat a better breakfast in the morning.
7 Ways to Eat a Better Breakfast
- Replace Refined Grains with Whole Grains. Whole grains contain the entire kernel, which is the bran, germ, and endosperm, while refined grains remove the bran and germ. Whole grains are healthier for you because the bran contains fiber, which helps the breakdown of starch into glucose. This helps your body maintain regular blood sugar levels. The fiber in whole grains can also help aid in digestion and remove blood clots that can lead to heart attacks or strokes.5 Many breads, oatmeals, and cereals have whole grain options available that you can switch to for a healthier breakfast.
- Add fruit to your meal. Adding fruit to your meals in the morning is another way how you can eat a better breakfast. You can add fruits into your yogurt, onto your pancakes or waffles, in your cereal, or on your plate as part of your overall breakfast. Some great options for fruits to eat for breakfast include strawberries, blueberries, bananas, kiwis, raspberries, and blackberries. You can also add 100% fruit juice drinks into your diet for some of the health benefits that come along with consuming fruits.
- Use Greek Yogurt. Greek yogurt is different than normal yogurt because it goes through a different straining process that contains the whey, resulting in a creamier texture. Greek yogurt is a good source of calcium and protein, which is great for building bones and preventing bone conditions such as osteoporosis.6 A study also found that those who consumed Greek yogurt felt more satiated, resulting in better diet control and weight maintenance because it helped the participants burn calories.7
- Eat Lean Proteins. Lean proteins are proteins that are low on fat. Your body breaks down lean proteins to build your muscles, bones, cartilage, skin, and blood cells. The body also continuously uses lean protein to digest food and utilize energy efficiently.8 Lean proteins you can add into your morning breakfast include eggs, legumes, salmon, nuts, and low fat milk.
- Don’t eat pastries as a habit. There are many breakfast items such as donuts, Danishes, pastries, and muffins that are high in fat and low in nutritional benefits. Many of these pastries are processed and high in sugars, which make them a poor option to include into your diet. Many people eat these items because they are quick and easy, but you can replace these sweet treats with healthier options such as apples, bananas, whole grain toast, cereal bars, and granola bars.
- Eat low-fat dairy products. Low-fat dairy products are one way you can eat a balanced breakfast without consuming extra added sugars or calories in the morning. Whole dairy products have been found to increase cholesterol levels because they are filled with saturated fats. Low fat dairy products are important for strengthening your bones and building bone mass. Low-fat dairy products include low-fat milk, skim milk, cottage cheese, and some yogurt varieties.
- Start Your Day With Tea. Teas are a great option to help you start the day while getting some much-needed caffeine in the morning. Green tea has been found to boost your metabolism and reduce your risk for cancers.9 Lemon tea offers vitamin C, which can boost your immune system and help your body fight free radicals.10 Avoid adding too many sugars or honey to your tea, as the extra sugars can negate the health benefits.
Are You ready to Make your Breakfast Better?
Now that you know how to make a healthier breakfast in the morning, you can start incorporating some of these options into your own diet. Try taking the first step at eating a better breakfast today!
Here at Saber Healthcare, our dietary department works to provide our residents with meals that meet their nutritional needs. To learn more about our company and the care that we provide, click here.
Saber Healthcare is an organization dedicated to providing consultant services to long term care providers. This article is for informational purposes and is not meant to be seen as professional advice. Please consult with a medical expert before relying on the information provided.
- Shoup, Mary Ellen. “What’s for Breakfast? Fewer Americans are Eating Breakfast.” William Reed Business Media Ltd, Food Navigator. 22 July 2019. Accessed 16 September 2021. Link: https://www.foodnavigator-usa.com/Article/2019/07/22/What-s-for-breakfast-Fewer-Americans-are-eating-breakfast#
- Wyatt, Holly R et al. “Long-term weight loss and breakfast in subjects in the National Weight Control Registry.” Obesity research vol. 10,2 (2002): 78-82. doi:10.1038/oby.2002.13. Link: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/11836452/
- “Breakfast.” Victoria State Government, Better Health Channel. Accessed 16 September 2021. Link: https://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/health/healthyliving/breakfast
- “Skipping Breakfast May Increase Risk of Heart Disease and Obesity.” Enzo Life Sciences. Accessed 16 September 2021. Link: https://www.enzolifesciences.com/science-center/technotes/2017/february/skipping-breakfast-may-increase-risk-of-heart-disease-and-obesity/
- “Whole Grains.” Harvard School of Public Health, The Nutrition Source. Accessed 16 September 2021. Link: https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/what-should-you-eat/whole-grains/
- Burgess, Lana. Olsen, Natalie, ed. “Is Greek Yogurt Good for You?” Red Ventures, Healthline Media. 23 September 2018. Accessed 17 September 2021. Link: https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/323169
- Heather J Leidy, Peter M Clifton, Arne Astrup, Thomas P Wycherley, Margriet S Westerterp-Plantenga, Natalie D Luscombe-Marsh, Stephen C Woods, Richard D Mattes, The role of protein in weight loss and maintenance, The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, Volume 101, Issue 6, June 2015, Pages 1320S–1329S, https://doi.org/10.3945/ajcn.114.084038
- “The top Ten Health Benefits of Lean Protein.” The Center for Health & Wellbeing. Accessed 17 September 2021. Link: https://chwbonline.com/top-10-health-benefits-lean-protein/
- Gunnars, Kris. Arnarson, Atli. “10 Evidence-Based Benefits of Green Tea.”. Red Ventures, Healthline Media. 6 April 2020. Accessed 17 September 2021. Link: https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/top-10-evidence-based-health-benefits-of-green-tea#4.-Antioxidants-may-lower-the-risk-of-some-cancers
- “Lemon Tea: Is It Good for You?” WebMD, Nourish. Accessed 17 September 2021. Link: https://www.webmd.com/diet/lemon-tea-is-it-good-for-you#1