Eating breakfast is a must for a day at our best, but sometimes it is hard to achieve; as PepsiCo rolls out their Mountain Dew morning beverage, here are some healthy breakfast suggestions, as well as tips on just what to look for when constructing your own winning morning meal.
We all know that we should eat breakfast each morning. We need the energy and nutrition we get from our morning meal to get our bodies going properly for the challenges ahead. Some of us have gone so many years without eating a proper breakfast, we have trained our bodies not to crave it, but that does not mean we do not need it.
Some people believe that skipping breakfast will help them eat fewer calories throughout the day and, therefore, they will ultimately weigh less. But, research does not support that theory. In fact, Sparkpeople.com indicates that the opposite is true:
Studies show that people who eat breakfast have a lower BMI (body mass index) and consume fewer total calories each day than people who skip breakfast altogether. A professor at the University of Texas found that eating earlier in the day leads to lower total intake throughout the day. A common explanation is that eating breakfast allows a person to feel less hungry throughout the day. Another is that those who skip breakfast allow for “extra calories” later in the day because they skipped a meal, but in reality end up overshooting their energy goal.
If you are one of those who needs to retrain his/her body for breakfast, you may need a few ideas to get you started. Or, maybe you just wonder what a good breakfast consists of, and whether or not a simple start to the morning really can be a healthy start. Huliq is here to help! Get a mixture of healthy carbs for immediate energy and proteins to sustain you throughout the morning; Web MD Weight Loss Clinic expert Elaine Magee, MPH, RD, suggests "5 for 5," i.e. five grams of protein, five grams of fiber for each breakfast you choose.
- Breakfast Cereals: Perhaps because of its simplicity, or maybe because so many are full of sugar and artificial colors and flavors, breakfast cereals are too often pushed off to the side by those looking for a healthy way to get their day started. But, breakfast cereals can be a great breakfast resource, especially for the busy among us, or for those of us who, frankly, do not want to get up and start cooking. So, just choose a healthy cereal—Web M.D. suggests a cereal with 5g or more fiber, whole grain as the first ingredient, and added sugars 25% or less of the total calories, unless one of the first three ingredients on the box is dried fruit. Some good, yummy suggestions to eat with low-fat milk are Fiber One Bran Cereal, Raisin Bran, and even Frosted Mini Wheats. And, don’t forget, oatmeal is a breakfast cereal, as well, and easy to make in the microwave for those on the run. But, stay away from those little packets of sugar-filled mush; get real, old-fashioned oats, and flavor-up with a little honey or brown sugar, a bit of low-fat milk, and some fresh fruit.
- Eggs: Go whole! One egg is packed with health benefits, with vitamins, minerals and protein, all for around 70 calories per egg. And the cholesterol? According to the United States Department of Agriculture, eggs are lower in cholesterol that once thought, and studies have indicated that a healthy adult can enjoy an egg every day without increasing their risk of heart disease. One large egg contains 185 mg. cholesterol; the American Heart Association recommends that individuals consume less than 300 mg. of cholesterol per day. So, particularly if one is mindful of their cholesterol intake throughout the day, an egg for breakfast can be a good thing. Get an egg pan and make an easy breakfast sandwich on a whole-wheat English muffin with a slice of low-fat cheese for a healthy mix of carbs and protein, and skip the drive thru!
- Fresh Fruit: When you know that you need to eat something, but you really just want something light on your tummy, fruit is a great option. The key to having fruit for breakfast is to get it ready before you want to eat it. Do you really want to make a fruit salad first thing in the morning? I don’t. So, I make a fruit salad and keep it in the fridge, for just such an occasion as breakfast. Get your fruits at the market—fresh pineapple, melon and berries are my favorites—and spend a few minutes when you get home turning them from counter-sitters to a great burst of morning energy. When you get up the next morning, your breakfast will be ready and waiting, a glass of low-fat milk will add a healthy burst of protein to get you through the morning, and you'll be glad you took a few minutes the day before to make it happen.
- Low-Fat Yogurt: Vanilla or plain is the best way to go, keeping the sugar low. And, to add some fiber and carbs to this morning meal, have a piece of fruit along with it—a banana or apple makes your breakfast an easy meal-on-the-go. Yogurt is also a great way to round out that fruit salad if you don’t want a glass of milk—just pour over the top and mix!
- Peanut Butter: Peanut butter for breakfast? Yes! Put two tablespoons on whole-grain toast or a whole-wheat English muffin, and add some banana slices, grapes or strawberries if you want a little something special. Choose a natural, no-sugar-added variety, and go for a no-stir variety if you don’t want to be mixing the jar every time you go for a spoonful. Obviously, this is another to-go option—if you can wait to eat it! Other nut butters are delicious, as well, such as almond or cashew butter, and there are some really tasty non-nut butters out there, typically the soy variety. Just be sure to stay with a low-sugar, natural option, and you should be good to go out that door each morning, healthy breakfast in hand.
So, if you find yourself tempted to skip breakfast, or to just go for a sugar-loaded drink like the soon-to-be-released PepsiCo beverage, "Kickstart," a fruit-flavored Mountain Dew drink due out on February 25, remember the "5 on 5" rule, and go for a healthy mix of protein and carbs to put your best foot forward each morning.
What are your favorite breakfast ideas, Huliq readers? Share in the comment section below!
Image: Wikimedia Commons
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