Healthy Habits: Start Your Morning with a Better Breakfast

healthy-snacks1

We are certainly not the first to tell you that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Unfortunately, it is often the most skipped meal of the day as well. In fact, 31 million people skip breakfast every day in the United States.[1] Between exercising, taking care of the kids and getting ready for work, it can be hard to find time to make a nutritious, filling breakfast.

As this meal sets the tone for the day, it’s essential to find foods that will fuel your morning and give you energy. Not to mention a nutritious breakfast can prevent unhealthy snacking, promote weight loss and prevent depletion of energy levels.[2] Here are a few nutritional items to look for when preparing breakfast:

  • High protein: Protein helps to aid in the prevention of weight loss and gives you the energy to stay productive.[3]
  • High fiber: Meals high in fiber keep you feeling full throughout the day and help prevent mindless snacking.[4]
  • Low sugar: Sugar is not a lasting energy source and meals that are high in sugar can cause you to feel sluggish later in the day.[5]

To help start the day off right, we pulled together a few nutritious breakfast options that will still get you out the door in less than 5 minutes:

  1. Oatmeal: Oatmeal is a great breakfast option that is high in fiber and will keep you full throughout the morning. What’s more, you can prepare overnight oats the night before and grab as you’re walking out the door. Try spicing them up with seasonal fruits and spices like cinnamon or berries, the natural sweetness will prevent the need for added sweeteners.
  1. Avocado toast: Avocado toast is trendy for a reason. Avocado is a cholesterol lowering, monounsaturated fat that pairs perfectly with whole wheat toast, creating a meal that is high in fiber to help satisfy hunger. Try adding some crushed red pepper flakes which can rev-up your metabolism[6], or if you’re really feeling adventurous, try adding an egg to really pump up the protein.
  1. Frozen burritos: Homemade frozen burritos are a filling breakfast that you can make days in advance. Remember to use whole grain tortillas that are high in fiber and fill the burritos with tons of fresh vegetables and lean proteins like turkey or chicken.
  1. Frozen waffle: Frozen waffles are an easy, on-the-go breakfast idea – as long as they aren’t packing tons of sugar. Whole wheat options are a great way to go as they often high in fiber and low in sugar.  Add some chunky peanut butter and banana to boost the fiber and protein levels while also providing some natural sweetness.
  1. Protein bar and a piece of fruit: We all have those days where there’s truly no time to make breakfast. Keeping protein bars in your bag or at your desk is a great way to be prepared as they can easily be paired with a piece of fruit for a last-minute breakfast that is nutritious and packed with fiber. Be sure to keep an eye on the nutrition label to ensure they aren’t packed with added sugar.

Eating a nutritious breakfast is a great way to keep your health in check and provide a boost of energy early in the day. Preparation is key to sticking to healthy habits, think ahead to your week and plan out your breakfast to ensure you aren’t reaching for a glazed donut in the break room – we know how tempting they can be!

 

 

[1] McLynn, K. (2011, Oct. 11) 31 Million U.S. Consumers Skip Breakfast Each Day, Reports NPD. The NPD Group  Retrieved from https://www.npd.com/wps/portal/npd/us/news/press-releases/pr_111011b/

[2] n.p. (2003, July 26). “Skipping breakfast very bad for health.” Medical News Today. Retrieved from
http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/releases/4004.php.

[3] Sayer, R. D., Amankwaah, A. F., Tamer, G. G., Chen, N., Wright, A. J., Tregellas, J. R., … Campbell, W. W. (2016). Effects of Dietary Protein and Fiber at Breakfast on Appetite, ad Libitum Energy Intake at Lunch, and Neural Responses to Visual Food Stimuli in Overweight Adults. Nutrients, 8(1), 21. http://doi.org/10.3390/nu8010021

[4] Sayer, R. D., Amankwaah, A. F., Tamer, G. G., Chen, N., Wright, A. J., Tregellas, J. R., … Campbell, W. W. (2016). Effects of Dietary Protein and Fiber at Breakfast on Appetite, ad Libitum Energy Intake at Lunch, and Neural Responses to Visual Food Stimuli in Overweight Adults. Nutrients, 8(1), 21. http://doi.org/10.3390/nu8010021

[5] Zerbe, L. (2013, Dec 2) 11 Weird Things Sugar’s Doing to Your Body. Prevention Retrieved from http://www.prevention.com/food/healthy-eating-tips/weird-effects-sugars-having-on-your-body

[6] Brown E. (2013, Dec, 18) What are the Health Benefits of Crushed Red Pepper Livestrong Retrieved from http://www.livestrong.com/article/486123-what-are-the-health-benefits-of-crushed-red-pepper/