By Robin Quay, MS, RD, Sodexo Dietitian
Studies show that people, who eat a healthy breakfast, have a lot of other healthy habits which help them weigh less, feel better, and have more energy for work, fitness and leisure activities. People who eat a healthy breakfast tend to eat healthier foods throughout the day, and tend to exercise. People who skip breakfast, or grab a donut or a fast food breakfast, tend to eat unhealthy foods throughout the day. They also tend to be people who don’t exercise.
Eating a healthy breakfast can be an important step on the road to health and wellness. A nutritious breakfast contributes important vitamins, minerals and other nutrients to the diet, ensuring that you are getting everything you need so your body can perform efficiently. Breakfasts that contain protein and whole grains can help you feel full until lunchtime, so you avoid an unhealthy snack midmorning, reducing calorie, fat and sugar intake. It has been suggested that eating breakfast may reduce hunger during the day, leading to lower calorie intake, which can help maintain a healthy weight. The energy provided by eating breakfast may increase physical activity during the day.
A healthy breakfast should contain fruit and/or vegetables, lean protein and whole grains. Here are some quick and easy ideas to get you started.
Fresh fruit and yogurt with nuts or granola topping
Whole wheat bread or toast with natural peanut butter or almond butter and fresh fruit
Eggs, whole wheat toast and fruit
Breakfast sandwich made with a whole wheat English muffin, egg, cheese, tomato and raw spinach
Oatmeal with fresh fruit and nuts
Veggie omelet with whole wheat toast
Smoothie made with milk, fruit, leafy greens and nut butter (I find that these don’t have much staying power, so I eat a hard-boiled egg on the side.)
Banana with peanut butter
Whole grain cereal with milk and fruit (cereal should have at least 3 gm of fiber per serving, and no more than 6 gms of sugar per serving).
If you don’t have time to make breakfast in the morning, you can make it ahead of time. Oatmeal heats up quickly in the microwave, and hard-boiled eggs are precooked and ready when you are. A peanut butter sandwich can be made the night before.
Start with a healthy breakfast, and all kinds of good things will follow!