Breakfast, the first meal of the day. You either love it or you hate it. You find it necessary and schedule time for it, or you laugh at the idea as you madly rush off to start your day. Fan or foe, breakfast is always an ongoing debate. Is it really as important as everyone says? Does it REALLY make a difference? How am I supposed to make time to fix and eat breakfast? As we dive deeper into the ins and outs of breakfast, let’s find a good, healthy, more positive way to start each of our days!!
Is Breakfast Really All That Important?
We’ve heard it our entire lives, how breakfast is so essential, the most important meal of our daily living. Is that just a catchy phrase, or does it actually hold some valid medical knowledge?
As its name suggests, breakfast is actually breaking the fast of night to day. Breakfast actually does have many great benefits for you:
- Breakfast refuels your glucose level. Glucose is the energy source for your body. It comes from the carbohydrates that you eat. Having more energy helps you to better focus and concentrate
- Breakfast helps replenish the nutrients your body needs after all night without any food.
- Eating breakfast can help you with your weight management
- Eating a healthy breakfast can help reduce your risk for Type 2 diabetes and heart disease.
- People who eat breakfast have a tendency to be more physically active than those who don’t eat breakfast.
- Those that eat a healthy breakfast on a regular basis are less likely to be overweight.
- Teens and children that regularly eat breakfast seem to do better academically.
- Eating breakfast gives you the feeling of being full, making you less likely to want to snack and binge all day long.
- There has been medical research that has shown that those who don’t eat breakfast have a higher risk for developing cardiovascular disease.
- Regular breakfast eaters gravitate to healthier food choices, meal choices and are less likely to binge on junk food during the day.
- Breakfast kicks-off your metabolism for the day and helps you to burn more calories as the day goes on.
What Constitutes A Healthy Breakfast?
A healthy breakfast should include foods with the following nutrients:
- Good carbohydrates
- B Vitamins
Some great examples of healthy, go-to breakfast options are:
- Eggs - High in protein, choline, lutein, and zeaxanthin.
- Oats (oatmeal, steel cut oats) - Go for the plain variety and make your own. Tha flavored, packed varieties have lots of added sugars.
- Whole grain cereal with lowfat milk
- Fresh fruits and berries
- Raw nuts, chia seeds, flaxseeds
- Smoothies made from fresh vegetables, fresh fruit, natural yogurt and low fat milk
- All natural yogurt (no sugar added) - Greek yogurt is an excellent source of calcium and protein.
- Whole grain granola bars
- Coffee - Yes, it is good for you because it is high in antioxidants. Just be careful not to add sugar or fat based creamers.
- Green tea - High on antioxidants
- Cottage cheese
What Breakfast Foods To Avoid
Grab a tissue. Most likely some of our favorite treats are going to make this list.
- Doughnuts and pastries - Yes, you knew it was coming. You knew before it was written. Doughnuts, though little, fluffy pillows of sweet joy, are NOT GOOD FOR YOU!
- Pancakes and waffles - Though they offer more protein than some breakfast foods, pancakes and waffles do contain refined flour and are usually topped with sweet syrup that contain high fructose corn syrup.
- Breakfast cereals - Most breakfast cereals (not all) are packed with sugar! It’s always vital to read the ingredients on the box. There are cereals that are healthy but it will take work on your part to read the labels and compare.
- Fruit juice - MANY fruit juices on the market are sweetened with high fructose corn syrup. Even juices claiming 100% fruit juice are high in sugar.
- Toaster pastries - These are made with sugar, white flour, and high fructose corn syrup.
- Non-Fat yogurt, sweetened - Sounds good for you, but even though they removed the fat they replaced it with sugar. Lots of sugar. Like the same amount as in a serving of ice cream.
- Muffins - There is not much healthy about muffin except for maybe the fruit put in them. Full of sugar, refined flour, and vegetable oils, muffins may taste good but aren’t really good for you.
Finding A Healthy Favorite That Works For You
Did you find one of your favorite breakfast items on the “bad for you list?” You are not alone, I found several. Seeing the importance of a good breakfast for your health and wellbeing is a good motivator to go through the “healthy breakfast” list and find some new favorites and look up some breakfast recipes that will work for you. You will find there's a lot of healthy breakfast ideas you can make ahead of time. In an attempt to improve our health and wellness there will always be something new we will discover that we like. Our health and living a longer, better life are always a great reason to branch out our taste buds to better food choices. Do some research, try some new things. You might just be pleasantly surprised by the new favorite foods you will discover and a healthier, newly improved you will emerge in the process.
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