Breakfast is the most important meal of the day and you’ve probably heard this more than you can count but there is scientific truth in this, and a healthy breakfast can support good health and give you the energy to make your mornings much more enjoyable.
Breakfast is the meal that comes after the longest period without food since up to 12 hours (sometimes even more) can pass between dinner and breakfast. As such, it is important not to miss your breakfast if you want to stay healthy.
Many people tend to avoid breakfast out of fear that it would make them overweight, but studies have shown that breakfast eaters are less likely to be obese or overweight and are more successful at maintaining weight loss.
Below we will explore some of the important factors you’ll need to consider when preparing a healthy breakfast, as well as the foods that you should avoid.
Making a healthy breakfast
Your breakfast should include whole-grain carbohydrates, lean protein, fresh fruit, and healthy fat. These components can be used to create a nearly endless variety of quick and tasty meals so you won’t have to worry that a healthy breakfast means sticking to the same dull and tasteless meals.
Greek yogurt, for example, is a great source of lean protein which helps reduce the feeling of hunger and it will increase your metabolic rate after eating to help with weight loss. You can get a serving of low-fat Greek yogurt and sprinkle some nuts and berries on top and you’ll have a tasty and healthy breakfast that will keep you nourished until lunchtime.
If you’re a fan of pastry, you can have that too but it is recommended to make your own since that way you’ll have full control of the ingredients. You can bake your favourite whole-wheat bagels and sprinkle them with chia seeds and flaxseed which are rich in fibre. Then you can use affordable slicers for your bagel to create healthy and delicious sandwiches.
We recommend using cottage cheese for your sandwiches since this delicious cheese is high in protein and it is proven to give you that feeling of fullness and decrease your level of hunger.
You can also prepare some whole-wheat muffins and spread some peanut butter on them, or scramble some eggs in extra-virgin olive oil along with your favourite vegetables. If you want to lower your cholesterol level you can focus on oats since they are very effective cholesterol fighters. Avoid instant oatmeal packets since these are loaded with sugar.
Oatmeal is one of the fastest breakfast ideas that you can use since you can mix oats with skim milk and heat it in the microwave for a few minutes and you’re good to go. You may also add some sliced banana or other fruits on top for a better taste.
There are lots of other ideas that you can try and you should feel free to experiment and remember to stay away from unhealthy ingredients.
Foods that you should avoid
As you’ve probably noticed, we didn’t include sausages, bacon, or other processed meats that many people associate with breakfast. That is because these meats are very high in saturated fat and sodium which are known as artery cloggers.
Furthermore, studies have also shown that eating processed meat daily can increase the risk of type 2 diabetes and heart disease. You should also try to avoid pancakes and waffles since they are typically topped with syrup, chocolate or other toppings that are full of sugar.
These breakfast choices may be delicious but the high amount of sugar adds a lot of empty calories that won’t give you the feeling of fullness and will make you want to eat more in a few hours. The same goes for fruit juice. It is better to stick with fresh fruits.
Breakfast cereals are another popular breakfast food that is not very healthy, even though it might be quick to prepare. While many products may boast about using whole grains, in reality, they are so highly processed that they contain only a small amount and most of the nutrients are added artificially.
With that said, not all breakfast cereals are bad, and you can still find healthy alternatives if you’re willing to spend more time and money looking for them. First, you’ll need to pick whole-grain cereals such as those made with brown rice, whole wheat, corn, and oats.
Look for cereals that have at least 5 grams of fibre per serving and avoid those that have more than 5 grams of sugar per serving. Similarly, don’t buy products that are high in sodium. You should aim for cereals that have no more than 200 mg of sodium per serving.
Lastly, it is important to limit your calorie intake as well and get cereals that have no more than 125 calories per serving.