What Makes a Healthy Breakfast?
You understand the importance of eating a healthy breakfast to start your day out right, but how can you do that with the busy schedule and demands the pop up especially during the morning hours? It’s certainly a challenge for every single one of us, however there are many healthy breakfast options to choose from.
First thing to consider is pre-planning and pre-shopping for breakfast. Do some weekend breakfast shopping, so you’ll be prepared for the hectic weekdays. There are many healthy pre-packaged items to choose from at the local grocery store, so there’s no excuse to not have a stocked pantry for breakfast. Look for items with protein, fiber and whole-grain. You want nutrients to give you the boost of energy at the start of the day, without all the bad stuff. You can also wrap up leftovers or pre-cooked food, ready to be taken with you as breakfast in the following days.
Read the labels to truly understand what you are eating and putting into your body. Remember that you want high-protein and high-fiber content, but low sugar to ensure you are not outweighing the benefits.
The next aspect to consider are breakfast items you can eat on the move, during commute or quickly before work begins. Even if you are in a hurry, you can make healthy breakfast choices to start your day with the nutrients needed for healthy living. Food items packaged in a cup or bar form are easy to transport. Smoothies and fruit drinks are great on the go as well. Bring a banana or apple with you to snack on later if you can’t get a full breakfast eaten first thing in the morning. A pack of nuts or dried fruits is a great option as well. You always have a choice!
It’s not hard to eat a healthy breakfast every day, it’s simply something you work into the routine of your day and lifestyle. Consider breakfast as an important part of your day, do your shopping with that thought in mind, read the labels and plan ahead. Those simple tips will ensure you have all the healthy breakfast options at your fingertips, ready to go!
Protein Shakes Good Choice
Many of us are often running to work and starting our day in a frenzy. Sometimes you want something super quick, easy and portable for breakfast. That’s when the protein shake comes in. Let’s go into the details of learning why protein shakes or healthy smoothies are a healthy option.
A nutritional breakfast usually means protein and fiber, without all the bad sugars and fats. Your body needs protein as a main building block for muscle, bone and skin. Especially at breakfast, protein will give your metabolism a great start and last through the morning hours. You have a boost of energy without cravings for more food.
When it comes to making a shake, there are many available protein options to choose from. Although supplements are never as good as the actual food, if you are busy and on the go, getting your protein in the morning in shake form is better than skipping out. Protein shakes come in a variety of flavors, formats and balance of protein, carbohydrates and fats. You will ultimately have to make a choice for your own needs, whether protein powder form so you can create your own shake or premixed drinks.
Know that there are different types of protein from whey to egg to soy to casein. It just means the source of the protein is different and the process of how it is extracted varies. Again, it’s always best to get protein from real foods, but it’s also okay to supplement to ensure you get enough for the day. Keep in mind that the average adult needs around 50 grams of protein a day…so check the labels for carbs and fat content as well, to make the best choice for your overall eating habits. It is recommended to choose a balanced mix, instead of 100% protein…if you are not going on an athlete regimen or bodybuilding plan. You can also add fruits and nonfat yogurt to create your own shake mix in the end.
It’s best to have the most nutritious breakfast possible every morning, but when on the run, a good protein shake every now again is a great choice. You’ll be sure to get the protein needed to start the day, quickly and easily!
Oatmeal Keeps You Full
You’ve probably heard that oatmeal is a very healthy and wholesome breakfast option. So let’s dig into the details and understand why oatmeal is a great breakfast choice.
Oatmeal is just another word for rolled oats. The raw oat grains are harvested, cleaned, rolled and cooked to make it easier for human consumption. Whole oat grain contains loads of protein and fiber, so you are basically giving yourself exactly what is needed for a nutritious breakfast.
You might have also heard of steel-cut oats. They are the same oat grains only with the thick bran layer NOT removed, instead it’s all chopped up together to make it easier to eat – hence steel-cut. It’s considered healthier, since the bran layer gives you a bit more fiber and protein…something like a gram more per serving. I would consider both plain oatmeal and steel-cut oats as fabulous options for breakfast. It might be up to your preference in taste and texture of the product.
An important shopping tip is to take a look at the sugar content, especially for instant oatmeal packets. Sometimes the manufacturers add additional sugars into the mix, completely ruining the “healthy” part of the breakfast. Instead it’s better to go for the plain oatmeal option instead, so you can add your own extra ingredients as preferred.
So we already know that oats are a great source of protein and fiber…but it also contains loads of vitamins and minerals! You get some calcium, iron, riboflavin, folic acid and Vitamin A…talk about a really big nutritional punch for breakfast! And if that’s not enough, oatmeal also contains antioxidant compounds that help to reduce the risk of heart disease and lower bad cholesterol levels. In fact, many have seen a significant drop in their bad cholesterol levels by just eating oatmeal for breakfast.
With all this information, I think a little serving of oatmeal goes down even better than ever. If you really don’t like the consistency for whatever reason, you can also turn to oatmeal bars as an alternative. Just make sure to read the nutritional values. Knowing why oatmeal is such a great breakfast option…should really give you no reason to NOT be an oatmeal fan. Try it and see what happens!
Week of Breakfast Choices
Even though I know eating breakfast is supremely important, there are days when nothing looks appetizing. The way to beat temptations to skip or settle for something less healthy, is to plan your week! If you have a variety of healthy breakfast foods to choose from, you will have no excuse but to eat well every morning. Having the variety keeps breakfast delicious and inviting every morning.
Here’s a list of healthy breakfast options from which you can certainly get through a week, without the same ‘ole same ‘ole problem. Choose the high protein, low fat, high in fiber options…the healthiest to can get!
- cereal and milk
- veggie or low-fat omelet
- oatmeal and oats in general
- protein or fiber bars
- nuts and granola mix
- cottage cheese and fruit
- yogurt and fruit
- fruit smoothies
- protein shake
- bran muffins
- whole wheat or whole grain toast with peanut butter
- fresh fruits and vegetables
- lox (smoked salmon)
- lean ham, lean turkey
- baked beans
Remember to simply look for foods that are high in protein and fiber and low in fat and sugars.
Why Are Eggs a Good Choice?
Eggs happen to be a great breakfast choice with just the right amount of protein, carbohydrates, vitamins and fat…all in proportion and measure for a healthy start in the morning. You may have been confused by myths about eggs being high in saturated fat and cholesterol…but they are just myths and don’t paint the entire story. Eggs in moderation provide you with essential nutrients for a healthy breakfast…so let’s learn a bit more about why.
A regular ‘ole egg contains about 70 calories. With about 5 grams of fat and 200 mg of cholesterol, it does near the limit of your recommended daily intake of 300 mg of cholesterol…but all the cholesterol is in the yellow yolk. So if you want to eat more than one egg, try only the egg whites or many whites with one yolk only. The essential components of an egg are not unhealthy at all. In return, you get protein to help you feel full and satisfied for the morning. In staying full longer, you tend to eat smaller meals the rest of the day. As long as you aren’t clearing the entire carton of eggs in one breakfast every single day, there’s really no worry about negatively affecting your health. As with many things in life, always in moderation!
In fact, it is usually in the preparation of eggs that turns them into a unhealthy option. People often add oil, butter and other elements that contribute to the saturated fat and cholesterol levels. So pay attention to what you eat with your eggs. Opt for a slice of whole grain bread and fruit instead of fatty bacon and oily sausages. Use olive or canola oil to scramble your eggs up. If you do not add additional calories, you are really taking the healthiest route with eggs…while getting all the protein and nutrients.
Remember that you can also hard boil eggs or poach them in water. You can also bake eggs in the oven…getting a bit creative with adding fresh vegetables for example. There are many options that do not add any additional calories or fat to your egg breakfast. This also gives you a lot of variety in using eggs. There are many different healthy recipes incorporating eggs into your breakfast, so don’t underestimate or overlook the wondrous egg for breakfast. Happy healthy eating!