Is breakfast the most important meal of the day? The answer depends on what you are eating. A healthy breakfast can give you energy and start your day off right with protein, vitamins, and nutrients. Studies have shown that people who eat breakfast are more likely to lose weight than those who do not.
James O. Hill, the director of the Center for Human Nutrition at the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center, told ABC that if breakfast plays a role in weight loss, it is probably because “it helps control hunger later in the day.” That said, Hill is not sold that breakfast benefits everyone’s weight loss, and it may be best to eat the first meal of the day within one hour of waking up.
For people who do eat breakfast or want to start making healthy choices is important. WebMD weighed in on the matter, saying that breakfasts with fruits, vegetables, low- or non-fat dairy, lean protein, and whole grains are the best options. To see how to combine these factors, here are five breakfast ideas to help you get the most out of your first meal of the day.
1. Almond butter and an apple
Calorie-wise, a serving of almond butter is on par with peanut butter, and one ounce of each is considered the same as a one-ounce serving of meat in regards to protein. But for people looking to add more vitamin E, magnesium, or iron to their diet, almond butter is the way to go. Vitamin E, and iron protect against oxidative damage and magnesium can contribute to a better functioning nervous system.
Apples provide fiber and essential vitamins and nutrients like vitamin C, calcium, and potassium. Studies have shown that eating apples may lead to a decreased risk of stroke, and may lower bad cholesterol.
2.Greek yogurt and fruit smoothie
Putting greek yogurt in a smoothie can be a great way to combat the tart flavor of the plain variety without having to add sugar. Pairing the yogurt with fruit in a smoothie with bring a sweet flavor to your drink without added sugars. Greek yogurt contains twice as much protein as the regular version. Judith Rodriguez, PhD, RD, says this “is great for weight control because it keeps you feeling full longer.” Like other yogurts, greek yogurt will also generally contain calcium, potassium, and vitamins B6 and B12.
Cereal can be one of the healthiest, easiest breakfast options on the market. Sandra Affenito, PhD, RD, CDN, told WebMD that cereal can help Americans reach their daily recommended fiber intake, something every age group struggles with. ”Consumers should aim to select cereals that are high in fiber, ones that are made with whole grains,” Affenito said. She added that when selecting a cereal, it is important to check the nutritional label for added sugars, because a form of sugar is often at the top of a cereal’s ingredient list.
Finding a balance between sugar and fiber isn’t always easy. Kashi GoLean Crunch, for example, has 8 grams of fiber but 13 grams of sugar per serving, which is about 27 percent calories from sugar per serving. Kashi Heart to Heart Honey Toasted Oat Cereal, on the other hand, has less sugar — 5 grams, but also less fiber 5 grams.
4. Scrambled eggs with spinach
You don’t need to eat a salad to get your serving of spinach – this leafy green makes the perfect low-calorie addition to protein-packed eggs at breakfast. Spinach is high in antioxidants like vitamins C and E, beta-carotene, and manganese. One cup will contain more than the daily value of vitamin K, which aides bone health, along with the calcium and magnesium also found in spinach.
An egg at breakfast will give you plenty of protein to fuel the start of your day, 7 grams. Eggs also have lutein and zeaxanthin, carotenoids that possibly decrease the risk of macular-degeneration. Eggs can be part of a healthy breakfast for people who are trying to lose weight. Low in calories and nutrient-dense, they won’t send caloric intake soaring and will keep you feeling full.
5. Grapefruit and whole wheat bread
Grapefruit can be a powerhouse for health. Although you’ll need to check with your doctor if you are taking any medications, as grapefruit can affect certain prescription drugs. For people who can eat it, the fruit can help lower cholesterol, improve skin, and boost metabolism. Christine Gerbstadt, MD explained that this is because ”the fruit’s compounds aid in fat burning and stabilizing blood-sugar and insulin levels.”
Half a grapefruit is about 50 calories, so whole wheat toast, or a whole wheat english muffin can easily be added to round out the nutritional profile of your breakfast. Choosing a bread for breakfast that is 100 percent whole wheat will bring in a high-fiber, nutrient rich food that is also low in fat, free of cholesterol and contains anywhere from 10 to 15 percent protein. Made from whole grains, whole wheat bread will also assist in preventing diabetes, obesity, and some cancers.