As we’ve all surely been told dozens of times, breakfast is the most important meal of the day. By eating a healthy breakfast, we set ourselves up for a productive day, gaining energy to fuel us through our daily activities.
Here are some tips on what to eat, and what to avoid, when determining your breakfast choices.
Cereal has long been a staple of breakfast tables everywhere, largely because it is a quick and easy option. With most cereals being high in carbohydrates (carbs), and even more carbs coming when we add milk; it is important to choose the right cereals to avoid that mid-morning crash.
Kay’s Naturals Cereal is available online and offers a great ratio of protein to carbs with the added benefit of healthy servings of fiber and protein. Kay’s also comes in single-serving packs to help with portion control. And while I wouldn’t recommend most Kellogg’s Special K brand cereals, Special K Protein is a good option due to its high protein content, despite it containing sucralose (Splenda).
As a guideline, avoid anything with more than three times more sugar than fiber and protein. This includes some cereals that are marketed as “healthy” including Nature Valley Honey Oat Clusters, Honey Bunches of Oats “Whole Grain” and Protein Cheerios.
In today’s on-the-go world, breakfast sandwiches are often a great option for a quick breakfast. While the benefit of convenience is obvious, it is important to choose the right sandwich to maintain a healthy diet.
Sweet Earth Breakfast Sandwiches offer a great protein-rich option with veggie-based meat substitutes, keeping sodium and animal-based saturated fats down. Evol Lean & Fit breakfast sandwiches also offer a great breakfast sandwich option with a great ratio of protein to carbs, coupled with a healthy serving of whole grains.
Breakfast sandwiches to avoid would be options that have a higher rate of sodium, carbs and saturated fats as compared to a lower rate of fiber and protein. Some examples of these would be Hot Pockets and Aunt Jemima Griddle Cakes.
Bacon and sausage are the cornerstones of the traditional hearty American breakfast and can serve as an excellent source of protein to fuel us through the day. Keeping this in mind, it is important to be mindful of the added sodium nitrites and nitrates that can often be found in your breakfast meats. These ingredients can have long-term negative health effects and have even been linked to some types of cancer.
Center-cut bacon is a great option with lower calories, saturated fat and sodium. Most types of turkey bacon and sausage are lower in saturated fats and calories, while also being lower in the harmful nitrates and nitrites used to cure other meats.
When it comes to breakfast meats, avoid sausage patties and bacon strips that are high in calories, saturated fat and sodium, like Jimmy Dean Original Pork Sausage Patties and Jimmy Dean Premium Bacon.