The media is shoving breakfast at us as the most important meal of the day.
But, might it just be the most hyped meal of the day?
The pastries available at your favorite coffee shop are on par with desserts. The fat, sugar and calorie content are competitive. At some point, having dessert-type foods for breakfast became normalized.
The processed yogurt you grab from the dairy case is also loaded with sugar. It’s sold as something that can help you slim down because it’s technically yogurt.
Breakfast cereals are sugar traps. You have to read the label and look at the sugar content. Some brands are better than others. Shredded wheat doesn’t usually have added sugar. Puffed rice and bran cereals may have minimal added sugar. You can also check the organic aisle for cereal with lower sugar contents. Consider whole grain hot cereals.
Starting your day with sugar sets you up for sugar cravings as the day continues.
Whole foods and cooking your own meal are the best options for breakfast. Our modern lifestyle dictates seeking convenience, so make sure you read the label before you throw that quick bite into your grocery basket.
Nut butter is a great option. You can buy grab-and-go packages of nut butter that do not require refrigeration. You can put nut butter on fruit or whole grain baked goods. Buy organic when you can. Skip the low-fat and fat-free options, because they’re very processed.
Ricotta cheese makes a yummy spread on whole grain baked goods and fruits. Drizzle it with some honey.
Try making your own smoothie so you can monitor the sugar content. Start with a protein base, like Greek yogurt, kefir, nut milk or protein powder. Add frozen fruit. Fresh fruit makes a thinner smoothie. You can also add some greens, like spinach or kale. Follow up with chia seeds, nut butter, flax seeds or cacao for added flavor.
You need at least 50 grams of protein a day. Read your labels to find out where you can get it, and don’t just save it for one meal. Instead, eat protein throughout the day.
Eggs are a great source of protein for your morning meal. Hard-boiled eggs keep for a week and are perfect for a grab-and-go breakfast. You can make a frittata or omelet with fresh eggs and random vegetables. You can also measure out egg whites from a carton. One regular-sized egg has six grams of protein.
If 12 hours hasn’t passed since your last meal, you’re not really "breaking the fast." Look at your clock. Did you wake up hungry? You don’t have to eat as soon as you wake. Late dinners, snacks and overnight work shifts will change the hour you should break your fast.
Listen in as chef and dietician Abbie Gellman gives you the score on breakfast choices.