There’s been a debate going on over breakfast for the past couple of years or so. Is it really needed, is it really the most important meal of the day?
Perhaps you’ve seen research and articles that are all over the place when it comes to discussing the benefits or detriments of breakfast. For some it appears to be okay to skip. For others, breakfast helps with weight maintenance. for people with diabetes, morning blood sugar can spike if breakfast isn’t eaten. When it comes to mental performance, some studies show breakfast helps or hurts performance – depending on which study you’re reading….Harvard even published a study recently that said skipping breakfast could increase your chances for heart disease…Some research shows that eating the majority of your calories in the morning will help with weight loss…..so what’s the deal?
More than anything, the type of breakfast you eat will likely determine your own personal success with health and mental sharpness.
In today’s society, we are always in a hurry – and often times, we’re the most hurried in the morning. With that being said, most of the grab-and-go options are incredibly unhealthy and contain very few nutrients – cinnamon rolls, sausage biscuits, bagels, and honey buns.
While it might seem like something is better than nothing, that may not always hold true. Choosing an unhealthy breakfast with very few nutrients, protein, and/or fiber may leave you craving more food shortly after. Additionally, behavior research shows that once you’ve made one type of food choice (especially at the beginning of the day), choices later on tend to follow suit.
So, if you choose a healthy breakfast, you’ll tend to make healthy choices later on too, plus you might even add in some exercise. However, if you think you’ve already “ruined” the day with one bad choice, you might just consider the whole day a loss and make more poor choices.
Foods that are low in nutrients and high in fat, tend to leave you unsatisfied, feeling heavy, fatigued and/or drowsy. When you feel like this you might struggle mentally and forget about having any desire to workout later on….Who wants that?
Eating a healthy breakfast in the morning doesn’t have to take a ton of time or cost a lot of money, but it will take some thinking and planning on your part.
Let’s talk about what to look for in a healthy, satisfying breakfast.
Don’t skip the carbs. Our body needs them for fuel, but also don’t overload on them either. Most breakfasts tend to be carb heavy (pancakes, cereal, toast, yogurt, and fruit), if we don’t have fiber, protein, and some fat in the breakfast our body will process that breakfast quickly, spike our blood sugar, and leave us hungry again in no time. Aim for 30-45g of carbohydrate for breakfast.
Balance out the meal with high protein content. Try to create a breakfast that has a total of at least 20 g of protein. This will help you stay fuller longer and if you have diabetes, this will help keep your blood sugar better controlled.
Fill up on fiber. Use whole grains, fruits, vegetables, nuts, and beans to increase the fiber content – which will also help you feel fuller.
What do some of those breakfast combos look like? Here are my usual go to breakfasts:
- Carnation Instant Breakfast (chocolate) + Milk + banana + peanut butter + (on the side) hard-boiled egg
- High fiber whole wheat English Muffin + 2 egg whites + Turkey Canadian Bacon + 1/2 tablespoon grated cheddar
- Whole wheat tortilla + 1 egg + 1-2 tablespoons beans + cheese + salsa
- Greek yogurt + low-fat granola + almonds + fruit
- High protein cereal + milk + (on the side) hard-boiled egg
This week I wanted to look for something new and found it on Cherie Runs This. Cherie is her own personal success story and I love finding people just like her. She’s motivated and she’s got great tips – check out her website!
I’m so glad I stumbled upon her site. I had been looking for a high protein waffle recipe that is easy to make, delicious, and freezable – she delivered!
This recipe will vary depending on the size of your waffle maker. When I made these, I used a 7 inch waffle maker, and the recipe made 1 & 1/2 waffles.
For a fast breakfast for the week, triple the recipe, cook them on your waffle iron, let them cool completely (very important) and then freeze. In the morning simple grab one and reheat in the toaster or toaster oven.
I added a little peanut butter and banana for added protein and fiber.
Here’s the nutrition info for full recipe (1 & 1/2 waffles on my iron):
Calories: 380, Fat: 14.5g, Sodium: 520 mg, Carbs: 31, Fiber: 4g, Protein: 23g
With 1 tablespoon peanut butter and 5 inch banana:
Calories: 547, Fat: 22.5g, Sodium: 574mg, Carbs: 54g, Fiber: 7g, Protein: 27.5
Mandy Seay is a registered and licensed dietitian. She works as a nutrition consultant in Austin, Texas specializing in diabetes, weight loss, lipid control and preventative nutrition. For more health articles and nutrition information, check out Mandy’s website Nutritionistics.
Mandy was not compensated by anyone in/for this article.