According to the USDA, 93% of Americans think breakfast is the most important meal of the day. However, only 44% of people are actually eating breakfast every day. I suppose we could attribute the discrepancy to years and years of our mothers’ voices telling us the former is true. Well, it’s time to actually start listening, especially since September is Better Breakfast Month.
A quick Google search will turn up numerous studies boasting the benefits of a healthy breakfast. Kids perform better at school. Adults are more alert at work. Breakfast eaters consume fewer calories throughout the day. The list goes on and on. If you’re a non-breakfast eater, there is bound to be something that would convince you otherwise.
What Makes Breakfast Healthy?
Tried and true, the car analogy works perfectly here. It goes something like this: A car needs fuel to run, just as your body does. You probably wouldn’t (knowingly) put bad gas into your car in the morning, so don’t put bad things into your body. We’re looking at you Pop Tarts… or doughnuts… or really anything processed.
Most processed foods are full of simple sugars which spike your blood sugar levels, giving you a short burst of energy. However, they inevitably cause you to crash just as fast as your energy went up. Due to the quick digestion of refined (not whole grain) carbohydrates, they do not keep you full for very long making them a less than ideal choice for breakfast.
Try pairing whole grains with lean proteins, healthy fats or fiber to not only keep you satisfied until lunch time, but to get your fill of important vitamins and nutrients as well.
Here are a few balanced ideas to try:
– Eggs (protein) with veggies (try spinach, bell peppers or mushrooms) mixed in. Side of 100% whole-wheat toast (whole grain)
– Oatmeal (whole grain) with fruit (berries, apples, bananas etc) and a scoop of nut butter (protein)
– Greek yogurt (protein) with granola (whole grain) and fruit (berries, apples, etc.)