Do you skip breakfast? If you’re looking for a small change you can make in the new year to improve your health, consider waking up to breakfast. The evidence stacks up when it comes to the benefits this small change can make! Consider this:
- 2019 research published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology found that “skipping breakfast was associated with a significantly increased risk of mortality from cardiovascular disease. Our study supports the benefits of eating breakfast in promoting cardiovascular health.”
- Adults who report regularly eating a healthy breakfast are more likely to eat more vitamins and minerals and control their weight.
- Eating breakfast helps people with diabetes improve their blood glucose control. Some people with diabetes tend to skip breakfast because they think it will help keep their blood sugar in control. What happens, though, is that their blood sugar may drop too low. They then feel ravenously hungry and tend to overeat at lunch and dinner, creating a blood sugar spike. They would have been better off just eating breakfast in the first place. If someone with diabetes wakes up with a very high blood sugar, say 300, breakfast should consist mainly of protein foods.
To help you create a habit of eating breakfast, try setting up the table the night before. Put a placemat with utensils and a bowl and/or plate on the table along with non-perishable items such as cold cereal, peanut butter, fruit, etc. What a great reminder!
Aim for food from at least three food groups that include a good protein source and at least one serving of fruit. Boost the fiber content with some whole-grains such as whole-grain cereals, oatmeal, and whole-wheat toast. Here are a few easy and nutritious breakfast ideas:
- Cottage cheese with fruit and graham crackers
- Hard-boiled egg with whole grain toast and orange wedges
- Yogurt with fresh or canned fruit and granola
- Avocado toast on whole-wheat bread with shredded cheese
- Oatmeal with raisins/craisins, walnuts, and cinnamon (made with milk)
- Cold cereal such as Cheerios with a sliced banana and milk
- Granola bar with milk and applesauce
- Smoothie made with yogurt or milk, fruit, avocado, or leafy greens
- Sliced apple with cheddar cheese and almonds
- Apple sandwiches (see recipe below)
- Breakfast pizza (see recipe below)
(Makes one sandwich)
2 slices apple
1 1/2 tablespoons creamy peanut or almond butter
2 tablespoons granola
Spread nut butter over one side of one apple slice and sprinkle with granola. Depending on taste, you can add chocolate chips or coconut flakes. Place the remaining apple slice atop granola to finish the sandwich.
(Makes one serving)
1 slice of crusty whole wheat bread
3 tablespoons of ricotta or cottage cheese
2-3 slices of tomato
Drizzle of olive oil
Sprinkle of fresh or dried basil
Dash of salt and pepper
Spread cheese over the bread. Cover with tomato slices. Drizzle olive oil over the top and season with basil, salt, and pepper.
Brigitte Harton is a consultant Registered Dietitian at Age Well and a Board-Certified Wellness Coach. Have more nutrition or wellness questions? Contact Age Well’s Helpline at 800-642-5119 or visit AgeWellVT.org.