As a dietitian, I get sent the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. To be honest, I never really read too many articles, I mostly skim over the topics. But in the latest journal there was a long article about the importance of eating breakfast. I found it really helpful, so I wanted to share some of the things the article talked about with you today!
Did you know that 93% of Americans agreed breakfast is the most important meal of the day, yet half 44% reported actually eating it everyday? Eating breakfast is positively associated with general health and well being: better overall health, healthier body weight, better diet quality, reduced risk for chronic diseases, and cognitive benefits. Starting your day with a nutritious meal also reduces your risk for heart disease and high cholesterol.
What makes a good breakfast?
Breakfast should be about 15-25% of your total energy (meaning about 225-375 calories if you’re on a 1500 calorie diet). Ideally, you should aim to include three or more food groups, and especially protein containing foods such as lean meat, meat subs, legumes, nuts, and low fat dairy. Eating protein at breakfast improves satiety– meaning it helps you feel full longer! Studies have shown that breakfasts high in egg and meat protein led to better food intake regulation and reduced evening snacking compared to skipping breakfast.
Keep sugar in mind! Studies have shown that Americans eat 15-20% of their total daily intake of sugars at breakfast. Limit empty calories by avoiding sugary cereals and fruit juices with added sugar.
Make it Routine
Many of us understand that breakfast is important, and that eating a quality breakfast is important, yet many of us tend to skip because of common barriers: absence of hunger in the morning, not having easy options, and lack of planning. You can address these barriers by using strategies for managing time, preparing foods and kitchen items in advance, getting non perishable items ready, and buying in bulk. Here are more tips on how to make breakfast a routine:
- Set out dishes, utensils and nonperishable items out the night before (such as bread, oatmeal, bowl, spoons)
- Move refrigerated items such as low fat milk, fruit, yogurt, and juice to the front of the fridge for easy access
- Wash and cut up fruit the night before
- Make overnight oats and have breakfast ready to go the next morning
- Make freezer “smoothie bags” with bananas, strawberries, spinach, blueberries, etc ready to go in the freezer for fast smoothies
- Prep parfaits ahead of time– combine yogurt, fruit and granola in to go cups
- Hard boil a dozen eggs at once and store in the fridge for grab and go eggs
- For those who aren’t hungry in the morning, keep trail mix, dried fruit, fiber rich cereal bars in cars, purses, briefcases, to eat on the way to work
Here’s some breakfast inspiration for you! Enjoy!
Turkey Veggie Protein Cups
Peach Pie Overnight Oats // What The Fork Food Blog
Pomegranate Citrus Smoothie // Lovely Little Kitchen
Pumpkin Apple Oatmeal Protein Pancakes // The Lean Green Bean
Portobello Mushroom Egg Bakes // Running to the Kitchen
Breakfast Skillet // Real Food Real Deals
Whole Wheat Apple Raisin Muffins // Back to Her Roots
Roasted Peaches with Vanilla Bean Yoghurt
What is your typical breakfast these days? Do you have any favorite “grab and go” options?
Source: The Benefits of Breakfast: Defining Breakfast and Its Role in Health, Carol E Neil et al, Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.