There has been some debate in recent years about whether breakfast is, indeed, the most important meal of the day. Diane May, MPH, MS, RD, CDN, CSOWM, a registered dietician at Scarsdale Medical Group has no doubt. “There have been studies that [show] those who do not eat breakfast have higher BMI’s, consume greater amounts of fat throughout the day, and have lower performance levels at school and at work,” she says. “Eating breakfast wakes up your metabolism, and helps you get those important nutrients you need to jumpstart your day.”
So what should you have for breakfast? Here, May shares five healthy (and delicious) options:
“I recommend making an omelet and throwing any veggies you like into it for added fiber and nutrition,” says May. “Eggs are great source of high-quality protein, and are loaded with vitamin B2, D, B6, B12, selenium, zinc, iron, and copper. Each whole egg has 80 calories, and helps build muscles, brain health, produce energy in all the cells of our body, keep our immune system strong, support eye health, and help us feeling full and satisfied.”
“A whole grain, oatmeal is an excellent source of soluble fiber, which helps naturally pull bad cholesterol (LDL) out of the body due to its beta glucan,” explains May. “Oats are a great source of manganese, phosphorus, magnesium, copper, iron, zinc, folate, thiamin, and vitamin B5, and are high in fiber, which makes oatmeal satisfying. It can aid in weight loss and help lower blood glucose levels. Toss in some berries for extra antioxidant power.”
“Loaded with calcium, protein, potassium, zinc, B6, and B12, Greek yogurt is a great way to start the day. It is triple-strained, which makes it heartier and has less lactose [than regular yogurt], so those that have lactose intolerance may be able to tolerate it better than most dairy,” says May. “It also has probiotics, which strengthen the immune system and create a healthy environment for your gut.” May recommends adding some slivered almonds for added protein and a crunchy texture. “Try and find Greek yogurts that are approximately 100 calories and no more than 6 grams of sugar per serving,” she says.
According to May, “Chia seeds are a whole grain loaded with antioxidants, Omega 3’s, calcium, protein, and fiber. These fun little seeds change texture and size when wet, so making them into a pudding is very satisfying.” May adds that chia can aid with weight loss, and that limited research has shown that the seeds can be beneficial for heart health.
“Almond butter is a healthy source of monounsaturated fat, vitamin E, fiber, and magnesium. One tablespoon is 100 calories. Nuts may reduce the risk of heart disease, diabetes and stroke,” explains May. “Make sure any nut butter you choose contains only nuts and salt. There should be no other ingredients added. Adding a slice of enriched whole-grain toast adds more fiber, vitamin E, B6, magnesium, thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, potassium, iron, folate, and protein. Whole grains can aid with blood-glucose control, weight maintenance, and may reduce the risk of certain cancers.”