It’s a good idea to start your day with healthy breakfast foods rather than loading up on convenient processed foods, just to get the feeling of fullness. If your mornings are full of tasks, you need nutrition as well as energy. You may choose convenient foods, but they should be full of healthy ingredients to keep you sustained throughout the day at home as well as at work.
If you are daunted about which healthy foods you should choose for your mornings, here are a few useful tips that will help you fill your kitchen with smart food choices for breakfast. You can either prepare healthy morning meals or you can find one of the best breakfast restaurants and eat there.
Healthy Breakfast – What is it?
After you spend 6 to 8 hours sleeping with empty stomach, you should start your day with protein to help in muscle growth, healthy carbohydrates to get energy, healthy fats for satiety and fiber to make you feel full and keep your gut healthy. There are many traditional breakfast recipes which are designed by our ancestors with an aim of providing all these nutrients; however, they can also be too full of calories. For example, a traditional breakfast made with bacon, eggs and toast can easily comprise of 500 calories or even more. Even healthy morning meals like avocado toast, whole grain cereal or oatmeal can contain too many calories.
If you are concerned with your weight and want to lose or maintain it, calorie count must be taken into consideration. If the biggest meal of your day is your breakfast, 500-600 calories may not be a problem; however, if you take in many snacks and meals throughout the day, including a big lunch and medium-sized dinner, it’s better to cut down on calories at breakfast.
But this doesn’t mean that you should avoid healthy breakfast foods such as healthy fats or whole grains. You should only be watchful of portion size to maintain your total caloric intake for the day in a healthy range.
Healthy Breakfast Foods
Know healthy breakfast foods and build your breakfast around them. The following list contains foods that are filled with fiber and protein, but relatively low refined sugar, fat and calories. They will help you prevent mindless eating, late morning cravings and improve portion control during the day.
Here are healthy foods for breakfast:
- Eggs or egg whites
- Non-fat Greek yogurt
- Seasonal berries
- Fresh salsa
- Whole grain bread/cereal
- Skim or low fat milk or whole milk (to be consumed in moderation)
- Lean ground turkey
- Plain oatmeal or steel cut oats
- Low fat turkey breakfast sausages
You can make a wholesome breakfast with these ingredients in advance and can even keep a healthy breakfast for a whole week in the refrigerator. That way, you’ll have to spend only 5-10 minutes every morning for breakfast preparation.
Which Foods to Avoid for Breakfast?
Unfortunately, several traditional breakfast foods are actually the worst foods to eat in the morning. They are often filled with refined grains and processed sugar, low in nutrients and high in calories. Although they might be simple to eat and go, they usually leave you feeling hungry and grumpy just within around an hour. In that case, you are very likely to choose some junk foods.
You should avoid the following foods for breakfast:
- Breakfast bars
- Certain frozen breakfast sandwiches
- Flavored coffee creamers (avoid even the fat-free versions)
- Single-serving flavored oatmeal packets
- Sugary cereals
- Pastries and other bakes desserts
Healthy Breakfast Cooking Tips
Preparing a healthy morning meal is not that difficult. In fact, you can make it with the least fuss and mess. For example, you can add a handful of red pepper and a few crumbled turkey sausages to egg whites to make a savory start of the day or throw a ½ cup of blueberries to protein-rich plain Greek yogurt for a sweet beginning.
If you wish to follow one of the healthy morning meal recipes, it’s smart to keep a few cooking tools at hand. For example, if you love to cook and eat eggs, make sure to get a non-stick skillet, so that you don’t have to use butter or oil while doing them. A great idea is to refrigerate chicken stock and use it while making omelets instead of oil or butter. You can use the chicken stock also for sauté shallots or onions.
Another great idea is to make a big potful of oats only once in a week, if you wish to have oatmeal for breakfast. Next, portion the oats out in single-serving containers and refrigerate them. Then each following morning, you can heat them in the microwave and enjoy!
Healthy Fast Food Breakfast Ideas
If you find yourself looking for breakfast on the road, you don’t necessarily have to eat junk food. You can even find the best breakfast restaurants that can serve you healthy fast food breakfast. You can even get fresh fruit, Greek yogurt and oatmeal. But if you get only fast food as choices, here are some ideas:
Some restaurants let you order your favorite meal in combination with veggies as a sandwich or salad. Here going for a salad cuts down calories since you can eliminate bread. However, make sure to avoid high-calorie ingredients like croutons or cheese. But if the meal is not available in the form of a salad, get an open-faced sandwich, so that the top bread layer is removed.
Choose the Smallest Portion Size
If you crave a food which you know is full of fats and calories, look for the smallest portion size available. Here the best choice may be kids meal or child’s size. This way, you can satisfy your cravings with the fewest calories.
Fast food drinks are generally full of calories. Most popular malts and shakes contain more calories than a full meal. In such a case, water is the best and healthiest fast food drink. But if you don’t like the idea of plain water, you can add a slice of lemon to add flavor to it (usually served alongside condiments).
Avoid Dips, Toppings and Sauces
Do you know that innumerable grams of fat and hundreds of calories can be avoided by avoiding sauces, dips and toppings? Fast food condiments such as barbecue sauce and ketchup too can bring in excessive calories and often contain added sugar. Also you can order salads without dressing. Here you can add flavor to your salad with lemon without having to add calories.
Are you now feeling clear about healthy breakfast and are ready to start making healthy food choices? Bon appetite!