The Healthiest Breakfast You Can Eat
Do you want to improve your choice of breakfast foods? Stop looking for a healthier alternative to butter and instead transform your mornings! Here’s how you can wake up to the healthiest breakfast you can eat.
A steamy mug of flavoured coffee and buttered toast can be a common morning ritual. Did you know common American breakfasts include many unhealthy, ultra-processed foods? From the glass of juice to the sweetened-milk in your coffee, from margarine to breakfast cereal we eat a lot of ultra-processed foods in the morning. Evidence suggests eating ultra-processed foods increases weight gain. Data from a recent survey reports that people who eat ultra-processed foods have greater odds of developing obesity (31%), diabetes (37%) and high blood pressure (60%) than those who eat most of their calories from whole foods. If your mornings include ultra-processed foods, a healthier choice is to skip them altogether. Hold on! Does that mean skipping breakfast is a healthy idea? This is an egg worth cracking.
For years, people believed that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Now we wonder whether that is true. Evidence shows there is a small improvement in brain power when breakfast is eaten. In a study of American men, eating breakfast was associated with a lower risk of coronary heart disease. But, research is inconclusive as to whether eating breakfast is helpful for weight loss. Body weight appears to be greatly impacted by eating too many calories late in the day, suggesting dinner may be the most important meal.
To answer the question, “Should I eat breakfast?”, you need to listen to your body. Many people do not listen to their body’s hunger signals. If you wake up in the morning and you are not hungry, then don’t eat, says Kimberly Gomer, Director of Nutrition at the Pritikin Longevity Center and Spa in Miami, Florida. “If you don’t eat breakfast, and then you eat a Danish mid-morning, you will gain weight… I’ve coached over 500 people and seen them drop the weight and keep it off.”
There is no one size fits all way of eating. You are unique. Your eating plan should be tailored to meet your unique body, lifestyle and health goal. There is no one Pritikin Eating Plan – Pritikin’s programs are successful because they are tailored to each person’s health goals, lifestyle and mindset. A stay at the Pritikin Longevity Center and Spa is a luxurious way to transform not only your breakfast, but your lifestyle.
What is the healthiest breakfast?
The healthiest breakfast you can eat is full of whole foods. The best whole foods for breakfast include berries, fresh fruit, whole grain cereals, vegetables, egg whites, tofu, beans, nuts and seeds. The best breakfasts for weight loss though often excludes nuts and seeds as they are calorie-dense.
Making your breakfast healthier can be simple! For example, start by pouring less dry cereal in your bowl, then top it with fresh fruit and low-fat milk or almond milk. You will feel fuller on fewer calories. Better yet, switch that sweetened dry cereal for a whole grain cereal or hot oatmeal. Research has found adults who consume whole grain cereals in the morning have lower daily fat and cholesterol intakes than those who ate other foods for breakfast. Exchange those cholesterol- and sugar-rich breakfasts of bacon and pancakes into something healthier, such as the Pritikin Chocolate Brownie Oatmeal, tofu scramble or egg whites with vegetables.
If you find mornings are rushed, roast extra vegetables for dinner the night before so there are vegetables ready in the morning to toss them into your egg white omelette. Another option is to prepare on the weekend a batch of egg white bites with vegetables using muffin tins, then they are ready in the fridge or freezer for quick reheating on busy mornings.
Rise and shine! Wake up to a breakfast that gets your day off to a healthy start. Skip breakfast traditions that are rich in ultra-processed foods. Instead choose the healthiest breakfast you can eat – one full of delicious bites of whole foods.
Still hungry for more? Check out healthy breakfast foods – 6 tips.
- Effect of breakfast on weight and energy intake: systemic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials. BMJ 2019;364:142.
- Household availability of ultra-processed foods and obesity in nineteen European countries. Public Health Nutr 2018 Jan;21(1):18-26.
- Consumption of ultra-processed foods affects health in Canada. University of Montreal, June 2019.
- The effects of breakfast and breakfast composition on cognition in adults. Adv Nutr 2016 May;7(3):576S-589S.
- A prospective study of breakfast eating and incident coronary heart disease in a cohort of male U.S. Hhealth professionals. Circulation 2013 Jul 23;128(4):337-343.
- The big breakfast study: chrono-nutrition influence on energy expenditure and body weight. Nutr Bul 2018 Jun; 43(2): 174-183.