Carbohydrate lovers rejoice because you definitely won't want to skip this comforting macronutrient at breakfast.
Although low-carb diets may be all the rage, your body needs carbs because they supply your body with its most readily available source of energy: Glucose, according to Harvard Health Publishing.
When you eat carb-containing foods, your body converts the carbohydrates into glucose. Then, glucose fuels pretty much everything you do, from running to breathing. That's why 45 percent to 65 percent of your daily calorie intake should come from carbohydrates.
But that doesn't mean you should spring for a muffin or pastry every morning. Refined sugar-laden delicacies may taste great but they can spike your blood sugar levels and lead to an inevitable energy crash just a few hours later, says Bonnie Taub-Dix, RD and author of Read It Before You Eat It: Taking You from Label to Table.
Whole-grain carb sources, like oats, quinoa and sprouted bread, are slower-digesting and won't drastically spike your blood sugar, Taub-Dix says. Whole grains are higher in nutrients, like fiber, which also helps stabilize your blood sugar and keep you satiated.
The foods you pair with your carb sources matter, too. Taub-Dix suggests adding a source of healthy fats and protein to your whole-grain carbs. These macros are satiating and slower-digesting, which means you'll stay energized and full throughout the morning.
So, what exactly does a balanced high-carb breakfast look like? These healthy recipes are a great way to go.
1. Savory Tuscan Oatmeal
- Calories: 331
- Carbohydrates: 55 grams
Yes, brown sugar or maple oatmeal are classic flavors, but these ingredients add a lot of sugar to your bowl, which isn't best for keeping your blood sugar levels steady, Taub-Dix says. Savory oatmeal, however, is underrated and a great way to incorporate healthy protein and fats.
Get the Savory Tuscan Oatmeal recipe and nutrition info here.
2. Waffles With Feta and Smoked Salmon
- Calories: 631
- Carbohydrates: 65 grams
If you're open to savory oatmeal, savory waffles will probably float your boat, too. And if not, this recipe may be more your taste. Combined with feta and smoked salmon, these waffles strike an excellent balance between carbs, protein and fat. Want to give this recipe an extra healthy boost? Swap white flour with whole-wheat flour.
Get the Waffles With Feta and Smoked Salmon recipe and nutrition info here.
3. Tiramisu Protein Pancakes With Banana-Cream Frosting
- Calories: 488
- Carbohydrates: 57 grams
Dessert for breakfast may not sound healthy but these tiramisu-inspired protein pancakes will prove you wrong. With 31 grams of protein total and only 27 minutes of total prep time, you'll definitely want to add these flapjacks to your list of favorite brunch recipes.
Get the Tiramisu Protein Pancakes With Banana-Cream Frosting recipe and nutrition info here.
4. Three-Minute Breakfast Burrito
- Calories: 422
- Carbohydrates: 41 grams
Don't discount whole-grain burritos from your list of go-to breakfast carbs. This breakfast burrito only takes three minutes to make and is made using a whole-grain, sprouted tortilla, rather than a standard wheat variety. Try using low-fat cheddar to cut down on the overall fat calories. Or, substitute one of the whole eggs with egg whites.
Get the Three-Minute Breakfast Burrito recipe and nutrition info here.
5. Teff Breakfast Bowl
- Calories: 837
- Carbohydrates: 110 grams
You may usually enjoy your yogurt with a handful of crunchy granola but most store-bought options are high in sugar and preservatives. Instead, top your kefir with some ancient grains, like teff, Taub-Dix suggests. These grains are free of processed sugar and they'll give your breakfast some extra fiber. Add a few berries or nuts and you're sure to stay satiated throughout your entire morning.
Get the Teff Breakfast Bowl recipe and nutrition info here.