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What Is the Healthiest Breakfast to Eat?

author image Natalie Stein
Natalie Stein specializes in weight loss and sports nutrition. She is based in Los Angeles and is an assistant professor with the Program for Public Health at Michigan State University. Stein holds a master of science degree in nutrition and a master of public health degree from Michigan State University.
What Is the Healthiest Breakfast to Eat?
What Is the Healthiest Breakfast to Eat?

A healthy breakfast can help you control your weight, improve your focus throughout the morning and make you feel energized. The healthiest breakfast is low in unhealthy components, such as saturated fat and added sugars, and high in essential nutrients. The best breakfast for you depends on your personal nutritional needs and lifestyle.

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Whole-Grain Cereals

If you like cereal, the healthiest breakfast for you may include a whole-grain hot cereals, such as oatmeal or bulgur, or a fortified cold cereal with a variety of vitamins. Choose a cereal with at least 5 g of dietary fiber and no more than 14 g of sugars per serving. Eat your cereal with fat-free or low-fat milk or yogurt, for some protein and calcium, and have some fruit, such as berries, bananas or apple slices, for potassium, vitamin C and more dietary fiber. Add a small amount of ground flaxseed to your cereal for heart-healthy, cholesterol-lowering omega-3 fats.

Substitutes for Tradition

A balanced breakfast should include a whole grain, a fruit or vegetable, a source of protein and a serving of reduced-fat dairy. You can make a few simple substitutions in order to transform an unhealthy breakfast into one of the healthiest possible breakfasts. Instead of sausage, eggs, pancakes with syrup and hash browns, try vegetarian sausage, egg whites, whole-grain pancakes with fresh fruit and a side of vegetables or yogurt. This reduces the saturated fat, calories and cholesterol, and increases the essential nutrients in your breakfast.

Breakfast Sandwich

A breakfast sandwich can be the healthiest option for a breakfast on-the-go. One idea is a peanut butter sandwich on whole grain bread or a whole-wheat English muffin. Add some no-sugar-added fruit spread or fresh fruit, and have fat-free milk with your sandwich. Another option is a breakfast wrap on a high-fiber tortilla. Fill it with low-fat cheese for protein and calcium, and chopped vegetables for fiber and micronutrients. Add some avocado slices for some heart-healthy monounsaturated fat.

Fiber and Reduced Fat

If you are on a low-carbohydrate diet, reduce your saturated fat intake to make sure that your breakfast is as healthy as possible. Instead of steak, bacon or eggs fried in butter, choose turkey bacon and egg whites with herbs or vegetables prepared in olive or canola oil. If you are too busy to cook, the healthiest breakfast option for you may be a bar or shake because these may be your only alternatives to fast food. Choose a high-fiber product that is fortified with vitamins and minerals.

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