I am often asked by my clients for healthy breakfast ideas. The simple answer is everyone is different, and what is best for some people may be unhealthy for others. Yet, what we do know is that the typical breakfast foods, which are high in refined carbohydrates and all types of sugars, are best avoided by all.
Many people are trying to incorporate healthy eating habits as part of their nutritional program. They typically search online for healthy eating tips, and healthy eating meal plans. Nutritional information online can be confusing. That is why obtaining personalized nutritional meal plan from a trusted nutrition consultant is the best option. And good nutrition starts with a healthy breakfast. To learn more about healthy breakfast ideas keep reading.
The worst breakfasts are sugary, fat-free, high carbohydras foods. Examples are a bagel with fruit spread and orange juice, or a fruit smoothie with non-fat vanilla yogurt and orange juice, or boxed cereal and non-fat milk. You may think there is nothing wrong with these options. These examples are high in sugars and carbs, even if the carbs are complex (as in whole grains), contain no healthy fats and are very low in protein. Healthy breakfast foods should include proteins, good fats, and be very low in sugars and contain no refined carbs.
Smoothies are very popular for breakfast. Whether homemade or commercially prepared, those containing mostly fruit and fruit juice are very high in sugar, thus are a poor choice. They raise blood sugar which results in an insulin release which leads to the formation of fat. Yes – it is the carbs in your diet that make you fat. Fructose is especially conducive to increasing fat storage. Moreover, once insulin has done its job of ushering the glucose out of the blood, you get a drop in blood sugar (and energy) which drives you to eat even more. This perpetuates a vicious cycle of weight gain and low energy.
Research has recently shown that high consumption of grains, sugars and low-fat foods have increased rather than reduced diabesity and heart disease. The theory that consumption of dietary cholesterol leads to high blood cholesterol was based on flawed research and misguided information. Today we realize that good fats, cholesterol and even saturated fats are no longer the enemy. We also understand that although elevated blood cholesterol is due to the consumption of refined carbohydrates and sugars, and oxidized fats. We also understand that good fats and proteins are what give us satiety or the feeling of being full.
When I make dietary recommendations on healthy breakfast ideas, I look at my clients’ overall health goals – are they are eating for weight loss, do they have foods allergies, food intolerances, food sensitivities, dietary preferences, lifestyle etc. For example, eggs, dairy, grains, legumes, nut and seeds may be very healthy for some but if my client is reactive to any of these foods (and I test that in my practice) their meal plan I create will accommodate for their food reactions. My healthy diet meal plans always include protein, good fats and often greens veggies for breakfast. Fruit, may be a good choice for some in moderation.
An example of a healthy breakfast includes pasture raised eggs with greens cooked in a good fat like coconut oil or grass fed butter. For a special weekend breakfast you can add additional veggies such as mushrooms, red bell peppers, onions, olives etc.
Another example is a smoothie. But unlike the smoothie described in the top of this blog, this nutritional drink is packed with nutrients that will sustain you through lunch, help stabilize blood sugar, keep you focused and energized and help you fight free radical damage with antioxidants. For healthy recipes and suggestions on appropriate protein choices for a nutritional breakfast check out my favorite smoothie. This recipe includes greens like baby kale or spinach, berries, water or nut milk, a good fat such as chia seeds and of course a protein. For protein you can have several options such as WheyCool (grass-fed whey), PurePaleo (grass-fed beef or Organic PurePea proteins.
For those who enjoy eating grains, substitute organic whole oats or rolled oats for boxed cereals and granolas. Gluten free oats are available for those who need it. Avoid packaged sweetened processed oats. Add some protein by including raw nuts or seeds and sweeten with low glycemic fruit like fresh berries. Enjoy with or without milk, nut milk or yogurt (grass fed or organic, plain and full fat).