Want to reap the rewards of breakfast? Here’s how

What’s on the menu is critical to reaping breakfast’s rewards. Having a high carb breakfast, especially one with mainly quickly digested carbohydrates – bagel with cream cheese, a monster muffin, toast, a sugar-laden instant breakfast bar or shake  or even just cereal and fruit –  won’t help you lay the foundation of healthy eating.

Neither will a fatty meal.

Breakfast is supposed to give you get up and go – not make you feel as though you want to go back to bed.

Go for maximum nutrition by choosing smart carbs- whole grains and fruit and vegetables but be sure to include adequate amounts of protein. Somehow here in North America, we’ve turned high protein foods like meat, poultry and fish into dinner fare.  Consider having small portions, just a couple of ounces of these foods or lower-fat cheese and eggs at your morning meal.

University of Kansas Medical Center study in the International Journal of Obesity on breakfast skipping adolescents found that when they ate a higher protein morning meal, the subjects felt more satisfied through the day.

Test it out yourself and see how you feel. You’ll be sold.

But sometimes figuring out what to eat takes more time than actually preparing or eating breakfast. If so, why not make a list of fast options and post it on your fridge so you don’t have to waste any time contemplating your selections.

While meal replacement bars and shakes are certainly speedy choices, they can be pricy and may not help you achieve your goals.  A Japanese study published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry assessed the impact of whey protein   hydrolysates – a common ingredient in these products – and found that they boosted insulin levels in the blood significantly.  That’s the opposite of what you’re looking for at breakfast.

Instead go for real food. Opt for choices from at least three out of the four food groups. For instance, have some lower-fat cheese cubes, whole grain crackers and an apple.

Why not enjoy dinner for breakfast?© Pontuse | Stock Free Images & Dreamstime Stock Photos

Why not enjoy dinner for breakfast?
© Pontuse | Stock Free Images & Dreamstime Stock Photos

Why not have leftovers at breakfast? When I grill salmon for dinner, I always make extra as my husband loves it for his morning meal the next day.

Another option is to prepare your breakfast at dinner the night before. For example, enjoy some French toast in the morning – lightly beat an egg, add a drop or two of vanilla extract, a dash of salt and place in a dish. Add a slice of whole grain bread to the mix and let it soak overnight in the fridge. Then cook it in the morning in a non-stick skillet sprayed with cooking spray. Serve it with yogurt and berries.

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What’s your favourite breakfast? Do you like dinner for breakfast? Please share below.

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Categories: Tips and Tricks

Author:Rosie Schwartz

Rosie Schwartz is a Toronto-based consulting dietitian and writer.

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