From elementary school on, we’ve heard repeatedly that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Yet, when we got home and put on the TV, we saw cereal and Pop Tart commercials that preached its nutritional value when the back of the box reveals the reality.
Why do the media strongly suggest these foods for breakfast? That’s a completely different issue. The real question is why we listened and trailed behind them with our poor morning diets.
If you are one of those people who either do not eat breakfast, or have joined the cereal nation, this article is for you.
If your cereal is low in calories but missing key ingredients like whole grains or protein, or is excessive on sugar or sodium, it kind of defeats the purpose of calling it breakfast. Then there’s the whole thing about not measuring out our servings and unknowingly (we really should know we’re doing it if it shows a half cup serving and our bowl is filled to the brim) over-eating, and so on. Essentially, breakfast is a hot mess for the majority of us.
Healthy carbs and low-fat proteins are essential. You’ve just slept for a massive amount of time and most likely you didn’t eat right before bed either. You need lean protein and whole grains in order to really get going in the day. The protein obviously excludes foods like bacon and sausage because although they’re protein, the saturated-fat count is out of control, and the last thing we want is for our arteries to clog before we even get up to tackle the day.
Fruit is another great component to the start of the day. Berries like strawberries, blueberries and raspberries are prime examples of what to eat because they have the right kind of sugars to fuel our engines in the morning. Nutritionists will tell you to eat lots of fruit in the morning because although you’re getting your fill in sugar, you’re meant to burn off the energy throughout the day.
Not to be ignored is the low-fat dairy you should be fitting into your now large breakfast platter. Milk has been said again and again to be a way to strengthen our bones, but it also can be high in fats, so give almond milk a try. If you’re a real stickler about milk, one percent or skim is a decent alternative to whole.
Breakfast takes a lot more thought than unwrapping a processed muffin or breaking open a box of processed cereal. The key word to avoid is processed. We should strive toward fresh and whole foods and eating them together will get you on the track to success.