Building a Better Breakfast

By Krista Kohls, RD, CD, Meriter Clinical Dietitian

There has been decades of research confirming that eating breakfast each morning is beneficial for weight loss, increasing metabolism, providing energy to the brain and much more! And now there is even research about the content of the food you eat at breakfast. The University of Missouri has found that eating breakfast, especially one high in protein, increases appetite satisfaction and reduces hunger throughout the day. Protein, along with whole grains and whole fruit are a perfect equation for a healthy breakfast. And this healthy equation goes along with the new USDA MyPlate model. The MyPlate model serves as a quick, simple reminder for all consumers to make healthy food choices.

Building a Better Breakfast:

Add in protein – increases satiety and reduces hunger. Examples:

o 6 oz. Greek yogurt,

o 2 Tbsp. peanut butter,

o 1 oz. nuts,

o 1 hard-boiled egg,

o 1 piece of part-skim string cheese,

o 2-3 oz. turkey on a sandwich

Aim for whole grains – more fiber & nutrients, also increases satiety because they digest more slowly. Examples:

o Steel Cut oatmeal,

o whole grain cold cereal,

o whole wheat English muffin or whole wheat bread,

o whole wheat waffles or pancakes,

o whole grain muffins,

o whole wheat tortilla

Choose whole fruits (and vegetables) – contain fiber, vitamins and minerals. Examples:

o Always try to include a fresh fruit at breakfast

 top oatmeal with fresh berries,

 add melon chunks to yogurt,

 put banana slices in cold cereal

o To get vegetables at breakfast add veggies to omelets or drink low sodium tomato juice.

Be careful of what’s in your coffee cup – Adding cream and sugar to your coffee can add 10 pounds of body weight each year! Instead, try reduced fat milk or soymilk instead of cream/whole milk. Also be careful when buying lattes or frappuccinos as these beverages can run you around 400 calories and 15 gm fat. Fortunately, there are light options and just a small, plain, nonfat latte will run you only 100 calories.

Keep in mind the New MyPlate model – The MyPlate model reminds Americans to adopt healthier eating habits in a simplified fashion with more emphasis on fruits and veggies.

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