Secrets of a Healthy Breakfast The ideal breakfast is the one that makes you feel your best, experts say, though there are some important nutrients to keep in mind.

The ideal breakfast is the one that makes you feel your best, experts say.

Secrets of a Healthy Breakfast The ideal breakfast is the one that makes you feel your best, experts say, though there are some important nutrients to keep in mind.


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Rachel Rabkin Peachman

Bobbi Lin Photographs for The New York Times

April 23, 2023

In the United States, between 10 and 20 percent of adults skip breakfast every day.

Nutrition experts warn that this could be a mistake.

Breakfast is not only a great way to fuel your day but it also has a number of health benefits.

There are many benefits, including reduced risk of obesity, cardiovascular disease, and Type 2 Diabetes, as well as better short-term memory for adults, improved school performance for children, and a better diet overall. Kathryn Starr is a registered dietitian at Duke University School of Medicine and an associate professor of Medicine.

Dr. Starr stated that 'all of our meals are very important. I don't believe breakfast is the most significant meal'. It 'kicks-starts' the process of our body functioning properly.


Mix your protein, carbs, and fats

Lauren Harris-Pincus is a registered diettitian from New Jersey. She says that the balance of proteins, fibers and unsaturated fatty acids at breakfast are important to maintain a healthy blood sugar level, as well as energy and feeling full until your next meal.

This roughly translates into at least 20 grams protein, 8 to 10 grams fiber, and 10 to 15 g of unsaturated fatty acids, which totals about 300-350 calories, said Ms. Harris Pincus.

Alice H. Lichtenstein is a professor of Nutrition Science and Policy in the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy of Tufts University.

Dr. Lichtenstein explained that your nutrient requirements will be determined by factors such as weight, activity, age, health condition, and personal preferences.

She said that it is more important to focus on what makes people feel energized, satisfied, and satisfied. She said that'so many times, we have tried to give people a formula,' and that if you take a look at the dietary patterns in the U.S. we are not doing well.

"It is whatever works best for your body," Dr. Lichtenstein said.

Proteins are important.

When planning your breakfast, Ms. Harris Pincus says that protein should be a priority. She said that many Americans eat more protein than they need throughout the day but don't eat enough for breakfast. Instead, they choose foods with refined sugars and carbohydrates such as bagels, croissants, or energy bars.

Dr. Starr stated that if they prioritize protein they often choose foods with saturated fats such as bacon and sausage. This can increase their risk of cardiovascular disease.

Harris-Pincus explained that your body requires protein for a variety of reasons, including maintaining muscle mass, metabolism, and physical strength. However, it only needs 25 to 35 grams per meal to achieve these goals. If you consume too much protein at one time, your body may use it for energy, store it in fat, or excrete it.

If you skip breakfast or do not eat enough protein, Ms. Harris Pincus explained, you will lose this opportunity to double your protein intake later.


Do not forget about the "shortfall" of nutrients

Ms. Harris Pincus says that calcium, vitamin D and potassium are often called'shortfall nutrients' because Americans don't consume enough of them.

Deficits in these nutrients can cause a number of problems over time, including weakening bones, gut issues and high bloodpressure.

It just so happens that there are many breakfast foods packed with nutrients in the United States.

The majority of fortified milks contain calcium, vitamin D, and potassium. Most fortified cereals also contain vitamin D, but be sure to select those with high fiber content and minimal added sugars. Bananas, citrus fruits, and dried fruit all have potassium. Oats and bananas are both rich in fiber.

'So, when you think of something like a whole grain cereal with milk and some fruit, it really makes a dent on those nutrients that are lacking,' said Ms. Harris Pincus.

Breakfast can be anything you like it to.

Josephine Connolly Schoonen, director of nutrition at Stony Brook Medicine, says that you don't need to stick to the standard breakfast to get the right mix of nutrients.

She said that any whole plant-based foods will have a lot of phytonutrients. These are antioxidants which protect your cells against damage.

Fiber is also present in these foods, and it helps to keep you fuller for longer. It also supports your gut health.


Dr. Connolly Schoonen says that coffee and tea are also good sources of antioxidants, and can be a part of a healthy breakfast. Just don't go overboard with the sugar and cream.

Amanda Sauceda is a registered dietitian from Long Beach, Calif. She advocates expanding the breakfast menu to include any food you would eat during other times of the day.

She said, "I don't like breakfast food but I dislike how my body feels when I don't have it."

She often makes a breakfast version of her dinner the night before, such as grilled chicken with vegetables or Chinese food.

She said, "I have been known to wrap whatever we ate the night before in a tortilla, and make a Burrito." I'm still getting all my food groups even though this might not be the breakfast you usually eat.

Connolly Schoonen, Dr. Connolly's wife, said it is important to eat slowly and enjoy your food. She said to eat when you are hungry and stop when you are full.

Breakfast doesn't need to be eaten first thing in morning. If you are hungry and have an early morning exercise class, Dr. Connolly Schoonen suggests that you eat a little something before you go. Then, after the class, finish your breakfast. "Whatever works for YOU."



Try new recipes

Breakfast ideas recommended by nutritionists are easy to prepare and nutritious. Here are a few ideas to get you going:

Overnight oats with milk, chia seeds, diced fruit, and dried fruits

Smoothie with Greek yogurt, fruit and kale/spinach

Whole-wheat Toast with Nut Butter and Sliced Strawberries

Greek yogurt with walnuts, almonds, or berries

Breakfast burrito made with whole-wheat tortillas and a mixture of eggs, egg whites and cheese. Also includes beans, salsa and beans.

With milk, whey powder, almonds, walnuts, and sliced melons.

Whole-grain Toast with Cream Cheese and Llox

Tofu scramble, with veggies, avocado, and skim mozzarella cheese

Leftover grilled Chicken, Roasted Potatoes and Green Beans

Topped with an egg, this dish features roasted potato slices over a bed spinach.

Mix leftover quinoa with arugula and cucumber