Dietitians and nutrition experts recommend dividing your morning mix into three separate components: carbohydrates, dairy and fruit. A healthy breakfast should amount to around 300 calories for the average eater and should be low in saturated fat. Protein, such as that found in meats and eggs, is also an acceptable breakfast component, but most Americans overload their plates with protein sources while shunning more-important produce. If you are a meat-and-potatoes person, remember to balance your plate by making the majority of your food intake high in produce, fiber and whole grains.
Greek Yogurt with Berries
High in protein and low in sugar, plain Greek yogurt is just beginning to receive widespread acclaim for its naturally beneficial properties. Unlike traditional commercial yogurts, the Greek variety boasts a thick, creamy texture, fewer carbs and less lactose. Reach for yogurt that is low in fat and unflavored. Toss in a handful of antioxidant-rich berries, which are high in fiber and nutrients, and a sprinkling of ground flax seed, which provides healthy natural fat, and you’ll have a portable, balanced guilt-free breakfast.
Fast food is never going to be outright nutritious, but certain drive-thru menu options are safer for healthy diets. Real Simple recommends McDonald’s Egg McMuffin for morning meals-on-the-go. One sandwich has only 300 calories (make sure to stick to one serving), lean protein, carbs and calcium. You can ditch one half of the muffin if you’re worried about caloric intake. Eat a piece of fiber rich fruit, like an apple or orange, or a small plain baby spinach salad for an extra vitamin punch.
Peanut Butter Toast with Bananas
Peanut butter is a classic super food. Yummy, widely available and full of good-for-you minerals and protein, this pantry staple isn’t just for jelly sandwiches. New natural varieties are often lower in sugar, but compare labels before buying: pick the peanut butter that is lower in fat, sugar and sodium. Shop for whole grain high-fiber bread, and look for labels without high fructose corn syrup. After toasting bread, spread with a serving of peanut butter and drizzle with optional honey. Eat a banana for potassium and fiber, and finish the meal with a small glass of soy or rice milk for calcium.
Remember to consult your doctor before any changes in diet. Your physician can help you determine the proper caloric and nutrient intake for your body and lifestyle.