Breakfast has long been heralded as “The Most Important Meal of the Day.” Indeed, the morning meal has many benefits, particularly if you are trying to lose weight. According to The National Weight
Control Registry, 78 percent of the members who have maintained their weight loss and kept it off for at least five years eat breakfast every day, in addition to maintaining a well-balanced diet that emphasizes foods lower in saturated fat, trans fat, added sugars, and salt while increasing their levels of physical activity.
Why is breakfast so important? Hunger can creep up on you if you skip breakfast, and you may overcompensate and eat more throughout the day. Another theory is that eating breakfast kick-starts your metabolism so you start burning calories earlier in the day.
Even if you’re not watching your weight, breakfast is part of a healthy lifestyle. Older adults often consume less food at one sitting, so eating breakfast helps ensure an adequate intake of calories, vitamins, and minerals throughout the day. Moreover, breakfast can be especially helpful if you need to take medications in the morning on a full stomach. It can even help regulate bowel function.
So what is the best thing to eat for breakfast when you’re trying to make healthy selections? Ideally, a balanced morning meal includes a whole-grain carbohydrate, a fruit, and a high-protein or dairy component. Consider these well-rounded, tasty breakfast combinations:
- A bowl of high-fiber multigrain cold cereal, banana, and low-fat milk
- A slice of whole wheat toast with fruit spread, and a cup of nonfat fruit yogurt
- A bowl of oatmeal with walnuts and blueberries, and a hard-boiled egg
- A granola bar and a smoothie made with frozen berries and nonfat yogurt and milk
- A whole-wheat roll, an orange, and a scrambled egg
- A whole-grain waffle, toasted and topped with sliced fresh strawberries and low-fat cottage cheese