Mornings can be rough. You hit the snooze button one too many times, have an extra cup of coffee to get you going, and then you're rushing out the door before you know what hit you. But, what about breakfast?
I've always been a stickler about making time for breakfast. Even as my kids got older, I wouldn't let them leave the house without some fiber in their systems. Breakfast is an important part of the day because it starts your metabolism and it fuels your body with the nutrients and carbohydrates you need.
Now,a study published this year in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition gives us yet another good reason to eat breakfast every morning: it may also reduce your risk for type 2 diabetes.
This study found that men who skipped breakfast were 21 percent more likely to have type 2 diabetes in their lifetimes. It's important to note, though, that what you eat for breakfast may be just as important as whether you eat. A 2008 in the same journal looked meal timing and showed that people who consumed carbs at breakfast (as opposed to at dinner) were less likely to have high glucose levels.
I'd like to point out that not all carbs are created equal. There are carbs — such as refined sugar and flour — that will spike your blood sugar levels regardless of when you eat them. And then there are healthy carbs that give you energy over a longer period of time. So, I can't justify eating a giant "everything" bagel loaded with cream cheese, but there are some breakfast foods that I can really get behind.
When you're planning your breakfast, always include some fat, protein and healthy carbs. The combination will keep you feeling full longer without boosting your blood sugar levels.
Here are some ideas:
- Cold cereal or oatmeal with 1 percent milk and a small handful of nuts. This is one of my go-to breakfast meals because it's very high in fiber, easy to prepare and requires very few ingredients.
- One or two eggs served with whole grain, wheat or rye toast and fruit. It's a no-frills meal with all the good stuff you need to start your day.
- Breakfast burrito made with beans, eggs and low-fat cheese in a high-fiber tortilla. This is a great meal for a Sunday when you have a little extra time to prepare your meal.
- Whole grain English muffin with lox and low-fat cream cheese. If you feel like you're missing out on that giant bagel, this is a good alternative.
- Cottage cheese and fruit. You can choose any kind of fruit. Personally, I like pineapple chunks with my cottage cheese.
Healthy Bites appears on MyHealthNewsDaily on Wednesdays. Deborah Herlax Enos is a certified nutritionist and a health coach and weight loss expert in the Seattle area with more than 20 years of experience. Read more tips on her blog, Health in a Hurry!