Make Eating a Healthy Breakfast a Priority
I know it’s tempting to skip breakfast when you’re in a hurry, but that’s definitely the wrong thing to do if you care about your health. What we eat for breakfast helps fuel our day’s activities—and new research suggests that if we eat a balanced breakfast, we are less likely to gain weight over a five-year period. We are definitely better off taking a few minutes in the morning to fix something quick.
Most people go wrong by eating a quick breakfast that is high in refined flour and sugar. One tip I use to keep my breakfast balanced is to “strive for five!” I try to include at least five grams of fiber and five grams of protein in every breakfast. You want a breakfast to provide long-lasting energy. You get that by combining carbohydrate-rich foods that also contribute fiber or nutrients (like 100% whole grain breads and fruit) with protein from plant foods or low-fat dairy.
Just swap breakfast junk foods for healthful foods. It’s just as easy to throw a whole wheat bagel into the toaster as it is a white flour bagel, or to microwave a bowl of lower-sugar instant oatmeal at work as it is to walk to the snack bar and buy a Danish. If it’s the pop tart breakfast option you want, you can even swap a Fiber One pastry for an option that is higher in fiber but just as tasty and convenient. Whole grain wheat flour is the first ingredient, but each pastry contains 16 grams of sugar (accounting for 33.5% of calories).
Planning ahead helps you stick to your healthful breakfast plan. If you plan ahead, you can make a batch of various healthful breakfast items and have them in the freezer ready to take out and pop in the toaster or microwave. Whole grain pancakes or waffles work well, and you can bake a batch of muffins made with whole wheat flour, ground flaxseed, and a modest amount of sugar and canola oil over the weekend and enjoy them all week.
Fit those synergy superfoods into the first meal of the day. My latest book, Food Synergy, pulls together all of the latest science from the past five years or so and discusses how the components within foods and between foods work together in the body for maximum health benefits.
Here’s an example of how components between different foods work together: In a recent rat study, certain phytochemicals in broccoli worked with phytochemicals in tomatoes to reduce prostate tumor growth significantly more than feeding the rats just broccoli or tomato.
Here’s an example of how components within the same food work together: Several recent studies have revealed that the phytochemicals in apple flesh work best with the phytochemicals in the peel to reduce the risk of cancer.
So . . . essentially, food synergy leads you down a road of eating more whole foods and more plant foods, because the power is in the packaging.