Niha Zubair, Arivale Clinical Research Scientist, PhD
Ah, breakfast. The “most important meal of the day,” as many of us were raised to believe. But, why exactly is breakfast so important? And, what’s the best food to choose?
Research has shown that people who skip breakfast have an increased risk for higher BMI, as well as cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and hypertension1. And, eating regularly throughout the day – starting in the morning – works with the body’s natural circadian rhythm and may help you be successful with a weight-loss goal 2,3. (Whereas skipping breakfast can make it difficult to get the nutrients you need during the day1.)
“But, what about intermittent fasting?” I hear you asking. As it turns out, intermittent fasting may not be your best bet if you’re trying to lose weight.
The 2 Rules of Good Breakfasting
To make sure you’re getting the most out of your breakfast, follow these two rules:
- Eat within two hours of waking to fuel your body for optimal health, energy, and performance.
- Choose a combination of protein and high-fiber carbohydrates to keep you satisfied.
A Recipe for Every Type of Breakfast Eater
Our breakfast tastes are as unique as we are. Fortunately, there’s a path to a satisfying and healthy breakfast for everyone, from the Pop Tart poppers to the egg scramblers (and even the no-breakfast-havers). Here are nine recipes to satisfy your personal breakfast preferences.
For the early morning chef:
Support your heart and brain with the omega-3 fats in this smoked salmon and egg on toast.
For the whole family:
Top these high-protein pancakes with fresh fruit, nut butter, or a little maple syrup to satisfy even the pickiest eaters.
For breakfast at your desk:
Get nearly a quarter of your daily fiber with these blueberry chia overnight oats.
For breakfast in the car:
A sprouted grain wrap, like these Ezekiel 4:9 tortillas, makes a filling and portable breakfast when rolled up with nut butter, cinnamon, and grated apple.
For the meal-prepper:
Stock your freezer with these high-protein breakfast burritos for a quick and filling breakfast on your way out the door.
For the reluctant breakfast-eater:
For the breakfast sweet tooth:
Feel like you’re eating dessert for breakfast with this blueberry baked oatmeal. Boost the protein by topping it with a dollop of plain Greek yogurt.
For the big morning appetite:
Stay full for hours with this tofu scramble breakfast bowl that’s high in plant-based protein and fiber.
For the blender aficionado:
“In general, we don’t recommend ‘drinking’ meals because it makes it easy to overdo on calories and is less filling than chewing food. But if you insist, try starting your day with the half serving of vegetables and two servings of fruit in this kale, oat, and blueberry smoothie.
- M St-Onge, J Ard, ML Baskin, SE Chiuve, HM Johnson, P Kris-Etherton, and K Varady. (2017). “Meal Timing and Frequency: Implications for Cardiovascular Disease Prevention: A Scientific Statement From the American Heart Association.” Circulation, 30 Jan 2017; 135:e96–e121.
- Garaulet M, Gómez-Abellán P, Alburquerque-Béjar JJ, Lee YC, Ordovás JM, Scheer FA. (2013). “Timing of food intake predicts weight loss effectiveness.” International Journal of Obesity, 2013 Apr;37(4):604-11. doi: 10.1038/ijo.2012.229.
- D Jakubowicz, M Barnea, J Wainstein, O Froy. (2013). “High Caloric intake at breakfast vs. dinner differentially influences weight loss of overweight and obese women.”Obesity, 21: 2504-2512. doi:10.1002/oby.20460.