How To Start Your Day on a Healthy Note

From: EatingWell Magazine

Do you have a healthy breakfast strategy? For many people, the focus at breakfast is protein. And while protein is an important part of a healthy breakfast—protein provides staying power that can keep hunger at bay until lunch—it’s not always critical. Most people tend to get plenty of protein at lunch and dinner, and overall Americans’ daily protein intake is just fine. A little bit of protein at breakfast in the form of milk, yogurt, an egg or peanut butter, for example, is a good idea, but you don’t need to overly focus on it. 

Instead, what you really want to focus on eating at breakfast are foods that many Americans don’t get enough of. For most people, that’s these two food groups:

1. Vegetables and fruits 

Including produce in your breakfast is a great way to knock off a serving or two of your daily recommended “dose,” which for most Americans is 4 to 5 cups. Plus, vegetables and fruits are packed with essential vitamins and minerals, as well as fiber, which can help keep you feeling satisfied until lunch. It’s easier than you think to include vegetables in your breakfast: add your favorite veggies to an omelet or egg sandwich, cook rhubarb into your oatmeal or put slices of tomato or cucumber on top of your toast or bagel with cream cheese. As for fruits, add berries to your cereal, top a slice of peanut butter toast with banana slices, or cook apples into your oatmeal.

2. Whole grains 

At least half of your daily grains intake should come from whole grains, says the USDA—a guideline many Americans have a tough time meeting. Breakfast is an easy time to get in a serving of whole grains, since many breakfast foods are naturally made with whole grains. Aim to start your day with oatmeal, whole-grain cereals such as muesli or granola, or whole-wheat bagels and toast. Save the “white” carbs, such as refined cereals, white bagels and bread, pancakes and muffins made from all-purpose flour, for special occasions.

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