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. I know that 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. But, one recent 2012 American Society for Nutrition study suggests that eating breakfast every morning may also reduce your risk for type 2 diabetes; offering yet another reason to make time for breakfast.
This study found that men who skipped breakfast were 21 percent more likely to develop 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 2011 Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences study on meal timing shows that those who consume carbs at breakfast (as opposed to at dinner) are less likely to have high glucose levels.
I’d like to take this time to point out that not all carbs are created equal. There are carbs, like 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 that giant everything bagel loaded with cream cheese, but there are some breakfast foods that I can happily justify.
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% 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.