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Breakfast Essentials: What You Should Be Eating

Breakfast is often referred to as the most important meal of the day. Although the science behind this statement has long been debated, breakfast can have a big impact on overall success when it comes to maintaining blood sugars and successful weight loss.

The word “breakfast” literally means breaking the fast of not eating all night while sleeping. Patients tell me that they skip breakfast for many reasons—including that they are too busy, they are not hungry, they are trying to save the calories, and they believe it makes them hungrier. But did you know that skipping breakfast may actually be more detrimental to your health than you expect?

Breakfast: The Most Important Meal of the Day.

It’s not just something your mother used to tell you when you were a kid to get you to eat a nutritious meal before school. Breakfast is actually proven to be the most important meal of the day and here is why.
Breakfast is believed to have a direct impact on your weight. Since breakfast is the first meal consumed after sleep, it can help to restore blood sugar levels and raise the muscle and liver glycogen levels that drop during during the night.

breakfast helps to restore cortisol levels

During the hours that you sleep, your blood sugar levels will begin to decline as a result of not consuming, you guessed it, sugar. In an effort to prevent the blood sugar levels from dropping to an unhealthy range, cortisol, a stress hormone that plays a role in breaking down muscle protein and fat, spikes just before you wake up.
An increased level of cortisol over a continuous period of time can promote fat storage, leading to weight gain. So what can you do to decrease your cortisol levels? EAT BREAKFAST! By consuming nutrients, you are increasing your blood sugar levels, telling your body to lower your cortisol levels—”hey body, no need to stress!”
Similarly, eating a large, nutritious breakfast will help to keep you fuller for longer and will help regulate your feelings of hunger throughout the entire day. This behavior will ultimately lead to a healthy lifestyle and, in most cases, weight loss.

What are you eating for breakfast?

The modern American breakfast is typically high in carbohydrates. Gone are the days when most of families ate a traditional home cooked meal together of eggs, breakfast meat and toast before starting their day.

Today’s typical breakfasts, if eaten at all, are increasingly based on convenience, however people are not turning to the classic milk and cereal. According to 2016 data from Ferdman, U.S. cereal sales have decreased by almost 30% in the past 15 years. Some suspected reasons for this decrease may be that fewer people are eating sit-down breakfast at home and that cereal is no longer considered the best choice for many nutrition plans.

At Live Healthy MD we recommend that our patients not only eat breakfast daily, but that they choose a breakfast consisting of high fat, high protein foods that are nutrient dense. Eating a high fat, high protein breakfast keeps the blood sugar at a consistent level and helps control hunger.

In contrast, eating a high carbohydrate breakfast such as a sweet roll or even cereal with milk, can lead to a blood sugar spike followed by a low that triggers hunger within an hour or two. This is often the cause of patient’s belief that eating breakfast makes them hungrier. It’s the type of foods they are eating, specifically carbohydrates,  that is causing the hunger.

An Egg-cellent Breakfast Choice.

eat a healthy breakfast because it is the most important meal of the dayDespite the many years of unnecessary restrictions and warnings about cholesterol, eggs are actually an excellent choice for breakfast. They are protein rich, inexpensive, and good sources vitamin D, B6, B12, zinc, iron, selenium and copper. Adding cheese to eggs adds additional protein and calcium. Adding vegetables like diced tomatoes or salsa, mushrooms, onions, peppers, or spinach can add even more nutrition and add variety. For those who say they are too busy to eat breakfast, many don’t realize that eggs can be microwaved in less than 2 minutes. See our guide to bringing eggs back to your diet in an easy and quick way. You can also download our Free Cookbook to find some nutritious and healthy breakfast recipes.

Microwave Eggs 10 Ways                                       

Basic Directions: 

  1. Spray large coffee cup or small deep bowl with cooking spray
  2. Add  egg(s) and mix with fork until yoke is broken
  3. Add additional ingredients per individual recipe below (cheese, herbs, veggies, meat) and stir into egg, letting some of ingredients poke through top of egg
  4. Cover with paper towel and microwave on HIGH about 1 minute until egg is set, you may need to stir egg and microwave up to an additional 30 seconds for 1 egg, and additional 1 minute for more eggs

Eggs 10 Ways:

  1. Cheddar Cheese and Real Bacon Bits
  2. Mexican Cheese Blend and Red or Green Salsa
  3. Chopped tomatoes, Basil and Parmesan Cheese
  4. Ham, Swiss Cheese and Dijon mustard
  5. Sausage crumbles, Green pepper, and Pepper Jack Cheese
  6. Steak, Mushrooms, Onions and Provolone Cheese
  7. Artichokes hearts, Chive Cream Cheese, and Turkey Breast
  8. Smoked Salmon, Dill, and Capers
  9. Roasted Red Peppers and Feta Cheese
  10. Pesto and Mozzarella Cheese

 

Be Creative! You may have leftover meat, chicken, seafood, pork, or vegetables from last night’s dinner that would be perfect to add to your breakfast eggs.

creative breakfast toppings to make breakfast a fun and delicious meal