Did You Know | Health

Doctors Say You Should Be Eating These 7 Healthy Foods For Breakfast

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Research about the average American's breakfast habits are a little upsetting.

While most of us do eat breakfast every day, unhealthy snack foods and takeout are some of the most popular choices.

More than a third of breakfasts are bought on-the-go. So if you enjoy a granola bar or egg McMuffin on the way to work, you're not alone.

Shaking up your morning routine can help you lose weight, control your blood sugar levels, and feel more wakeful throughout the day.

Here are seven healthy breakfasts that doctors actually recommend:

1. Oatmeal

Some people love oatmeal (including yours truly) while others can't stand it.

Whatever you think of this mushy breakfast staple, it's very healthy.

Oatmeal is a good source of fiber, B vitamins, and iron.

It's also a complex carbohydrate, which takes longer to digest compared to white bread, helping you feel full for longer.

A steady diet of oatmeal has also been shown to boost your immune system and help manage diabetes, insulin sensitivity, and high blood pressure.

Don't fret about whether you should buy steel cut or rolled oats - just avoid the pre-packaged instant variety.

Those are full of sugar, and so heavily processed they won't make you feel full as long as regular oatmeal.

2. Cereal

Breakfast cereal gets a bad reputation that it doesn't deserve.

Yes, most kinds are full of processed sugar and are not good for you. But there are plenty of healthier adult varieties.

A daily source of calcium like cereal with milk is so important as you get older - both for overall health and to ward off conditions like osteoporosis.

New research in the Journal of Dairy Science also shows that starting your day with cereal and milk helps balance your blood sugar levels throughout the day.

Just make sure the cereal you pick is low in sugar, high in fiber, and aim to pick one with less than 160 calories per serving.

Oh, and a sprinkle of fresh fruit or berries on top tastes great too.

3. Protein Shakes

You're a busy person, so maybe you need to eat breakfast on the way to work.

Starting your day with a fresh fruit smoothie is a good choice, but a protein shake is even better.

Building muscle - especially when you get older - is a helpful way to stay strong and burn fat at the same time.

A study in Nutrition and Metabolism found that swapping 500 calories from your daily diet with a protein shake helped burn fat - without adding more exercise to your routine.

Protein powder mixes are also full of healthy fats, and lower your body's ghrelin hormone level, so you feel full for longer.

If you opt for a fruit smoothie, make sure you use 100% fruit juice without added sugar.

Swirling in a spoonful of wheat germ is a painless way to get more fiber at the same time.

4. Berries

Fresh or frozen, it's always a good idea to have some berries on hand.

They can easily be added to all kinds of meals, or just enjoyed on their own.

Half a cup of blueberries pack as much fiber as an entire slice of whole-wheat bread. And most of that fiber is soluble, which helps control high blood pressure.

Berries - including bananas - are also loaded with potassium.

But wait, they also contain so many vitamins and minerals. Plus, their natural plant sugars will wake you up in the morning.

But the best berry benefit of all is their antioxidant content. These compounds prevent heart disease, age-related vision problems, and even colon cancer.

While antioxidants remain in berries even after they're processed, take care to avoid jams and jellies that are too sugary.

5. Yogurt

Yogurt is a fantastic source of calcium - even compared to cereal.

Just a cup of yogurt meets half of your daily calcium needs. But yogurt, and Greek yogurt especially, is also rich in protein.

You'll also find B vitamins and minerals like magnesium on the nutritional label.

Most importantly, yogurt is a probiotic food that promotes better gut health, which boosts your body's immune system.

Even the dairy fat in yogurt is better for your heart than saturated fat from meat.

Mixing in nuts is a tasty way to include even more nutrients. Just watch out for salt and sugar.

6. Eggs

Once upon a time, eggs were considered an unhealthy source of cholesterol. But the science has evolved over the years.

These days, doctors say you can enjoy egg yolks and whites any way you like, as part of a healthy diet.

In fact, eating eggs daily could help reduce your risk of a heart attack or stroke.

Eggs are a great source of everything from protein and calcium to magnesium, along with a whole alphabet's worth of vitamins.

But their best quality by far is the high amount of omega-3 fatty acids in each egg. This healthy fat fights inflammation throughout your body.

Try pairing eggs with colorful veggies or a serving of fruit, instead of empty carbs.

7. Upgrade Your Breakfast

You don't need to completely flip your morning routine to start eating healthier.

Just adding a small serving of fresh fruit or nuts to whatever you're already eating is a good first step.

Try prepping a to-go cup of blueberries or unsalted almonds for your drive to work.

Start making changes gradually, and you'll notice a difference in how you feel pretty quickly.

What's your go-to breakfast choice?

[H/T: Harvard Medical School, Mayo Clinic]

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