Breakfast is considered the most important meal of the day.
It is associated with with heightened mental focus and acuity, better work and school performance, and is an happens to be an excellent opportunity to consume healthy foods that you may not consume at other times of the day.
How many people eat steel cut oats for dinner? Exactly.
Breakfast is what I call a “healthy person habit” because those who eat breakfast tend to weigh less and have a lower risk for certain types of chronic disease.
So my question for you is this……. Do YOU eat a Breakfast of Champions?
“ But Andy, how do I know if I’m eating a Breakfast Of Champions Or Not?” – You
A Breakfast Of Champions is one that includes two to three of four main components.
These components are:
1. Fruits or Vegetables: The two most important food groups in the human diet. Although veggies may be challenging for some to visualize at breakfast ( omelettes aside) there is no excuse not to have a at least 1 piece or 1/2 cup of fruit in the morning.
2. Whole Grains: Steel cut oatmeal, whole grain bread or a nice high fibre whole grain cereal all count here. These foods are ideal for providing sustained energy and satiation that will get you through until lunch. Although technically a tuber, I generally also lump in potatoes and sweet potatoes ( skin intact) in this category.
3. Healthy Fat: The “it” word in nutrition today. I used to hate using this word, but I don’t mind it as much now because it is pretty clear that the fat in nuts, seeds and avocados is much more useful to us than the fat in other commonly consumed foods like butter. Your breakfast can meet this requirement by including half an avocado , 1/4 cup of nuts or 1-2 tbsp of nut butter.
4. Protein: Despite what you may have heard, you CAN have a breakfast of champions without an explicit source of protein. With that being said incorporating eggs, tofu scramble , soy milk or some form of dairy in the morning can certainly give your breakfast a boost. These foods are all high in protein , which helps keep you feeling full, and also are rich in nutrients which may not be found the same dense supply in the other categories.
So, does your breakfast pass the breakfast of champions test?
Remember you should be aiming for at least TWO to THREE of these four components on a regular basis.
In all fairness, a healthy breakfast could contain as few as two of these four components, especially if you are someone who snacks and eats frequently throughout the day.
But a true breakfast of champions, especially for those who only consume a few square meals daily, would ideally contain all four components.
Doing so will keep you physically and mentally energized, while also providing you the vitamins, minerals and healthful compounds you need to maintain good health.
Seems like a lot of food? Just remember the satiety that a good breakfast provides will carry you a long way during the day and help prevent unhealthy snacking, which is a major issue for most people.
Hope this helped!
Until next time,
Andy De Santis RD MPH