You have heard that “breakfast is the most important meal of the day” and it could be true. For one thing, breakfast does literally ‘break the fast’ of the 8-12 hour time that you may be sleeping and aren’t eating. Secondly, breakfast is an opportunity to add important nutrients to your day such as calcium, vitamin C, B vitamins, iron, and others.
A new study showed that skipping breakfast was particularly detrimental to a man’s health. Skipping meals is actually associated with weight gain and hypertension, and the study found that men who skipped the meal had a 27% higher risk of heart attack or death from a coronary event. While breakfast alone isn’t enough to reduce your cardiovascular, or heart disease (CVD) risk (and it will depend on your breakfast choices), it still may be a good idea to plan to incorporate a quick and easy breakfast into your morning routine.
Even though this study was flawed and poorly controlled (the study also found a relationship with eating fewer meals per day (including breakfast skipping) and lower CVD risk), I’d still recommend choosing a quick healthy breakfast each day as part of your heart-health routine. Here are some easy ideas:
- Oatmeal. If you’re short on time, skip the instant and go with quick cooking oats. They are just as easy and much lower in sodium. Cook in the microwave in less than 2 minutes. Add some fresh blueberries or bananas, and a little maple syrup and low fat milk.
- Whole wheat English Muffin sandwich. Cook an egg, make a sandwich. Or if you want some convenience, you can try a frozen variety, but these are really high in sodium.
- Ready-to-eat cereal and low fat milk, and fresh fruit. Look for cereals with less than 11 grams of sugar and at least 2 grams of fiber. Measure out 1 cup.
- Scrambled eggs with last night’s veggies mixed in, slice of toast
- A cup of yogurt and a banana
- A cup of yogurt with 1/4 to 1/2 cup dry cereal mixed into it.
- Breakfast burrito. Have a make-ahead party and try these. Or simply scramble an egg, place onto small 6-inch whole wheat flour tortilla, add 2 Tablespoons of cheese, some salsa, and eat.
- Get fancy on the weekends with this breakfast strata. Part of good health is also reducing stress. Taking the time to create a nice meal and slowing down to eat it is helpful.