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  • Top 10 Healthy Breakfast Foods 0 comments
    Aug 12, 2014 10:59 AM

    (click to enlarge)Being health conscience starts with your first meal of the day, breakfast. Breakfast is the most important meal, and according to nutritional experts if you eat breakfast you'll be more energetic, smarter, more productive, and leaner. Experts warn that skipping meals, especially breakfast, can make weight control more difficult. People who skip breakfast tend to eat more food at the next meal, or nosh on high-calorie snacks to control hunger during the day. In fact, studies suggest that people tend to add more body fat when they eat fewer, larger meals than when they eat the same number of calories in smaller, more frequent meals. Not eating breakfast sets you up for nutritional and metabolic failure for the rest of the day.

    So what to eat? "You want to aim for a breakfast that combines good carbs and fiber with some protein," says Erica Giovinazzo, MS, RD, a nutritionist at Clay Health Club and Spa, in New York City. Following are a list of 10 of your best bets, fitness-wise, for your morning meal.

    1. Oatmeal. Oats contain beta-glucan, a type of fiber that's been shown to help lower cholesterol when eaten regularly. They also rich in omega-3 fatty acids, folate, and potassium.

    2. Greek yogurt. It's loaded with calcium and has plenty of protein to keep you going throughout the day. Your best bet is to choose a nonfat version and add some fresh fruit to give it a bit of sweetness.

    3. Bananas. Potassium and plenty of it with this satisfying fruit. They are also one of the best sources of resistant starch, a healthy carbohydrate that keeps you feeling fuller longer.

    4. Eggs. Yes, eggs. Once touted as being too high in dietary cholesterol, eggs are now being embraced as a source of protein and nutrients like vitamin D. Recent research has shown that the cholesterol in our food does not have the impact on blood cholesterol that it was previously thought to have.

    5. Watermelon. Not only is this delicious fruit and excellent way to hydrate in the morning, it is one of the best sources of lycopene - a nutrient found in red fruits and veggies that is important to vision, cancer prevention, and heart health.

    6. Blueberries. This superfruit packs a high antioxidant punch. The experts say that eating blueberries regularly can help improve everything from memory and motor skills to blood pressure and metabolism. At only 80 calories a cup, they are a great addition to a bowl of cereal without adding inches to your waist.

    7. Coffee. Yes, I just typed coffee. Bet you didn't know that coffee drinking has been linked to lowered risk of diseases such as diabetes and prostate cancer. On top of that, it may help you live longer. The combination of antioxidants and caffeine are responsible for the health benefits found in the morning elixir, but stick to plain or add skim milk. Loading the drink with the myriad additives so popular today may just negate the good effects of java.

    8. Orange Juice. Freshly squeezed OJ is a breakfast classic and it's one that's good for you too, but stick to one small glass a day. The liquid sunshine is high in sugar and calories and should never replace whole fruit in your diet.

    9. Cereal. Opt for a brand that contains at least 5 grams of fiber and less than 5 grams of sugar. Top with skim milk and fresh fruit and you have a satisfying breakfast that will fill you till lunch and give you enough energy supplying protein to last the day.

    10. Whole-wheat bread. A great source of good carbs, what matters here is what you put on it. Stay away from butter and jelly on this or any toast. Add on poached egg or some almond butter and you'll be just as happy with the flavor and nutritional benefits.

    In the end it's a balancing act consisting of good eating habits and the right choices. Don't skip the healthiest and most beneficial meal of the day. Your body will thank you and the payoff is priceless.

    Disclosure: The author has no positions in any stocks mentioned, and no plans to initiate any positions within the next 72 hours.

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