6 tips for a healthy breakfast on the go

6 tips for a healthy breakfast on the go

Rise and shine and eat your breakfast!

“If you want to jump start your metabolism and burn more calories throughout the day, it’s important to eat a well-balanced breakfast,” says Dr. Roxanne Smith, a primary care physician with Advocate Christ Medical Center in Oak Lawn, Ill. “Eating breakfast gives your brain and muscles crucial energy and nutrients to function optimally throughout the day.”

It’s best to eat foods like eggs, steel-cut oatmeal and fresh fruit for breakfast – with a combination of carbohydrates and protein. However, life gets hectic, and sometimes you need quick, but healthy breakfast options. “When shopping for packaged breakfast foods, looking at the list of ingredients is key to choosing a healthy breakfast– the label on the front is just marketing,” says Dr. Smith.

Here are her six tips for buying healthy packaged foods:

  1. It should have 5 ingredients or less.
  2. To be healthy, anything made with flour should include “sprouted” or “stoneground” grains, or list whole grain, such as whole wheat flour. While wheat flour sounds healthy, it is simply refined white flour.
  3. For products like cereal that contain rice, unless it states brown or another color rice, it’s simply refined white rice.
  4. Look for whole grain rolled oats or steel-cut oatmeal.
  5. Steer clear of products with added fruit. Most times, it’s just artificial dyes and flavorings. Buy foods like oatmeal, cereal and yogurt plain and add fresh or frozen fruit. Fresh berries, in particular, are an ideal fruit for breakfast because they are packed with fiber and healthy polyphenols.
  6. Watch your sugar intake. Any serving should ideally be 5-6 grams of sugar or less. Don’t be fooled because the label claims ‘No High Fructose Corn Syrup.’ Unless it states ‘Pure Maple Syrup‘ on the list of ingredients, it’s not the real deal. Honey is a good sugar alternative.

Planning a proper breakfast for first thing in the morning will help prevent you from craving high-fat, high-sugar foods, says Dr. Smith. “You will feel better and stay full longer.”

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About the Author

Kate Eller
Kate Eller

Kate Eller, health enews contributor, is director of public affairs for Advocate Health Care’s South Region. She came to Chicago and Advocate in 2014 after living in Iowa, Nebraska, Missouri, Kansas and Texas. She enjoys road trips, exploring little towns and urban hiking with her shaggy dog around the city of Chicago. Even in the winter - there is no bad weather, only bad clothing.

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