We all know that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, but do you know which breakfast foods outrank the rest? If you’re interested in losing weight and building muscle, you need to look (way) past the fast-food sausages and fried potato rounds, no matter how perfectly shaped they are.
A recent study confirms that thin people, categorically, eat breakfast. But not just any breakfast. Stepping free of the four “basic food group” boxes, researchers recommend specific power foods chosen from three distinct breakfast categories: top proteins; top fruits and vegetables; and top carbs and grains.
Top breakfast proteins include black beans, natural peanut butter, almond butter – and eggs, perhaps the most enduring (and beloved) staple of breakfast tables across America. Eggs are not only packed with protein, they’re also loaded with choline, a fat-burning substance that intercepts the gene process that tells your body to store certain fats.
Other protein favorites include chicken breast, ground turkey – and wild (not farm-raised) salmon. Kristen Carlucci Haase, registered nurse dietitian (RND), explains, “The healthy dose of protein and omega-3 healthy fats found in salmon will keep you satisfied and energized all morning long.”
Earning the top slot on the protein list – because of its versatility and high-nutrient value – is organic protein powder. Mix it in with pancake batter, oatmeal, smoothies, or other breakfast fave.
Fruits and veggies earned their rankings on the list by having low-sugar, high-fiber content, crucial for busting frustrating belly fat. Among the top fruits in this category are apples, bananas, insulin-reducing grapefruit, heart-healthy tart cherries (packed with antioxidants while reducing belly fat), and berries (rich in vitamins C and K, as well as fat-blocking polyphenols).
Sweet potatoes, watermelon, and fiber-rich spinach (loaded with folate and omega-3’s for fighting heart disease and osteoporosis) are also high achievers in this group, along with bell peppers and jalapeños, whose high vitamin C content will help your body burn stored, stubborn fat cells.
“Thanks to their capsaicin content, spicy peppers can rev the metabolism and may also help to promote satiety,” says Isabel Smith, RD. “Try adding jalapeño or another spicy pepper to an egg dish or avocado toast” to really kick your day off right.
And the number-one fruit or vegetable in this category? Avocados! An excellent source of fiber, oleic fatty acid, and 20 vitamins and minerals, avocados are one of the best weight-loss foods around.
Lastly, winners in the carbs and grains category were awarded for their high-fiber and protein. Top breakfast dishes include crispy brown rice, quinoa, and BEST grain of all: good, old-fashioned, heart-healthy oatmeal.
If you would like to join us for a FUN, Healthy Cooking class led by a professional chef, contact Keesha Nelson at (205) 801-7224. To learn about other Healthy Living programs available at your local Y, simply visit ymcabham.org/healthy-living.
#PowerFoods #HeartHealth #LoseWeight #YStrongBham
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