Breakfast – the most important meal of the day, so they say. In truth, eating at regular intervals throughout the day is vital to maintaining high energy levels and getting the nutrients our bodies need, but what is it about this first meal of the day that makes it so valuable? And why should we consider it a good foundation for high-fiber foods? Set the foundation for a day of healthy eating with a high-nutrition, high-fiber meal.
The value of a healthy breakfast
Many people forgo the first meal of the day in a rush to get out the door. This is not an optimal way to launch a busy day. Several studies have linked regularly eating breakfast to overall good health. This includes a healthier weight and lower chances of chronic diseases such as diabetes and heart disease. It is certainly possible that people who eat breakfast have healthier lifestyle behaviors in general. This contributes to their lower disease risk over the long-term. In the short-term, however, eating breakfast gives our bodies the energy they need. When we wake in the mornings, this energy is low and breakfast helps replenish it. Restoring our ability to concentrate and focus, and use the food we eat as fuel for our bodies. Further, eating breakfast jump starts our metabolism helping us spend calories throughout the day. Therefore, breakfast is valuable because it offers the opportunity to enjoy eating while it provides necessary nutrition in the form of vitamins, minerals, protein, fiber, and healthy fats.
Breakfast – a solid foundation for fiber
Considering the recommendation for eating 25 – 30 grams of fiber per day, the first meal of the day is good timing for setting the fiber stage. Stocking breakfast with fiber also offers a feeling of fullness that prevents overeating throughout the day. With good planning and appropriate choices, one could easily start the day with at least five grams of fiber, and even up it to ten grams with just a little bit of extra effort. You can also just grab a Fiber d’Lish bar, perfect for on the go and filled with 12 grams of fiber! A few guidelines: 1) aim for at least five grams of fiber and five grams of protein during breakfast, 2) go for less than seven grams of added sugar, 3) include fresh fruit.
Here’s a week’s worth of high-fiber breakfasts that will fill you, energize you, nourish you, and put you on the path for making healthy choices all day long.
- Whole-grain toast topped with a slice of melted cheese, and a cup of sliced fresh fruit
- Cooked steel-cut oats with dairy or dairy substitute and a sliced banana
- A cup of whole grain cereal with a handful of fresh or frozen berries and dairy or dairy substitute
- Breakfast parfait made with Greek yogurt, fresh fruit and a Fiber d’Lish bar
- A Whole grain waffle topped with yogurt and sliced fruit
- Whole wheat English muffin topped with a sliced hard-boiled egg, piece of cheese and/or Canadian bacon, and a glass of vegetable juice
- Whole wheat toast spread with nut butter and sliced bananas and a Fiber d’Lish bar
Anne Marie Kuchera, MS, MA, RD, LPC is a registered dietitian, and both a licensed nutritionist and licensed professional counselor. She manages community-based obesity prevention and preventive health and wellness initiatives through Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC.