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From a good health point of view, breakfast is the most important meal of the day. It provides a morning “jump-start” for your body and brain, boosting energy and improving memory and problem-solving skills. Eating breakfast can actually help you lose weight, by fighting off hunger for the rest of the day and helping you say “no” to high-calorie snacks and “yes” to healthier food choices for lunch and dinner. It can help regulate your blood sugar and control cholesterol levels. People who regularly eat breakfast have lower rates of diabetes and heart disease.
But what you eat for breakfast does matter — coffee and a doughnut are not enough! A healthy breakfast should contain choices from the following food groups: fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins and low-fat dairy products. A whole-grain breakfast cereal with sliced fruit and low-fat milk is one good choice. Another might be a glass of fruit juice and a slice of whole wheat toast with peanut butter. Eggs, a good source of protein, can also be part of a healthy breakfast. If you don’t like traditional breakfast foods, you can have lunch or dinner foods instead, like a sandwich on whole grain bread or a slice of leftover veggie pizza. The important thing is to give your body the fuel that it needs to get your busy spring days off to a healthy start.
Tufts University, Health & Nutrition Letter, January 2012, Volume 29, Number 11.
Consumer Reports, On Health, September 2010, Volume 22, Number 9.
Sandra Bastin, Extension Specialist for Food and Nutrition, University of Kentucky, College of Agriculture
Jane Proctor is Trimble County’s Cooperative Extension agent for family and consumer services.