What’s the Best Breakfast I Can Have?

What's the Best Breakfast I Can Have?

Do you have trouble choosing the best breakfast? 

Have heard that you need to eat breakfast but you can’t really have any? 

What about what to eat for breakfast to lose weight? 

Or maybe you want to know what are healthy breakfast options? 

The problem is that there is so much information out there that it creates misconceptions and it can even get you very confused. 

The truth is that breakfast is one of the topics that arise more questions. Finding out what is the best breakfast for each person is one of the things I help my students learn, understand and apply practically to their life. 

  • Let’s see some specific questions you may have:
  • Are breakfast cereals a good choice & which brand is better?
  • What should I include specifically if I want to have the best breakfast?
  • Are eggs healthy? Or should I stay away from them if I’m concerned about cholesterol?
  • Is orange juice a good choice?

Or even…

  • Do I really have to eat breakfast?

 The answers to all the questions you are having will help you find the solution to your dilemma about choosing the best breakfast you can have. 

Let’s work on those questions and how to find and apply the solutions I’m proposing you.

1.- Should I Really Be Having Breakfast?

Why Breakfast Is Your Ally?

Breakfast is the boost for your day. It is your start flag. Not only does breakfast give you energy after a whole night on an empty stomach, but it also sets the tone for your metabolism for the rest of the day. If you don’t feed your body after a night of fasting, your metabolism will be low, and your body will try to consume as few calories as possible to avoid using scarce resources. Having said that, if breakfast is not your thing, you have to force yourself to eat breakfast, and you don’t think you are hungrier the rest of the day if you don’t eat breakfast, skip it! 

You may have heard about a “new” trend that intermittent fasting helps weight loss, and therefore skipping breakfast is good. I respect this way of thinking as long as your last meal was before 6 or 7 p.m. (remember, with no carbs at night) to help your weight-loss-management-friendly hormones work properly at night, and you don’t have a brain-demanding activity in the morning (your brain needs energy!).

Both options are fine as long as they work for you… 

2.- What Are Healthy Breakfast Options?

Let’s have a look!

You need to have a low sugar breakfast that includes at least some protein (can be dairy) and whole grain carbs, fruits or vegetables.  

For example:

  • Whole-grain carbohydrates: whole grain bread, brown rice, pasta, oatmeal, quinoa, couscous (learn about GI & GL to learn more about complex carbs)
  • Protein: egg, cheese, ham, meat, prosciutto, nuts, tofu.
  • Low sugar fruit and vegetables: strawberries, blueberries, apples, pears and tomatoes, spinach, cucumber etc.  
  • Dairy: milk, plain and unsweetened yogurt, kefir, or light cheese.

Have you seen the picture of the blog post? That was one of my daily breakfasts during the two week family road trip in a tiny campervan in Australia. If we could prepare that breakfast, you should be able to manage it too having a normal size kitchen and fridge right?   

3.- Is the Traditional American Breakfast One of the Best Breakfast Options?

Let’s dissect it and adapt it

Okay, I recognize the great contribution of the “Big American Breakfast” to humanity, and I consider it is quite a balanced breakfast. You simply need to adapt it for our purpose here: having the best breakfast!

So, if you are thinking fried eggs with bacon and a bagel and orange juice makes the perfect combination, I am sorry to tell you, it does not. While the general approach is good, the specifics are not.

Let’s work on it!

Eggs are perfect breakfast staple as they contains protein and are not too high in calories—depending how you prepare them. 

Forget about fried eggs: those contain an enormous quantity of bad fats and calories, which you don’t need. Instead, sauté the same egg, meaning using a quality frying pan with a little bit of oil. If you are in a hotel or a restaurant, go easy on omelets and scrambled eggs. You don’t realize it because you are used to them, but they are sometimes cooked with lots of oil. Instead, have a hard- or soft-boiled egg. Again, you can cook your omelets and scrambled eggs at home using a tiny quantity of oil. Nowadays we know that the cholesterol in eggs does not really affect your cholesterol levels, so don’t be afraid. But you need to respect the healthy portion sizes for each food group. You can learn more about it in this post.     

Bacon has an enormous amount of fat. The meat part of the bacon is fine, but the fatty part is adding calories with no benefit. 

When you are at home and you really crave bacon, you should always remove all fat before cooking it. I know you are removing half of the bacon, but think of that fat added to your tummy or butt, or worse, around your liver! You can always go for turkey bacon, which has much less fat. 

If you are in a hotel or restaurant and you really can’t leave without that piece of bacon, always order it well cooked, which at least has left part of the fat in the pan. 

Bacon gives you quite a lot of protein, so it is not that bad as long as you don’t have it every day and you remove as much fat as possible. Or try grilling it to get rid of all the fat. By the way, most of the bacon contains nitrites and nitrates, so go for the ones that do not contain those chemicals.

Bagels have a gummy and plastic texture. Any kind of bread with that texture has plenty of ingredients added to make it like that. These include artificial additives with no health benefit and modified fats to get the texture. Do not eat these types of bread, as they hide too many additives and unhealthy fats that unnecessarily add too many extra calories to your daily diet. 

The truth is that nowadays it is difficult to find prepackaged breads that don’t have added fats and sugars. I suggest you get backed breads from a bakery or the bakery section of your grocery store. Check the ingredients: although some contain sunflower oil (and they shouldn’t contain oil) they usually don’t contain modified fats. And please, always go for whole grains and whole wheat; this is something I teach about too. 

If you are at a hotel buffet or a restaurant, look for hard (not gummy) whole-wheat or whole-grain bread. If those aren’t available, at least choose a whole-grain bread or bagel, and eat only half of the portion size. Better yet, grab some nuts, fruit or a small amount of granola (usually packed with sugar and fat but at least has with fiber). 

Orange juice contains plenty of vitamins and minerals. But remember: fruit juices contain a high amount of sugar. The effect of that sugar in the insulin response is something else I am always talking about. 

Also, when you have juice for breakfast, you are filling your stomach with liquid, and you might not have enough room for proper and filling food to last until lunchtime. You are probably also having coffee or tea, so you feel full easily. Instead of juice, have some small pieces of whole, fresh fruit with its fiber included. If you absolutely can’t live without orange juice in the morning, make sure it doesn’t contain added sugar, and have it with pulp if possible. Be aware that hotel buffets usually serve added sugar juices. 

Again, if you want to learn why read my free e-book: Eat to Lose Weight, how to use GI and GL to help you get in control of your weight.

Hash browns, and potatoes in general, have a very high glycemic index. Have them very occasionally and try to eat them only at home, cooking them with a very small amount of olive oil in a good frying pan.

4.- Can Breakfast Cereals Be Considered as One of the Best Breakfasts?

Let’s start with the evil enemy: Sugary cereals should disappear from your diet—and from your children’s diets too! They are packed with unnecessary sugars (or honey, corn syrup, etc.), and they are usually not whole-grain cereals. 

However, you have other options and if you go to the organic or “natural foods” department of your grocery store, you will find whole-grain, plain cereals made with rice, corn, and other grains, with no added sugars or any other artificial ingredients. 

You can read my post about breakfast cereal Are breakfast cereals OK if I am trying to lose weight? If you add them to plain yogurt with some fruit and maybe some granola you have a perfect bowl of cereal. The kids will love the blueberries and pineapple or kiwi as much as they love the sweet cereal. 

Believe me, kids are very smart, and they recognize good and healthy food when you re-educate them! 

5.- Last But Not Least: Cookies, buns, rolls, coffee cakes, muffins and more…

Forget about all of them! They are packed with sugar and fats, most of them with really bad fats. They’ll make you full quickly because of the fats, not allowing enough room for some healthy food, but the sugar in them burns too quickly to leave you satisfied for the three-to-four hours required until your next meal. Remember: the high-sugar content generates an undesirable high-insulin response that make you crave more sugar. 

Learn more in this blog post about insulin and type II diabetes and this one about how sugar can damage your health.  

This is my style. I try to give simple explanations of why you should do this and not that in a way that is easy to understand, apply and maintain.

Following this line of work I have developed a Weight Loss Management Program Online, which if you are interested you can start right now and follow it whenever, wherever works for you. 

And if you still have doubts about this blog post, my program or any other questions, you can get in touch with me and set a complimentary health assessment phone interview with me right now!

What's Your Plan!

Which of your questions have been answered and what solutions are you going to apply? ? 

I'd love to hear from you!

About the Author

Arantxa Mateo

Arantxa is a trained biologist, nutrition specialist and weight management coach. Born in Spain, she spent 5 years in Australia before moving to the US. Her motto is "Food is a pleasure. Nobody deserves to be on a diet."

Find out more about Arantxa and 32 Mondays >>

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