It’s big problem when it comes to plan and select healthful breakfast whether at home or away. You should be well informed on this occasion. Whatever your style of eating, several simple planning techniques will help ensure that your food is varied, nutritious, and enjoyable. In this chapter you will learn how to plan and select healthful breakfast —whether prepared at home or eaten away from home. You also will be introduced to strategies to make your shopping both efficient and effective.
In this article, you will learn:
- How to plan and select healthful breakfast whether eating at home or away
- How to shop for the healthiest foods
- How to read food labels and interpret nutrient and health claims
- How changes in technology, such as the use of pesticides, irradiation, additives, genetic engineering, and organic growing methods, affect our food
“All happiness depends on a leisurely breakfast.”John Gunther1
Plan to eat well
“Eat” and “well” are the key words. To do so, you must be conscious of what you eat and how often you eat. Try to eat at regular times. For most of us, this means eating breakfast, a midday meal, and an evening meal. Healthful snacks can be part of your meal plan as well. Going for long periods without eating can affect how you feel and how much you eat. Use the Food Guide Pyramid to help you make healthful selections.
Try to be sure that your meals and snacks are rich in plant foods (fruits, vegetables, and grains), because, ounce for ounce, plant-based meals are almost always lower in fat and calories than meat-based meals. Although meat and dairy foods contain many nutrients, they also can be very high in unwanted saturated fat. The key is to avoid high-fat types of meats, make an effort to eat smaller amounts of the lower-fat meats, and focus on lowfat dairy products. Vary your food choices. Try foods that are new to you. Remember that fats and sweets are at the top of the Pyramid, which means enjoy them, but do so only on occasion and in moderation.
Whether at home or away, start your day with breakfast. “Breaking the fast” provides your body with both nutrients and energy. People who eat breakfast tend to have more energy and, on average, are better able to regulate their appetite during the remainder of the day than their breakfast-skipping counterparts.
Unfortunately, many Americans do not eat breakfast. Some skip breakfast because of their schedule, whereas others do so in a misguided attempt to control weight. However, you can eat a healthful breakfast with the time you have. There are many ways to make what is perhaps the day’s most important meal a nutritious, fast, and convenient one.
Cold Breakfast Cereals
Cereal, also called grain, any grass (family Poaceae) yielding starchy seeds suitable for food. The cereals most commonly cultivated are wheat, rice, rye, oats, barley, corn (maize), and sorghum. (See more here)
With more than 200 brands of breakfast cereal on your grocer’s shelves, how do you know what’s best? Choose those that are higher in fiber (more than 3 grams/serving) and lower in calories, fat, and sugar. Ingredients are listed in amounts by weight. Check for hydrogenated fats. If hydrogenated fat is listed near the beginning of the list of ingredients, the product contains trans and saturated fats, which can increase blood cholesterol levels.
|Brands (1 Cup Serving)||Calories||Fat (Grams)||Fiber (Grams)||Sugar (Grams)|
|Cracklin’ Oat Bran||150||8||8||20|
|Whole Grain Total||150||1||4||7|
Breakfast is the foundation of a healthful diet
Breakfast is the foundation of a healthful diet. Use the Food Guide Pyramid as a practical resource for planning your breakfasts regardless of whether you choose foods that require preparation or select ones that are ready-to-go. Cereals are a good choice. Simple whole-grain cereals with no added sugar or fat are best (see sidebar: Cold Breakfast Cereals, this page). A breakfast that includes a whole-grain cereal, bread, low-fat milk, and a glass of orange juice is a great starter meal. This breakfast supplies B vitamins, fiber, iron, approximately one-third of the recommended calcium, and 100 percent of the recommended vitamin C for the day. Best of all, it does so in less than 300 calories.
For a change, try a breakfast bagel sandwich. Top a whole-grain bagel with 2 teaspoons of peanut butter and a sliced banana. Add a cup of cold skim milk for a breakfast that is about 400 calories. This breakfast includes foods from most of the food groups, is low in cholesterol, and is a good source of iron, folate, and fiber. For even more variety, top a flour tortilla with 2 ounces of leftover chicken breast and tomato pieces and 1 ounce of low-fat cheese. As a vegetarian option, top with rice and beans. Wrap the tortilla tightly, microwave for a minute or so, and top with salsa. While you are at it, drink a glass of a spicy vegetable juice. Both of these quick-fix breakfasts contribute servings from the vegetable, fruit, and grain groups in just 350 calories. They also give you plenty of vitamins A and C.
Maybe you prefer eggs for breakfast. The current recommendation is to limit your intake of whole eggs to 3 or 4 per week. The reason to limit eggs is that the yolk of a large-sized egg contains about 210 milligrams of cholesterol—more than two-thirds of the daily cholesterol allowance. However, eggs also have many nutrients. People with a low blood cholesterol level probably can safely eat a few more eggs than those who have a high level.
Create an omelet with 1 whole egg plus 2 egg whites, sweet peppers, and onions. Serve with oven-browned potatoes and a slice of whole-grain oast topped lightly with butter or margarine. Or, better yet, top with jam or jelly as a no-fat alternative. Remember to include fruit or juice. This 500-calorie meal—although it contains cholesterol—is a good source of iron and is high in fiber, folate, and vitamin C.
Many people are too busy to sit down and eat breakfast at home. The next best bet is to eat breakfast on-the-run, which at times can pose a nutritional challenge. Fortunately, if you know what you are looking for, a nutritious breakfast can be found almost anywhere food is served. If you are traveling and have time for a “sit-down” breakfast, choose a restaurant that offers a varied menu. If not, try bagel shops, fast-food establishments, the company cafeteria, or even a nearby vending machine. Some may have a “buffet breakfast” that has everything you need, including hot and cold cereals, breads, bagels, fresh fruit and fruit juices, low-fat milk, and yogurt. Others also may offer options such as low-fat burritos, low-fat granola, or low-fat muffins.