Breakfast for Better Health, by Charlyn Fargo




Breakfast for better health

Breakfast may or may not be the most important meal of the day, but it is certain that eating breakfast regularly not only offers fuel to start the day, but it has also been linked to a reduced risk of cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes and memory loss. short-term in adults. However, it is estimated that between 10% and 20% of adults in the United States skip breakfast.

Research shows that eating breakfast can set you on the path to health.

In a study on the effects of regular breakfast on metabolic and cardiovascular diseases, published in the journal Medicine, researchers found that a regular daily breakfast benefits cardio-metabolism, reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, obesity, hypertension, stroke, metabolic syndrome and even cardiovascular death. Researchers led by Dr. Zhi-hui Li conducted a meta-analysis of studies up to 2019, eventually including 14 cohort studies. They also found that skipping breakfast, even once a week, can “significantly reduce the benefits of cardio-metabolism” and urged public institutions “to promote and encourage citizens to cultivate regular daily breakfast habits.”

In a study on the effects of breakfast and breakfast composition on cognition in adults, Kent State University researchers found that habitual breakfast consumption was associated with better cognitive performance and academic achievement. Led by neuropsychologist Dr. Rachel Galioto, the study was published in the journal of the American Society for Nutrition. They reviewed findings from the available literature on the cognitive effects of breakfast and different types of breakfast in adults and found a small benefit to eating breakfast for memory, specifically delayed recall.

What should you eat for breakfast? Aim for a balance of protein, fat, and carbohydrates that are right for you, with a focus on protein, calcium, vitamin D, potassium, and fiber. Choose somewhere around 20 grams of protein, 8 to 10 grams of fiber, and 10 to 15 grams of unsaturated fat, for a total of about 300 to 350 calories. Exact nutrient requirements depend on a person’s weight, activity level, age, and health condition.

The focus for breakfast should be on protein. Most Americans consume more than enough protein throughout the day, but not as much at breakfast. Skip the donuts, pastries and energy bars and opt for whole grain cereals and milk with some fruit, or a smoothie made with Greek yogurt, fruit, spinach and some oatmeal for added fiber or scrambled eggs and vegetables wrapped in a whole-grain burrito. Other healthy choices include whole-grain toast and peanut butter and sliced ​​strawberries, overnight oats with milk, chia seeds and fruit, Greek yogurt with nuts and berries, or teff cooked in coconut milk. The most important thing is to choose foods that you like; it’s okay to think beyond the usual breakfast foods.

The bottom line is that breakfast, which includes protein, is a great way to start the day.

Q and A

Q: What is an elimination diet? Can it be used for weight loss?

A: Elimination diets are often used as diagnostic or therapeutic tools, but not for weight loss. An elimination diet should be conducted under the guidance of a physician. Long-term elimination of a wide range of foods from the diet can lead to inadequate nutrient intake, so guidance is needed to ensure a person remains healthy. The goal is to remove all traces of the problem food over a period of time to see if symptoms resolve. A record of food intake and symptoms is kept. Then foods are added one at a time to see if symptoms return. The process takes time and diligence.


Who said you can’t have pizza for breakfast? Here is a recipe for English Muffin Breakfast Pizzas, a healthy, quick and easy breakfast to start your day. It comes from “You Have It Made” by Ellie Krieger. They can be frozen ahead of time and then reheated in an air fryer or oven.


Servings: 4

4 wholemeal English muffins

2 tablespoons olive oil, divided

4 slices (3 ounces) Canadian bacon, thinly sliced ​​into strips

3 cups lightly packed fresh spinach leaves, roughly chopped

1/2 cup marinara sauce

1 cup (4 oz) low-fat mozzarella

Divide the English muffins and brush the cut side of each with oil, using a total of 1 tablespoon oil. In a medium skillet over medium-high heat, heat remaining 1 tablespoon oil. Add the Canadian bacon and cook, stirring once or twice, until browned, 2 minutes. Add the spinach and cook, stirring, until wilted, 1 minute. If you plan to freeze the pizzas, allow the spinach mixture to cool completely. Top each English muffin half with 1 tablespoon marinara sauce, then 1 heaping tablespoon spinach mixture, then 2 tablespoons cheese. If you’re freezing, do it at this stage. (Wrap in foil to form a packet, then place in a freezer sealable bag.) To serve now, place pan in oven and preheat along with oven to 450 F. Place pizza on pan and bake for 8 to 10 minutes until The English muffin is toasted and the cheese is melting and starting to brown. Leave to cool slightly before eating.

Per serving: 300 calories, 18g protein, 27g carbohydrates, 14g fat, 30mg cholesterol, 4g fiber, 660mg sodium.

Charlyn Fargo is a registered dietitian at SIU Med School in Springfield, Illinois. For comments or questions, please contact her at [email protected] or follow her on Twitter @NutritionRD. To learn more about Charlyn Fargo and read features from other Creators writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators website at

Photo credit: shixugang on Pixabay

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