While it may have been debunked as the reigning "most important meal of the day," breakfast is still a crucial time. Whether you enjoy a traditional frontier breakfast or are lucky to get more than a cup of coffee in the morning, breakfast plays a large role in our health and wellbeing.
But how can we enjoy our national meal while maintaining awareness of our health? This blog will set out to answer that question by proposing healthier alternatives for breakfast.
Why Breakfast Matters - The Risks of Skipping Breakfast
Skipping breakfast may seem a great way to reduce your daily calorie intake and avoid eating potentially harmful foods in the morning. But it may have the opposite effect. Research published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology (JACC) shows a connection between skipping breakfast and developing cardiovascular disease. Further studies on the impact of skipping breakfast found links that suggest missing the first meal of the day can cause increased risk factors for other issues like diabetes and high cholesterol.
These increased risk factors include:
- High blood pressure
- Higher total blood cholesterol
How to Make a Breakfast that Promotes Heart Health
As the research shows, eating breakfast is essential, but what should you eat as part of a heart-healthy breakfast?
A combination of fiber and protein in your breakfast is an excellent way to start your day while protecting your heart. Fiber keeps you feeling full for longer and is ideal for your digestive system. Some common fiber-filled foods include whole grains, fruits, and vegetables.
In combination with fiber-rich foods, heart-healthy lean protein is also essential for breakfast and helps to protect cardiovascular health and muscles. Some common examples of protein sources to include in your breakfast are eggs, yogurt, and turkey sausage.
You can include any of these foods in your breakfast to promote heart health:
- Greek yogurt
- Wholegrain toast
- Peanut butter
- Cottage cheese
- Turkey sausage
When making your breakfast, feel free to combine these ingredients for a full breakfast, or pick and choose as you like. Some of our favorite heart-healthy breakfast ideas include avocado toast, oatmeal with nuts and berries, or a yogurt parfait.
Ingredients to Avoid When Making a Heart-Healthy Breakfast
We recommend you limit the following from your breakfast:
- Refinded carbohydrates (found in white bread, pastries, and many cereals)
- Excess salt
- Fried foods
By choosing ingredients that supply your body with nutrients, you will be ready to take on the day with plenty of energy!
Protecting Your Heart Health
As well as eating breakfast and making heart-healthy food choices, it is also crucial to monitor your cardiovascular health. Early detection of possible risk factors for cardiovascular disease is essential and will enable you to take action early.
Prevention is always better than treatment, so regular checkups to assess your general and cardiovascular health, in particular, are advised to stay in the best shape. If you are at a high risk of heart disease, attending regular checkups at UAB Medical West is even more vital.
Get Heart-Healthy Today at UAB Medical West
Need advice for making heart-healthy choices? UAB Medical West promotes healthier living in a community near you, including Hueytown, Hoover, Bessemer, McCalla, Vance, and others. Schedule an appointment for your cardiovascular help and get expert advice for your well-being by calling (205) 481-7000 today or contacting us online.