Dietitian and healthful-eating columnist Ellie Krieger had lots to say about breakfast in a recent conversation with readers. Here are some of her tips, along with a few healthful recipe ideas.
Replace that daily glass of orange juice with an orange. “One hundred percent juice is certainly rich in nutrients, but it is also high in calories that are easily consumed quickly,” Krieger says. “It’s better to eat whole fruit because then you get nutrients plus fiber, which slows down how quickly you consume it, plus tempers the rise in blood sugar from the naturally occurring sugars in the fruit.”
If you must have a glass of juice, keep it small. The recommended serving of 100 percent juice is four ounces per day. “Most of us drink far larger portions than that these days,” Krieger says. “If you grab a juice at the deli, chances are it is no less than 10 ounces, for example.”
Think twice about “light” juices. Many are just watered-down juice with artificial sweeteners and other ingredients added. “I would recommend just diluting some regular juice with water if you want a ‘lighter’ juice,” Krieger says.
Be smart about smoothies. “Many store-bought smoothies are huge, are made with primarily fruit juice and have added sweeteners, so it is easy to suck down hundreds of calories without even realizing it,” Krieger says. She suggests making your own smoothie at home, using a ripe banana or dates for sweetness and adding milk or a nut butter for protein.
“Also, while I love smoothies myself, I think our fascination with drinking our meals has gone overboard,” Krieger says. “I recently wrote a Washington Post column on why I think chewing is underrated. There are many pluses to actually sitting down and eating a meal that needs to be chewed.”
For a satisfying make-ahead breakfast, try muesli. Popular in Switzerland, this breakfast or snack consists of oats, nuts and dried and fresh fruit soaked overnight in a yogurt-milk mixture. (It can also be bought dry.)
Krieger’s suggestions for a quick vegan breakfast:
- Peanut butter on whole-grain toast with banana
- Oatmeal with nuts, berries and almond or soy milk
- Avocado toast with black beans and salsa