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What's the secret to a better breakfast?

It's better for your health (and your weight) to eat breakfast than to skip it. And it's definitely better  to eat a healthy breakfast, high in fibers and nutrients, than one full of refined grains, sugar, salt,  and/or saturated fat. But what if you're fresh out of healthy breakfast ideas?

One quick tip I use to keep my breakfast balanced is to "strive for five." That means I try to include at least 5 grams of fiber and 5 grams of protein in every breakfast.

Many people go wrong by eating a breakfast made up mostly of refined carbohydrates with very little fiber and protein -- like a refined-flour bagel, a muffin made with sugar and white flour, or a sugary low-fiber breakfast cereal. Balancing carbohydrates (preferably from whole grains, fruit and vegetables) with some protein and a little healthier fat will do a better job of staving off hunger until lunch and fueling your entire morning's activities. 

To help you get there, here are some tips for making sure your breakfast is a well-balanced one, as well as some quick and healthy breakfast ideas and recipes.

A Healthy Breakfast Has at Least 5 Grams of Protein

Low-fat or nonfat dairy products can add protein to your breakfast, as can egg whites or egg substitute (egg yolk doesn't contribute protein); lean breakfast meats like Canadian bacon, extra-lean ham, turkey bacon, or light turkey sausage; and soy milk and other soy products. Here's how much protein you get from some typical breakfast foods:


Breakfast Protein SourcesProtein (g)CaloriesFat (g)Saturated Fat (g)Carbs (g)
Skim milk, 1 cup101000014

Low-fat yogurt, vanilla, 1 cup


Low-fat cottage cheese, 1 cup    

Reduced-fat cheese, 1 ounce     87042.51
Stonyfield Farms Organic Low-Fat, Fruit flavored733001
Egg substitute, 1/4 cup 630001
Soy milk, low-fat, 1 cup4901.5014
Soy-based sausage, 2 ounces   121194.50.76
Tofu, extra firm lite, 2 ounces     5431.402.2
Canadian bacon, 2 ounces12893.91.21
Extra lean ham, 2 ounces11611.50.40.4
Turkey bacon, 2 strips47061< 1
Light turkey sausage, 2 ounces               9130102.21
Peanut butter, natural, 1 tablespoon3.5100813.5
Light cream cheese, 1 ounce     35342.71.8
Lox (smoked salmon), 1 ounce5.2331.20.20

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