What is a balanced breakfast? A balanced breakfast begins with the first meal of the day, usually eaten in the morning. The word comes from the Middle English word “brekfast,” meaning “to break the fast,” as it is the first meal after a night’s sleep.
A balanced breakfast is a meal that includes a variety of food groups to provide essential nutrients, fiber, and energy. According to the American Heart Association, a balanced breakfast should include:
- Whole grains (e.g. whole grain toast, oatmeal)
- Protein (e.g. eggs, yogurt, nut butter)
- Fruits or vegetables (e.g. berries, spinach)
- Healthy fats (e.g. avocado, nuts)
As a former bodybuilder, I remember getting ready for a bodybuilding show and my starting diet. My balanced breakfast consisted of 2 medium chicken breasts, 10 egg whites, 2 bowls of oatmeal, a banana, a protein shake, and a medium baked potato. It took me 45 minutes to eat all of that. Then I ate smaller meals every two hours. I lost 9 pounds during the first week.
Let’s get back to reality. This article is to highlight a “balanced” breakfast. Unless you’re a hardcore bodybuilder, you might consider something like whole-grain toast, an avocado, and a fried egg or two. Another example might be a veggie omelet with whole-grain toast and peanut butter.
This type of balanced breakfast can help improve satiety, cognitive function, and overall health.
I do want to stress the importance of breakfast.
As stated, it breaks the overnight fast and provides essential nutrients and energy to start the day while improving satiety, cognitive function, and overall health. Breakfast is also believed to help regulate weight and help reduce the risk of chronic diseases such as diabetes and heart disease.
It also sets the tone for healthy eating habits for the rest of the day.
Skipping breakfast has been associated with increased hunger, reduced productivity, and decreased overall nutritional quality of the diet. So make sure to eat a balanced breakfast.
- American Heart Association: https://www.heart.org/en/healthy-living/healthy-eating/eat-smart/nutrition-basics/what-is-a-balanced-breakfast
- Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics: https://www.eatright.org/food/nutrition/dietary-guidelines-and-myplate/what-is-a-balanced-breakfast
- Harvard Health Publishing: https://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/a-balanced-breakfast-is-important-for-good-health-2018081314378