4 Heart-Healthy BreakfastsArticle posted in: Diet & Nutrition
A healthy lifestyle is much more than a thin waist or a summer goal. A life rich in exercise and a healthy balanced diet can protect you from heart disease. Eighty-one million Americans suffer from heart disease and it is the number one killer in the US. Luckily, there are measures you can take to prevent heart disease.
The American Heart Association states that making good food choices is one of the pillars of a heart-healthy lifestyle. But what Americans believe are good food choices and what really are smart selections may be very different.
So start with the basics. What is a heart-healthy diet? The American Heart Association recommends a few nutrition basics to keeping your heart healthy and your diet on track:
- Eat a variety of fruits and vegetables
- Consume low-fat dairy
- Enjoy skinless poultry and fish
- Add nuts and legumes
- Limit saturated fat, trans fat, sugar and red meat
- Eat fiber-rich whole grains
- Include heart healthy fats
- Drink alcohol in moderation
That’s a lot of basics! Don’t let it scare you. (Nutrisystem can help you figure out the best way to eat better. Just connect with one of our Weight Loss Coaches and they’ll be happy to get you set up with a plan!) With knowledge, preparation and a few life hacks, you’ll find it easy to include heart-healthy meals into your diet.
Start with breakfast. According to The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, if you’re skipping breakfast, you’re doing something wrong. And we couldn’t agree more. Research shows breakfast helps support brain function, energy and mood. And research suggests that people who eat breakfast consume fewer calories throughout the day, weigh less and have fewer risk factors for heart disease. Just a few reasons to load up in the a.m.
But we know: Americans are busy. The snooze button is too convenient and meetings start too early. Here are a few tips to ensure you have time to include a heart-healthy breakfast every morning, even if it’s on the go:
Let your oatmeal cook for you overnight so you can grab and go when the clock is ticking. Soak a quarter cup of steel cut rolled oats overnight in a half cup of unsweetened almond milk, cinnamon and a half cup of low-fat plain Greek yogurt for a nutritious grab-and-go breakfast. Add fresh fruit or crushed nuts for a balanced meal to keep you energized. The oats contain loads of fiber, which will keep you feeling full and satisfied. And they even may help lower cholesterol. (Check out this delicious recipe for Slow Cooker Quinoa Carrot Breakfast Bowl).
An easy weekly prep that will pay off every morning, these morning must-haves will save you time without sabotaging your healthy diet. Scramble a few eggs, add your favorite veggies, spices, pour into muffin tins and bake! Grab your homemade egg-muffin during the mad rush out the door. Eggs have loads of protein, vitamin D, zinc, selenium, B vitamins and iron. (Try these Delicious Veggie Omelet Muffins).
The American Heart Association recommends a homemade smoothie in the morning as part of a heart healthy diet. Fill a freezer bag with your favorite fruits and veggies. In the morning, blend with ice and low-fat yogurt, low-fat milk (or a milk alternative!), or water. Pour into a spill-proof travel cup and you’re running at 100 percent in the morning. Smoothies are a great way to ensure you’re eating a wide variety of fruits and vegetables throughout the day. Invest in a great blender for the best smoothies! (Wake up on the right side of bed with this delicious Chocolate Peanut Butter Smoothie!).
Avocado toast can be so satisfying, you’ll think you’re being sinful. Pop a piece of whole-grain toast in the toaster, spread on a bit of avocado, and then get creative. Chia seeds, flax seeds, fresh strawberries, tomato, spinach, cucumbers or smoked salmon. The possibilities are endless. Avocado toast will load you up with healthy fats and fiber keeping you satisfied until your next meal. (Check out these 8 Ways to Transform Your Toast).