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Quick and Healthy Breakfasts

Registered Dietitian Melanie Douglass has the best picks for quick breakfast ideas that will start you off right and still don't take much time to prepare.

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Breakfast truly is the most important meal of the day. It fuels your brain and vital organs and revs your metabolism. It also sets the tone for how you'll eat for the rest of the day (like if you skip breakfast and become ravenously hungry by lunch, the wheels are suddenly in motion for a day of out-of-control eating).

Take a look at the following foods:
1) Egg McMuffin - 300 Calories
2) Yogurt and banana - 350 Calories
3) Bakery bagel w/cream cheese - 430 Calories
4) 2 handfuls of nuts and fruit - 450 Calories
5) Bakery cinnamon roll - 700 - 1300 Calories

The Egg McMuffin is the lowest in calories. Are you surprised? Most people are. But"that doesn't mean it's the best breakfast choice. The lowest calorie choice also has 12 grams of fat and 820 mg of sodium (that's ½ a day's supply of supply"at breakfast!). The best breakfast choice is a food combination that provides fiber, protein, healthy monounsaturated fats, and complex carbohydrates. This is the one meal where it's not just about the calories. Your best choice from the above list would be #4: the nuts and fruit at 430 calories. I like to recommend a goal of 500 calories per meal for the average adult. So a 430-calorie healthy breakfast is perfectly okay. And it's literally a "grab-and-go" option.

If you have no time to pour a bowl of cereal, let alone cook a hot breakfast before racing out the door, then try one of these convenient, easy, and healthy breakfast options:

Grab-n-go breakfast options from home:
- Yogurt (Dannon Light and Fit), one handful of almonds, and one banana
- String cheese, an apple, and a handful of nuts
- Dry cereal (1 cup) and 1 handful of nuts mixed together in a plastic sandwich bag, plus 1 piece of fruit
- Cottage cheese (4 oz. single serve container), 1 handful of grapes
- 1 packet plain instant oatmeal, 1 hard-boiled egg, 1 piece of fruit
- 1 slice of whole-wheat toast with 1 Tbsp peanut butter, plus 1 glass of milk and 1 piece of fruit
- 3 slices ready-to-serve Canadian bacon and 1 medium piece of fruit
- Fiber One granola bar and 1 medium piece of fruit

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For more information, you can contact Melanie through the "Ask the Expert" option on the Studio 5 website, you can visit her website directly, www.tipadayguide.com or you can find her book ,Tip A Day Guide to Healthy Living in bookstores.

© 2008 Melanie Douglass, Deseret Book

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