Breakfast has earned its reputation as the most important meal of the day. It's a chance to start your morning off on the right foot—and research shows breakfast eaters are more likely to get key nutrients in their diets and to lose weight and keep it off. But if you're not careful, what you think is a healthy breakfast could be a sugar bomb and leave you hungry soon after you eat. Want to clean up your breakfast routine? Don't worry, you don't have to give up coffee (phew, right?); you just might want to ditch any creamer products and sweeteners and use real milk or half-and-half instead. Here are 5 other easy clean-eating breakfast ideas.
1. Stick to Plain Yogurt
Yogurt is healthy. It's full of filling protein and gut-healthy probiotics, or good bacteria. But opt for a fruity flavor and you can be getting 15 grams of added sugar in your cup. Instead, make a parfait with fresh fruit, for nutrition and some natural sweetness. Nuts add crunch and good-for-you fats. If you're still adjusting to plain yogurt, you might want to drizzle in a teaspoon or two of honey or maple syrup, but for a really clean breakfast skip the extra sugar.
2. Opt for Avocado Toast
This is one food trend that hits the clean-eating mark. Avocados are rich in healthy fats, which help keep you full, and also have antioxidants that can help protect your skin and eyes from UV rays. Bread's not off limits when you're eating clean, either; just check the ingredient list for added sugars. Sprouted-grain breads tend to have simple ingredient lists.
3. Choose Naturally Sweet Fruit
When you're eating clean you'll want to cut back on added sugars. Most of us eat too much added sugar, about 28 teaspoons of added sugar daily, or about 4 times the recommended amount. Rather than totally eliminate sweetness from your morning, turn to fruit. Fruit has sugar but also fiber, which slows down digestion, and vitamins and minerals. If you like toast and jam, try making your own quick jam with chia seeds and frozen fruit to top whole-grain toast or an English muffin.
4. Make Healthy Breakfast Tacos
Eating clean isn't about feeling deprived. If you love breakfast burritos, you need to try these 10-minute breakfast tacos. Eggs are scrambled and mixed with cheese and salsa. Instead of a flour tortilla, they are tucked into corn tortillas, which typically have a much shorter ingredient list and are naturally whole-grain.
5. DIY Your "Instant" Oatmeal
Instant oatmeal packets are convenient and save time, but they also tend to have lots of added sugar and sometimes funky ingredients. For the same instant breakfast: make overnight oats. The oats soak overnight and are ready to go in the morning. Plus oats are a whole grain and deliver heart-healthy fiber at breakfast. Skip the maple syrup in this recipe if you want to cut back on all added sugars.