Many people start their day off wrong by eating foods high in fat, salt and sugar, nutritionists say. Here are some ways to change:
Check your cereal. Look for choices with at least five grams of fiber and no more than eight grams of sugar per serving. Note: Watch granola, which sounds healthy but can be high in fat and sugar.
Try new toppings. Instead of pouring regular syrup on pancakes or French toast, experiment with fresh fruit (or a 100 percent fruit spread), a little peanut butter or sugar-free syrup. Instead of cream cheese on bagels, try skim ricotta cheese or a thin layer of almond butter.
Beware of breakfast bars. Some have no more nutritional value than a candy bar. Check labels for sugar and calories, or substitute whole-grain toast with a 100 percent fruit spread. If you need something to go, one option is a trail mix of nuts, dried fruits and dry cereal.
Go wheat. Whole-wheat bread and small whole-grain bagels are healthier — and more filling — than doughnuts, pastries, croissants and biscuits.
Substitute while cooking. If you’re making pancakes, use half whole-wheat flour and half white flour and add applesauce or grated fruit to the batter. For French toast, dip whole-grain bread into an egg substitute or a mixture of one whole egg and one to two egg whites (which also works for omelets).
Rethink meat. Most bacon and sausage is high in fat, salt and calories. Low-fat brands and turkey bacon and ham are better, but consider going meatless or opting for a nontraditional choice such as grilled chicken or salmon.
Add fruits and vegetables. Throw them in wherever you can, including omelets, cereal and yogurt.
Make smoothies. Rather than one big glass of juice, fill up by blending a half cup each of orange juice and plain low-fat yogurt with half a banana and some frozen berries.