A Harvard Doctor’s Recipe for a Healthy Breakfast


Harvard physician Monique Tello isn’t a fan of the typical American breakfast which usually consists of a bowl of cereal, bagel, a piece of toast, or a muffin.

Breakfast foods such as these contain processed carbohydrates and sugar which cause blood sugar and insulin levels to rise. The insulin ushers all that sugar into your fat cells where it turns into body fat.

“Eating like this may be okay once in a while, but if you do so often, I guarantee these foods will make you sick, one way or another,” Tello wrote in a recent Harvard Health blog post.

Most American breakfast foods (like cereals, waffles, pastries, etc.) lack two nourishing ingredients: protein and fiber. As a result, these breakfast foods can cause health problems such as obesity, high blood pressure and cholesterol, and eventually, heart disease.

So what’s the solution?

According to Tello, the solution is a breakfast meal that is high in protein to fuel our muscles and rich in fiber to fill up and regulate our digestion. Here’s what she recommends: fruits and vegetables, whole (unprocessed) grains, and healthy proteins and fats.

“I’m a working mom. I take the train into work. I need something quick, easy, and transportable. Plus, it needs to be budget-friendly, and must hold me over for a number of hours,” Tello said.

3 Perfect Ingredients for a Healthy Breakfast

So here are her three favorite budget-friendly breakfast ingredients:

  • Frozen fruit: Tello recommends eating berries, mixed fruit, fruit with kale bits, etc., since “fruit is frozen at the peak of freshness, so the quality and vitamin content can be better than what’s in the produce aisle.” Also, frozen fruit is cheaper than fresh fruit and lasts longer.
  • Nuts and/or seeds and/or grains: Tello advises using unsalted nuts, toasted seeds or grains, or a combination such as a low-sugar granola. Here’s her recipe for no-added-sugars granola here.
  • Yogurt: Tello recommends plain or low-sugar yogurt.

To make her meal, she pours the nuts and seeds over frozen berries and stirs the yogurt into the mixture.

Why is this Breakfast Healthy?

There’s fiber in the fruit, and plant sugars in their natural form, not to mention healthy fat in the nuts, and protein in the yogurt. A low-sugar yogurt will leave you feeling more satisfied, for longer. Furthermore, you won’t get the insulin spike that triggers hunger pangs, unlike what happens when we consume processed carbs.


H/T: Harvard Health Blog Post

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