MOUNT KISCO, N.Y. -- Often billed "the most important meal," a healthy breakfast can set the tone for the rest of the day. However, not all breakfasts are created equal, according to the nutrition experts at Northern Westchester Hospital.
"For most people, eating a protein and fiber rich breakfast helps to control appetite throughout the day," said Amy Rosenfeld, a dietitian at Northern Westchester Hospital. "Waiting to eat until you are starving at lunch time can cause overeating and grazing on snacks."
Breakfast doesn’t need to be an elaborate, multi-course affair though. Eating enough to quell hunger and choosing foods that keep you full and focused are the main goals.
"It's important to stick with protein-rich foods, such as eggs, nuts or Greek yogurt, and fiber-rich foods like fruit or whole grains, like oats," said Rosenfeld. "Stay away from processed carbohydrates, like granola bars or sugar-rich cereals, as these items will actually cause people to get hungry faster."
Instead of grabbing a donut on the go, Rosenfeld suggested opting for more filling and tasty breakfast foods. "Great pairings that will keep you full include a hardboiled egg with some fruit, a slice of whole grain toast with avocado and slice of cheese, or unsweetened oatmeal with nuts and fruit," she said. Hydration is also important during the morning. "Starting the day with several glasses of water rehydrates after a long night."
For those who eat light breakfasts or get hungry easily, fear not. Experts agree that grazing on several smaller meals throughout the day is another good way to fight hunger and curb overeating. "Eating small meals and snacks every three hours or so is a great way to keep your appetite steady and make healthy food choices," said Rosenfeld. "I recommend healthy snacks that keep you full, like hummus and veggies, a handful of unsalted nuts or a few pieces of cheese."
For more information on how to eat right from breakfast until bedtime, visit Northern Westchester Hospital to learn more.