The whole “breakfast is the most important meal of the day” saying is cliché for a reason: because it’s true. But those breakfast bars are just not going to cut it. Get the most out of your mornings with these 10 healthiest foods for breakfast.
A muscle-building powerhouse, cottage cheese contains 25 grams of protein per cup. In a 2015 University of Missouri study, dieters who ate a high-protein breakfast (35 grams of protein) ended up being less hungry and eating fewer calories throughout the rest of the day compared to those who ate low-protein breakfasts. Opt for full-fat, grass-fed varieties to get the most conjugated linoleic acid per spoonful. White explains that the fatty acid has been linked to weight loss, muscle development, and even a decreased risk of colorectal cancer in women.
A festival of heart- and waist-friendly fiber, steel-cut oatmeal is a whole grain that everyone (gluten-intolerant or not) can benefit from adding into their daily diet, says Vandana R. Sheth, R.D.N., C.D.E., spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. After all, in one 2015 Harvard University study of more than 100,000 people, those who ate at least 33 grams of whole grains daily—the equivalent of a single bowl of oatmeal—cut their risk of early death by 9 percent compared to those who rarely, if ever, ate whole grains.
“A single cup of steel-cut oats contains about 12 grams of protein as well as beta-glucan, a viscous fiber that helps promote a feeling of fullness,” adds Jim White, R.D., owner of Jim White Fitness & Nutrition Studios in Virginia. “It’s also very rich in antioxidants to help protect heart health and reduce blood pressure.” As if all that weren’t enough of a selling point, oatmeal is the perfect canvas for healthy breakfast mix-ins like milk, seeds, nuts, berries, and antioxidant-packed cinnamon.