Skipping breakfast is one thing you may want to avoid if you’re serious about battling cholesterol. Why? For a number of reasons.
The first is that breakfast is a great opportunity to include more nutrition into your day. Research indicates that breakfast eaters tend to do a better job of hitting daily nutritional targets each day. When this happens, it means you’re getting all the vitamins, minerals, and fiber that your body needs to stay healthy. A healthy body promotes lower cholesterol.
Another way breakfast can help reduce cholesterol is through appetite regulation. There is research to suggest breakfast can regulate hunger hormones that prevent snacking later in the day.
Many times, it’s mid-morning and early afternoon snacking that promotes unhealthy cholesterol. The foods people typically reach for are high-sugar processed foods that produce “bad” LDL in the body (the stuff that creates atherosclerosis).
Of course, not all breakfasts are created equal. To maximize your breakfast’s effect on cholesterol levels, there are good choices and bad ones. Good choices are high-fiber foods like plain oatmeal (regular or steel-cut), whole-grain toast and avocado, fruit, and high-fiber, low-sugar cereal. Adding protein is also recommended as a way to help regulate appetite.
Some examples of tested cholesterol battling breakfasts are:
- One-third cup plain, dried oatmeal with blueberries (fresh or frozen), almonds or peanuts, cinnamon.
- Two slices whole-grain, whole-wheat avocado toast.
- One-half or three-quarters cup of low-fat Greek yogurt, strawberries (fresh or frozen), nuts.
- Whole grain English muffins with herbed egg whites
- Egg white omelet with spinach, onions, peppers, and a slice of whole-grain toast
- High-fiber breakfast cereal
- Overnight oats
- Homemade oatmeal bars
On the other hand, breakfast won’t bust cholesterol if you’re eating sugary cereals, muffins, Danishes, donuts, or other high-sugar refined foods. This is also true for processed meats like bacon, sausage, and corned beef. Regular consumption of these options will generally boost cholesterol levels and contribute to other potential health problems like weight gain, Type-2 diabetes, and heart disease.
Devon Andre holds a bachelor’s of forensic science from the University of Windsor in Canada and a Juris Doctor from the University of Pittsburgh. Andre is a journalist for BelMarraHealth, which first published this article.