For years, we were told that cereal, bagels, muffins, oats,
and pastries were healthy go-to breakfast options. At the same time, we were
told eggs were bad for us. While we were receiving these messages, insulin
resistance, type-2 diabetes and heart disease have nearly reached epidemic
levels in our country. Of course, breakfast isn’t the only reason for this
trend but it’s a great place to start making changes.
Why High-carb Breakfast Isn’t Best
When we wake up in the morning, our bodies are experiencing
a cortisol surge. This is a natural part of our waking cycle. This elevation in
cortisol has an effect on insulin secretion. When you eat during this time your
body rapidly releases insulin in abundance, and eating a breakfast high in
carbohydrates will stimulate even more insulin release.
Starting your day with an insulin spike like this sets you
up for a corresponding insulin dip. During this dip we feel hunger, cravings
and fatigue. We often alleviate these uncomfortable feelings by reaching for
another rush of fuel in the form of more carbohydrates. We then have another
sugar and insulin spike, and the process repeats – it’s an insulin
We should be aiming for nice rolling hills rather than the
extreme peaks and dips of insulin. Riding the insulin rollercoaster too often
can lead to insulin resistance and type-2 diabetes. This is a path to heart
disease, cancer and early neurologic decline. Having high insulin can also lead
to obesity and metabolic syndrome. The solution is to have a protein dense
What Makes a Perfect Breakfast
Focus not just on adding protein but also reducing carbs in
your breakfast. No grains, no fruit juice and no bread. This reduces insulin
release and supports a healthier metabolism throughout the day. Most people who switch to a no-carb breakfast
say they have better sustained energy throughout the day, fewer cravings, less
hunger and some weight loss.
Really, It’s Okay to Eat Eggs
The American Heart Association’s (AHA) used to have an
anti-egg stance, but nutrition is an evolving science. We’re learning so much
more about how our bodies interact with food. The AHA changed its position on
eggs in 2000. Eggs are indeed good for you!
And you should really eat the whole egg. Sure, egg yolks have
cholesterol, but the role dietary cholesterol plays in heart disease isn’t as
significant as we once believed. Eggs also have omega-3s, vitamins A, D, E and
K, and lutein. All of these things help prevent heart disease. Plus, eggs are a
great source of protein and have no carbohydrates, so they’re a great breakfast
food. Purchase organic free-range eggs,
which have a higher amount of omega-3 in the yolks than other eggs do.
How to Eat Your Eggs (Even When You’re In a Rush)
We can’t emphasize the importance of nutrient density enough.
Adding vegetables to your eggs will make the meal more satisfying and increase
the amount of nutrients you get without adding a lot of calories.
These are some of our favorite egg and vegetable combinations:
- 2 eggs with green onions, tomato, and chopped kale
- 2 eggs with spinach and tomato
- 2 eggs with wild-caught smoked salmon, asparagus and caramelized
- 2 eggs with peppers and onion
- 2 eggs with salsa and green onions, topped with ¼ diced
If you’re pressed for time in the mornings, make your eggs
ahead of time. Prepare your vegetables and put them in a 9×9 greased baking pan
and then pour 8 scrambled eggs over them. Bake the casserole at 425 for about
15 minutes. This makes four servings of a healthy, protein-packed breakfast.