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Breakfast Has Benefits!

February 2, 2015

We all hear how "breakfast is the most important meal of the day," but is it? For started, an adequate breakfast has been linked to the following:

• Cognitive performance

• Feelings of well-being

• Weight management

• Greater overall nutrient intake

• Reduced risk of cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes

But, what does adequate mean?

Research tends to vary when it comes to defining what a healthy breakfast includes. However, the result of this abundant research has resulted in proposed criteria that, if followed, could assist in reaching the improvements mentioned above. They include:

• 15-25% of total recommended calories

• >10-20% Daily Value all nutrients, focusing on calcium, fiber, potassium, and vitamin D

• 25% or less Daily Value for sodium and saturated fat

• Choose at least 3 food groups with recommended MyPlate portion sizes

Additionally, breakfast should focus on intake of whole grains, high quality protein, fruits, and vegetables. Keep it Colorful! Getting your fruits and vegetables through smoothies/shakes may help, but remember to keep the fiber! A lot of juicers contain a tank where all the fiber goes - you want to use a blender, Ninja, or similar instead. High quality protein (such as eggs, Greek yogurt, or chicken) can help promote fullness and positive hormonal alterations that have an effect on food-intake regulation. This suggests that a well-rounded breakfast may even reduce evening snacking and overall improved satiety. Remember to keep consumption of refined grains and added sugars at a minimum. Below, find some examples of not-so-healthy breakfasts compared to their recommended counterparts:

Happy Eating!

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