How to Create a Balanced Plant-Based Breakfast
Last week we discussed the many health benefits of a plant-based diet. If you missed it, check it out here. For many people interested in a plant-based diet, it can be challenging to know where to start. Chances are, you’re already enjoying some plant-based breakfast foods like oatmeal, fruit, smoothies, toast and nut butters – so this is a great starting point! Today, we’re going to give you the basics for creating a balanced plant-based breakfast that will keep you full and energize you for the day ahead.
If you’re not already a breakfast-eater, either because you don’t feel hungry when you wake up or your mornings are rushed, you can learn to make breakfast an enjoyable habit. Start with something small and do what works for you! It’s worth the effort because eating breakfast can improve:
Appetite control and weight management
Energy and concentration levels at work or school
Overall nutrient intake
A plant-based breakfast doesn’t have to be boring or time-consuming to prepare. You can prep some breakfast recipes the night before or even have leftovers from dinner. To get your basics down, plan your plate according to macronutrients (i.e. the 3 major nutrients that give us energy): carbohydrates, protein and fat.
Choose complex carbs like fruits, veggies, legumes and whole grains more often than simple carbs like sugary cereals, donuts, white bread and bagels. Complex carbs tend to be lower-glycemic-index and higher in fibre, meaning they digest more slowly keeping you full and preventing spikes in blood sugar.
Try some of these high-fibre carb sources:
Bran cereal (12g fibre per ½ cup)
Steel cut oats (5g fibre per 1/3 cup)
Large flake rolled oats (3g fibre per 1/3 cup)
Whole grain bread (2g fibre per slice)
Bananas (3g fibre per medium banana)
Apples (3g fibre per medium apple)
Berries (3-4g fibre per ½ cup)
Bell peppers (2g fibre per 1 cup chopped)
Kale (2g fibre per 1 cup chopped)
Quick cooking oats contain less fibre than rolled oats, but are still a healthy & convenient option!
Classic breakfast proteins like bacon and sausage can be replaced with other delicious vegetarian options like tofu, tempeh and beans. Other high sources of protein at breakfast include cow’s milk or fortified soy milk, low-fat cheese, Greek yogurt, and eggs. Nut butters can provide some protein as well as healthy fat.
Healthy fats can be found in nuts, seeds, avocados and unsaturated oils. Here are some great options that also provide heart-healthy omega-3’s:
Now that you know the basics of a healthy plant-based breakfast, why not try some of these ideas:
If you’d like to book an appointment with Bridge Nutrition Services, contact us today.