A Healthy Breakfast Goes By Many Names

While you may savor stir-fry, congee, or cucumber and feta at any other time of the day, eating them for a savory breakfast may sound a little odd. Let me just repeat three words from the most recent entry from Mark Bittman's Bitten foodblog: "coconut oat pilaf." Oats, chilies, coconut, do I have your attention?

If not, it may have something to do with what you ate for breakfast. Studies have shown that cognitive processing improves after a breakfast of oatmeal rather than breakfast cereal. If what is marketed to us for breakfast not exactly what we should be eating, then that kind of makes everything fair game, doesn't it?

Bittman's point about opening the breakfast playing field is more that of a gourmand, but it makes sense from a nutritional point of view as well as an environmental one. Much of the stuff that's labeled "breakfast" is highly processed, meaning that it has to pass through many hands and many industrial processes before it arrives in our breakfast nook. All that processing means the cereal quickly swallowed in the morning may have a huge carbon footprint.

Nutritionally, eating more "real food" and less denatured then re-enriched food seems to make sense. Of course, it's important to mention that there are studies saying that breakfast cereal eaters are thinner and better nourished than egg eaters, just as there are studies saying that an egg breakfast induces satiety--and thus lower caloric intake for the rest of the day. It seems that all the research will agree on is that breakfast is indeed the most important meal of the day, but they're not sure what is best to eat.

Take advantage of that confusion and try some of Bittman's suggestions for a savory breakfast...or for dinner, if you're of the mind that pizza is eaten only for dinner.

Tags: Breakfast, Diet, Egg, Food, Nutrition, Processed food

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