Is your breakfast cereal making you fat? (Plus healthier alternatives!)

We've all had those mornings where you simply don't have enough time to prepare a...

We've all had those mornings where you simply don't have enough time to prepare a healthy, home-cooked breakfast. That's when cold cereal is a welcome sight. But that vitamin-enriched box of puffed grains isn't always the best idea for keeping your figure in check. Here are five tips for a healthy breakfast.

  1. Read the label: Most boxes of cereal include refined sugars, artificial flavorings, unhealthy dyes and fillers that don't add any nutritional value. The Mayo Clinic recommends reading labels and looking for breakfast cereal with a minimum of 3-5 grams of fiber per serving, less than 120 calories per serving and less than 13 grams of sugar per serving.

  2. Oatmeal or grits: If your go-to breakfast doesn't make the grade, try whipping up a bowl of hot, healthy cereal such as instant unflavored oatmeal or a creamy bowl of grits (but take it easy on the butter). These only take a few minutes to prepare, and aren't packed with added sugar like cold cereals. Top your warm meal with sliced peaches and a sprinkle of raisins to add sweetness and vitamins.

  3. Frozen fruit smoothie: Measure 1/2 cup each of frozen blueberries, frozen mangoes, frozen strawberries and frozen bananas into a blender carafe. Fill with coconut water, which is naturally low-calorie, low-sugar and rich in electrolytes, until the fruit is covered. Place the lid on the carafe and blend until smooth and creamy for a drinkable breakfast on-the-go. Healthy bonus: Toss in a tablespoon of milled flaxseed for a nutty flavor and dose of Omega-3 fatty acids.

  4. Egg sandwich: Bring a pot of water to a boil and poach an egg. This method doesn't use any added fat (like frying or scrambling) and cooks quickly. Place two pieces of bread in the toaster. Once the egg is cooked to your liking, toss it on one slice of toast and top with the other piece to create a sandwich. Munch and go! Healthy bonus: Choose bread made from sprouted whole grains for a bigger nutritional punch.

  5. Protein-packed breakfast wrap: Place a smear of low-fat cream cheese and a slice of lean turkey lunch meat on a whole grain tortilla. Warm it in the microwave until the cheese gets gooey. Roll the tortilla and slice in half for a delicious, warm breakfast wrap. Healthy bonus: Add a sliced tomato before rolling to sneak in a serving of vitamin C.

Need more nutrition advice? A doctor in Atlanta can help you learn more about dietary needs and what you should be putting on your plate each morning to avoid tipping the scale.

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