Celebrate Breakfast with the Crunch of Almonds

(Family Features) Some things are just better together; milk and cookies, Bert and Ernie, and breakfast with almonds.

It's not surprising that breakfast - known as the most important meal of the day - is often skipped thanks in large part to chaotic mornings that leave little time for making nutritious meals.

But it's always good to remember why the most important meal of the day earned its reigning title.

Cynthia Sass, MPH, RD, and author of the New York Times Best Selling Book "Cinch! Conquer Cravings, Drop Pounds and Lose Inches," is a great believer in the power of a nutritious breakfast.

"My first tip when counseling people is to get them started on breakfast. Something is better than nothing. People may think skipping breakfast means saving calories, but in fact it forces your body to work when it doesn't have fuel, which can result in a sluggish metabolism," Sass explains.""Even if you aren't hungry, train your body to eat something in the morning. People tend to eat fewer calories and make healthier choices throughout the day when they start with breakfast."

Sass's secret weapon for a breakfast packed with a whole lot of punch? Almonds.

The almond, in all of its versatile forms - whether whole, sliced, roasted, chopped, as almond butter or almond milk - often makes a daily appearance in Sass's morning menu.

Including almonds in your breakfast is the extra boost a bowl of cereal, cup of low-fat yogurt, or slice of whole wheat toast needs to go from good to even better.

A recent study published in the February 2011 issue of "Nutrition & Metabolism" by Dr. Mori, et al, found that eating a breakfast upgraded with almonds (a low glycemic index food) aided in stabilizing blood glucose levels for the better part of the day, while also keeping study participants satiated for a longer period of time. Read the article, "Acute and second-meal effects of almond form in impaired glucose tolerant adults: a randomized crossover trial" by Dr. Mori and her team, at .

In addition, the U.S. Dietary Guidelines recommend that the majority of your fat intake come from unsaturated foods. One serving of almonds (28g) has 13g of fat and only 1g of saturated fat, so almonds are a healthy snack you can eat worry free.

Here are some favorite almond breakfast ideas to help start the day right:www.nutritionandmetabolism.com/content/8/1/6

  • Top whole wheat toast with almond butter and sliced bananas.

  • Add almonds to oatmeal with skim or low-fat milk topped with dried or fresh fruit.

  • Sprinkle sliced almonds into your breakfast parfait layered with low-fat yogurt and fruit.

  • Toss toasted, sliced almonds into scrambled eggs or a veggie omelet for an extra healthy boost.

  • Dip half a banana into non-fat yogurt, then roll into chopped roasted almonds and oatmeal. Wrap in parchment paper and freeze overnight.

  • Smooth rich almond butter onto apple slices and enjoy.

For more breakfast recipe ideas, tips from registered dieticians and the latest almond research visit www.AlmondBoard.com.

SOURCE: Almond Board of California

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