Breakfast Made Better: 3 Heart-Healthy Swaps

When it comes to taking care of your heart, eating a healthy breakfast is one great move you can make. That said, you want to ensure you’re choosing heart-healthy options. “Foods high in saturated fat, such as bacon, sausage and butter, are popular breakfast items, but they are not good for heart health,” says registered dietitian Robyn Flipse.

Here, we take a look at America’s favorite breakfasts, according to recent survey data, and offer heart-healthy swaps for each of these popular morning meals.

1. Cereal
Cold cereal was America’s No. 1 breakfast, topping the charts as the most common breakfast food, at 31 percent.

Make it nutritious: When deciding which type of cold cereal to pour into your bowl, a good option is one with fiber (at least 3 grams per serving), whole grains, and no trans or saturated fat. One of our top picks: deliciously heart-healthy Kellogg’s Raisin Bran®. Made with whole grains, it’s an excellent source of fiber (7 g per serving) and a good source of potassium. Remember, too, that adding milk brings protein to your cereal bowl.

2. Bacon And Eggs
A classic morning dish, bacon and eggs was the second most popular breakfast. Around 2 in 10 Americans usually eat eggs, with or without bacon or ham.

Make it healthy: While eggs definitely pack protein, they’re only heart-healthy in moderation. Create an omelet or scramble with one egg and three whites, and you’ll cut out 10 g of fat. Instead of filling your omelet with cheese, choose salsa and veggies to further cut down on fat. Also consider swapping your regular bacon with turkey bacon, which can contain around 30 percent less fat.

3. Toast or Bagel
These carbs are a go-to breakfast for just over one in 10 of those polled.

Make it nutritious: Opt for 100 percent whole grains and double-check the fiber content. The increased fiber content can help keep you satiated; combined with an active lifestyle and a diet low in saturated fats and cholesterol, it’s also been linked with a healthy heart. Another simple breakfast swap: Add produce and protein to the mix. Instead of a bagel with cream cheese or toast with butter, for example, try nut butter (such as peanut or almond) or cooked veggies and beans between the halves. You could also eat only half a bagel and pair it with a small fruit salad and glass of low-fat milk. This creates a more balanced breakfast filled with protein and produce to help keep you satisfied.