Breakfasts you should be eating instead of cereal, according to a nutritionist

ShutterstockCereal can be convenient in a pinch, but it may not keep you energised.
  • Many kinds of cereal are loaded with sugar and excess carbs, which can leave you feeling tired and hungry by lunchtime.
  • Instead, try a protein-heavy breakfast, like hard-boiled eggs or turkey sausage paired with fruit.
  • You can also get creative with your breakfasts by making egg and vegetable “muffins” or breakfast soups.
  • Visit Insider’s homepage for more stories.

From their high sugar content to their lack of nutrients, many kinds of cereal are a less-than-stellar breakfast choice.

We spoke to clinical nutritionist Juli Keene about why cereal isn’t the best breakfast option, plus what you might want to eat instead.


For starters, Keene explained that there are many cons to eating cereal for breakfast.

D. Pimborough/ShutterstockMany kinds of cereal are loaded with sugar.

Many kinds of cereal are loaded with sugars and are heavy in carbohydrates, which isn’t ideal for kicking off your day.

“Carbohydrate-heavy means that even the few types of cereal that are lower in added sugars still affect the body like sugary foods, because they mainly contain carbohydrates and little to no protein or fat,” Keene told Insider.

Since most people don’t add protein to a bowl of cereal, this breakfast will likely leave you deprived of energy in a couple of hours.

“Many also mistakenly think the milk they add will give them enough protein. There is really no amount of protein that would make up for that amount of sugar [in cereal], but even with a full, 8-ounce glass of milk, you only get 8 grams of protein,” she explained.

And by having certain kinds of cereal for breakfast, there’s a chance you’ll be quite hungry long before lunchtime.

Per Healthline, the high glycemic index in many kinds of cereal can cause an initial boost of energy, but your energy levels will quickly drop when your body quickly digests those carbohydrates.


Instead of cereal, Keene said she suggests eating some breakfast meat with fruit.

Rick Wilking/ReutersYou may want to pair your bacon with some berries.

Keene told Insider she recommends a breakfast of turkey sausage or bacon, paired with a side of fruit, such as a cup of berries.


Or, you can pair two hard-boiled eggs with a side of fruit.

ShutterstockEggs can help keep you full.

She explained that hard-boiled eggs will provide protein, and fibre-heavy fruit (like pears or strawberries) will provide complex carbohydrates that can keep you fuller and energised for longer.


Cook an egg scramble that’s complete with vegetables and a small amount of meat.

ShutterstockFeel free to add whichever vegetables you’d like to your scramble.

For a breakfast that you can prepare ahead of time, try an egg scramble that’s complete with one cup of vegetables.

Keene said for an added boost of protein you can also add a small amount of meat, such as turkey or beef.


Freeze some egg and veggie “muffins” for the week.

ShutterstockYou can add potatoes to boost the carbohydrates in your breakfast ‘muffins.’

Some weeks can be really busy, but you still don’t have to opt for a bowl of cereal.

Instead, mix eggs and some chopped vegetables, pour them into a muffin tin, and bake. Then, freeze the muffins and heat them up in the mornings.

“This is more of a low-carb breakfast, so you could add some fruit, or you can add a 1/4 or a 1/2 cup of rice or potatoes to your egg ‘muffins’ for a better form of complex carbohydrates,” Keene told Insider.


Certain fats can boost your breakfast, too.

ShutterstockAvocados are a great option if you want more healthy fats.

Healthy fats can improve the ratio of macronutrients and micronutrients in your breakfast – which can potentially boost your energy levels and improve your digestion – so don’t leave them off of your plate.

Since avocados and olive oil both contain healthy fats, Keene said she recommends adding them to your breakfast dish or using them while cooking.

You can even use olive oil and cook eggs inside of an avocado half if you’re looking to switch things up.


Mix things up with a protein shake.

Creative Family/ShutterstockAdd fruits and vegetables to your morning shake.

If you’re looking for a meat-free breakfast, make a protein shake.

Keene said you can choose which protein powder to use based on your needs, adding that there are plant-based ones for those who do not consume animal products.

She said you’ll want to also mix in fresh or frozen berries, leafy greens, and healthy fats, such as coconut oil or avocado.

“Some also use plant milks, like an unsweetened almond or cashew milk, but it depends on the powder you use – some don’t need it,” Keene added.


Sauté vegetables and fried eggs in olive oil and pair them with a side of potatoes or fruit.

ShutterstockStart your day with a fried egg and vegetables.

Keene said that one of her favourite breakfasts consists of a few fried eggs and vegetables that she sautées in olive oil.

If she is really hungry, she’ll add 1/2 cup of baked or fried potatoes or a small piece of fruit.


Get creative with breakfast soups.

Matthew Mead/APSoup is an unexpected but smart choice.

Keene told Insider she loves to have soup for breakfast, especially when it’s cold outside. Plus, it’s also an easy breakfast to make ahead of time in a slow cooker.

There are plenty of recipes out there, which range from sweet, fruity soups to spicy kale-based ones.

And since soup is so versatile and you can add whichever ingredients you like, you can easily incorporate protein, complex carbs, and healthy fats into a soup.

Read More:

6 high-fat foods that are better for you than you think

I made French toast using 3 celebrity chefs’ signature recipes, and the best one cost over $US40 to make

7 of the best things to eat for breakfast on the Mediterranean diet

14 of the best breakfast foods you can eat around the US

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