Good Carbs to Eat for Breakfast

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Numerous studies indicate that people who eat breakfast lose and maintain weight better than people who skip breakfast. A healthy breakfast gets the body’s motor running and ready to start the day. Complex, unrefined carbohydrates provide energy and help maintain steady blood sugar levels. The brain cannot function without a steady flow of carbohydrate-rich foods. Many breakfast carbs, like donuts, sugary cereals and pastries, do not provide the energy needed. Instead, they cause peaks in energy levels, followed by a sudden crash. Good carbs to eat for breakfast prevent these energy peaks and sudden dips.

A slice of whole grain bread.
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Whole grains are good carbs to eat as part of a complete breakfast, and many options for eating them exist. You can choose hot cereals like old-fashioned oats, steel-cut oats, rolled oats and multigrain hot cereals. Use fruit, cinnamon and honey as natural flavors in hot cereals. People who don’t like hot cereals can replace sugary cold cereals with whole-grain cereals with low-fat milk. Pancake lovers can substitute refined flour pancake mixes and eat whole-grain buckwheat pancakes. These grains provide good carbohydrates and start the day with fiber-rich foods.

A bowl of oatmeal cereal.
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Good carbs to eat for breakfast consists of fruit—fresh, canned, dried, frozen or in juice. Fruit is a multifaceted breakfast carbohydrate that can be the main dish, side dish or topping. You can top hot and cold cereals with dried or fresh fruit as natural sweeteners. Mix fruit into whole-grain pancakes in the batter or as a topping. Fruit like apples, grapes, bananas and citrus fruit can be consumed whole. Another option for eating fruit for breakfast is making a fresh fruit smoothie or juicing mixed fruit. For a smoothie, put your favorite fruit in a blender with ice and blend until desired consistency. Fruit provides various antioxidants and other vitamins. Choose fresh juices without added sugars if you prefer to drink your fruit. Eating, though, is always better.

A woman slices an orange and banana.
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The daily recommended allowance for milk is three servings a day. Low-fat dairy products contain good carbohydrates that can be eaten with breakfast. Like fruit, milk is a versatile breakfast food. Mix low-fat milk with hot cereals or use in cold cereals. Drink an 8-oz. glass of milk with breakfast. Blend low-fat yogurt, hard cheeses and cottage cheese with fruit. Avoid yogurts with added sugar or yogurt drinks. Low-fat dairy products contain calcium, a nutrient necessary for bone growth.

A woman pours skim milk over cereal.
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