Healthy 'Briefcase Breakfasts'

We've got great ideas for healthy breakfasts you can eat on the go

By Martin Downs
WebMD Weight Loss Clinic - Feature

Reviewed By Kathleen Zelman, MPH, RD, LD

Eat a healthy breakfast, nutrition experts say. Good advice, but like so much good advice, we don't heed it because we're always short on time. Something's gotta give, and which is worse: skipping breakfast or showing up late for work?

Yet there seem to be real benefits to eating a morning meal. For one thing, a healthy breakfast may sharpen your mental abilities in the morning. Studies showing this were done on children, but dietitians say the findings could reasonably be applied to adults, too. What's more, if you skip breakfast, you're likely to gorge on food later.

"When you don't eat breakfast in the morning, you tend to overeat calories the rest of the day," says Cynthia Finley, a dietitian at the Johns Hopkins Weight Management Center. "You reach the point where you're really hungry, and when you're really hungry you don't respond to your body's cues as well." That is, you don't realize you're full, and you continue to eat.

But it is possible to have a healthy breakfast with a minimum of planning and just a few seconds of actual food preparation.

The main things to look for in a healthy "briefcase breakfast" are protein and fiber. "Those two things are key to feeling full and satisfied," Finley says. Low-fat content is also important. She recommends no more than 5 grams of fat total and no more than 1-2 grams of saturated fat.