Nothing prepares you for the day like a nutritious breakfast. It’s well-known that skipping breakfast may leave you feeling hungrier later in the day, but it could also adversely affect your cholesterol level.
A study in the Journal of Nutritional ScienceTrusted Source found that overweight people who skipped breakfast had higher total cholesterol levels than those who started their day with a bowl of cereal or oatmeal.
The foods you choose for breakfast can go a long way toward lowering your “unhealthy” LDL cholesterol and raising your “healthy” HDL cholesterol. Here are some of the best morning foods for improving your numbers.
A bowl of oatmeal packs 5 grams of dietary fiber. Oatmeal contains soluble fiber, which attaches to LDL cholesterol in your digestive tract and helps remove it from your body. Top your oatmeal with a sliced apple, pear, or some raspberries or strawberries for an additional fiber boost.
Don’t have the time to cook a bowl of oats? Cold oat cereal works, too. Just avoid products that are loaded with sugar. Adding a sliced banana or berries will also increase the fiber content of your cereal.
Almonds are filled with healthy fats, fiber, magnesium, and vitamins. They’re also part of the family of tree nuts. According to Harvard Health Publishing, eating 2 ounces of these nuts each day can lower LDL cholesterol by about 5 percent.
Pour yourself a glass of almond milk, toss a few sliced almonds onto your oatmeal, or eat them by the handful. Just don’t go too nuts, because they do contain fat. One cup of sliced almonds weighs in at 45 grams of fat.
This mash-up of toasted bread and mashed avocado may be the trendiest breakfast choice right now, but it scores high in healthfulness, too.
A 2015 study in the Journal of the American Heart Association found that an avocado per day lowered LDL cholesterol levels in people who were overweight or obese. However, it should be noted that the study was funded with a grant from the Hass Avocado Board. Another studyTrusted Source linked eating avocados with higher HDL cholesterol levels.
Avocados are healthy on several levels. They’re high in monounsaturated fatty acids, which lower cholesterol and decrease the risk of heart disease and stroke. You can use them as a replacement for breakfast foods that are high in unhealthy saturated fatty acids, like sausage or bacon.
Avocados are also a rich source of sterols, which are plant-based substances that help to lower cholesterol. They’re also high in both soluble and insoluble fiber.
Egg white scramble with spinach
Eggs are notoriously high in cholesterol, but all of it is contained in the yolk. The whites are cholesterol-free and packed with protein.
Scramble up a couple of egg whites and toss in a handful of spinach for fiber. Cook your eggs in olive or canola oil. These healthy oils could help improve your cholesterol numbers even more.
Orange juice is well-known for being an excellent source of vitamin C. Some brands add a nutritional boost by fortifying their juice with plant sterols and stanols. Adding 2 grams of sterols to your daily diet could lower your LDL cholesterol by 5 to 15 percent.
If you’re not a fan of orange juice, try one of the other fortified foods available. Granola bars and chocolate all come in sterol and stanol-enhanced versions.
Whey protein smoothie
Whey protein is made from whey — the liquid in milk that’s removed when manufacturers make cheese. Some studies have suggested that whey protein supplements may help lower cholesterol, although results have been inconsistent. One meta-analysisTrusted Source of 13 studies found that the supplements lowered triglycerides, another type of fat in the blood.
Make a healthy morning smoothie by combining low-fat yogurt, ice cubes, berries, and a scoop of vanilla whey protein. This sweet concoction is low in fat and high in nutrition.
Smoked salmon on a whole-wheat bagel
Salmon is a great source of omega-3 fatty acids. These good fats increase healthy HDL cholesterol and reduce the number of triglycerides circulating in the blood.
Apple bran muffins
This fast and delicious breakfast combines two sources of fiber: apples and bran. If you’re using a muffin mix, increase the healthfulness by using applesauce instead of oil.