- Kirsten Jackson is a dietitian who follows the Mediterranean diet, which has many health benefits.
- She shared her go-to breakfasts for busy mornings and mornings when she has more time.
- Jackson says she swears by oatmeal with fruit, seeds, and peanut butter 70% of the time.
A dietitian who follows the Mediterranean diet has shared her go-to breakfasts with Insider.
The Mediterranean diet has for years been widely considered one of the healthiest ways to eat. It focuses on vegetables, legumes, seafood, and olive oil. Wine can be drunk in moderation, and processed and fried foods, red meat, refined grains, added sugars, and saturated fats should be limited.
Kirsten Jackson is a registered dietitian who previously told Insider that she followed the Mediterranean diet, citing research suggesting that it reduces the risk of health conditions, including type 2 diabetes, cancer, heart disease, and mental illness.
To start her day in a Mediterranean-diet-friendly way, Jackson has oatmeal most of the time, and on weekends or days when she has a little more time, she has smoked salmon on seeded toast.
Oatmeal with fruit, peanut butter, and seeds
Jackson says she is “obsessed” with oatmeal and eats it for breakfast 70% of the time, usually topped with thawed frozen fruit, peanut butter, and seeds.
“Oats contains a type of fiber called beta-glucan which has been clinically proven to reduce cholesterol levels and improve insulin resistance,” Jackson said. “They also contain prebiotics so they feed our good gut bacteria levels.”
For people with irritable-bowel syndrome, oats are particularly good because they are not high in FODMAPs, which means they can help us have healthy, soft stools without the bloat, Jackson said. And as a bonus, whole oats are cheaper than premade granola.
Jackson sweetens her oats with frozen fruit. “Frozen fruits are typically cheaper than fresh fruits and contain more micronutrients as freezing prevents the breakdown of the micronutrients,” she said.
Jackson generally opts for brightly colored fruit like berries as they are high in polyphenols, which act as antioxidants and fight free radicals that are linked to inflammatory conditions like cancer, she said.
Seeds provide another source of prebiotics to help gut bacteria thrive, as well as heart-healthy fats. Jackson buys seeds and nuts in bulk to keep the cost down, she said.
“Of course, porridge is versatile, you can have overnight oats or change the topping to your preference,” she said. “I have even seen savory varieties where you can mix in pesto if that is your preference.”
Smoked salmon on seeded toast
When Jackson has more time in the morning, she makes smoked salmon on seeded toast, she said.
“Smoked salmon is high in omega-3 fatty acids which have multiple health benefits such as reducing our risk of heart disease, improving fertility, and even aesthetic benefits for our hair and nails,” she said. “Smoked salmon is expensive, though, so opting for smoked salmon trimmings can be a good alternative for some people.”
Jackson chooses seeded, wholemeal toast — rather than white or plain brown bread — to get more plant-based foods into her diet to improve her gut health, she said.
“Wholemeal is particularly important as this means that all of the grain of wheat has been used to make the bread,” meaning it contains more vitamins, minerals, and fiber than other bread options, she said.
“Wholemeal foods have been linked to reduced risk of diabetes, cancer, and heart disease,” Jackson said.