When it comes to breakfast, the prevailing theme is carbs, carbs, carbs: a lot of cereals, toast, granola bars, and bagels. Of course, carbs aren’t bad, they’re just one element of a complete diet (and happen to be an easy option in the morning). With a little effort, though, you can add proteins, fats, fiber, fruits, and veggies to start to your day.
Keep in mind that your body uses up simple carbs like sugar pretty fast, so while you may experience a burst of energy after eating toast with jam, it can be short-lived and send you back to the cupboard for a mid-morning pick-me-up sooner than you’d like. The good news is that oatmeal and other carb-based options are easily modified to include a wider variety of nutrients. Here are a few breakfast options that have some carbs but aren’t all carbs.
Breakfast ideas that aren’t just carbs
The Ultimate Cheese Omelet: Our favorite omelette is a pretty simple one. There’s less than one gram of carbs in a large egg, so this frittata and this shakshuka are also good low-carb options.
Blueberry pancakes: Just make sure to add the blueberries at the right time. This pre-made mix only has four grams of carbs, and a half-cup of blueberries only adds another seven. If you’re cooking for more than yourself, use a sheet pan.
Basic oatmeal: Whether you make it in the microwave or go for a savory option, oatmeal is filling and only has about 27 grams of carbs in the average cup, and you can add in fruits or nuts for more diverse nutrients.
Breakfast salad: Salad should be a breakfast item, and if you want fewer carbs and more veggies, it might be the best one for you. A cup of kale has six grams of carbs, and the olive oil you might drizzle on it has none. A whole cup of feta cheese only has six grams.
Protein-packed yogurt: Add fruits and nuts to your yogurt for more nutrients, but know that different yogurts have different levels of carbs and protein. YQ by Yoplait, for instance, only has two grams of carbs. Get extra protein in by choosing Greek yogurt or mixing in some protein powder.
Acai bowls: This simple acai bowl recipe is great if you’re looking to make some fruit-based swaps for your typical carbed-up breakfast. A cup of acai has just under 15 grams of carbs, and a tablespoon of almond butter has three. Play around with other fruits. A cup of strawberries has about 12 grams of carbs.