AICR Health Talk
Karen Collins, MS, RDN, CDN, FAND
American Institute for Cancer Research
Q: I know my habit of grabbing donuts on the way into work is no way to fuel for the day. What are some quick and healthy breakfasts I can eat at my desk?
A: A good strategy for a high-energy, healthy breakfast is to include a protein like egg or dairy plus a whole grain and a fruit or vegetable.
You’re right that donuts aren’t a healthy fuel, and neither are jumbo muffins and scones. They contain few nutrients with six to ten teaspoons of sugar that may leave you in an energy crash in a couple hours. For a quick, healthy pick-up, try a breakfast sandwich on an English muffin or in a wrap with an egg, cheese or perhaps both. Look for a spot that offers whole grain choices. You can also try take-out oatmeal, a great whole grain staple. If you add the packets of nuts and dried fruit that often come with the oatmeal, you can have a balanced meal and still have room for an extra piece of fruit. Fruit and yogurt parfaits can also be a healthy option, but look for the non-sweetened versions where the calories are below 300. Finding fruit is sometimes the hardest part of breakfast-to-go. If your favorite spots don’t offer much, make it a habit to grab a banana, apple, pear or other fruit as you leave home in the morning.
You can save money and have more healthy options if you bring your breakfast from home. In five to ten minutes you can toss rolled oats, dried fruit, nuts and seeds into a jar, then at work add milk and microwave. Super easy would be to make a peanut butter and fruit sandwich on whole wheat or dish up dinner leftovers if you like something savory.
The American Institute for Cancer Research (AICR) is the cancer charity that fosters research on the relationship of nutrition, physical activity and weight management to cancer risk, interprets the scientific literature and educates the public about the results. It has contributed over $105 million for innovative research conducted at universities, hospitals and research centers across the country. AICR has published two landmark reports that interpret the accumulated research in the field, and is committed to a process of continuous review. AICR also provides a wide range of educational programs to help millions of Americans learn to make dietary changes for lower cancer risk. AICR is a member of the World Cancer Research Fund International (WCRF).