It’s no secret that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. A healthy morning meal not only jump starts your metabolism, but also gives you energy and prevents you from overeating throughout the day. Many of the traditionally tasty breakfast foods, like bacon, sausage, pastries and pancakes, are high in sodium. But if you’re a bit creative, you can easily create a variety of breakfast ideas that are low in sodium, but big on taste.
Oats and Berries
A piping hot bowl of oatmeal topped with fresh berries is a warm and comforting way to start your morning. Skip the pre-packaged oatmeal and opt for quick-cooking oats to slash sugar and sodium contents. One cup of regular or quick oats has less than 10 milligrams of sodium, making it the perfect addition to a low-sodium meal plan. Top your oats with fresh berries for a burst of flavor and a healthy dose of vitamins. If you’re not big on berries, consider topping your oats with apple chunks and a dash of cinnamon.
Although breakfast typically isn’t the time to fill your plate with veggies, a low-sodium omelet is a great way to sneak more vegetables into your day. Egg yolks only contain a small amount of sodium, so maximize your nutrient intake by using one or two whole eggs for your veggie omelet. Add mushrooms, asparagus, tomatoes, spinach and bell peppers. Top your finished omelet with a dollop of plain Greek yogurt, a healthy alternative to sour cream, or a dash of salsa -- just check the salsa nutrition label first, as some brands tend to be higher in sodium than others.
Grapefruit is a multi-tasking morning snack. It not only provides you with plenty of vitamins, but also keeps your belly full for longer with its high water content. It’s high in vitamin C and vitamin A, yet low in calories and free from fat, cholesterol and sodium. After slicing the grapefruit in half, drizzle a bit of honey -- a low sodium sweetener -- and a dash of brown sugar on top of the fruit. Pop under the broiler for three to five minutes. Pair with a slice of wheat toast topped with unsalted peanut butter and banana slices.
If you’ve got just enough time to throw on some clothes and run a brush through your hair before dashing out the door, you need a breakfast that can be enjoyed on the run. Rather than trying to eat an egg sandwich while weaving through traffic, choose a low-sodium trail mix that’s easy to munch on your morning commute. Mix natural granola with raisins, dried cranberries, unsalted almonds and dark chocolate chips. Just be sure to check the label before buying granola -- although it’s naturally low in sodium, some manufacturers add salt to improve the flavor or texture of the cereal. According to MayoClinic.com, sodium helps accentuate sweet flavors, minimize the perception of dryness and prevent spoiling.
- MayoClinic.com: Breakfast: How Does It Help Weight Control?
- Taste of Home: Low Sodium Breakfast Recipes
- MayoClinic.com: Healthy breakfast: Quick, Flexible Options to Grab at Home
- "Fitness" Magazine: Easy, Healthy Breakfasts Under 300 Calories
- United States Department of Agriculture: USDA National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference (Sodium)
Krista Sheehan is a registered nurse and professional writer. She works in a neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) and her previous nursing experience includes geriatrics, pulmonary disorders and home health care. Her professional writing works focus mainly on the subjects of physical health, fitness, nutrition and positive lifestyle changes.