When you’re following an eating plan, it can be easy to get into a breakfast rut.
Fortunately, the Mediterranean diet emphasizes eating plenty of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and foods like nuts, seeds, and fish – and these ingredients can create a variety of tasty and filling breakfasts.
Insider consulted with nutritionists and dietitians to identify some of the best things to eat for breakfast when you’re following the Mediterranean diet, the best diet of 2021.
Whip up toast with peanut butter and banana slices for a simple and fun breakfast.
This simple, no-cook meal can be cobbled together in moments and eaten on the go.
“With whole-grain bread, you’ll be eating more fiber and vitamins than in white bread, and that will help you stave off those mid-morning munchies. Peanut butter offers those great, healthy fats with its protein, and the banana will add some sweetness, more fiber, and potassium,” Laura Yautz, a registered dietitian and the owner of Being Nutritious, told Insider.
A whole-grain English muffin with greens and bean spread is another option.
Another easy breakfast on the Mediterranean diet is opting for an English muffin piled high with hearty toppings.
Yautz recommended smearing a whole-grain English muffin with bean spread before adding a handful of potassium-packed spinach and a poached egg.
“Any bean dip will do here: hummus, black-bean dip, white-bean dip. It will pull the sandwich together into a cohesive meal. With a little salty and tangy flavor along with its nutritional punch, it’s a great stand-in for cheese, which should be used only sparingly,” she said.
Poaching the egg can help you avoid unnecessary calories that other cooking methods might add.
When you’re pressed for time and want a high-protein breakfast, opt for plain Greek yogurt with a smattering of berries.
“Greek yogurt is strained in a way that makes it higher in protein than regular yogurt. Yogurt is also rich in probiotics, which are good bacteria necessary for many bodily functions,” registered dietitian Katie Hughes told Insider.
If you want a bit of sweetness, you can add a light drizzle of honey. And, for an extra crunch, try adding ground flaxseed. It’s rich in omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids, which are important for fighting inflammation in the body.
“I always recommend ground flaxseed meal rather than regular flax seeds because they are absorbed better in the body,” Hughes added.
Almonds and almond butter are a great way to start your day with some protein.
Almonds offer a filling and energizing combination of protein, fiber, and healthy fats to help you feel satisfied.
“Slivered or sliced almonds are a delicious addition to your oatmeal, cereal, granola, muesli, yogurt, ricotta, or whole-grain muffins, while almond butter is perfect drizzled over whole-grain pancakes, waffles, and fruit,” Christy Brissette, a registered dietitian and the president of 80 Twenty Nutrition, told Insider.
Eggs are the ultimate Mediterranean breakfast bite.
Incorporate protein-heavy eggs into your Mediterranean breakfast by topping smoked-salmon toast with a poached egg or by scrambling them with feta cheese and tomatoes.
“Another tip from the Mediterranean: Eat the yolks. Egg yolks contain fat which helps you stay satisfied longer. Egg yolks are also rich in choline, a nutrient that is needed for brain health and helps transport nutrients around your body,” Brissette said. “No egg-white omelets here. The Mediterranean diet focuses on whole foods.”
Avocados have healthy fats that can help keep you feeling satisfied.
Although they’re not native to the Mediterranean region, avocados do offer monounsaturated fat, which is the same type found in olive oil. These fats offer potential heart-health benefits and can help with satiety.
“Avocados are a good source of fiber at [approximately] three grams per serving (one-third of a medium avocado),” Brissette said. “Fiber also helps you stay full and helps keep your blood sugar levels more stable, which is crucial to stabilizing weight, mood, and energy levels.”
Though halving an avocado and eating it with a spoon is totally an option, you can also add avocado to smoothies, baked eggs, or even savory oatmeal.
A whole-grain bagel with hummus and cucumber is another hearty breakfast dish.
Combining whole grains with tasty plant-based protein makes for a filling and healthy meal that’ll help get you to lunch, Yautz said.
She recommended topping a small, whole-grain bagel with hummus and adding some cucumber slices for crunch and flavor.
“Hummus is a source of healthy fats, which will help you feel satisfied longer. We add cucumbers here to boost the veggie servings in the day,” she said. “Most people don’t eat enough, and adding them to breakfast is a great solution.”
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