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Breakfast Foods You Should Be Eating, According to the USDA

All you have to do is set up the proper plate.

While there are numerous different kinds of diets you can try out there, the truth is, compared to all of these other diets, there's really only one way of successful eating that can help you not only lose weight, but maintain your weight loss. All you have to do is follow this particular guideline. Filling your plate with the proper nutritious foods will help you maintain good health and leave your body feeling full and satisfied throughout the day. That's why the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) releases a set of dietary guidelines every five years that focus on the best nutritional practices for people to follow. One of their most recommended practices is their "My Plate" guideline, which shows you how to set up a proper plate for any meal, including breakfast. So in order to determine the best breakfast foods you should be eating, we looked to the USDA's My Plate guidelines to fix up the healthiest breakfast for you to have every day.

Here's what those guidelines recommend for the healthiest breakfast foods you should be eating every day, and for more healthy eating tips, be sure to check out our list of The 7 Healthiest Foods to Eat Right Now.

Fruits or vegetables (or both!)

fruits vegetables

If half of our plate in the MyPlate guidelines should consist of fruits and vegetables, then the USDA is sending a pretty clear message: fruits and vegetables are important for our diets. However, not everyone is prone to eating vegetables first thing in the morning—unless they're stuffed inside a deliciously cheesy omelet. So if you have more of a sweet tooth in the morning, a fruit cup to pair with your eggs could be a great alternative. Eating a variety of fruits and vegetables is an easy way to give our body a variety of vitamins and minerals at the start of the day.

Here are the 12 Breakfast Foods to Get a Flat Belly, According to Experts.



Unless you're eating sugary cereals or pastries every day for breakfast, unsurprisingly, protein isn't that difficult to get in the morning. Eggs are an easy breakfast go-to for protein in the morning, but you can also try cooking some meals with breakfast sausage and turkey bacon. Or if you would rather a bowl of oatmeal, why not throw in a spoonful of nut butter for some protein, or even mixing in a scoop of protein powder?

Why eat protein in the morning? Along with the recommended guidelines from the USDA, the American Society of Nutrition says that a high-protein breakfast has been proven to benefit muscle health, support weight loss, gives you energy, and keeps you feeling satiated and full for longer periods of time. This means if you're eating your protein, you're less likely to snack throughout the rest of the day!

So cook up those eggs with one of these 71+ Best Healthy Egg Recipes for Weight Loss.

Fiber-rich grains

pomegranate seeds oatmeal

Want a slice of toast with your eggs? Go for it—and load up the fiber! Adding your favorite fiber-rich grains in the morning not only helps with your body's overall energy and functioning throughout the day (including going to the bathroom), but eating fibrous foods can also help you lose weight.

That's right, eat carbs. And grab your favorite fiber-rich ones! This can include oatmeal, whole-grain or sprouted bread, fiber-rich low-sugar cereals, even oat bran muffins. And if you're feeling extra adventurous, why not make a breakfast bowl with brown rice or quinoa? Like one of these 20 Delicious Quinoa Bowls for Breakfast!



blueberry yogurt granola

While the dairy portion of the MyPlate guidelines is technically not on the "plate," it's still a recommended part of every meal. That's because dairy products can provide your body with the necessary fat to keep you full, and can also add even more protein to your morning meal.

The USDA says that low-fat or fat-free dairy milk can be a great option for on the side, but you can also find ways to incorporate these foods into your meals. Try adding a small amount of shredded cheese into your eggs, or swap out the milk and enjoy your cereal sprinkled on top of a bowl of Greek yogurt! With a nice healthy amount of fruit on top to round out that parfait, of course.



Alright, this one may not be a food, but it sure is important to be drinking your water in the morning. Why? Even though many claims have been debunked in terms of drinking water first thing in the morning, it's important to keep your body hydrated regardless.

According to Harvard Health, water is needed to help "regulate body temperature, keep joints lubricated, prevent infections, deliver nutrients to cells, and keep organs functioning properly." A well-hydrated body can also help improve sleep quality, mood, and brain cognition.

So while a cup of java with your breakfast sounds like the perfect way to start your morning (especially if it's one of these 9 Tricks for the Best-Ever Cup of Coffee), you should also pair it with a cup of water simply to keep your body hydrated to start the day. Or even plan on sipping on a cup of water while you cook your breakfast in the morning!

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Kiersten Hickman
Kiersten Hickman is a freelance health and nutrition journalist. Read more about Kiersten