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Quick, Heart-Healthy Breakfast Options

 

by Katie Morell

Amidst the flurry of activity usually dedicated for morning hours, it can seem difficult to find time to make a heart-healthy breakfast. Here, Patricia Bannan, MS, RD, a frequent CNN and Today Show contributor and author of Eat Right When Time is Tight, offers four fast, easy options for busy women on the go.

Instant Oatmeal

When you only have five minutes to spare, Bannan suggests grabbing a packet of instant oatmeal, throwing it into a bowl with water (per instructions), heating it in the microwave and then stirring in a tablespoon of flax seed. Try topping it with a sliced banana or cut up strawberries for some extra sweetness, she says.

Quick Eggs

“Eggs get a bad rap for being high in cholesterol,” Bannan says, “But there are definitely ways to make them heart-healthy by eating egg whites, skipping the salt and considering hot sauce instead.”

For an extra boost, scramble your eggs and toast two pieces of whole-grain bread at the same time. When your toast is ready, spread a tablespoon of peanut butter on top and then eat them with your scrambled eggs on the side, recommends Bannan. Total prep and cook time: less than 10 minutes.

Yogurt and Muesli

Yogurt is a smart and easy option for breakfast. As Bannan explains, it also protects against gum disease, which can lead to heart disease if unchecked. She recommends topping one cup of plain, low-fat yogurt with a half cup of muesli. From there, add a half-cup of sliced grapes and one tablespoon of chopped walnuts.

Homemade Smoothie

The night before, put half of a peeled banana in small freezer bag with a cup of frozen berries.

“In the morning, empty the bag into a blender with a half cup of low-fat yogurt and add ice until it blends smooth,” Bannan says. “Take it to-go with a handful of almonds and you’ll be out the door with a better quality, more affordable option than anything you’d get in a drive-thru.”