Healthy Low Carb Breakfasts
Explore the healthiest low carb breakfast options to start your day off right!
Despite the importance of breakfast, many people start their day with high carb foods such as bagels, toast, cereal and pancakes that lack important nutrients. What you feed your body after a long night’s rest can have a significant impact on your weight loss goals and your overall health. In this article, we will outline the importance of breakfast and how you can upgrade the first meal of your day for optimal health.
Breakfast literally means to “break” your “fast.” While you sleep, you stop eating and your body is able to heal and repair itself. It uses energy that is normally taken up by digestive processes to carry out a number of important and restorative functions. Whether you eat first thing in the morning, or follow an intermittent fasting schedule, the first thing you put in your body after fasting has a big effect on your mood, hormones, gut health, hunger levels and energy levels throughout the rest of your day. Read our Guide to Intermittent Fasting if you want to learn more about intermittent fasting and its health benefits.
Below, we cover the good and bad when it comes to what you should eat to break your fast. We also have tips, recipes and our favourite breakfast products carried at The Low Carb Grocery.
Foods to Avoid at Breakfast
The traditional Western diet often includes a breakfast of high carb, sugary, processed foods that can sabotage your health and your day ahead. Some of the worst culprits are described below.
Low Fibre Cereals
These cereals are often made from simple carbs (refined wheat products) and loaded with sugar, which can cause your blood sugar levels to spike early in the day and leave you feeling tired and peckish by mid-morning!
Instead, look for cereals that contain at least 5g of fibre per serving and low amounts of sugar. Fibre helps to stabilize blood sugar levels which can keep you feel energized and ready to power through the morning. You can also add fresh berries, nuts and seeds (for an extra boost of fibre), protein, and healthy fats for a well-rounded meal.
Check out some of our favourite low carb breakfast cereals below:
- Catalina Crunch Vegan and Keto-Friendly Cereals with 6-7g of fibre and 9-10g of protein per serving! Sugar-free, gluten-free and Non-GMO. Available in 4 fun flavours: Chocolate Banana, Cinnamon Toast, Graham Cracker and Maple Waffle!
- KZ Clean Eating Keto-Friendly Breakfast Cereals made from a blend of coconut, nuts and seeds and sweetened with erythritol (very popular choice!).
- Nolaa Granolaa Keto Power Blend Cereal made with premium nuts and seeds, sweetened with stevia and flavoured naturally with maple extract and cinnamon.
- Nuco Coconut Crunch Cereal made from organic coconut meat – naturally high in fibre!
Bagels and Toast
These high carb foods again often lack in fibre and consuming them first thing in the morning can cause blood sugar levels to spike. However, many people have a hard time letting go of these foods because they are so comforting and delicious! Opt for healthier alternatives that are high in fibre, protein and contain other added nutrients. The Low Carb Grocery carries a number of low carb bread and bagel replacements.
Some healthy bagel and toast toppings might include:
- Tofu cream cheese, a great alternative to regular cream cheese which doesn’t have much protein and can contain added sugars. Tofu is a complete protein, meaning it contains all essential fatty acids. Check out a recipe for Herb & Garlic Tofu Cream Cheese here!
- Nut butter and fruit.
- Cheese and pesto or red pepper jelly.
- Hummus, tomatoes and herbs.
- Mashed avocado and egg.
Pancakes and Waffles
These beloved weekend breakfasts are unfortunately some of the worst things to feed your body for the first meal of the day. Besides the batter, which usually contains simple carbs and sugar, the loads of syrup and other unhealthy toppings can really wreak havoc on your gut!
Luckily, pancakes and waffles are pretty versatile and customizable. Replace wheat flour with a healthier, fibre-rich alternative such as nut flours, flaxseed meal or coconut flour. You can sweeten them with a mashed banana, natural sweeteners, or save the sweetness for the syrup. For low carb pancake lovers, Lakanto Maple-Flavoured Syrup is a heaven-sent alternative to high sugar, processed pancake syrups. It is zero calorie and zero glycemic.
Check out HoldTheCarbs pancake and waffle mixes made from almond and coconut flour – they are a great low carb, high protein alternative to traditional batters. The Low Carb Grocery carries these great low carb pancake and waffle mixes worth trying out!
Bacon and Sausages
Processed meat products such as bacon and sausages are usually made with low quality meat and contain harmful preservatives such as nitrates. Although they are often synonymous with the keto diet, be sure to limit your intake of these foods and opt for grass-fed and pasture raised meats instead.
Granola bars are usually the quick grab-and-go solutions for busy mornings. But, a lot of them don’t offer much in terms of nutritional value and can contain sugars and other additives. Be picky about your bars – remember they’re replacing an entire meal so make sure they live up to the standards of a healthy breakfast!
Some great options for healthy bars include:
- Love Good Fats Keto-Friendly Bars. These are made from plant-based healthy fats and also contain a good amount of protein. Available in a variety of crave-worthy and satisfying flavours!
- Good To Go Snack Bars are keto-friendly and free from allergens including gluten and peanuts. They are high in fibre, protein and healthy fats from plant-based sources. Plus, they taste absolutely delicious!
- Dang Foods Bars are made to share culture for a healthier, and more flavourful world. These bars were designed for the keto diet and made entirely from plant-based ingredients. Plus, they contain 9-10g of protein per bar for a great start to your morning!
Breakfast Foods that Promote Health
Besides the alternatives to common breakfast foods listed above, there are some other foods you might want to consider adding to your morning meal. These foods will promote elevated moods, stable and healthy hormone levels, optimal gut health, manageable hunger levels and sustained energy throughout the day.
The best foods to eat first thing in the morning or after a longer period of fasting are whole foods that are easily digestible and high in fibre and other nutrients. These include:
- Raw fruits and vegetables (juices too, but they contain less fibre).
- Steamed vegetables for easier digestion.
- Leafy greens.
- Healthy fats such as avocado, olive oil and coconut oil.
- Bone broth.
- Fermented foods such as unsweetened yogurt, kefir, sauerkraut and kimchi.
The following foods are a little bit tougher to digest and might be best suited for a second meal, but they are still great sources of nutrients for your day ahead:
- Eggs (pasture-raised are the best quality).
- Nuts and seeds such as chia, hemp, flax and almonds.
- Grass-fed or pasture-raised meat.
- Wild-caught fish.
- Tofu .
You can try starting with a small medley of vegetables or fruits and then having a larger meal a couple of hours later. This strategy can help kickstart your digestion and metabolism after longer periods of fasting while still providing you with all the nutrients and satiated feelings you’ll need to take on the day!
Healthy Recipes to Break a Fast
If the list of foods above seems daunting – don’t worry! We’ve gathered a list of healthy recipes that you can try out to break your fast.
Omelettes are a great way to load up on veggies and leafy greens, plus eggs are packed with protein, vitamins and minerals! Try this recipe for a Mexican Omelette for a little extra flavour and heat, or go for a classic veggie omelet loaded with healthy fats like this one!
Smoothies are very easy on your digestion, since the blender does most of the work! You can add in leafy greens, raw fruit and probiotic yogurt. Add protein from nut butter or your favourite protein powder for a well-balanced, nutrient-packed smoothie.
While salad may not be the first thing on your mind when you wake up, try doing this for a few days and see if you notice a difference in your digestion, energy and mood. You can start with a small salad and enjoy a larger meal 1-2 hours later to allow some time for your body to digest all the fibrous goodness! Check out this guide to making keto-friendly breakfast salads that features some great recipe inspiration!
Other Tips for Breakfast
- Plan meals ahead. This can save time and help reduce the number of decisions you have to make in the morning. You can prep meals in bulk, such as steaming a bunch of vegetables and saving the remains in the fridge or freezer for later.
- Listen to your body. Try out different meals and observe what seems to work best for you. Monitor your overall feelings, mood, hunger levels and energy levels.
- Go easy on the caffeine in the morning. Matcha, tea and ginseng are better alternatives to coffee as they contain less caffeine and can provide more sustained levels of energy throughout the morning. Check out these very exciting products by Farmaroot Ginseng Natural Energy Drinks! These all-natural, keto-friendly beverages harness the power of adaptogenic ginseng root that helps to repair, energize and sustain the body while you go about your day.
Explore Low Carb Breakfast Foods