When trying to slash carbs from your diet, the hardest meal to make that happen for may be breakfast. For one, breakfast has traditionally been something rich in carbohydrates, which tend to be convenient to make, says Emily Spurlock, RD, who’s based in Boise, Idaho. “Cereal and toast are quick, easy options,” she says.
However, switching up your morning meal to a dish where carbs aren’t the main event can lead to benefits you may not expect. “I find that people have more sustained energy and avoid the midmorning slump when they move away from high-carb breakfast options,” she says. A lower-carb meal is better for helping you feel full and satisfied compared with a low-fat one, according to a randomized, controlled trial published in June 2016 in Nutrition, Metabolism & Cardiovascular Diseases. What’s more, you’re also likely eating higher-fat foods (like nuts or seeds) at the meal, which can keep blood sugar stable and thereby help decrease cravings for sugary foods, the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health points out.
There are various types of low-carb diets, including a standard low-carb diet, the Atkins diet, the ketogenic, or “keto,” diet (both low carb and high fat), and a low-carb Mediterranean diet. (For some of the below recipes, we include net carbs, which signify the total carbohydrates minus fiberand sugar alcohols, according to Atkins, and are often counted on diets including keto.) Each of these plans has different guidelines and rules, but in general, if you are following a standard low-carb diet, you will likely aim for 20 to 60 grams (g) of carbs per day, according to the Mayo Clinic. Spurlock recommends keeping breakfast to less than 20 g of carbohydrates. (If you’re following keto and aiming for 20 g of net carbs per day, as some people do, you will need to adjust accordingly and will be more limited in recipes.)
Easier said than done, you may be thinking. But you don’t have to eat eggs cooked in butter, topped with cheese, and paired with bacon to go low carb. For healthier (and more varied) options that are still low carb, think plant based and balanced. That means your meal will contain lean protein, unsaturated fat, and fiber from veggies, recommends Bonnie Nasar, RDN, of Freehold, New Jersey.
For creative ideas that snap you out of breakfast boredom, turn to food bloggers, who are always up for easy, simple, and accessible meals that work for various taste preferences, diets, and budgets. Here are 15 great, healthy low-carb breakfast ideas: