Breakfast Shopping Tips for Arthritis

Arthritis Diet Power Shopping: Breakfast Foods, Coffee Tea

It’s often said that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Research has shown that breakfast skippers tend to overeat at other meals and snack excessively throughout the day. That can make it hard to maintain a healthy weight as you manage your arthritis.

But what you eat for breakfast is important. Hot and cold cereals are good options. They are quick ways to get a serving of fiber-full whole grains that can help reduce inflammation. While oatmeal may be your go-to grain, there are several nutritious cereals made from corn, brown rice, quinoa, hemp, buckwheat and kamut. Keep in mind that whole grain choices are not calorie-free and portion control is important.

Both coffee and tea are rich in antioxidants, and studies reported numerous health benefits. Drinking 4 or more cups of coffee a day has been shown to reduce the risk of heart disease, stroke, depression, some cancers and gout, help relieve dry eye syndrome and protect liver health Like coffee, tea contains polyphenols that have anti-inflammatory properties. Tea drinkers are at lower risk for diabetes and possibly heart disease. 

Smart shopping tips:

Choose carefully

In addition to checking ingredients to ensure you’re getting whole grains, whether for cereal or breads, with at least 3 g to 5 g fiber per serving, make sure you’re not loading up on sugar and sodium.

Compromise wisely

Instant oatmeal is easier and quicker to prepare and has some of the nutritional benefits of old-fashioned oatmeal.  But it has more artificial ingredients, less fiber and may have more sugar.

Moderation is key

Whether it’s peanut butter or eggs, watch out for fat content.  Mixing may help.  Mix regular peanut butter with lower-fat alternatives or other types of nut butter (almond or walnut) for a single serving.  Toss some liquid egg white into the egg batter. 

Smooth it out

Smoothies are a quick and easy way to get the recommended servings of fruit and vegetables. Making your own will help you keep sugar content low.  Fresh, unsweetened frozen or canned fruits are best, add a scoop of healthy protein power and low-fat or non-dairy milk (although water is fine, too), then toss in a bit of honey, agave nectar or stevia for sweetness.  Ramp up the nutrition by adding healthy nuts or seeds and maybe some probiotics.

Skip the bar

Most breakfast bars are high in fat and sugar.  But it you have a craving, look for ones with at least 10 grams of protein and 3 to 5 grams of fiber.

Go for grounds

While an 8-ounce cup of black coffee offers health benefits, pre-packaged drinks or your special order at Starbucks or Dunkin Donuts can be surprisingly high in sugar and fat. Buy the grounds and be your own barista.

Add the flavor

Spicing up your coffee with cinnamon or vanilla powder can help you use less sugar. Cinnamon, in particular, is rich in antioxidants and polyphenols.

Choose the best colors

Green and black teas continue to be the focus on ongoing research for their positive effect on mental alertness and reduced cholesterol levels, and possibly for weight loss, heart disease, blood pressure, osteoporosis and skin health.

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