Eating breakfast is associated with up to a 30 percent lower than average chance of developing type 2 diabetes, according to results of a new study. Andrew Odegaard, PhD, an epidemiologist at the University of Minnesota, presented the research recently at a meeting of the American Diabetes Association in Philadelphia.

Most of us have heard that it’s important to start the day with a good breakfast, but we just don’t do it. Maybe it’s because we think of “a good breakfast” as a sit-down affair featuring eggs, toast and orange juice. But breakfast can be any healthful food, preferably something with protein, fiber and a small amount of fat.

I’m one of those people who have little appetite for the first couple of hours of the day. Breakfast used to be something of a chore, until I realized that I needn’t think of it in terms of cereal or eggs. Instead, I put out a small bowl of fruit and a few cubes of low-fat cheese. While enjoying my coffee, reading the paper and puttering around the kitchen, I nibble on bits of fruit and cheese without feeling like I have to fill my belly with a full meal.

The key is to think outside the box.

I have a friend who was having a tough time recovering from a major illness. She needed to keep up her strength, but said she’d always hated eating anything in the morning. We tried all sorts of enticements but nothing worked. Then I remembered her one weakness: key lime pie! I decided to try making up a somewhat healthier version: a parfait with layers of crushed graham crackers and Yoplait key lime pie flavored yogurt, topped with a dollop of low-fat whipped cream. My friend was delighted with the idea of having key lime pie for breakfast every morning!

Here are 5 more great breakfast ideas, suitable to take on-the-go, courtesy of

1. Peanut Butter Waffle

Instead of drowning a whole-grain toaster waffle in syrup, cut the sugar and boost the protein and fiber by spreading it with 2 tablespoons of peanut butter. You can also sprinkle on 1 tablespoon of raisins, sesame seeds, or extra peanuts for even more fiber, which helps deliver the meal's nutrients slowly and steadily.

2. Berry Shake

In a cocktail shaker, combine a packet of vanilla or strawberry instant-breakfast powder (look for the no-sugar-added kind, such as Carnation) and 1 cup of low-fat strawberry cow's milk or soy milk. (You can also mix this the night before.) If you have time, use a blender to add your favorite berries or a frozen banana, for extra fiber, and a scoop of protein powder, such as GeniSoy Natural.

3. Morning Pizza

Do you love leftover pizza for breakfast? Try a more sophisticated spin: Take a slice of crusty bread, spread it with 3 tablespoons of low-fat ricotta, and add tomatoes. Finish with a drizzle of olive oil (about 1 teaspoon) and a little salt and pepper. Broiling is optional.

4. Cereal "Sundae"

A bowl of fiber-rich bran flakes (about 1½ cups) with 8 ounces of low-fat milk is a great breakfast. Make it portable by replacing the milk with lemon or vanilla yogurt and mixing it in a reusable container. Increase the fiber and vitamins by adding a handful of nuts or fresh or dried fruit, such as chopped pecans or blueberries.

5. Huevos Rancheros

One of the most convenient and high-quality proteins is a hard-cooked egg, but it has no fiber or carbohydrates. So slice it, then roll it in an 8-inch whole-wheat tortilla with a piece of Canadian bacon or lean ham and, if you like, a ½-ounce slice of cheese. Add a tablespoon of salsa for a shot of flavor and a smidgen of vitamin C.

What’s your favorite first meal of the day?

Source: Medscape News