Best Breakfast Foods to Start Your Day

Conventional wisdom says breakfast is the most important meal of the day, but when you're on a diet it can be difficult to make the right choice. Check out the foods you can eat on the TNT diet.

The TNT Diet: What's for Breakfast?

We believe the best breakfast food is eggs—any way you like them, whether that means scrambled, poached, fried, hard-boiled, or made into an omelet. That's because eggs are loaded with healthful nutrients, including high-quality protein and fat, both of which keep you full after you've eaten. What's more, a recent study in our lab at the University of Connecticut found that when low-carb dieters ate three real eggs a day for 12 weeks, their good HDL cholesterol increased by 20 percent, yet their bad LDL didn't budge. Interestingly, those who ate egg substitutes instead of the real thing experienced no changes in good (or bad) cholesterol.

So your best option for your first meal comes from an egg carton. You can add cheese to your eggs, as well as any number of toppings for variety. For example, fresh dill adds an all-new flavor to scrambled eggs, as does a spoonful of salsa with a few slices of avocado. And don't forget a slice or two of bacon or sausage is perfectly acceptable, too. Your options are only as limited as your imagination.

Make the Perfect Omelet

Directions: Crack three eggs into a bowl and beat lightly with a fork. Add 1 Tbsp of milk and a pinch of salt to the eggs. Heat an 8-inch nonstick omelet pan over medium heat. Add a pat of butter to the pan and when it melts and begins to foam lightly, add the eggs. As the eggs settle and solidify, use a wooden spoon or spatula to move the cooked egg up from the pan, allowing the raw liquid to slide beneath (just like when you scramble eggs). When nearly all of the egg has cooked, and a uniform layer of egg has settled on the bottom, add your ingredients, beginning with your cheese. Shake the pan to loosen the omelet, then use a spatula to fold it carefully in half. Slide the omelet onto a warm plate.

Our favorite omelet combinations:
Chicken sausage, marinated artichoke hearts, crumbled goat cheese
Sautéed mushrooms and spinach, roasted red peppers, Parmigiano Reggiano
Sliced apple, sharp Cheddar, and crispy bacon. Sound weird? Just try it.

An Instant Hot Breakfast: Sliced Ham with Melted Cheese

In a hurry? Simply take a few pieces of sliced ham, top with a slice of Swiss cheese, and microwave for 30 to 45 seconds.

NexGen: The Ultimate Breakfast Muffin

This ready-to-eat muffin, created by our friend Keith Berkowitz, M.D., contains just 80 to 100 calories, 5 to 6 grams of protein, no sugar, and 11 to 12 grams of fiber. Remember, although fiber is a carbohydrate, it's non-digestible, so in effect, it doesn't count. That makes these muffins a great low-carb alternative to eating scrambled eggs or omelets. How do they do it: Instead of using wheat flour, Berkowitz and his team substitutes a blend of six natural fibers that have been ground into a fine powder. And since eggs provide the protein, each muffin contains all of the essential nutrients that your muscles need for growth. They're available in wild blueberry, banana walnut, and cran-orange pineapple at carbsmart.com, under the brand name NexGen Foods. Two muffins are guaranteed to fill you up.

Protein Power Almond-Pecan Waffles

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