Go Ask Mom

Go Ask Mom

Duke Medicine: Breakfast - just what the doctor ordered

Posted April 23, 2012 8:45 p.m. EDT

Photo from American Feast's Sustainable Food Blog,

Why is breakfast important? Studies have shown that eating a healthy breakfast fuels your brain to improve focus, jump-starts metabolism for weight loss, increases energy levels, stabilizes mood, and helps keep you from overeating throughout the day.

We asked some of the busiest people around, Duke primary care providers, to tell us what they eat to get their day off to a healthy start.

Dr. Jason Troiano, Practice Medical Director at Wake Forest Family Physicians

I am a big believer that fresh fruits, fresh vegetables, and whole grains are the cornerstone of a healthy diet and one of the best ways to prevent heart disease, strokes, and cancer. Every day for breakfast, I try to eat a bowl of high-fiber cereal with half a banana or some blueberries on top.

I recommend a cereal with 4 to 6 grams of fiber per serving on the label. Doing this along with aerobic exercise for 20 to 30 minutes several times a week is a great way to start a healthy lifestyle.

Leanne Owens, MHS, PA-C, Hillsborough Family Practice

A few years ago my priority was eating a quick breakfast rather than a healthy one. However, when my daughter began to eat table foods, my priority shifted.

Now we eat a quick and healthy breakfast together: one wholegrain vegetable muffin, a side of fruit, and low-fat yogurt. I make the muffins in advance, freeze them, and take them out the night before to thaw. They are ready to eat in the morning.

Dr. Monica Barnes-Durity, Duke Primary Care Morrisville

I choose breakfasts with a balance of protein, fiber, and healthy nutrients that are quick, easy to make, and less than 400 calories. I am always counting or “guesstimating” calories, as I too am weight-challenged and have size and fitness goals. I never leave home without breakfast.

For more information and some easy breakfast recipes, including a recipe for the muffins that Owens enjoys, go to the full post at