Last Updated on February 15, 2024 by Kari Garner, MS RDN LD CDCES
Today, I am sharing heart healthy breakfast ideas along with 10 recipes created by dietitians that are packed with flavor and nutrient dense ingredients.
I encourage you to take the time to not only learn what foods are heart healthy but think about how you will incorporate these foods into your lifestyle.
With February being American Heart Month, I couldn’t think of a better way to celebrate than featuring these recipes. From savory to sweet, there is something for everyone. Breakfast has truly never been easier!
What is Heart Disease?
Heart disease, also known as cardiovascular disease, is a condition that impacts the blood vessels in your heart. This disease state can lead to heart failure, stroke, or high blood pressure (1).
National Heart Month was created to bring awareness of this disease state that is still the leading cause of death in America (2).
Let this month be the inspiration you need to start make changes to live a healthier life. Just like with diabetes, you do not have to become part of these statistics.
Heart Disease and Diabetes
According to Quality Care for Veterans, every day, 2,200 people die from heart diseases — that’s nearly 800,000 Americans each year, or 1 in every 3 deaths.
Unfortunately, there is a large connection between heart disease and diabetes.
Uncontrolled blood sugars can cause damage to blood vessels over time. Did you know that those with diabetes are twice as likely to have heart disease (3)?
By following a lifestyle to manage blood sugars and control other risk factors, you can manage or prevent the progression of both disease states.
Nutrition is one aspect that you have control over and what better way than kickstarting the morning with a healthy breakfast!
What is a Heart Healthy Breakfast
When it comes to a diet for heart disease and diabetes, it is the balance of fiber, protein and fat that turns any meal into a healthy choice.
Instead of focusing on eliminating certain foods, focus on building a meal with these nutrients.
Below you will find a list of foods that fit into these three categories (fiber, protein and fat) to use as a guide as you build a breakfast meal.
Refer back to this list any time you need!
Dietary fiber will slow digestion to help you feel full and satisfied for longer periods of time while also promoting blood sugar control.
- Seeds such as chia, pumpkin, sunflower or flax
- Nuts such as almonds, pistachios, walnuts or pecans
- Fruits such as pears, strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, blackberries, apples or avocados
- Vegetables such as artichokes, brussels sprouts or kale
Protein will extend the time it takes your body to break down carbohydrates, which can prevent spikes in blood sugars. Learn more about protein here.
- Plant based such as beans (black, kidney, chickpea, pinto), lentils, edamame, nuts, tofu
- Fish such as tuna or salmon
- Lean poultry, beef or pork
- Dairy products such as milk, cheese, yogurt
Like protein, fat also slows your digestion, increasing the time it takes your body to convert carbs into glucose and promoting excellent blood sugars after meals. Learn more about fats.
- Olive oil
- Nut butters
- Fatty fish
- Olives (low sodium)
*Consult with your medical profession and Registered Dietitian on how much of each nutrient is the right target for you.
10 Heart Healthy Recipes For Diabetes, From Dietitians
I love collaborating with fellow dietitians to bring you all a wide variety of recipes.
Let’s dive in to find out what cardiovascular benefits these recipes have to offer!
Each one includes fiber, protein and fat or can easily be paired with the missing nutrient for a balanced breakfast option with heart healthy benefits.
- 30-Minute Simple Apple Baked Oatmeal Cups, Nicole Addison, RD, MHSc
- Heart Healthy Banana Bread with Flax & Walnuts, Chelsea, MS, RDN, LD
- Apple Oatmeal Bake, Kristi, RD
- Mediterranean Chickpea Quinoa Bowl, Veronica Rouse, MAN, RD, CDE
- Mashed Banana Overnight Oats (No Sugar Added), KeyVion Miller RDN, LD/N
- Blueberry Baked Oatmeal: Easy & Healthy Make-Ahead Breakfast – Christina Iaboni, RD
- Zoats Recipe (Chocolate Zucchini Oats), Summer Yule, MS, RDN
- Vegan Spinach Salad Recipe with Balsamic Salad Dressing, Summer Yule, MS, RDN
- Healthy Banana Coconut Bread, Jinan Banna PhD, RD
What Else Can I Do?
There are many actions that can be taken to prevent the progression of cardiovascular disease and diabetes. Focusing on a single action is your next step.
Commit to improving your health by:
- Discovering my FREE info on Instagram!
- Downloading The 25/75 Method – a guide that takes all the frustration out of meal planning. It is a sustainable framework that you can follow for breakfast, lunch and dinner to manage blood sugars.
- Signing up for my Education Session or Diet Discovery – individualized care to help you understand diabetes better!
Small changes can truly make a big impact so get started today!
- Air Fryer Frozen Vegetables
- Type 2 Diabetes Risk Factors: What You Need To Know
- High Blood Sugar? Let’s change that!
- Virtual Nutrition Counseling
If you are ready to take the leap and transform your health, check out my Resources Page. I can help you grow & flourish with diabetes!
Springtime Nutrition, LLC was founded on my passion to partner with individuals to eliminate the stress, frustration and overwhelm of changing their nutrition lifestyle. I am committed to supporting you at every step of your journey. Ready to transform your life? Get started today!
Kari is a diabetes expert with more than 18 years of experience. Kari currently works as a diabetes educator with a large hospital system in Charleston, SC and is committed to improving the lives of people with any type of diabetes.