The 5 Healthiest Chocolate Breakfasts to Try Now
February is a month to celebrate your love of chocolate. Not only is it National Chocolate Month, but February 9 is also Chocolate Day. To help you celebrate this much-loved ingredient, here are some of my favorite ways to add chocolatey goodness to my day – starting with breakfast.
A balanced first meal is one of the best ways to keep your energy up, cravings down and your weight in check. Your morning meal is great to enjoy whole-grain carbohydrates, fruit and other sources of simple carbohydrates, and even chocolate. Studies show that your body’s metabolism is primed to convert carbohydrates into energy earlier in the day compared to the afternoon or evening.
One study reported in the journal Metabolism found that hormones for optimal carbohydrate metabolism peak in the morning. Shifting your carbs and more of your daily energy to be consumed earlier may be a simple way to reduce risk for weight gain, Type 2 diabetes and heart disease, according to researchers. Another study among individuals with Type 2 diabetes reported that shifting more calories and carbs to earlier in the day can be an effective approach to improve glucose levels.
To get your chocolate fix to start your day right, here are five dietitian-approved wholesome chocolate breakfast choices to add to your shopping cart.
Best Chocolates for Breakfast
Magic Spoon Cocoa Grain Free Cereal
Magic Spoon is a trendy new cereal company blowing up Instagram. The company strives to create healthier alternatives of popular kids’ cereals like Cocoa Puffs and Fruit Loops. Each 140-calorie serving of the Cocoa cereal has 13 grams of protein, 2 grams fiber, no added sugar and just 4 grams net carbs.
Magic Spoon cereals are also gluten- and grain-free. The main sweetener is allulose, a monosaccharide that is virtually calorie-free but has a similar taste and function of table sugar.
KIND Soft Baked Dark Chocolate Chunk Chewy Granola Clusters
This cereal just hit supermarket shelves along with a Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter flavor. Both are wholesome and delicious, whole grain oat-based granola with the right amount of chocolatey goodness. I love the soft clusters on their own, mixed in Greek yogurt or added to my hot cereal for more taste and texture. With oats as the first ingredient, you’ll get the health and wellness benefits of oats with just 5 grams of added sugar per 120-calorie, 1/4-cup serving.
Quest Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Protein Cookie
Breakfast cookies are a thing, and I’m all in. When time is tight or for a post-workout mini-meal, I love this perfect decadent duo of chocolate and peanut butter in a wholesome low-sugar, protein-packed option made with high-quality dairy-based protein to provide the amino acids your body needs to help optimize post-exercise recovery.
Each 220-calorie cookie has and a whopping 15 grams of protein (the equivalent of 2.5 medium-sized eggs) and 12 grams of fiber (about 50% of the total fiber you need in a day) to keep my cravings and appetite in check. Plus, they have less than 1 gram of sugar.
Premier Protein Chocolate Almond Cereal
This newer breakfast cereal has a decadent chocolatey flavor but with stellar nutritional profile. A cup of cereal has 180 calories, 2 grams fiber, 1 teaspoon added sugar and 20 grams of protein. (The same amount of protein in 2.5 cups of cow’s milk.) The cereal keeps added sugars low by using stevia leaf extract as a natural sweetener. This cereal is a tasty substitute for a post-workout recovery shake or for anyone who is working out and trying to build or maintain muscle mass.
No one can argue how healthful oats and oatmeal is for your heart health, to keep weight in check, improve heart health, reduce risk for Type 2 diabetes and certain types of cancer and much more. Reams of research confirm the unique benefits oats provide for your health and wellness. Oats contain beta-glucan, a type of soluble fiber that has been shown in several studies to help lower harmful LDL cholesterol.
I like the instant chocolate oatmeal options from Quaker and Purely Elizabeth because they keep added sugar low. I often make my own chocolate overnight oats or hot oatmeal by simply adding one scoop of my favorite chocolate protein powder or a tablespoon of cocoa powder and sweeten with a non-caloric natural sweetener or honey to my liking. Great add-ons to chocolate oatmeal include sliced banana, strawberries, peanut butter or yogurt.