Five breakfasts to help you maintain a healthy weight by getting the right balance of carbs, protein and fat without excess sugar.

Figuring out what to eat for breakfast shouldn’t be difficult but it is more difficult than many of us realize. Many breakfast foods that we think are healthy have tons of sugar. In fact, the typical American breakfast foods contain as much sugar as many deserts.

Given that breakfast is one of the most important meals of the day and a key one for maintaining a healthy weight, here are five (5) easy breakfast options to get your day off to a good start.

1/ Cereal: Look at fiber content

According to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, women should consume 25 grams of fiber a day; after age 50, the recommended amount is 21 grams a day. Men need 38 grams of fiber until age 50, then 30 grams thereafter.

According to Consumer Reports, many healthy cereals that are high in fiber now also taste good. Raison Bran, Grape Nuts, All Bran, GoLean and Bare Naked Fruit and Nut granola are all good options. Many are available at different price points to make them an affordable option for most Americans.

Fiber One reportedly has the highest amount of fiber at 14 grams and the lowest amount of sugar. However, note that it is sweetened with aspartame which is an artificial sweetener approved by the US Food and Drug Administration.

Add some healthy toppings like slivered almonds, sliced banana and/or raisons to increase your protein, healthy fat and fiber.

2/ Oatmeal: Flavor with healthy toppings

The latest Harvard research supports the current dietary guidelines recommend at least 3 daily servings (or 48 grams) of whole grains to improve long-term health and prevent premature death.

Oats are rich in carbs and fiber [8 grams] plus higher in protein [13 grams] than most other grains. They are also loaded in antioxidants that lower blood pressure and in soluble fiber that reduces cholesterol and blood sugar levels. In short, oatmeal is a very heart healthy option.

There are better ways to add flavor to your oatmeal than brown sugar. For instance, stir in some almond butter and/or add toppings much the same way you would with cold cereal to enhance the nutritional value and flavor.

3/ Toast: Choose whole grain bread

Reportedly, 41% of American adults believe gluten free products are healthier than whole wheat even though many are higher in calories, fat, sodium and sugar. Only 1% of the population is afflicted with the autoimmune disorder in which the ingestion of gluten can damage the small intestine.

Know bread is grain free, wheat free and gluten free. In comparison to Oroweat 100% Whole Wheat, Know is higher in fiber [8 grams vs 3 grams], protein and sugar [8 grams vs. 1 gram]. With only 4 slices per bag, it’s probably 10x more expensive than a full loaf of Oroweat. The take away, you don’t have to splurge on gluten free products to eat healthy.

Know definitely tastes good. Topped with almond butter for protein and a healthy fat, it’s a good option. For those eating on the run or heading out on a long ride, turn it into a sandwich.

4/ Pancakes: Weekend Treat

Multi-grain and buckwheat pancakes have about the same about of fiber [2-3 gram] whether made from a pre-made mix or from scratch.

Add some blueberries and/or chopped walnuts [protein and good fat] to increase the nutritional value and add flavor. Blueberries are considered a superfood because they contain several vitamins, compounds and antioxidants that may help prevent heart disease, improve brain health and moderate blood sugar levels.

5/ Swiss chard and baked eggs: Brunch or even dinner

Sophie Dahl’s baked eggs and Swiss chard is a personal favorite because it’s healthy, easy and quick. All you need is red onion, Swiss chard, olive oil [good fat], eggs and goat cheese. Follow the recipe once and the next time you’ll be able to make it from memory.

Swiss chard is an excellent source of vitamins K, A, and C, as well as a good source of magnesium, potassium, iron, and dietary fiber. However, check with your doctor if you’re prone to kidney stones. Swiss chard reportedly contains oxalates which decrease the body’s absorption of calcium and can lead to kidney stones.

According to the American Heart Association dietary guidelines, one egg per day is fine for healthy adults. Eggs are a high-quality protein as well as a good source of iron, vitamins, minerals, and carotenoids.

Again, nothing really fancy but that’s kind of the point. The healthiest food are often the simplest foods.