It's uber-healthy (and it isn't eggs).

Jennifer Kushnier
February 15, 2018

Though it may not be the first thing you think of when you're looking for a healthy start, seafood is a breakfast staple around the world: Think kippers with eggs in the U.K., rice and grilled fish in Japan, smoked salmon and pickled herring smørrebrød in Scandinavia.

New Year. New Food. Healthy eating starts here, with the Cooking Light Diet.

But seafood is also showing up on more stateside breakfast and brunch menus, going well beyond that old grab-and-go standby, bagels and lox.

And why not? Fish is packed with heart-healthy fat. The USDA recommends eating 8 ounces of seafood per week as part of a heart-healthy diet, so why not front load your day with a nutritious, seafood-packed breakfast.

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Still not hooked? Having different and exciting meals, particularly at breakfast, could influence your satiety, notes Martine I. Scannavino, Chair of the Department of Nutrition at Cedar Crest College in Allentown, PA. “Replacing high-fat proteins and highly refined grains with fish and seafood at breakfast is a great strategy for consuming a healthy diet,” she says.

How to Start

If you’re usually a cereal-for-breakfast person, eating seafood may seem a little strange at first, so try something familiar, like an egg-and-cheese-based casserole, to ease yourself into it.

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This Smoked Salmon Breakfast Casserole is simple enough to prepare during the week, but fancy enough for Sunday brunch. Bonus? Swapping in salmon means this casserole has 25% fewer calories, 7 g less saturated fat, and over 600 mg less sodium than traditional meat-and-cheese breakfast casseroles.

Eggs benedict is a breakfast standby, but it can be high in fat and calories, thanks to the eggs and creamy Hollandaise sauce. Swap out the classic Canadian bacon for a crab in these Caribbean Crab Cakes Benedict and you have an all-American breakfast that’s lower in calories and saturated fat. 

Feeling a little bolder? Give Orange Maple Balsamic Salmon a try. It’s perfectly suited for breakfast with the orange juice and maple syrup glaze. Serve it with hearty roasted vegetables or sweet potatoes, and stay full and fueled until lunchtime.

RELATED: More Reasons to Eat Seafood From Chef Barton Seaver

Shrimp and grits is a southern staple whether served for breakfast or dinner. We swapped out the grits for buttery creamed corn in our Creole Shrimp and Creamed Corn recipe. The shrimp mixture takes on bold flavors from the smoked paprika, thyme, and garlic—making for a robust mixture that’s complemented by the sweetness of the creamed corn. Aim for large shrimp here so the dish feels a little more special.

And if that’s not enough to reel you in, turn “breakfast for dinner” on its head by serving Blackened Tilapia Tacos with Basil-Lime Mayo, Chopped-Clam Pizza, or Sardine BLTs with Herbs and Lemon for breakfast. We promise you won’t regret it.