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The surprising food Giada De Laurentiis never eats for breakfast

Like many Italians, the Food Network star prefers a lighter morning meal so she doesn't load up on eggs.
/ Source: TODAY

When Food Network star Giada de Laurentiis is fueling up for a day on set, don’t expect to find her flipping omelets or scrambling up a batch of eggs. A native Italian, the chef says she isn't a big fan of hearty, protein-heavy breakfasts.

"I am not a protein person for breakfast — it’s not my thing," De Laurentiis recently told Food & Wine. In fact, eggs for breakfast isn’t really a “thing” for most Italians, who instead tend to nibble on a pastry like a croissant paired with a classic Italian cappuccino or espresso.

Instead, De Laurentiis says she saves the eggs for lunch or dinner dishes. In the morning, she reaches for healthy, easy-to-make whole grains. So you won't find her loading up on sugary carbs in the morning (Pippa Middleton also goes for a healthier, low-sugar breakfasts) — though we did spot her posting a recipe for a rather delicious-looking banana bread.

De Laurentiis also revealed to Food & Wine that one of her favorite morning meals is oatmeal with olive oil and sea salt, and she sometimes adds Marcona almonds and spiced mandarin oranges, or she goes for brown rice with olive oil and sea salt.

On her website Giadzy, the chef explains that these foods are slow-digesting, minimally processed and also include healthy fats. “That combination seems to keep me satisfied without causing my blood sugar to swoop up or down during the course of the morning and helps me keep right on walking when I pass a basket of muffins and pastries on set,” De Laurentiis posted.

And when De Laurentiis has a truly busy week planned, she whips up several breakfast recipes she can prepare ahead of time, like her overnight oats with energy-packed chia seeds, a healthier alternative to store-bought, microwave-friendly packets that she warns are filled with sugar.

The trick to oatmeal, writes the TV star, is to be smart about the toppings, so she skips sugar-filled ingredients like maple syrup, brown sugar or even dried fruit. “When I’m really racing the clock, I just give mine a drizzle of olive oil and a sprinkle of salt. If I have a little more time I add chopped nuts, fresh herbs and a bit of fresh fruit. Even a touch of pesto!” she writes on Giadzy.

Several other well-known cooks are also big fans of oatmeal, including Martha Stewart and Ina Garten.

So if you want to eat like an Italian, put an egg frittata on your dinner menu and and load up on hearty-healthy oatmeal for your morning meal.