Do you religiously have breakfast each morning? Or, are you more likely to put off eating until lunchtime?
Unfortunately, a large proportion of people don't eat a substantial breakfast each morning, and their health could be suffering as a result.
5 key reasons not to skip breakfast:
- It kick starts our metabolism.
- It boosts our nutrient intake - those who eat breakfast have a higher fibre, vitamin and mineral intake, and a lower fat intake.
- It helps prevent binge eating by regulating hunger.
- It improves our memory and concentration.
- It helps maintain a health weight.
In a recent study researchers examined the eating and exercise habits of over 2000 boys and girls, with an average age of 15 years (Pediatrics, 2008).
They found that those who regularly consumed breakfast had a lower BMI (healthier), and that breakfast eaters consumed greater amounts of carbohydrates and fiber, got fewer calories from fat, and also exercised more.
At the beginning of the study the average BMI was:
- Consistent breakfast eaters 21.7
- Intermittent eaters 22.5
- Those who never had breakfast 23.4
Over the next five years, BMI increased in exactly the same pattern.
Mark Pereira, a co-author of the study, said that eating a healthy breakfast would "promote healthy eating throughout the day, and might help to prevent situations where you're grabbing fast food or vending machine food."
Previous studies have shown a similar effect in older adults. What about in your own home, are you a good role model by sitting down to eat a healthy breakfast each morning?
Why not make it a new family goal? Not only will this benefit you, but it will benefit the health of the whole family as well.
What should breakfast consist of?
- One serving of a whole grain carbohydrate.
- One serving of calcium containing food.
- One serving of fruit.
- It's also fine to have a protein serving, for example meat, or an egg, but it's not necessary for most people.
Here are 6 simple and healthy breakfast ideas:
#1 Natural yogurt, topped with mixed berries, a teaspoon of ground flaxseeds, a slice of mixed grain toast, and a cup of green tea.
#2 Brown rice or barley - cook the night before, then in the morning top with some raisins, sliced apple, a sprinkling of cinnamon, and a little reduced fat milk.
#3 Fruit smoothie - add strawberries, kiwi, and a banana to the blender, a cup of natural yogurt, one teaspoon of ground flaxseeds, and a cup of crushed ice.
#4 Whole wheat pita half topped with a little reduced fat cottage cheese, tomatoes, and a sliced boiled egg; served with 100% pure fruit juice.
#5 Mini whole grain bagel, topped with almond butter, sliced apples, and a glass of 100% whole orange juice.
#6 Whole wheat English muffin, toasted and thinly spread with reduced fat cottage cheese, sliced pineapple on top; served with a glass of 100% whole fruit juice.
What are your healthy breakfast ideas?
Melanie Thomassian is a dietitian and author of Dietriffic.com, an online resource for credible healthy eating tips for busy people.
Published On: March 27, 2008