Breakfast: The FIRST Most Important Meal of the Day

Posted on Friday, August 21st, 2009
Written by: Angela, Nutritionist

We’ve all heard that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, now learn why.  Breakfast is directly correlated to cognitive development and mental performance.  After sleeping for 8 hours (yes, you should be getting 8 hours of sleep each night), the body needs fuel to power the body and the mind.  Not having breakfast can adversely affect your daily performance by impacting your energy level and mental focus.  Breakfast should consist of quality nutrition. Moreover, woman who do not eat breakfast end up eating more throughout the latter part of the day.  Therefore, it is not in the best interest for anyone to skip breakfast as a measure of reducing food intake.

Several of my clients ask me about healthy breakfast ideas, and in truth, it’s a dilemma that many of us face each day. Either we don’t have time for breakfast, or we don’t have many healthy options on hand. A good breakfast is an ideal way to start changing to a healthful diet. The food choices are simple, and you can measure your progress quite easily. By eating healthier earlier in the day you will be less likely to reach for sugary snacks, caffeine or simple carbohydrate foods later in the day.

Research suggests that breakfast eaters are leaner than those who skip the morning meal, with studies suggesting that missing breakfast is associated with up to a fourfold increase in the risk of obesity. High-fiber cereals are central to breakfast’s health benefits and can help people reduce the risk of heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and even intestinal polyps and colon cancer.

What is a Healthy Breakfast?

A healthy breakfast should contain some protein and some complex carbohydrate (has fiber present). Protein sources are low fat meats, eggs, dairy (milk, cheese or yogurt), beans, or soy. Complex carbohydrates can be found in whole grains, vegetables and fruits. A good example of a healthy breakfast might be something simple like a hard boiled egg, an orange, and a bowl of whole grain cereal with low fat milk. When combined in a meal or a snack, protein and complex carbohydrates (with fiber present) satisfy your hunger and will keep you feeling full until lunch time.

Stay away from the sugary cereals, syrups, pastries, and white breads because they are digested quickly and will leave you hungry and tired in a couple of hours. You need to have some protein at breakfast. This will slow down the absorption and digestion of your meal.

Be Good to Yourself by Eating a Healthy Breakfast Every Morning

Tomorrow morning, remember that eating a healthy breakfast is the best way to start your day… Notice how much better you feel through the morning and the rest of the day when you don’t skip breakfast.

People who eat a healthy breakfast are more likely to:

  1. Consume more vitamins and minerals and less fat and cholesterol
  2. Have more strength and endurance
  3. Have better concentration and productivity throughout the morning
  4. Control their weight
  5. Have lower cholesterol, which reduces the risk of heart disease
  6. Reduced cravings in the afternoon
  7. Reduced frequency of late night emotional/ overeating

Angela Pifer, Certified Nutritionist

Seattle Nutritionist– I work Nationally through Skype

Categories: Balancing Meals

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