Break the fast

We have all heard the say­ing that “break­fast is the most im­por­tant meal of the day” – but what are the ben­e­fits? And which are the best foods to choose? DL di­eti­tian Shan­non Lav­ery ex­plains…..

Diabetic Living - - Mains -

Break­fast lit­er­ally means to break the fast. Overnight our bod­ies use up all the en­ergy from our evening meal, so our en­ergy stores are de­pleted and our me­tab­o­lism has slowed down, of­ten leav­ing us feel­ing slug­gish and drained. Eat­ing a healthy and nu­tri­tious meal first thing in the morn­ing (as op­posed to a cof­fee and dough­nut or noth­ing at all!) has been shown to have many health ben­e­fits, such as:

Im­proved blood glu­cose man­age­ment In­creased en­ergy lev­els

En­hanced con­cen­tra­tion and mem­ory

Im­proved me­tab­o­lism

Lower body mass in­dex (BMI), which re­duces your risk of some chronic diseases.

For many of us, morn­ings can of­ten be a rush to get out the door and start our daily ac­tiv­i­ties, so break­fast can of­ten be for­got­ten or poorly planned. Putting to­gether a healthy break­fast need not be elab­o­rate or dif­fi­cult, it is as easy as these three sim­ple steps.

1 Choose a low glycemic in­dex (GI) car­bo­hy­drate to help man­age your blood glu­cose lev­els and give you sus­tained en­ergy to get you through the morn­ing. For ex­am­ple, you can try rolled oats, multi­grain bread or some baked beans.

2 Team your carbs with a source of pro­tein to keep you feel­ing fuller for longer. This could be a boiled egg, a hand­ful of nuts or re­duced-fat milk, yo­ghurt or cheese.

3 Add some fruit or vegeta­bles for ex­tra fi­bre and the nu­tri­ents re­quired for good health. This will also give you a kick­start in reach­ing your goal of two serves of fruit and five serves of vegeta­bles a day. Try adding diced sea­sonal fruit to ce­real or top your toast with sliced tomato, av­o­cado or sautéed mush­rooms.

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