En­er­gise Your Morn­ings with Break­fast

Better Health - - CONTENTS - By Leanne Tasher

By now, you’ve heard it dozens of times; break­fast is a very im­por­tant meal. It’s the way in which we “break” our overnight “fast”, and give our bod­ies a much-needed boost. By eat­ing break­fast, we’re less likely to overeat later in the day.

Ac­cord­ing to Es­ther Sel­man, the of­fi­cial di­eti­cian for our BH-20 chal­lenge, break­fast of­fers ben­e­fits to all. If you skip break­fast, she ex­plained, you may lack suf­fi­cient en­ergy to per­form daily ac­tiv­i­ties. It can also lower one’s risk of ac­quir­ing non­com­mu­ni­ca­ble dis­eases and aid in weight man­age­ment.

“A study funded by the Na­tional In­sti­tute of Health found that men who skip break­fast have a 27 per cent higher risk of coro­nary heart dis­ease (CHD) com­pared to those who eat break­fast. “Stud­ies have demon­strated that those who eat break­fast reg­u­larly main­tain their weight bet­ter than those who skip break­fast. This is true for both chil­dren and adults. Mul­ti­ple stud­ies of school age chil­dren have re­ported a sig­nif­i­cant in­crease in scholastic scores,” she said.

How­ever, you won’t de­rive ben­e­fits from con­sum­ing an un­healthy break­fast. For ex­am­ple, you should avoid sat­u­rated fats; these fats in­crease bad choles­terol, which cause nar­row­ing of the ar­ter­ies and re­strict blood flow. In­stead, you should use healthy fats like olive oil, avo­cado pear, nuts and seeds. Es­ther noted that break­fast should in­clude mainly macro nu­tri­ents and mi­cro nu­tri­ents:

“These macro nu­tri­ents, car­bo­hy­drates, fats, and pro­teins, pro­vide good nu­tri­tion to en­er­gise the body and pre­vent dis­ease. Mean­while, mi­cro nu­tri­ents are vi­ta­mins and min­er­als that are ob­tained mainly from fruits and veg­eta­bles.”

The nu­tri­tion ex­pert said that eat­ing a larger break­fast and no din­ner helps:

• Keeps weight off

• De­creases ghre­lin (a “hunger” hor­mone pro­duced in the gut)

• In­creases sati­ety

• De­creases hunger

• De­creases crav­ings

• Im­proves triglyc­eride

(choles­terol) lev­els

Ac­cord­ing to Es­ther, a com­plete break­fast in­cludes:

• Com­plex car­bo­hy­drates - whole grains, ground pro­vi­sions, starchy veg­eta­bles. Avoid pro­cessed car­bo­hy­drates such as white flour, white rice, re­fined sugar etc., be­cause they are not the best food, con­tain no fi­bre, and can have dam­ag­ing ef­fects on the body. Ex­cess sugar in­take causes obe­sity, hy­per­glycemia, di­a­betes and other health prob­lems.

• Low fat pro­tein or plant­based pro­tein - egg whites, lean meats/ chicken, milk prod­ucts, nuts, seeds, peas, beans and lentils. Pro­tein makes up a sig­nif­i­cant part of the meal as it helps in growth, de­vel­op­ment, body build­ing and re­pair.

While ev­ery­one can ben­e­fit from a com­plete break­fast, Es­ther said it is es­pe­cially im­por­tant for those who are vul­ner­a­ble; so, in­fants and chil­dren, preg­nant and lac­tat­ing moms, per­sons with chronic dis­ease and crit­i­cally ill pa­tients should not skip break­fast. Es­ther said per­sons who are strug­gling with hav­ing break­fast and man­ag­ing a healthy diet should:

• Start by choos­ing a small meal • Choose easy-to-pre­pare foods • In­cor­po­rate your favourite healthy op­tions

• Choose healthy grab-and-go foods • Set SMART goals when se­lect­ing and man­ag­ing a diet

• Choose a light sup­per so your stom­ach can rest. That way, it will be ready to re­ceive break­fast the fol­low­ing day.

You can find in­ter­est­ing break­fast ideas in her cook­book, Break­fast Like a King.

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