Fuelling your morning
Updated: Dec 30, 2021
Whether its lack of time, preparation, appetite or effort, many of us don't bother with eating in the morning. At best, it may be something that's grabbed on the way out the door.
However, if we fulfil the act of breaking our overnight fast with a nutritious meal, it not only refuels your body but it can super charge your day, make grabbing an unhealthy mid-morning snack less likely and even provide significant health benefits.
Benefits of a healthy breakfast
Breakfast is a great way to start each day with a healthy and nutritious meal and studies suggest that children who regularly eat a healthy breakfast are more likely to
meet their daily nutritional requirements,
have a healthy body weight,
be more alert in school, and
have improved levels of concentration.
Adults who regularly eat a healthy breakfast are
more likely to have an increased intake and variety of vitamins and minerals,
less likely to have issues with weight management,
better able to control their blood sugar levels and therefore more likely to prevent or manage type 2 diabetes,
able to perform better at work.
So, what makes a healthy breakfast?
A great breakfast will include complex carbohydrates, dietary fibre, protein and a small amount of fat. This combination provides health benefits by supplying a range of vitamins and minerals, while making sure that you feel full for hours.
Whole grains (eg. whole-grain bread, rolls and bagels, whole- grain cereals, muesli, porridge oats)
Lean protein (eg. eggs, lean meat, legumes, nuts and seeds)
Fruits and vegetables (fresh or frozen, pure, unsweetened fruit juice, fruit and vegetable smoothies)
Low-fat dairy (eg. milk, plain or reduced sugar yogurts, low-fat or cottage cheese)
Try mixing foods from each group (at least 3) to find a breakfast that suits you and bear in mind that the whole grains and protein sources (lean or dairy) are key to keeping mid-morning hunger pangs at bay.
Not all cereals are what they seem!
If cereal is your thing (and who can fault it's convenience?), it's important to read the nutritional information before you choose.
Compare similar products and note the manufacturers' recommended serving sizes on each packet to ensure that you are making like-for-like comparisons. Most will also provide the nutrient listing per 100g of product to simplify comparison.
Wholegrain cereals will, amongst other nutrients, contain fibre which is essential to support a healthy digestive system, and B vitamins which help to release energy from your food. Ideally, look for cereals that contain a minimum of 3 grams of fibre per serving and, ideally more than 5 grams.
Choose cereals that are also lower in sugar. When reading the nutritional label, you want one that doesn't either list sugar close to the top of the list, or include multiple kinds of sugar (corn syrup, fructose, honey, dextrose etc). These cereals will usually not be those that are marketed to children.
Top your bowl with fruit or nuts and low-fat milk or yogurt.
Breakfast shouldn't be a bowlful of added sugars and unhealthy fats.
Making a healthy breakfast doesn't need to be time-consuming.
Eating from the four breakfast food groups will set you up for a whole day of healthier eating .