The Importance of Eating Breakfast
We all know it’s the most important meal of the day, but for a large proportion of us eating breakfast each day is difficult. So what is it about breakfast that makes it so good for us and why do we need to eat it each day? Breakfast literally means “breaking the fast”. After a night’s sleep (and therefore no food) your body needs a kick start to get the metabolism going for the day by refueling the brain (and your body). Breakfast doesn’t have to be the traditional milk and cereal but including something healthy is important.
The benefits of eating breakfast
There are many benefits to eating breakfast which can include:
- Improving mental performance and attention – starting the day hungry leaves your body in a state of fasting (which you hear as a grumbling tummy), making it more difficult to concentrate
- Breakfast is a great way to boost your intake of important vitamins and minerals (like calcium and iron, as well as fibre). Studies show that people who skip breakfast are more likely to miss out on these important vitamins and minerals and not make up the deficit throughout the rest of the day
- Studies have shown that regularly eating breakfast helps maintain a healthy weight – yep breakfast skippers tend to be heavier than breakfast eaters
Why People Skip Breakfast
So breakfast is the most important meal of the day and it has many health implications – but it’s important to look at why people skip breakfast. No time in the mornings – probably the most common reason all of us use at some time
- Is it possible to set the alarm a bit earlier to give you time to eat?
- Can you prepare anything the evening before? Yes you can pour the cereal into a bowl and cover it, so that all you have to do in the morning is pour milk over the top
Not feeling hungry in the mornings
- Have something small for breakfast like a piece of fruit
- If you really can’t eat as soon as you get up, wait for an hour or so and then eat
Tired of the same breakfast every morning
- Mix it – try something different on the weekends so you aren’t having the same thing 7 days a week
- Finish the box of cereal and buy something different the following week
There are many options available when it comes to breakfast. Here are some ideas:
- ¼ cup muesli with 1 cup reduced fat milk OR 200g yoghurt
- 1 piece of fruit (apple, banana) with 200g yoghurt
- 2 slices multigrain toast with melted reduced fat cheese (1 slice (40g) on each slice of bread)
- 1 cup cereal (eg. raw oats) with 1 cup reduced fat milk and 15g nuts (eg almonds)
Remember, what you chose for breakfast is just as important as eating breakfast!
If you have questions about healthy eating, contact your local doctor, who will arrange for you to see a dietitian and nutritionist. Contact us today!