- Balanced- your breakfast should include all the food groups (carbohydrates, proteins and fats) as well as vitamins and minerals.
- Preferably have a low glycaemic index to give you sustained energy until your next meal
- High in fibre
Breakfast is undoubtedly the most important meal of the day. However, with our busy lives, breakfast is often an afterthought and we end up grabbing a quick - and often unhealthy- snack or we skip it altogether.
Futurlife Smart Food dietitian, Angela Leach debunks some of the most common myths and explains why breakfast remains the most important meal of the day:
1. Skipping breakfast will help you lose weight
Leach says while skipping breakfast (just like skipping lunch or supper) may result in a lower daily calorie intake, which can lead to weight-loss, this is not always the case.
"Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Studies have shown that eating breakfast assists with long-term weight control, even more so if the breakfast includes a protein source," she says.
She adds that skipping breakfast is associated with a significantly higher risk of obesity.
"Subjects who regularly skipped breakfast had a 4.5 times greater risk of obesity compared to those who consumed breakfast regularly. Studies found that that when low-GI foods were eaten at breakfast, lunch intake was lower compared to a high-GI breakfast. This effect is related to a lower degree of weight gained over time and prevents snacking on unhealthy foods.
2. Getting a healthy breakfast always requires a lot of time and preparation
On-the-go breakfast options are very common these days and some products contain all the key nutrition your body needs. A breakfast smoothie is a good example.
3. All boxed cereals should be avoided
There are certainly some breakfast cereals that provide little more than highly refined carbohydrates and a lot of sugar.
However, this is not always the case.
Food technology has advanced to a point where we can get perfect balance, vitamins, minerals and functional ingredients in one perfectly convenient cereal box.
4. Have protein for breakfast if you want to keep full
It is no secret that protein has a high satiety value and certainly keeps you full for longer. While including protein in your breakfast is advisable, we need more than just protein.
A good breakfast should be: