Breakfast Basics

May 20, 2011

We've all heard that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, but this topic definitely rouses many opinions

We've all heard that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Children and adolescents that eat breakfast have healthier nutrient profiles and a lower prevalence of obesity as compared to their non-breakfast eating counterparts, according to a study from Baylor College of Medicine, Louisiana State University, and Texas Woman’s University. To the contrary, another recent study published in the Nutrition Journal found that eating a big breakfast adds a lot of extra calories to your day and that skipping breakfast can be an effective way to reduce your caloric intake. Opposing studies like these obviously create consumer confusion. So what’s true, and what is the best advice for you?

Should you have breakfast or skip it? SupermarketGuru says, have breakfast but wait until you’re actually hungry. If you know you’re not going to be hungry until you have left the house, prepare ahead of time and bring a bagged breakfast. We do know that the majority of people who eat breakfast are less likely to be overweight. As well as the fact that over 90 percent of successful dieters usually eat breakfast (according to data from the National Weight Control Registry).

Breakfast gets your metabolism started and helps you plan for the day. Don’t wait until you’re so hungry for lunch that you will literally eat whatever’s in front of you. Eating breakfast ensures you will have a clear head, be able to maintain focus at work or at school, and when it comes time for lunch you will be able to make smart and healthy decisions. There also have been many studies that demonstrate that dieters who eat breakfast are less hungry throughout the day. Breakfasts involving a substantial amount of protein or fiber full veggies help sustain us longer than breakfasts that are mostly carbohydrates.

Keep in mind that we go through the day with so many food cues that many of us eat when were not hungry. The key to loosing or maintaining a healthy weight is to listen to our bodies and only eat when hungry. Of course this isn’t possible all the time, as sights and smells do tempt us for a little treat here and there, but for the most part we should only eat when we’re hungry.

Having the right breakfast definitely helps to stick to your healthy eating plan for the rest of the day, but it doesn’t guarantee it. Pay attention to what works for you, listen to your body. Some great choices include yogurt with granola or cereal, eggs with whole grain toast, a yogurt based fresh or frozen fruit smoothie along side cereal, oatmeal, toast or a bagel. Melting cheese atop a whole grain bagel, English muffin or whole grain toast is also a protein rich option that you can also prepare ahead of time. Seed and nut butters like almond, peanut, and sunflower are not only protein rich but rich in essential minerals as well. Serve a whole grain English muffin, bagel or toast with your favorite nut butter and sliced banana or strawberries on top. Nut and seed butters are extremely versatile and can even be mixed with oatmeal to increase the nutrition content of this already nutritious breakfast choice! Like veggies? Eat a veggie egg scramble for an antioxidant rich start to the day.