What is a Healthy Breakfast?
Some people are trying to lose weight and cut calories. For others, there just simply is not enough time as they rush off to school, work, and everything else that needs to get done in a very short 24-hour day.
Whatever the reason, breakfast seems to be one of those things we forget or sacrifice to the demands of a busy day. Often, when we do manage to eat in the morning, our choice of food is quick, fattening, too sweet, and overall unwholesome. We all want to adopt good eating habits so we can be vigorous, fit, and live longer. For these reasons, you need to know what constitutes a healthy breakfast.
What are the disadvantages of skipping breakfast?
Count the number of activities you did yesterday. Yeah, your day is pretty full. Undoubtedly, you will have even more to do tomorrow.
You pack a lot of stuff into each day, and you expect your body to perform at its peak condition throughout every action. It can only do this if it has the necessary tools, and one of those requirements is breakfast.
It might help to think of your body like your car. You drive the heck out of it all day long and you want to get where you are going as fast (and safely) as possible. When you hit the gas, you aim to accelerate, and when you press the brake, you expect to slow down. By turning the wheel, you maneuver around obstacles and turns and you prefer that your engine keep running through all of this without seizing up mid-trip.
To operate correctly, your car needs gas and lots of it, as well as oil, brake fluid, anti-freeze, etc. Food provides the same function for your body.
Your body requires a constant supply of energy and nutrients to keep you moving and thinking all the time. The vitamins, proteins, calcium, carbohydrates, and sugars in the foods we eat supply that power. So when you skip breakfast, it can be like trying to start your car with little or no gas in it.
For many of us, dinner and dessert are the last foods we eat at night. Then, it is seven or more hours before we eat again. Sleep refreshes your body but you also need to refuel it with food to give you that boost of energy to start your day at maximum speed.
This is especially important for children and young adults, whose bodies and brains are still growing. Breakfast is also critical for anyone who is concerned about their weight. Simply put, when you skip meals, you are hungry and this makes it more likely that you will overeat at your next meal.
The meal is called breakfast for a reason. To fast means to not eat for a period of time. Therefore, the original meaning of the word breakfast was to break the fast of the night before.
What kinds of food should you eat for a healthy breakfast?
Perhaps the first order of business is to retrain your brain. Breakfast does not need to be fancy or complicated to be considered healthy.
Remembering that food chart you learned about in grade school might be a good place to start. Each day, you need meats or proteins, fruits and vegetables, breads and grains, and milk or dairy. Breakfast may be the easiest meal to get as many of these groups as possible at one time.
A bowl of cereal with milk and fruit takes care of three groups quickly. You can also cover multiple groups with a cheese omelet, sausage or bacon, and a slice of toast. Add some vegetables to your omelet and you are home free. For an even healthier option, try using just the egg whites.
Other smart breakfast choices include oatmeal, whole grain pancakes, banana or cranberry bread, or salmon cakes. You might also find success with a morning shake or smoothie. Combining food groups, such as protein, vegetables, and milk, and then blending them together, provides a nourishing alternative for people on the go.
Studies have shown that it is best to eat foods that have fiber or protein for breakfast because they help you feel full. This can help prevent those harmful mid-morning snack binges that tend to be unhealthy and can ruin your diet.
Does it matter what time you eat breakfast?
Now, more than ever, we are becoming a round-the-clock culture. People work at all hours, so the idea of a regular schedule is turning into a thing of the past.
If your job requires you to work through the night and wake up at 2:00 p.m., that’s okay. Just make sure that your first meal of the day (your breakfast) gives you the energy and fuel you need to allow you to stay active and alert until your next meal.