When we 'break the fast', we up our energy levels and get the metabolism revved up for the day. If we choose the right foods, we can get our blood sugar levels on a steady track. If kept balanced (not too many spikes or dips), this will lead to a day filled with better food choices, more energy and generally less calories eaten over the course of the day.
The most popular breakfast for the majority of UK familes is cereal. This is quick and easy. Although cereals are often claimed to be healthy, some really aren't. The majority are high in sugar and salt. The box often states that they have added vitamins and minerals. Often because they lack any in the first place. Many cereals are the equivalent to eating a dessert for breakfast due to their sugar content. Based on the study by Which Magazine, the Going against the grain report showed some of the worst offenders:
- Kellogs Special K - 99% fat free but it has the sugar equivalent to a bowl of Tesco's Dark Chocolate Fudge Cake ice cream.
- Nestle's Golden Grahams - This has the same amount of salt as a 50gram packet of salted peanuts
- Asda's Good For You Fruit Muesli - Contains man-made trans fats (not so good!)
- Group one skipped breakfast as normal
- Group two ate a normal protein but high carb/sugar breakfast
- Group three ate a high protein breakfast
What should a good breakfast include?
- Chose complex carbs. Avoid refined foods i.e pastries and white bread. Avoid simple sugars (cereal!)
- Add protein. This will stabilise blood sugar levels. Fish, eggs, nuts, seeds, meats, natural yoghurts and cottage cheese are all great sources.
- Add in foods that are high in vitamins and minerals like fruit and veg
Convenience has also been a big reason for the increase in popularity of cereals. I gaurantee if you get up a little earlier and spend the effort making a better breakfast, you will feel less tired during the day than choosing a little extra sleep!