Breakfast – The most important meal of the day
There are many reasons consumers should start the day by refuelling themselves with a nutritious breakfast. According to the American Dietetic Assn., breakfast eaters will have more strength, endurance and enhanced brain activity such as better concentration and problem-solving skills. In addition, breakfast can have a marked effect on weight control. Skipping breakfast can cause severe hunger pains, which can lead to increased snacking of high-calorie foods. Research has shown that consumers who eat breakfast are more successful at losing weight and keeping the weight off. Breakfast also can increase nutrients in the daily diet.
Regardless of your activity level, breakfast is an essential part of a healthful lifestyle and also is important for maintaining energy all day long. The motto here is anything for breakfast is better than nothing at all. Think of your body as a car and food as gas. Without gas, your car cannot get from one place to another. The rate at which your body uses calories for energy is known as metabolism.
Think of metabolism as the motor of your car. Metabolism is directly related to energy levels, so the higher your metabolism, the more energy you have throughout the day. When you are sleeping, your body naturally decreases its metabolism. When you wake up, there is an increase in metabolism, which peaks by noon. How much energy you have during this time is contingent on how much food calories your body has to use for energy.
Breakfast becomes the first stop to the gas station before your road trip. So basically, eating breakfast actually helps maintain high energy levels throughout the day. In fact, the more hearty a breakfast you have, the more your metabolism motor will roar. You do have to stick to some guidelines, of course, to promote optimal energy:
Calories: The best range of calories for breakfast is between 350 -500. Below 350, your body will not fulfil the requirements for morning energy usage; above 500, your body may store unneeded calories as fat.
Balance: Plan and eat a balanced breakfast meal. Pick one food from at least three of the following food groups:
- One-ounce equivalent of grains, such as one slice of 100 percent whole grain bread, 1 cup of cooked oatmeal, 1 cup ready-to-eat cereal, half an English muffin, one mini-bagel, one (4 1/2-inch diameter) pancake, or small (2-1/2-inch diameter) muffin.
- One cup equivalent of fruit or vegetables, such as a half-cup of fruit or vegetables and a half-cup of fruit or vegetable juice.
- One cup equivalent of milk or calcium-rich foods, such as one cup of milk, one cup of yogurt or 1-1/2 ounces of natural cheese, or 2 ounces of processed cheese.
- One-ounce equivalent of protein, such as 1 ounce of lean meat, poultry or fish, one egg, 1 tablespoon peanut butter, one-quarter cup cooked dry beans or a half-ounce of nuts or seeds