How many times have you heard expressions like “Breakfast is the most important meal of the day” or “Have breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince and dinner like a beggar”.
Know what foods you cannot miss when preparing breakfast and which ones you should avoid.
Breakfast provides energy and essential nutrients and influences mood and physical and mental performance during the day.
There is even research that found that the body better assimilates the foods we eat on an empty stomach.
- What effect does breakfast have on our weight?
For a meal to be healthy we must achieve a balance between the main nutrients: carbohydrates, proteins, fiber and fats.
For best effects these should be of the highest possible quality. This is achieved with natural or fresh foods rather than those that are processed. Here are some options for each type of nutrient:
Carbohydrates are divided into two large groups: simple and complex. Generally the former are often called “bad” because they are rapidly absorbed and provide immediate energy, while the latter are considered “good” because they take time to be absorbed.
However, many nutritionists point out that this categorization would not be correct, since both are necessary for a balanced diet. These are foods that you can get carbohydrates from:
- Whole grains.
- Most fruits and their juices.
- Dairy products.
- Vegetables rich in starch (starch), such as broccoli, spinach, or potato.
Proteins are nutrients that can be obtained from animal or plant sources. Animal protein is considered to be of higher quality thanks to its rich level of essential amino acids.
Nutritionists recommend a suitable mix between both sources. To achieve this, you can try these options:
- Lean meat, it can be turkey, beef or chicken.
- Dairy products.
- Fish, such as herring, tuna, cod, salmon, or trout.
- Seitan (“vergetal meat” made from wheat gluten, not recommended for coeliacs)
- Tempeh (derived from soy, very rich in vegetable proteins)
- Green leafy vegetables.
- Tips for preparing a healthy breakfast
Fiber is the substance responsible for making us feel satisfied, adding volume to our diet and facilitating digestion. Keep these foods in mind when preparing your breakfast:
- Whole grain breads, pasta and cereals.
- Seeds, such as pistachios, almonds, or pecans.
Fat is a negative word, but it is a great source of energy and helps the body absorb vitamins.
These are healthy options that you can include to get it:
- Extra virgin olive or coconut oil.
- Nuts, such as almonds, hazelnuts, chestnuts, walnuts.
- Chia or sunflower seeds.
- Whole yogurt, or kefir or Bulgarian.
What to avoid
A healthy breakfast is not only achieved by the foods you incorporate but also by those you avoid.
You should be informed about the number of calories, portions and nutritional information of foods, so pay attention to the labels of the products you buy.
Specialists warn that processed, refined, fried or sugary foods can have harmful effects on health, especially if they are consumed on an empty stomach. These are examples of products to avoid:
- Sugary or energizing drinks.
- Processed meat, such as hot dogs, bacon, canned, jerky, dried, canned, and meat-based preparations or sauces.
- Sugary cereals.
- Artificial sweeteners.
- Hot cakes con miel artificial.
- Artificial fruit juices.
- Flavored yogurts.
- Avoid breakfasts at fast food chains.
The danger of “skipping it”
There are professionals who do not agree that breakfast is the most important meal of the day.
Tim Spector, a practitioner at King’s College London, explained “everyone has a unique metabolism, genetics and very different gut microbes, so they will react differently to the same foods. Standard guidelines should not be taken as absolute truth.” .
- Skipping breakfast is bad for your heart
Another very common reality, especially in adolescents, is to overlook this food. Experts from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) explain that this could be due to altered sleep habits, weight disorders or accelerated routines.
Therefore, they recommend options for quick breakfasts such as granola bars, cereals or dried, dehydrated or fresh fruits.