Sunday, February 20, 2011

breakfast - break away from the box

Israeli Breakfast | Lior Bakalu
Over the last couple of days I have been seeing articles in the news that have made me literally cringe.  I'm not going to link to them here because the information contained in them is just so wrong I cannot bring myself to share it even as an example of bad information.

What is it?  It's breakfast.  One article claimed that a bowl of cereal was shown to be the best breakfast and a good way to start your day, preventing you from snacking on sugary foods later in the day.  I was unable to find a link to the study that the article referenced but based on what I know about nutrition I'm guessing that the study group was comparing to either breakfast skippers or people who ate a donut or muffin and called that breakfast.  Sadly a bowl of cereal is not enough.  Yes the milk is going to provide a small amount of protein but you are typically getting an over-processed, sugary product in the cereal.  While it's better than not eating breakfast I'm here to tell you that it is not better by much.  Your body will still feel the effects metabolically and it will not be supportive of your blood sugar.

Another article absolutely horrified me by claiming that if you were a picky eater there were some nutritional strategies that allowed you to still get all the nutrition you needed.  Don't like salmon?  The article suggests eating a bowl of cereal instead.  While you will get some vitamin D from the milk you are certainly not going to get the levels of protein and amino acids in cereal that you do from fish.

The third article referenced healthy choices at fast food places.  I'm sorry but I have never been a fan of those.  The food is fatty, over-processed, chemically laden and very few of these places offer a truly healthy start to your day.

Oddly enough just before all of these articles came out College Crunch contacted me about their recently written article.  10 Breakfast Foods Your Body Hates.  They state the facts clearly and correctly.

So what do you eat?

1.   First and foremost it is important to start your day with breakfast.  Don't skip.
2.   Eat protein, your body needs to refuel after the "fast" of sleeping.
3.   Get fiber, supportive to your digestive system it also helps sustain you as your blood sugar balances
      out with this first meal of the day.
4.   Limit sugar. Too much sugar (think cereals, syrups, muffins, etc) will cause a spike in insulin and
      then your body begins the blood sugar roller-coaster.
5.   Avoid simple carbohydrates (pancakes, toast, boxed cereal) your body will digest them too quickly
      and they are not supportive of blood sugar stability.

You don't have to have what is considered "breakfast" food for breakfast if you don't want to.  I know a number of people who start their morning with a chicken breast and veggies.  I had one friend who served her children beans for breakfast and they loved it.  The breakfast in the picture above is from Israel.  Eggs with lots of veggies (fresh and cooked) and fresh herbs.

Break away from the box; eat something that will nourish and support your body.