Most people would have grown up eating a breakfast of cereal with some milk, a slice of toast and a glass of orange juice. This would have been considered a healthy breakfast and would have been and still is the staple meal for many of us before we go to school or to work.
Unfortunately this type of breakfast most likely is doing more harm than good for our bodies.
The cereal depending on the quality is more than likely full of processed grains and refined sugars with minimal nutritional quality. The milk most commonly used by people is low fat, which is quite processed and has the goodness (the fat) taken out. The fruit juice is basically sugar water, since fibre in the fruit has been removed. The toast again is high glycemic carbohydrate similar to the cereal and fruit juice and contains gluten which some people cannot tolerate.
Eating foods such as these with a high glycemic index (pushes up blood sugar very quickly) in the morning can promote fat storage and can increase hunger levels later in the day.
When we consume foods with a high GI such as these, our blood sugars rises. Insulin is released by the pancreas to take these sugars away and store them until they are needed. If we have been exercising, our muscles and liver have used up their glycogen stores (energy space) and can take up these sugar easily. If more then likely, we have been resting or inactive (as more of us are in the morning!), insulin has no glycogen stores to replenish so the sugar is put into storage to be used at a later stage (fat accumulation).
Another downside of consuming foods with a high GI is it is very difficult to regulate hunger and satiety levels. After eating a high GI food, blood sugars will rise. The insulin kicks into action taking them away. After insulin has done it’s job, our blood sugars will fall and we suddenly feel hungry or crave something. Again we have a snack of a cereal bar or piece of bread to arrest our low sugar levels and suddenly they are up again. This rollercoaster of high and low sugars is very harmful to the body and can lead to fat gain and metabolic disorders such as diabetes.
What should we eat?!
It is best to eat foods that don’t cause a large spike in insulin(low GI foods), that are slowly digested and help stabilise blood sugar levels. This will help you feel full for longer, avoid cravings and make you less likely to overeat during the day. We need to get away from the idea that we should eat cereals for breakfast. This is a notion fabricated by big food companies to make us buy their products.
Protein and fats
Eggs, fish, meat, some fruits and veggies, greek yogurt and berries, nuts and seeds.
If you are used to eating the standard high carb breakfast you may find the above recommendations hard to get your head around. They may be new and difficult to adopt at first but they are extremely effective at helping to lose body fat and improve general health.
Here are some meal suggestions:
2/3 Scrambled eggs with 2 slices of bacon and half an avocado
Salmon fillet, with spinach and tomato sauted in butter
2-3 spoons greek yogurt with mixed berries and a spoon of flax seeds
2 boiled eggs, 2 sausages (80%pork), tomato and mushroom.
This is my own breakfast a few days ago…salmon with avocado, onions and baby tomato. Loads of good fats and plenty of protein.
If you are in a rush…these can be made the night before and put in a lunch box in the fridge:
2 hard boiled eggs
Greek yogurt with blueberries and a handful of seeds
Piece of cheese/tomato wrapped in ham/turkey slices
If you have a low body fat or have exercised prior to breakfast then it is perfectly fine to include some carbohydrates in your breakfast.
Oats, sugar free museli, sweet potatoes are some good choices. These are slow releasing carbohydrates as they contain lots of fibre and will not cause high spikes in our sugar levels.
Now it is up to you.
Have a look at your current breakfast. Is it the reason why you are craving foods, why you cannot control hunger and why you are putting on weight despite eating what is ‘recommended’?
Give the recommendations above a go and I’ve no doubt your energy levels will soar!
Best of luck, thanks for reading and have a nice day!