Most of you have been told how important breakfast is to start your day off right. No question, that’s good advice. This is not only important for adults, but as well as for children as they start their school day. Did you know what you eat at breakfast can set the stage for the rest of the day? Skipping breakfast or eating the wrong foods can set the stage for a variety of problems including, but not limited to fatigue, hunger, brain fog, weakened immune system, restlessness, difficulty concentrating and focusing, obesity, and Type II Diabetes.
High-Protein or High-Carbohydrate?
A recent study performed at the University of Missouri looked at glucose and insulin responses in Type II Diabetics given either a high-protein breakfast or a high-carbohydrate breakfast and measured their glucose and insulin responses after being fed the same lunch and found that those who ate the high-protein breakfast had much better regulation of their glucose and insulin not only after breakfast, but also after eating lunch.1
“People often assume that their glucose response at one meal will be identical to their responses at other meals, but that really isn’t the case,” said Jill Kanaley, professor and associate chair in the MU Department of Nutrition and Exercise Physiology. “For instance, we know that what you eat and when you eat make a difference, and that if people skip breakfast, their glucose response at lunch will be huge. In our study, we found those who ate breakfast experienced appropriate glucose responses after lunch. The first meal of the day is critical in maintaining glycemic control at later meals, so it really primes people for the rest of the day,” Kanaley said.2
Have You or Your Kids Been Brain-Washed?
Is your stomach growling for lunch two hours after eating breakfast? That is not normal. You just went on the blood sugar roller coaster. Unfortunately, many of the common breakfast foods that are popular today can spell disaster for your entire day. These include high-carbohydrate foods such as cereal, toast, donuts, croissants, bagels, fruit juice, flavored yogurts, and pop-tarts. Did you know that Raisin Bran has more sugar per serving than Fruit Loops®? Without adequate healthy proteins and fats at breakfast, your body is simply unable to function at its optimum. Healthy fats and proteins are also an essential part of optimal brain function and growth. Given the fact your brain is 70 percent fat, healthy fat intake is crucial, especially in children whose brains are rapidly developing. Good sources of healthy fats include eggs, raw nuts and seeds, avocado, coconut oil, grass-fed butter and olive oil.
Breakfast of Champions
Eating a healthy breakfast does not necessarily have to take more time or money. In fact, many of the processed breakfast foods are more expensive than healthier whole food choices. A little planning ahead can save you not only time and money, but keep you out of the doctor’s office, have you performing better at school or work, and give you more energy throughout the day. Getting kids ready for school and being to work on time can be quite the race first thing in the morning. Why not plan ahead the night before what you and your kids will eat the following morning so you can stay on schedule.
There are many healthy choices for breakfast that can help not only start off your day right but keep you running strong all day. Adults should strive for 20-30 grams of protein at breakfast. Pasture-raised eggs are one of the best super-foods when it comes to healthy protein and fat. Sunny-side up, hard-boiled, scrambled are all fast and easy ways to enjoy this nutritional powerhouse. Top it off with a high-quality cheese and some left over veggies from dinner the night before for a great way to start your day.
Protein smoothies are another easy way to get your day started and can be put together in less than a few minutes. Whey protein is one of the best protein powder sources you can start with. Mix it with some almond milk, kefir and fruits or veggies of your choice for a delicious treat.
A piece of fruit, such as an apple combined with natural nut butter or a handful of raw nuts or seeds can be fast and filling. Add in some whole Greek yogurt with fresh berries for dessert. Avoid low-fat and no-fat dairy products as these have been proven to promote obesity.3
1. J. Nutr. March 2015 145: 452-458; A High-Protein Breakfast Induces Greater Insulin and Glucose-Dependent Insulinotropic Peptide Responses to a Subsequent Lunch Meal in Individuals with Type 2 Diabetes
3. Scand J Prim Health Care. 2013 Jun; 31(2): 89–94. High dairy fat intake related to less central obesity: A male cohort study with 12 years’ follow-up.