Eating Breakfast Means Better Health
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Written By: Dr. Stuart Kinsinger
FRIDAY, Dec 11th 2009 (The Lindsay Post) — Most of us get out of our regular routing when holidays come. So with the holidays fast approaching this would be a good time to consider one simple part of a good routine; breakfast.
Earlier this week the popular press reported that the growing problem of diabetes is likened to a brewing economic tsunami. This week’s column deals with one aspect of that.
Those who eat a nutritious breakfast are much healthier than those who don’t according to a recent article published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.
Breakfast is the most important meal of the day because, after a night’s rest we need to rev up our metabolism. What we eat determines whether we feel sluggish or energetic as the day goes on.
There are basically three categories of breakfast people: those who skip breakfast entirely, those who eat a good meal that includes protein and complex carbohydrates, and those who go for refined carbos, like boxed breakfast cereals, frozen waffles, toast and jam.
A good breakfast dramatically reduces the incidence of diabetes, obesity and heart disease – three diseases that are easy to prevent and profoundly expensive to treat.
A good breakfast makes us much more productive at work and school.
Refined carbohydrates cause hunger, light headedness, fatigue and an inability to concentrate. Kids and teens eating a breakfast including protein, fat and complex carbohydrates are able to concentrate better, which translates into higher marks at school.
In a recent study scientists found that breakfast skipping had a negative effect on blood cholesterol, blood sugar, insulin levels, caloric levels and energy levels. Even eating by mid morning did not protect against increased levels of the bad cholesterol, LDL.
As well, the body was not as sensitive to insulin, meaning that over time, blood sugar levels rose; the primary cause of diabetes. Breakfast skippers also end up consuming more calories throughout the day. More calories translates into you-know- what.
On a related matter, other studies have shown that eating smaller meals six to eight times per day results in lower cholesterol levels compared to eating the very same amount of food in 3 larger meals. An additional benefit of frequent smaller meals is that important stimulation to metabolism.
People who eat in the evening often skip breakfast. There is a direct connection between this pattern and weight gain in adult years, with this being one direct cause of adult onset diabetes.
Almost every breakfast food that comes out of a box is digested quickly. Within two hours we get hungry, which leads to feelings of lethargy, headache, irritability and an inability to concentrate. Since we end up with a sugar craving, this usually results in snacking on more sweet foods.
Kids especially need a balanced breakfast. Their whole learning experience is dependent on how they feel at school. The food manufacturers know that parents are sensitive to giving kids high sugar cereals.
So what the big corporations do is to put different kinds of sugar in the product so they get to list those sugars separately. If they didn’t do this, the first ingredient would be sugar. You can outsmart these corporations by reading labels and not succumbing to such deception. Kids deserve better.
If you think that bran type cereals are good, read the labels. Yes fibre is essential, but the second largest ingredient in those cereals is sugar.
Try this experiment for you and your family. Eat a refined carbohydrate breakfast such as a boxed cereal like corn flakes or raisin bran, followed by a slice of toast with jam and wash this down with coffee or OJ. Do this for a few days and chart your times of hunger, mood changes and concentration.
Then switch to a balanced breakfast including any combination of eggs, meat or cheese, along with nuts, fresh fruit and whole grains, being careful to avoid any sugar, jam or syrup. The difference is night and day. Combine healthy nutrition with regular exercise and your chances of being diagnosed with diabetes are virtually nill.