Are you bored of being told that breakfast is the most important meal of the day? I get it, you are an adult and you don’t need to be indoctrinated with the same thing you were hearing thirty years ago. In that sense I think it is fair to say it has become somewhat of a cliché. The thing about clichés are, while sometimes annoying, the reason they have stuck around for so long is because they tend to be quite accurate. But that doesn’t mean they shouldn’t be questioned and, if need be, changed from time to time.
Here’s the problem I have with the breakfast cliché. This passionate belief in that breakfast is the most important meal of the day has led to people believing as long as they have something for a breakfast they are fine. So they don’t worry that the refined cereal they are eating is covered in sugar, or that the white bread that they are guzzling down is packing a serious amount of saturated fat. According to our cliché they are fine. They make sure they get some breakfast and then they don’t have to worry about it for the rest of the day.
Research on this subject is quite telling and that is down to one quite obvious reason. That reason is that the world is more or less split into two separate groups: those people who never miss breakfast and those who can’t remember the last time they had it. Lunch and dinner are far more universal than that. The general rule of thumb has always been that healthier people eat breakfast. Not only that, they tend to be the more energetic, productive and positive people to be around. But as always there are new theories popping up everyday. The question being is it better to just skip breakfast, or eat a breakfast that is nutritionally poor? The obvious answer is to try and avoid both.
Let’s start with high-sugar cereals. You think that you are full and ready to tackle the day ahead because the refined carbs have just succeeded in spiking your blood sugar levels. Trust me, by the time your body has corrected that in the next hour or so you will be reaching for that mid-morning snack. The point being that you are usually hungriest at breakfast. Therefore you need something that is going to fill you up and carry you all the way through to your next meal.
This doesn’t mean you should avoid all cereals. You want to stay away from the ones with high levels of sugar though. Instead you want to be looking for protein and fibre that will help keep you feeling fuller for longer. Step up Mr Oat. Oats, oatmeal, porridge, whatever you call it and however you eat it, it doesn’t really matter. They are high in fibre, making sure you stay full throughout the morning. Just remember to control portion sizes though, you need to be getting the nutrients required for the start of the day, not filling yourself so full that you don’t eat again until the end of the day!
Obviously there are lots of other foods you should be eating for breakfast. Nuts and berries are great at providing you with essential macros, like fats and proteins, while also taking care of a lot of the important micros that might otherwise be forgotten.
You don’t have to eat the same thing every morning but do try and eat something to start the day off well. So yes, breakfast is the most important meal of the day – meaning it is also the most important one to get right!