“Breakfast is the most important meal of the day”
“Eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince and dinner like a pauper.”
But is this the best advice about breakfast?
A study in 2016 published by the Nutrition Society provided some support, but was viewed by the National Health Service as needing more research.
Research published in the Journal of Nutrition in 2017 would also suggest there’s some truth in it.
A study of 50,000 people found that those who made breakfast their largest meal of the day had a lower Body Mass Index (BMI) than those who ate more later in the day.
So, for those without a weight problem, there’s no real evidence to suggest having a big breakfast is beneficial, but if your weight or waist size is a problem, then having a big breakfast may be of benefit to you in your weight reduction plan, so long as it’s balanced with less food at other mealtimes.
What makes a healthy breakfast?
In England, most café’s and B&Bs will offer you a ‘full English breakfast’. In the other parts of the UK, there are variants, but the English meal is typically: Bacon, sausage, fried eggs, fried potatoes or hash browns, fried tomato, fried mushrooms, and occasionally extras.
Doctor Greger, the author of “How Not to Die” would probably pass out, just thinking about a meal like this… Animal fat, fried/burnt food, eggs, and two types of processed meat!
So a big fry-up like this may not be the healthiest way to start the day.
The US Mayo Clinic suggests these as the basics of a healthy breakfast:
• Whole grains. Examples include whole-grain rolls and bagels, hot or cold whole-grain cereals, whole-grain English muffins, and whole-grain waffles.
• Lean protein. Examples include eggs, lean meat, legumes and nuts.
• Low-fat dairy. Examples include milk, plain or lower sugar yoghurts, and low-fat cheeses, such as cottage cheese and natural cheeses.
• Fruits and vegetables. Examples include fresh or frozen fruits and vegetables, 100 percent juice drinks without added sugar, and fruit and vegetable smoothies.
Together, these food groups provide complex carbohydrates, fibre, protein and a small amount of fat — a combination that packs health benefits and helps you feel full for hours.
If you follow the advice of Doctor Greger, however, you’ll want to skip the animal fat, and the animal protein, so here then are some ideas:
• Porridge Oats
• Muesli (but check that there’s no added sugar!)
• Whole wheat cereal (with no added sugar!)
Whatever you choose of these, make it with soya milk, and top it with three tablespoons of flaxseeds and a pinch of turmeric, as well as some fruit.
And don’t be tempted to sweeten it with sugar, honey or syrup!
This way, you’ll start the day with a good supply of fibre, protein, slow-release carbs, vitamins and minerals.
What do I have for breakfast?
I’ll normally have porridge oats or muesli, but I must confess that I occasionally treat myself to whole grain toast, with unsweetened peanut butter, and a little bit of blackcurrant or blueberry jam for flavour. When I do, I’ll generally have a small portion of muesli with my flaxseed and turmeric as a side dish, topped with some fruit.
Nutrition Society article: https://www.cambridge.org/core/journals/proceedings-of-the-nutrition-society/article/chrononutrition-a-review-of-current-evidence-from-observational-studies-on-global-trends-in-timeofday-of-energy-intake-and-its-association-with-obesity/BBE3272849F542FE3FEC45458E061D75
Link to my post “How Not to Die”