Sunday, April 5, 2009
Go Break that Fast...
"Breakfast is the most important meal of the day."
Cue collective groan. Yes, Mom. We all know. Breakfast is as important as the day is long. This knowledge is so intensely common that nowadays it has almost lost its meaning. Really, in order to perfectly understand the importance of breakfast, it is worth experimenting to see how the body completely fails without it. For example, take a 20-year-old busy female at an Ivy-league institution. Next, take a week - as there so often are - in which this student is lucky to get more than three hours of sleep a night. After such a week, on a morning when this student went to the gym to take a kickboxing class, she almost fainted. Light-headed, dizzy, seeing black and white spots amongst the spandex-clad legs. Of course, not sleeping much, not drinking enough water, and strenuous activity in the morning is not a good combination. But the primary cause for this was the lack of a good morning meal.
So what then is a good breakfast? Obviously, not all breakfasts are created equal - and this article tells us why. Fast food breakfast sandwiches, greasy breakfasts of eggs, bacon, and hash-browns, pastries and donuts, and super sugary cereal are all examples of terrible breakfast foods. They are too rich in fat and/or sugar, and sadly lacking in fiber and protein. Next, there's a bagel and cream cheese, a breakfast bar, or fruits. These are on the "OK" level, because they are mostly healthy except they are lacking several components to make them a complete meal. They lack fiber, protein, or good fats. Alright, so now for the winners, the best foods, the A+ breakfasts. They contain healthy fats, energy-filled carbs, fiber, protein, and a serving of fruit.
1) Oatmeal with berries, a half ounce of nuts, and a glass of orange juice.
2) Peanut butter and banana sandwich on whole-wheat bread, and a glass of skim milk.
3) An egg, boiled or scrambled, and low-fat yogurt with fruit and granola.
This may seem more than you can handle in the morning, but remember, if you consume a considerable number of calories early, you will kickstart your metabolism, have more energy throughout the day, and end up consuming less later on.
Besides, breakfast foods are really the best foods anyway.