How many times have you heard breakfast is the most important meal of the day?
The word breakfast obviously can be broken down into two words that really explains why it is so important. Break and fast. Yes, you are actually breaking a fast. The fast is from not eating all night while you sleep. When we fast (overnight) our blood glucose levels drop (energy) and the stress hormone Cortisol is at its peak to offset the drop in blood glucose.
Why is this bad? When Cortisol is released, it causes the breakdown of muscle protein and fat. That is bad enough, but if this peak level isn’t lowered, it will produce a prolonged breakdown of muscle protein which will result is fat storage. Chronically elevated levels of Cortisol can lead to obesity, Type 2 diabetes and coronary heart disease. So not only will you lose muscle, you will also store fat which can result in medical disorders.
What are the benefits of eating breakfast? Diet! Seventy eight percent of successful dieters, those who lost 10% of their weight and kept it off for two or more years, ate breakfast every day! Breakfast is the most satiating and satisfying meal of the day. In other words, it can have an impact on the food consumed throughout the day. It will release hormones that can control your appetite by lowering the cortisol levels stated earlier.
Another positive effect of eating breakfast is it can improve our cognitive function during the day. Carbohydrates increase our blood glucose levels, thus giving our body the ability to concentrate and perform mental tasks.
So what should we eat for breakfast to get these benefits? You need to eat something that provides carbs, fiber and some protein.
Below is a list of the main foods to include in breakfast:
1. Oatmeal – Oatmeal contains 4g of fiber that has been shown to lower cholesterol when eaten regularly. It is also rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which is a good fat our body needs, and has 5g of protein.
2. Greek Yogurt – Loaded with calcium and plenty of protein. This will keep you feeling full throughout the morning
3. Grapefruit – Eating half a grapefruit with breakfast can help you lose weight, thanks to the fruits fat-burning properties and its beneficial effect on blood sugar levels. Grapefruit is also hydrating and filling. Pair this with a protein, such as yogurt.
4. Bananas – These provide a healthy carb that keeps you feeling fuller longer. Add to your oatmeal and you won’t need to add any sugar. They also contain potassium which can help lower blood pressure.
5. Eggs – Once given a bad rap about cholesterol, eggs are now considered a healthy source of protein and vitamin D.
These are just a few of the many foods that can be included with breakfast. Fruits (strawberries, blueberries, watermelon,) flax seed, coffee (yes!) and tea, cranberry juice, whole wheat bread… the list goes on.
The important thing is to eat a healthy breakfast to help lose weight and prevent some serious health issues.