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The power of breakfast

Discussion in 'Food Forum' started by Washington D.C., Sep 5, 2004.

  1. Washington D.C.

    Washington D.C.

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    Woestyn Kusdorp
    Breakfast is the most important meal of the day – so why is it then that nearly a quarter of us rush out of the door with no breakfast at all.

    Many people are short of time in the morning and know they can catch up with a coffee and snack when they get to work. Breakfast breaks the night’s fast and as your body has probably had no food for 12 hours, that is just what it needs. Having not had food for a long period, your blood sugar levels are low. If you attempt to get through a busy morning without replenishing them, you may suffer symptoms such as headache, weakness, and reduced brain power.

    If you miss breakfast, around mid to late morning your body starts to need glucose fast. If you body is saying, give me food, it is a very difficult message to ignore; and there is a great temptation to pounce upon anything that is going – a bar of chocolate or a donut, for example.

    Breakfast is an ideal time to give your body good, healthy nutrients and boost your Vitamin C intake. Try to make it your first goal of the day to give your body a healthy start. It is a good idea to start the day with complex carbohydrates that slowly release energy throughout the morning. A bowl of porridge is an excellent breakfast cereal because the naturally occurring oat bran is not removed during processing. The gummy fibre lowers blood cholesterol levels and the oats are rich in vitamins and minerals. A great source of energy to start your day.

    Shredded wheat is a good source of fibre that prevents constipation and lowers the risk of heart disease.

    Cereals are good for you and can keep hunger at bay for most of the morning. Recently, some breakfast cereals have been attacked by the Food Commission for being nutritionally no better than chocolate chip cookies. So, when you buy a breakfast cereal, check the sugar content! I recently noticed that my son’s favourite breakfast cereal contained 30 percent sugar. So, try to take time to read the labels.

    Low fat yoghurt or skimmed milk with cereal can provide important calcium. Breakfast should include a mix of carbohydrates. E.g. Wholemeal toast or cereal, and sugar in the form of fresh fruit juice. A little fat should be included as it helps keep hunger at bay and regulates blood sugar levels. So a little butter, which contains Vitamin E, is the answer. It is probably better to have a banana or honey on toast rather than sugary jam, which is quickly digested.

    Tea and coffee in moderate amounts are good antioxidants, as well as being stimulants. And the good news is that they are virtually calorie free, provided you don’t load them with sugar!

    There is an old saying –
    “Eat breakfast like a King, eat lunch like a Lord, eat supper like a poor man.”

    Enjoy your breakfast!

    Diet Diary
    People who are serious about losing weight should keep a food diary. Recent studies have shown that those who continue to record every bite in a logbook, even after they've attained their weight goal, are the most successful in keeping that weight off. They often develop better behaviour patterns and learn how to make good choices by focusing on their eating habits. An added boon is that diary keepers seem to lose more weight over a given time than on-again-off-again dieters.

    Proper Push-Ups
    Push-ups not only develop your pectoral muscles, but also help build your deltoids and triceps. To perform a push-up properly, lie face down with your feet resting on your toes. Your hands should be palm-down next to your chest with your fingers pointing forward. Slowly push your body up with your arms, keeping your entire body straight. When you almost reach the top, pause and then start to descend before your elbows lock. Slowly lower back to the starting position. Make sure not to bend your back and be sure to talk to your doctor before you start any exercise regimen if you are overweight.

    Letters
    I am 27 years old, unmarried, height 175 cms, weight 55 kg. I read in the Tabloid that the normal BMI range is 20 – 25. My BMI is less than 20. I go running for half an hour every morning and evening. I drink plenty of water and I sleep 6 hours a night. If my weight is too low, what should I do to increase it? Please give me some advice.

    My daily diet consists of a sandwich for breakfast, 3 chappathis and a little rice for lunch, and 200 gm of salad and 2 chappathis for supper. I eat meat once a week, and I do not drink tea or coffee, or smoke. Michael G.K.

    Your BMI is 17, but that is not unhealthy. You are one of those people who are naturally slim. I think you should try to include more fruit in your diet as well as more whole grains – such as whole grain bread, and porridge. You should also include more calcium in the form of milk or yoghurt. You could also eat more rice or pasta to give you energy as you lead a very busy life. Make sure you drink at least 2 litres of water a day. Congratulations on taking plenty of exercise.