Your mum was right – you should eat your breakfast. But why, and what type?
A hearty breakfast to start the day not only gives your body energy but fuels your mind, setting you up for better concentration and decisionmaking. This first meal also stabilises your blood sugar levels, helping you curb hunger throughout the day.
Think you can cut calories by skipping it? You just might end up sabotaging yourself. Research has shown that breakfast-skippers tend to crave fat and sugar as the hours go by, which can lead to binge eating. It’s no wonder breakfast is commonly linked to weight control, and can even aid weight loss with the right food choices. Need ideas? Recommended options include oatmeal, which is gluten-free and full of antioxidants; Greek yoghurt, which is full of protein and a great source of probiotics; or eggs, which are also packed with protein and nutrients like vitamin D. Love fruit? A banana and some grapefruit or berries would make a morning combo any nutritionist would approve of.
Some have said that whether or not you have an appetite, it’s vital to eat breakfast within an hour of waking up to kick-start your metabolism. However, since our metabolic rate still hums along in the morning, there really isn’t any hard and fast rule. Just remember that it’s important to eat the right foods to get the most out of the first meal of the day and start your day on a good note.
Breakfast of Champions
We tell you to have a healthy breakfast, but how do ours match up? Ms Angena Teo, Senior Dietitian at the Dietetic & Food Services of Changi General Hospital, comments on our everyday choices.
“Eggs provide a good source of protein and help you to stay full till lunch. Having fruit in the morning is a good idea as it gives you a head start to eating your two servings of fruit a day. Also, bananas provide fibre, vitamins and minerals. For those who are concerned about cholesterol, have just one egg.”
“Greek yoghurt is higher in protein than other kinds of yoghurt. Choose one that is low in fat. When combined with fresh fruit, this makes a great breakfast.”
Add a handful or two of chia seeds or flaxseeds to the mix and you’ll also get lots of fibre.
“Black coffee without sugar would provide minimal or no calories. Nuts provide healthy monounsaturated fats, which are good for heart health.”
Cynthia, Senior Beauty Editor
“Whitemeal bread is actually not a good source of fibre with only about 2g fibre for two slices. Making a sandwich with wholemeal or high fibre white bread would be a better option. Kopi provides excessive sugar, fat and calories from condensed milk.” Try reducing your condensed milk a little each week.
Li Yuan, Senior Designer
“This provides protein and carbohydrates to kick-start your day. However, ham and cheese are both high in sodium. Choose one or the other and add vegetables to give your sandwich more nutritional value.”
Lin Kuan, Senior Art Director
“One of the most common quick breakfasts in Singapore is fried noodles, but many people do not know it can contain as much as 400 calories. Try reducing the calories of this meal by having tea with evaporated milk and less sugar. Sharing your fried beehoon or having half the portion helps. Alternatively, steamed chwee kueh with less salted topping and reduced oil can provide variety.”
Cheryl, Editorial Intern
“As processed meat, sausages provide more sodium than protein. A cheese or tuna bun would be a better alternative. Try a healthier drink such as kopi with evaporated milk and less sugar.”
Images 123RF.com Text Adora Wong.