Breakfast is one of the most important meals because, after the hours asleep without eating, we need energy in order to face a new day but many of us forget about it. Dr. Anna Villarini, a nutritional biologist, indicates the guidelines for a healthy, balanced breakfast. It’s important to eat breakfast and make it a balanced meal, to avoid compromising our health, our performance at work, in school or in sports activities. In fact, if we skip breakfast or eat a meal too rich in fats and sugars, we become irritable, listless and tired. Beginning the day with a breakfast rich in simple sugars or fatty foods with refined flour rapidly raises our glycemia. This causes us to release a lot of insulin (the hormone produced by the pancreas to make our cells absorb the sugar circulating in our blood) and, in the course of about an hour, our sugar levels will drop and we will be hungry again. It is good to have breakfast and sometimes even a morning snack, but eating too often and too sweet or too salty snacks will only make us put on weight.
A false belief is that skipping breakfast is good for losing weight or staying slim. Research shows that it is the exact opposite. In fact, those who eat breakfast better control their weight than those who don’t. The first study dates back to 1992, in which, with the same number of calories consumed over the course of the day, those who ate breakfast lost more weight as compared to those who did not. The researchers concluded that eating breakfast helps reduce impulsive hunger pangs later in the day and maintains a higher basic metabolism (i.e. the consumption of energy during rest).
A nutritious and balanced breakfast helps to reawaken and keep the body’s metabolism high and maintain or improve overall health, so don’t overlook it! But what do those who have breakfast normally eat? French toast, preserves, sweetened yoghurts, cappuccino and pastries, coffee, biscuits, sweetened cereals, honey, chocolate, eggs, bacon, cured meats, cheeses, smoked fish and more. All you have to do is read the ingredients on the packets to see that this is not the best way to start the day. These foods have a high glycaemic index (both sweets and cornflakes), containing too much sugar, saturated fats or salts which actually damage our health rather than protect it.