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Family Health 


The Importance of Breakfast

 

It often amazes me how people take better care of their cars than their bodies. I have yet to meet a person who said, “God has a plan as to when my car should ‘die’ and I do not need to worry about it. I don’t need to check or change the oil, or perform any routine maintenance. And I don’t need to worry about the type of gasoline I use.” We recognize the necessity of proper care to get the longest life and best performance out of our automobiles. When will we realize that proper care also gives our bodies the longest life and best performance?

Today, a wealth of scientific research has confirmed that most of the leading causes of death and chronic diseases are preventable. We have been talking about the lifestyle factors that will help us improve our health. Adding breakfast to your eating pattern is a major step to improving your lifestyle. Well, why bother with breakfast? Food is fuel. Many studies have emphasized the importance of breakfast. If you want to make the most of your day, fuel your body early with the right stuff.

    

 

ONE STEP AT A TIME: WHAT TO DO

 

THE IMPORTANCE OF BREAKFAST

  

Other studies have even linked healthy breakfasts with less chronic disease, increased longevity and better health. Starting your day with a good breakfast boosts your energy, increases your attention span, and heightens your sense of well-being. You’ll be in better control of your emotions. A good breakfast is one that provides at least one third of the day’s calories.

  

Most people give a variety of reasons for not eating breakfast. A common reason is that they are not hungry in the morning, which is a result of eating a full meal late in the evening or late snacking. When they go to bed, the body is still busy digesting all that food. Digestion then goes into a slower gear during the hours of sleep and there is still food in the stomach in the morning. The stomach needs a rest too. A tired stomach does not feel like digesting a big breakfast. When you get up in the morning, your glucose or blood sugar level is at its lowest point in the day. Glucose is the basic fuel for the brain and central nervous system. A good breakfast will keep you from being tired and irritable by mid-morning.

The effects of a skipped breakfast are short attention span, lack of alertness, longer reaction time, low blood sugar, decreased work productivity. Surely, breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Take time to eat a large, balanced breakfast. It’s a good investment of your time. Once you get into the habit of eating breakfast, you may feel hungry in the morning.

 

APPLICATION: HOW TO DO IT

Breakfast is a great way to get more fiber into your diet. Plan wisely for a healthy breakfast. Many prepared cereals have added refined sugar, often hidden. Read labels carefully to select cereals prepared without excessive sugar, salt, fat, and additives.

 

What’s your excuse for not eating breakfast?

•  “No time?” How much time does it take to eat a bowl of cereal? Make toast and eat it on your way to work. Make your breakfast the night before. Making time for breakfast is making time to be healthy.

•  “Not hungry?” To get started, don’t eat anything after an early supper. Finish supper by 6:30 p.m.

•  “Might gain weight?” Eating breakfast will actually help you reach and maintain your healthy weight. Your appetite will be satisfied longer. You’ll be eating food when you can best burn the calories. You’ll feel great. Eat breakfast.

•  You “don’t like breakfast foods?” You don’t have to eat traditional breakfast foods. You can eat leftovers, or a sandwich. Any healthy food is fine. Caffeine may mask hunger.

•  You “don’t like eating breakfast?” It is in your best interest to eat breakfast. Take the step. Do the right thing. Eat breakfast.

 

 

Simple, easy ways to add Breakfast:

•  Start Small. If your not a breakfast eater, begin with whole wheat toast and/or a piece of fruit. In a few days, add more food.

•  Choose Fruit for Breakfast. Fruit gives you fiber. Fresh fruit is the best choice. There are many to choose from: oranges, grapefruits, apples, bananas, grapes, kiwis, mangos, melons, berries. Eat two servings of fruit every morning. Canned fruit packed in juice is also a good choice. Add dried fruit to your cereal.

•  Eat High Fiber Hot Cereal. Hot cereal is the best choice, but there are several brands of cold cereal on the market that are high in fiber and low in sugar. Oatmeal is a favorite hot cereal. Try a seven grain cereal and experiment with different grains such as millet, brown rice, quinoa, corn grits for a variety. Try cooking grains in a crock pot overnight and it’s already the next morning. Or cook up a large batch and re-heat the next day. Make your own granola. Add a high fiber cereal to your favorite low fiber cereal. Gradually increase the amount of the high fiber cereal and decrease the amount of the low fiber cereal. For example, if you like cornflakes, add Wheat Chex to the cornflakes. Each morning add a little more Wheat Chex and a little less Cornflakes.

•  Choose Whole Grain Bread. Eat two slices of toast in the morning or a whole grain bagel. Spread with fruit spread or applesauce or your favorite nut butter.

•  Make Healthy Pancakes or Waffles. Have you ever considered topping your pancakes or waffles with fruit?

•  Instead of scramble eggs try scrambled tofu. You’re in for a great surprise.

•  The sky’s the limit. The only limitation is your imagination. Make it a priority. Eat breakfast.

 

CHOOSE:

High fiber, ready to eat cereals and whole grain breads.

--Choose a cereal with at least 3-5 grams of fiber per serving.

--Choose cereal that have 5 grams or less of sugar per serving.

Remember 4 grams of sugar=1 teaspoon.

--Choose bread with at least 2 grams of dietary fiber per slice.

 

 

YOUR CHALLENGE: YOU CAN DO IT!!

Try this simple experiment. Eat one or two servings of fresh fruit every morning for the next three weeks. Eat as many different kinds as you can find.

 

And remember, Health is by Choice...not by chance! The choice is yours. You don’t have to be a statistic. By adopting a better diet and wiser lifestyle habits, you can live longer, feel better, and enjoy a healthier, more productive life.

 

 

~*~

Nancy Schmieder works with the Better Living Ministries in Wayland , NY as a Certified Lifestyle Consultant and Specialist. The Better Living Ministries is a Community Resource for Lifestyle Education and Support. Health by Choice is a practical, simple journey on how to incorporate healthy habits into your lifestyle. Nancy is a Mother of five and she lives with her family in Springwater , NY . Her e-mail address is n.schmieder@frontiernet.net

 

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