We’ve been told countless of times that “breakfast is the most important meal of the day”. But how many of us have actually lived by this axiom to ensure that our first meal of the day is the best one? After all, surely we’re meant for more than just Pop Tarts in the morning!
Have you ever found yourself wolfing down mouthfuls of sugary, fruit-flavoured breakfast cereal, or ordered a green tea frappe to satisfy your rumbling stomach? If you have, then you’re definitely not alone. But, as you would have guessed, these are the kind of foods that are actually the polar opposite of what’s considered a healthy and nutritious breakfast.
According to nutritionist and naturopath Kate Johnston of Kore Well-Being in Sydney, munching on sugary snacks as substitutes for a healthier breakfast can actually bring adverse health impacts. “Products such as breakfast cereals, breakfast drinks, or even homemade smoothies can fast become a vehicle for huge amounts of sugar and little other nutrition. This sets people up on a rollercoaster of unstable blood sugars leading to things such as fatigue, low mood, brain fog, and sugar cravings,” Johnston explained.
Not convinced? Well, maybe these examples will do the trick. Take a banana bread and green tea smoothie breakfast combo for instance – this adds up to 26 teaspoons of sugar, which is the equivalent of 12 scoops of vanilla ice-cream. For those who enjoy indulging in a big American-style breakfast, you’re likely going to be disappointed to hear that pancakes with syrup and butter, combined with a glass of apple-mango juice, is equivalent to 15 teaspoons of sugar, or about 800 calories. Needless to say, it’s going to take more than just a simple walk in the park to burn off all of those extra calories.
Now you’re probably thinking, “Enough with the fear-mongering. What can I do to have a more nutritious breakfast?” Well, for starters, you’ll need a dash of determination combined with a healthy dose of discipline to help you transform your approach to breakfast. Once you’ve developed the right mindset, you’ll want to drink enough water once you’ve gotten out of bed in the morning, since your body has been dehydrated for the entire period that you were asleep.
After you’ve quenched your thirst, you’re probably looking to devour a hearty meal to keep your belly filled. You can start by switching your sugary cereals for wholegrain oats for a more sustained release of sugar into your bloodstream. But, if you’re looking for something more substantial, then you should endeavour to consume more protein, which aids in slowing the release of glucose into your body while keeping you feeling full for a longer period of time. You can also strive to add some vegetables to your meal – not only will those greens add colour to your plate for an Insta-worthy picture, but they also contain lots of nutrients including dietary fibre and vitamins A, E and C that your body requires.
Sticking to a healthy breakfast diet is going to require some planning ahead, but with enough grit, you’ll be able to ensure that your breakfast is good enough for you. It’s time to prove pop culture wrong – a breakfast can be both tasty and nutritious!