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What You Need To Know About Having Your Breakfast What You Need To Know About Having Your Breakfast

Researchers suggest that eating five to six small frequent meals in a day is important; in order to maintain a healthy body metabolism, maintain weight and also regulate cholesterol and insulin levels. Hence to maintain a gap of two hours between each meal it is essential that one should start the day with breakfast on time and end with supper on time. It is suggested that ideal time to have breakfast should not be more than 8-10 hours after your prior day′s dinner.
Why is it important to have breakfast?
To understand the importance of having breakfast, we need to understand our brain. We know that brain is a vital organ in the human body and has supreme control over all regulatory and metabolic processes of the body. The brain does not store energy and depends upon a constant supply of glucose from the bloodstream. The glucose is provided after breakdown of a balanced meal comprising of carbohydrates, proteins and fat in the digestive tract.
Hence, after a gap of 8-10 hours breakfast is first meal the brain requires to kick start its processes. If deprived there will be no fuel to carry out its functions and also depleted energy in the muscle to carry out physical activity. Therefore, it is important to boost the morning metabolism with a healthy meal or drag through the day sluggishly.
What comprises of a healthy breakfast?
Breakfast should be Light and easy to digest to avoid feeling sloppy through the day.
Carbohydrates or cereals are providing good supply of glucose (sugars) to the body. It is wise to consume high fiber cereals in the morning as they are slower to digest and hence provide constant supply of energy until lunch time.
Whole wheat/ multi grain breads, chapatti, Dalia, Poha, Oatmeal, Wheat flakes are cereals rich in fiber. Fiber provides stomach satiety and maintains appetite until lunch time. Also the constant slow release of sugars to the brain ensures steady energy levels.
Proteins trigger the production of amino acid Tryptophan in the brain. This keeps the brain alert and functioning steady. Protein along with high fiber also provides longer satiety and helps reduce hunger pangs.
Include boiled eggs, cottage cheese or low fat cheese, skimmed milk along with cereals.
Oils, Butter, Ghee will make a meal heavy and difficult to digest. It is advised to avoid fried foods like parathas, poories, patties, samosa and kachories etc in the morning.
Fruits and Fresh fruit/vegetable juices provide easy to digest sugars (fructose) and should be included in the morning. Besides instant energy these are rich sources of vitamins.
Dry Fruits/Nuts/Seeds like almonds, walnuts, raisins are good sources of Heart Healthy fats, proteins and minerals. Hence a handful of these along with breakfast or in your bowl of cereal or even as mid morning snack are advised. Besides providing energy they also ensure stomach fullness and may prevent acidity or hunger pangs.
What to avoid eating in the morning?
It is advised to avoid sugary cereals, sweets, pastries, fried products in the morning meal. If  you have to rush to work, or sending of children to school eating any of these above will cause sudden highs and crash in sugar levels. Such fluctuations lead to hunger pangs, mind fuzziness and even fatigue before lunch time. On tends to gobble up junk or eat more for lunch, hence causing afternoon post lunch slump.
It is advised to have low fat, low sugar, fiber rich, and protein breakfast. Eating too much fatty food can lead to obesity, heart disease, stroke and cancer.
If you are trying to lose weight, skipping breakfast doesn′t actually help. This is because of your metabolism. Your metabolic rate is the amount of energy your body uses when you are resting. Breakfast gives your metabolism a kick start. Not eating breakfast will cause your metabolism to be sluggish and you will store more fat.
Eating breakfast also has long term health benefits. It can reduce the risk of obesity, high blood pressure, heart disease and diabetes.
People who eat breakfast have higher energy levels may engage in more physical activity than may people who don′t eat breakfast.
Research has shown that people who eat breakfast consume less dietary cholesterol than do people who don′t eat breakfast.
Breakfast starts the day right. Carbs from the food in your stomach will fire up your feel-good neuron-transmitters such as serotonin. This equips you to handle stress better.
Few Healthy Options for Breakfast:
Vegetable Poha/Dalia/Sevian with curds/lassi/skimmed milk and a fruit
Breakfast cereals/dalia/oatmeal/sevian with skimmed milk and a fruit with few almonds/walnuts/raisins
Whole Wheat Bread cheese/boiled egg sandwiches with fresh fruit juice
Idlis with Vegetable Sambhar/mint chutney (coconut chutney is fattening) and Fresh Fruit Juice/Fruits
Stuffed vegetable rotis with curds/lassi and a fruit
Breakfast On-The-Go:
A banana+handful of dry fruits+fresh fruit juice/milk
Fruit milk shake + a dry toast/rusk
Carry in a Zip Pouch: a mix of corn flakes+wheat bran flakes+raisins+almonds. Enjoy it as it is while on the move or have with a cup of milk after reaching work. Carry a fruit along. You may also add skimmed milk powder to this mixture and just add warm water to it.
Quick Cooking Options/Recipes:
Reheat one slice of left over pizza and have along with a fiber rich fruit like an Apple/Guava/Pear.
Make your vegetable sandwiches a night before, cling wrap them and leave in the refrigerator. Have a cold sandwich in the morning with a cup of hot milk or milk shake. To make an easy interesting vegetable sandwich, grate veggies of your choice like carrots, capsicum, lettuce, cucumber. Mix these with curd dip or a little cheese spread, or grated paneer/cheese/boiled egg/shredded chicken/salami. Fill up between two slices of brown bread and cling wrap tightly. If refrigerated properly it won’t spoil. Do not heat, should be consumed straight from the fridge.
Idlis and Dhoklas can be prepared a day or two in advanced. Can be reheated and tossed up with a few vegetables and enjoyed in the morning with a cup of Hot Milk.
Dinner Left over vegetables like Alloo gobhi, mix veges, and soya chunks, Rajmah or channas can be used as cutlets. Mash them up well, and mix in a slice or two of bread. Spice it up according to your taste. Mix the mash well with hands, make in to small flat balls and fluff up well with regular ′Atta′. On a non stick pan heat these cutlets with a drop of oil. Cook slowly to ensure even browning and avoid breaking the ′tikkis′. Cool them and leave in the refrigerator. Morning just reheat them in oven or pan and enjoy with a toast and mint chutney.
Nutritional Facts you should know:
Soy milk is a healthier option than dairy as it is very high on proteins and calcium and is low fat. Regular Soy consumption is known to keep obesity, hormonal, cancer, cardiovascular and diabetes at bay. People with Thyroid malfunction should avoid Soy products.
Egg is rich source of iron, calcium, vitamins and phosphorous. It is a very good source of Choline which is essential for brain tissue development.
The American Dietetic Association says that we should have minimum 5 servings of fruits and Vegetables in a day to maintain overall healthy bodies. A glass of fresh fruit juice constitutes one serving minus the fiber.
Tina Khanna
DD expert


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