“Breakfast like a King, Lunch like a Prince and Dinner like a Pauper”
For many of us, mornings can be hectic, and eating breakfast is not a top priority. Nevertheless, taking the time to eat a healthy breakfast can make a real difference to your day. There are a number of health benefits associated with this including reducing obesity, high blood pressure, heart disease and diabetes.
A recent poll from Optimum Nutrition UK found that the average breakfast of cereal or a slice of toast and a tea or coffee might lead to lethargy, weight gain and inability to concentrate. Those who consumed the most sugar, wheat, salt and caffeine had the lowest energy throughout the day.
What’s the right way to start the day?
Ensure you are having the best breakfast by following these top tips recommended by nutritionists:
- Eaten within two hours of waking up.
- Your breakfast should provide calories in the range of 20-30% of your guideline daily allowance (GDA). As a guide, this is approx 2000kcal for women and 2550kcal for men per day.
- A healthy breakfast is all about getting the right balance. You should include foods from at least three of the following groups, protein, fruits, whole grains or vegetables.
- Aim for your breakfast to be about 25% protein, 25% carbohydrates, and 50% vegetables and/fruit.
Here are some examples of healthy choices to try:
- A portion of fruit with plain yoghurt and wholegrain toast.
- Muesli (low added sugar) with yoghurt and chopped nuts and fruit.
- A boiled egg with whole grain soldiers and a piece of fruit.
- Porridge made with water or semi-skimmed milk, topped with nuts, seeds and berries.
A healthy breakfast will provide you with important nutrients including calcium, iron and B vitamins, as well as energy, protein and fibre. It can help you to maintain energy levels and improve concentration and mood; so make sure you get the best possible start to the day.
Click here to work out your BMR (Basal Metabolic Rate). This will give you an estimate of how many calories your body burns a day at rest and can help you monitor calorie intake e.g. you should have at least 25% of these calories for breakfast.