by: Erin Figueroa, Nutritionist
What are some healthy breakfasts to start the day and why is it important to eat breakfast?
In order to understand the importance of breakfast, here is a quick overview of blood
When we eat carbohydrates they are broken down into a simple sugar (glucose). Glucose is an important source of energy for our bodies and the primary source for our brains. Excess glucose is stored as glycogen. Once glycogen stores are full, the rest of the extra glucose is stored in fat cells. During a period of fasting, such as overnight, the body converts the glycogen back into glucose when blood glucose (or sugar) levels get low. By morning glycogen stores need to be replenished.
Eating a healthy breakfast is important for many reasons. It replenishes the glycogen stores and sets the tone for the day by stabilizing blood sugar levels. Foods such as doughnuts, white bread, or pastries are converted quickly into sugar causing a spike in blood sugar, followed by a quick decline. Low blood sugar signals to the body that it needs to eat again which leads to overeating through out the day and subsequently weight gain.
Whole grains, fresh or frozen fruits, vegetables are carbohydrates that contain fiber. The fiber takes longer to digest which allows a gradual release of glucose which stabilizes bloods sugar levels. When these carbohydrates are paired with protein and healthy fats, the result is an even slower release of glucose. The result is stable blood sugar levels and a longer feeling of satiety.
A healthy breakfast should include carbohydrates, protein, and a small amount of healthy fats. Examples of a Healthy Breakfast can include: steel cut oatmeal with berries and walnuts, an omelet with veggies and whole grain toast, or plain yogurt with flaxseeds and fruit. Be creative and plan ahead. The key is to remain consistent and the key to consistency is being prepared. If you are busy in the mornings, prepare your breakfast the night before so that you are not tempted by the vending machine or the easily accessible sugar pastries or drive thru restaurant.