Whether health buffs or not, we all were brought up with the notion that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, simply because after the over night fast, your body needs to refuel and energise for the day. And so we eat and eat to ensure we are properly loaded to carry the day.
A lot of us are still working with what our mothers termed healthy…recipes that have been passed down from generation to generation.
With the rising cases of obesity and a more sedentary lifestyle, a lot of us are engaged in weightloss activities. Businesses have moved with this trend and are tailoring their products and advertising to rope in this demographic with promises of healthy food. But…are they healthy, though?
Here, we have compiled a list of those breakfast meals that should be avoided if on a weight-loss plan. This list is applicable to all members of the family;
White Bread, Waffles and Pancakes:
these have become a favorite breakfast option at most Nigerian eateries and homes. Whether you make your own batter or use the store bought ones, they don’t offer a balanced breakfast. They are made with white flour and highly heavy on the simple carbs (where much of the goodness, especially the fiber, is removed), have a high-glycemic index which make them digestable quickly heralding hunger pangs faster. Since they are usually taken with a variety of toppings, they could actually qualify as dessert. Waffles or pancakes from a packet or made from instant mixes are usually made with refined flours. Unfortunately, refined flour is a simple carb They foods too, making them doubly problematic. It may be a better idea to make your wholegrain version from scratch or create your own premix and store it in the refrigerator to use when you need to. This wholegrain version with bran and germ in it is associated with lowered risk of heart problems.
Processed Juice and Bottled Smoothies:
this breakfast treat is actually loaded with sugar and relatively low in nutrition (especially highly processed, store-bought varieties). Juice (particularly heat pasteurized fruit juice) in the morning can serve up a high dose of sugar and calories. Also, given that the fruit juice is processed at a higher temperature some of the nutrient value can be lost, too. Bottled or pre-packaged smoothies are often fortified with sugar to make them sweeter. Better to stick with freshly squeezed or blended juice and also make a blend of your own smoothies at home. All you need is a blender and power supply. Mixing up with vegetable juice also adds that extra punch you need to boost weightloss. Since fibre is vital to losing weight, we would advise you eat fruits and veggies as whole and as raw as you possibly can.
separating Nigerians from their beloved yam seems a tough call. However, if you are trying to lose weight; you need to read this. Yam is a simple carb. Simple carbs are great for quick energy and also a sudden rise in blood sugar levels and insulin secretion as well. So, eating it first thing in the morning when a morning of hard work lies ahead of you, whether at home or in the office, is especially bad. What happens is you burn the energy fast, your blood sugar spikes, you end up feeling low on energy causing you to want to eat more. If you absolutely have to eat yam, a slice accompanied with tons of veggies and proteins is your best bet.
a lot of homes with children usually have these in their kitchen cupboards. A lot of the varieties can be very high in added sweeteners. “Shortly after eating sugary cereals energy levels start to crash, causing sugar cravings later. These especially the sugar packed ones; should be avoided if either you or your children are on a weightloss path. Read labels carefully to note those with healthier offerings.
Processed Meats and Fatty Foods:
such as bacon and sausages are delicious no doubt. However, they are packed with nitrates and other preservatives that are linked to a significant increase in the risk of developing colorectal, rectal, and colon cancers. Fatty foods are heavy foods and avoiding heavy foods at breakfast stops you overloading your digestive system which is still warming up from the night rest. Grill or poach your meats instead of frying them and stick to lean meat if you can’t go without them at breakfast. Switch to semi-skimmed or skimmed milk rather than whole fat versions. This should ease heartburn and stomach pain due to overload on the digestive system.
In all these, one thing to remember is that what is the deciding factor is HOW you eat not what you eat. Finding a balance is vital, between what you love to eat, what is healthy and what your goals are.