Is Breakfast The Most Important Meal Of The Day?


"You should eat breakfast cereals" is possibly the most common misconception in today’s society.  Firstly everyone is lead to believe that breakfast is the most important meal of the day.  Although I would dispute the importance of breakfast I cannot dispute the fact that a poorly chosen breakfast can be incredibly detrimental to your health.  By now I do hope you understand a little more easily the in’s and out’s of blood glucose and insulin.  For those that are still unclear; when you eat you increase glucose (sugar) levels in your blood.  Your pancreas must secrete insulin to remove this sugar from your blood and transport it elsewhere in your body such as to your muscle cells.  A problem arises when you eat more refined/higher sugar foods as these induce large spikes in blood sugar levels and require larger amounts of insulin to remove the sugar from your blood.

In addition, when you snack consistently throughout the day you never give your body a chance to recuperate as it must constantly secrete insulin.  This of course will lead to insulin resistance, especially if you are not exercising and in turn type 2 diabetes among an array of other metabolic diseases.

Your typical breakfast cereals are loaded with sugar and an array of other devilish ingredients.  Your typical breakfast will include a bowl of cereal, a slice of toast and maybe a glass of orange juice.  Each and every one of these are basically diabetes and heart disease waiting to happen.  The purpose of your breakfast is to reintroduce you to eating after an overnight fast without highly spiking your blood sugar levels and to provide you with a sustained source of energy until your next meal.  As such, your ideal breakfast will contain a large amounts of fibre and moderate amounts of protein and fat.

 

”Today foods are processed in ways specifically designed to sell us more food by pushing our evolutionary buttons-our inborn preferences for sweetness and fat and salt” (Pollan, 2008).

Most breakfast cereals will make absurd health claims such as they are high in fibre, low in saturated fat, high in vitamin D etc.  Your breakfast cereals are fortified with all these ingredients.  Fortifying food with various vitamins and minerals etc is a questionable method.  Firstly, these foods are NOT healthy.  Regardless of what are added to them they are still loaded with every obesity and disease inducing ingredient you can think of. Secondly, fortifying your food with omega 3′s, vitamin D, and other health promoting ingredients does not mean your are offsetting the problems caused by what you are eating.

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Insane Cereal Health Claim

Also, when you eat real food with health benefits you are getting the benefit from consuming the entire food.  Foods do not work the same when a given vitamin or mineral is extracted, manufactured and put in to another ‘food’.

Remember that for the most part you are not actually consuming food.  You are consuming things that are pretending to be food.  17,000 new food like substances appear on your shelves each year,  These are ‘products constructed largely around commerce and hope, supported by frighteningly little actual knowledge’ (Gussow, 2003).  Foods have been processed for quite some time but today they are processed in ways specifically designed to sell us more food by pushing our evolutionary buttons-our inborn preferences for sweetness and fat and salt (Pollan, 2008). 

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Insane Cereal Health Claim

The health care industry stands to profit immensely with every new case of chronic disease and with every new actual disease that pops up.  As such it makes no sense for legislation to be introduced promoting real food and real eating. Pollen (2008) made a great point in saying that it is easier or more profitable to change a disease of civilisation into a lifestyle than it is to change the way that civilisation eats.  Although unfortunate, that is the harsh reality of the world you live in.

Giving either you or your children these breakfast cereals is setting you both up for a life with diabetes.  It is estimated that 80% of cases of type 2 diabetes could be prevented with diet and exercise (Wild et al. 2004).  We are creating a diabetes industry that is guaranteed to flourish.

 

#1 Almond Oats

Ingredients:  Cereal Grains, Whole Grain Wheat, Rice Flour, Malted Wheat Flour, Maize Flour, Sugar, Almonds, Partially Inverted Brown Sugar Syrup, Barley Malt Extract, Glucose Syrup, Salt, Flavourings: Brown Flavour and Vanillin, Vegetable Oil, Honey, Trisodium Phosphate, Mlat, Dextrose, Annatta.

#2 Coco Pops

Ingredients:  Rice, Sugar, Chocolate, Fat Reduced Cocoa Powder, Salt, Barley Malt Flavouring, Flavouring.

#3 Cookie Crisp

Ingredients: Cereal Grains, Wheat, Maize Semolina, Sugar, Glucose Syrup, Wheat Starch, Vegetable Oil, Fat Reduced Cocoa Powder, Flavouring, Cocoa Powder, Salt, Trisodium Phosphate.

 

The interesting thing to note from the 3 cereals listed above is that the one (Almond Oats that most would consider the ‘healthiest’ is in actual fact the worst.  It has everything but real food in its ingredient list.  More often than not the ‘foods’ with the healthiest names are by far the worst for your waistline and above all your health.

Each of these cereals has a section listing their vitamins and minerals.  Have you ever seen a carrot telling you it slow ageing, it’s anti-carcinogenic or that it improves your vision? That was a rhetorical question.

Good foods don’t have to tell you their health benefits.  Bad foods must invent health benefits, pay for their claims to be legalised and put them in big, bold writing on their boxes.

 

What You Should Eat

#1 Highly fibrous, low glycemic load carbs with a moderate amount of protein

or

#2 A moderate amount of fat with a moderate amount of protein.

 

Examples include;

#1 Nuts/seeds with boiled eggs,

No picture needed surely... its common sense!

#2 Beans such as kidney, pinto, black eyed with eggs and spinach,

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Chickpeas, eggs, spinach, pesto

#3 Oatmeal with Greek yoghurt/protein powder (the second image does a little more for your sweet tooth).

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Oatmeal, Hemp, Pumpkin Seeds

 

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Oatmeal, Fruit, Greek Yoghurt, Nuts

#4 Omelette

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Omelette