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05.04.2007 General News

Importance of breakfast

By The Spectator

Breakfast is regarded as the most important meal of the day.

Despite its healthful benefits, breakfast may be the meal that is most often neglected or skipped.

It's been found that eating of breakfast not only aids in weight management, but fuels the body to help provide energy, better concentration and problem solving ability throughout the day.

Research has shown that breakfast skippers often feel tired, restless or irritable in the morning. Children who eat a good breakfast have also been found to perform better in school than those who do not.

Breakfast is the first chance the body has to refuel its glucose levels after 8 to 12 hours without a meal or snack. This glucose is essential for the brain and is its main energy source. The blood glucose also helps fuel the muscles needed for physical activity throughout the day.

When we skip breakfast, the body falls on stored carbohydrates (glycogen) and when this is finished, it converts fat to glucose. This has consequences on our health.

Breakfast helps in weight management by curbing hunger and preventing binge eating later in the day. It's been shown that skipping meals almost always leads to overeating.

The most common reason why people skip breakfast is time. Especially in the urban areas where people have to leave home at dawn so as to avoid the traffic, breakfast is sacrificed.

This should not be so because a simple breakfast can be eaten within 10 minutes and with planning should not make anyone late.

Another excuse why people skip breakfast is dieting to lose weight. No dietician or doctor would advise anyone to skip his/her breakfast because this is counter productive to weight loss.

Weight gain is more a problem of bad food choices and sedentary/ low physical activity lives than eating 3 meals a day as it should be.

Some people are in a dilemma whether to eat a "heavy" breakfast or a "light" one. A "heavy" breakfast can be kenkey, rice, banku or boiled yam and stew.

A "light" one can include coffee, tea, Milo etc. Porridge and oats can be classified either as "heavy" or "light' depending on the individual. None of the options is bad and it all depends on preferences.

Adding a fruit such as banana, orange,apple, pineapple, mango to breakfast would enhance the nutritional quality of the meal.

To summarize, breakfast is very important to everyone and we should do all we can so as to eat it everyday.

Source: The Spectator

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