Components of a healthy breakfast
CHARACTERISTICS OF HEALTHY BREAKFASTS
How should a healthy breakfast be?
Breakfast is the most stereotyped meal of the day and in which more dietary errors occur. Currently, many people eat a lot of ultra-processed products, such as sweetened cereals, cold cuts or cookies, which are not advisable for health.
It is a meal of the day that, like all others, can be made up of a wide variety of healthy and nutritious foods. It is necessary to demystify this food and say that there are no specific foods that should be consumed at breakfast, such as toast, cereals, or marmalade.
In addition, highly processed foods should be avoided, a recommendation that also extends to other meals of the day. With proper preparation and planning, breakfast can once again become a healthy meal.
How is a good breakfast?
Some breakfast options
First of all, it is not necessary to have a lot of breakfast right when you get up, a full breakfast can be taken during the morning.
One of the most common mistakes at breakfast is eating too much sugar, especially when many sugar-rich processed foods are consumed: cookies, sugary cereals, pastries, flavored yogurts, jams, industrial sugar-free nectars or other industrial sweets.
Many times these foods are the most common or quick options to prepare, but not the most appropriate.
- In breakfasts, it is recommended to avoid products with added sugar (cereals with sugar or honey, chocolate milk, chocolates, pastries, cookies, etc.), both in people with obesity, as in normal weight or in children.
How many calories should breakfast have?
In a healthy diet, in addition to consuming natural foods, it is important to maintain an energy balance between exercise, age and food intake. According to official recommendations, breakfast should contribute approximately 25% of the daily energy, therefore:
- In a diet of 2,000 calories (kcal), breakfast should contribute approximately 500 calories (kcal)
- In a diet of 1,800 calories, breakfast should provide about 450 calories
- On a 1,500-calorie diet, breakfast should provide about 375 calories
How to fill the energy contribution of breakfast?
As important as the energy balance is the quality of the calories consumed. These calories should come from natural foods, where they come with a balanced content of carbohydrates, fiber, fats and proteins.
For example, taking a substitute shake with 30 grams of sugar would greatly increase the levels of insulin in the blood. As a side effect, this hormone, which controls blood sugar, increases the production of body fat (the body removes sugar from the blood and stores it in fat). Therefore eating ultraprocessed at breakfast not only produces a hyperglycemia and peak insulin, but also produces increased body fat. On the other hand, it will be a very little nutritious option.
In contrast, the same amount of carbohydrate ingested through a few flakes of oatmeal, a yogurt and a fruit, does not trigger insulin as much and its physiological effect is much better, besides its nutritional value, its satiating effect and its impact on the improvement of the intestinal flora.
What ingredients should healthy breakfast have?
There are endless options for healthy breakfast using natural foods, such as eggs, vegetables, brown rice, fruits, …
Let’s see the components of a good breakfast. The official recommendations always indicate that breakfast should contain cereals, fruits and dairy products (or substitutes such as vegetable drinks enriched in calcium). If these food groups are used, it is not recommended to add sugar, such as milk with cocoa, nectars or sweetened cereals.
In addition, there are many other options, since you can make a healthy breakfast by combining other foods such as fruits, nuts and cereals, bread, oats (is very traditional porridge), egg, avocado, or a variety of foods, mentioned continuation. There are no exclusive foods at breakfast!
* Related information:
Characteristics of nutrients
More information on nutrition.
27 June, 2021