Let’s big up breakfast…

Baked beans on wholewheat toast

With World Diabetes Day approaching, I thought it was timely to talk about breakfast.

Baked beans on wholewheat toastWhy? What’s breakfast got to do with diabetes? Well, plenty actually.

How if I told you that a study from the University of Bath found that people who eat breakfast burn more calories throughout the day and have better blood sugar control than those who skip breakfast?

Or that another study, from the University of Minnesota School of Public Health, found that people who eat breakfast everyday are 34% less likely to develop type 2 diabetes than those who don’t. They are also 43% less likely to become obese and 40% less likely to develop fat around their middle.

And a further University of Missouri-Columbia study indicated that young people who eat a protein-rich breakfast are less likely to indulge in unhealthy snacking later in the day.

So, have I convinced you yet?

What is a healthy breakfast?

There’s such a lot of conflicting information out there it can make your head spin. Is cereal too sugary? Is bread bad for me? Should I eat eggs or not?

A healthy breakfast is about eating foods that give a slow and gradual release of energy and keep you feeling fuller for longer.

So while it may seem quick and easy to pour out a bowl of sugary cereal or put a couple of slices of white bread in the toaster and cover them with jam, you’re giving your body a massive hit of quick-releasing energy because the foods are high GI (Glycemic Index).

Which is fine if you’ve just come back from an extensive and intensive gym workout, long run or bike ride. Other than that what you really need are wholegrains and protein.

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Overnight breakfast oats with raspberries in a mason jarHere are some ideas for a healthy start to the day:

  • Poached egg or scrambled egg on wholemeal toast.
  • Porridge made with milk or non-dairy milk and some fruit like a banana, blueberries, an apple, and maybe a sprinkling of seeds.
  • Eggy bread.
  • Baked beans on wholemeal toast.
  • Overnight oats – there’s a recipe link below, they’re delicious.
  • Wholenut peanut butter with a sliced banana on Ryvita or a rice cake – you can wrap this up and eat on your way to work or at your desk.
  • Thick Greek-style yoghurt or Skyr (an Icelandic cultured dairy product) with some fresh fruit and a few nuts or seeds.

Keep on moving…

As well as eating a healthy breakfast (and lunch and evening meal!) don’t forget about exercise. Being active can help you lose weight. It increases the amount of glucose your muscles use for energy, so it may sometimes lower blood glucose levels.

If you are diabetic, excercise also helps your body to use insulin more efficiently, and regular activity can help reduce the amount of insulin you have to take.

So celebrate today by eating a healthy breakfast and spending some time in the great outdoors.

Find out more…

About Susan Hart

I am a Nottingham-based nutritional coach, advising clients about the benefits of healthy eating. This is delivered on an individual, group or organisational wide basis. For clients wishing to stay healthy and possibly lose weight I offer vegan and vegetarian cookery classes. I also deliver wellbeing workshops at Maggie’s Cancer Support Centre at the City Hospital in Nottingham. As a vegetarian chef I also write a monthly restaurant review for the Nottingham Post, and regularly write for the West Bridgford Wire. I just love talking about and eating food!