Breakfast Know-how

After a night’s sleep your blood sugar levels will be low. If you skip breakfast your body will crave something sweet and you'll probably end up snacking. So a nutritious morning meal will give your metabolism a kick-start, with no temptation to snack your way through the morning. Studies show that eating a healthy breakfast will make you more alert and gives you better mental and physical performance during the day.

Get in the Habit
You have no excuse. If you're too busy in the morning, prepare as much as you can the night before. If you can't stomach anything first thing try just a glass of pure, unsweetened fruit juice, a banana, yoghurt or slice of toast. Get into the habit of trying different dishes at breakfast - and enjoy it!

Cereals
Many breakfast cereals should be treated with caution due to the high sugar content! Porridge oats are probably the best low sugar, low fat and low GI breakfast cereal you can have. Also muesli with no added sugar or salt is a good choice, or a high fibre cereal such as Weetabix or Shredded Wheat with semi skimmed or skimmed milk. You can add some fresh fruit - a sliced banana or dried apricots - to add natural sweetness and help you resist the sugar.

Fresh Fruit
Fresh fruit will provide a slow release of energy and also give you a healthy top up of vitamins and minerals. Peel and slice a few of your favourite fruits and top with a spoonful of Greek or natural low fat yoghurt if desired. Or, if you've got a blender, pop fruit in with the yoghurt and make a delicious fresh smoothie.

Eggs & Soldiers
Eggs are an excellent source of nutrients, are relatively low in calories (75kcals each if boiled/poached) and contain very little saturated fat. Use wholemeal toast for the 'soldiers' and use a low fat spread.

Something on Toast
Avoid the calorie-laden jam, honey or marmalade! Opt for scrambled or poached eggs, cooked tomatoes, cooked mushrooms, low sugar baked beans, or even Marmite.

Full English
You don't have to miss out on your traditional Sunday breakfast. There's nothing wrong with a cooked breakfast as long as it's a "grill up", not a "fry up" - fried foods hold the fat! Lean bacon and sausage are good sources of protein. Eggs contain iron and calcium - poach or scramble. Add some low-sugar, low-salt baked beans and a grilled tomato. Accompany with some toasted wholemeal bread and a glass of unsweetened fruit juice.

Six reasons why you should eat breakfast
1 If you want to lose weight, skipping breakfast doesn’t help. Eating a breakfast will kick-start your metabolism. A sluggish metabolism will cause your body to store more fat.

2 No breakfast means that you will be hungry later in the morning, especially around that crucial coffee break time. This is when you are more likely to snack on sugary or high fat snacks, such as chocolate, biscuits, or pastries before lunch.

3 When you wake up, your body hasn't had food for several hours and your blood sugars are low. Breakfast provides the energy we need to face the day. Research shows that eating first thing in the morning helps to stabilise blood sugar levels, which control appetite and energy for the rest of the day.

4 Missing out on breakfast can lead to tiredness, lack of concentration and poor performance at work or school.

5 A good, healthy breakfast will provide us with essential vitamins and minerals – IRON from fortified cereals, VITAMIN C from fruit & fruit juice, CALCIUM from milk, bread & cereals, VITAMIN D from eggs, cereals & milk, VITAMIN A from fruit, and VITAMIN Bs from fruit & wholegrain.

6 Research shows that people who eat a regular breakfast are less likely to be hungry during the rest of the day and are, therefore, less likely to overeat and put on weight for the long term.

 

FRY-UP VERSUS A GRILL
Fry-up - 750 calories Grilled - 385 calories
1 fried rasher (25g) back bacon 1 grilled rasher (25g) back bacon
100g baked beans (normal) 100g baked beans (low sugar)
1 fried tomato 1 grilled tomato
1 fried eggs 1 poached egg
1 slice of fried bread 1 slice of wholemeal toast

 

SUGAR & SALT CONTENT IN SOME CEREALS
AVERAGE PORTION 30-40g SUGAR PER 100g SALT PER 100g
Porridge Oats 1g Trace
Shredded Wheat 1g Trace
Weetabix 4g 0.68g
Cornflakes 8g 1.75g
Muesli (no added sugar) 10g 0.25g
Muesli (less than 3% fat) 31g 0.10g
Rice Krispies 10g 1.65g
Special K 17g 2.15g
Special K (with Red Berries) 23g 1.90g
Bran Flakes 22g 2.00g
Fruit & Fibre 25g 1.50g
Sultana Bran 33g 1.75g
Sugar Puffs 35g Trace
Crunchy Nut Cornflakes 35g 1.15g
Coco Pops 37g 1.15g
Frosties 37g 1.15g