Start Your Day with a Healthy BreakfastApr 13, 2011 11:56AM ● By Deepti Sadhwani, MD
Breakfast really is the most important meal of the day. Not only does it give you energy to start a new day, but breakfast is linked to many health benefits, including weight control and improved performance. Breakfast helps you lower your levels of Ghrelin that is your hunger hormone in the morning.
Heart disease and stroke are major killers of both men and women in the United States. There are many risk factors for heart disease. Two important risk factors are excess weight and diabetes.
In a study, researchers found those who ate breakfast were significantly less likely to be obese and develop type 2 diabetes compared to those who did not eat breakfast. Here’s how the factors relate: having diabetes increases the risk of heart disease; being overweight increases the risk of both type 2 diabetes and heart disease; certain lifestyle habits, such as regular exercise and healthful eating, can reduce the risk of all three—overweight, type 2 diabetes, and heart disease. When these findings are put together, they point to breakfast as an essential component to a heart-healthy lifestyle.
How Breakfast Benefits the Heart
One theory is that starting the day with a meal prevents a build-up of hunger and subsequent overeating later in the day, overeating that can lead to weight gain.
Another important theory relates to metabolic syndrome and insulin resistance. This syndrome is a combination of risk factors—large waist circumference, high blood pressure, high fasting levels of blood sugar, high levels of triglycerides, and low levels of the good cholesterol (HDL). Excess body fat prevents insulin from working properly, therefore making the body insulin resistant. Metabolic syndrome can trigger the onset of type 2 diabetes and heart disease.
The good news is that insulin resistance syndrome and some cases of type 2 diabetes can be reversed or prevented through weight loss. Losing weight helps your body’s cells to be more responsive to insulin, and makes it easier to keep blood sugar levels under control.
Healthful Breakfast Options
So what should you eat for breakfast? Try to include some of each nutrient (carbohydrate, protein, and fat). Adding a little lean protein to your breakfast may be just the boost you need to help keep you feeling full until lunchtime. Consider these options
- 3 eggs (2 egg whites & 1 egg with yoke made into an omelet, boiled eggs, or scramble with veggies).
- Homemade smoothie (1 ½ scoop whey protein powder + frozen blueberries + water or greek yogurt).
- Egg white omelet made with spinach, mushrooms & other veggies.
- Slow cooking oatmeal (Arrowhead or McCain’s ) +1 ½ scoop protein powder.
- Low fat cheese stick (mozzarella) if you are not a breakfast person.
- 3 boiled eggs with hummus & coffee.
Deepti Sadhwani, M.D. is located at Quality Health Care in Sebastian. She specializes in fighting obesity, aging and helping people reduce and eliminate the need for medication. For more information call Dr. Sadhwani at 772-581-2373.