For years we’ve been hearing the adage, ‘breakfast is the most important meal of the day’, and this is most definitely true. No matter who you are, where you’re from, or where you are going you have to start the day off right. By looking into self-reported breakfast habits across a number of participants some interesting trends have emerged and there are a couple of ways that many people could improve their breakfast habits.
- You Probably Need to Eat Some More
On average it was found that people generally only consume between 200-300 calories for breakfast every morning. Nutrition experts recommend that you should allocate between a quarter and a third of your daily calories to breakfast. At the lowest recommended daily calorie intake that translates into a minimum of 300 to 375 calories. If you are one of the many people that do not eat enough for breakfast try starting your day of with a balanced meal. This will ensure that you are unlikely to crash and crave unhealthy foods as you approach lunchtime. Nutritionists recommend a breakfast made up of 50% carbs, 30% fat, and 20% protein.
- Your Breakfast Has Too Many Carbs and Not Enough Fat
On average breakfasts tend to consist of ~60% carbs, ~15% fat, ~ 22% protein. Dietary guidelines generally recommend that people should aim to attain ~50% of their calories from carbs, ~30% from fat, and ~20% from protein. Overall that means that people generally tend to be eating too many carbs and not enough fat than is recommended. So, next time you go shopping try to purchase carbs that are high-fibre. Pair these carbs with protein and fat to stay fuller longer and keep you diet balanced.
- There Too Much Added Sugar in Your Food
The breakfast data collected showed that most breakfasts contain about a full tablespoon, or more, of added sugar – roughly 14g. That amount of sugar translates into about 56 calories, or about 21% of breakfast calories. The World Health Organisation recommends less than 10% and a reduction to 5% for added benefits. Ideally women should stay below 24 grams and men below 36 grams of added sugar every day. So the data says that most women are consuming more than half of their daily sugar recommendation with men sitting at about one third. If you are planning at looking critically at your breakfast menu be sure to check labels for “added sugar” – you’ll probably be unpleasantly surprised by the amount of sugar in your diet.
So Here Is a Quick and Simple Balanced Breakfast Guide
- If you enjoy oats: throw in some peanut butter or nuts, use milk instead of water, and add low-sugar fruit such as strawberries.
- If you are a toast person: add some avocado, try some almond butter, and pair with eggs.
- Cereal? Put some over plain yogurt, add nuts or low-sugar fruit. Pair this with a slice of ham or turkey.
If you want to get started on a healthy balanced diet checkout the 7Min Weekly Meal Plan