Where to start with these eat well posts??? It seems logical to start at the beginning of the day. Do you make time to eat breakfast? What do you have if you do eat breakfast? So the first challenge is aim to eat breakfast everyday. Make breakfast include a high fibre food, some fruit or veg and a drink. You can do it in 15 minutes.
Why is breakfast so good? People who eat breakfast tend to manage their weight better, are less likely to snack through the morning, it is easier to meet nutrient requirements if breakfast is eaten and breakfast is a great meal to add fibre and fruit to our daily intake (sadly all too many of us don’t get enough of either). Fibre is not just important for healthy guts but has shown to be important in managing cholesterol (important for heart health), prevent type II diabetes and helping to hold off the hunger pangs. Some studies also show that we perform better at work and school if we have eaten breakfast as concentration is better.
Get up 15 minutes earlier if you don’t eat breakfast. A bowl of cereal (look for one that is high in fibre) with skimmed, 1% milk or semi-skimmed milk, a handful of dried fruit or chop some fresh fruit like a banana in the bowl and have a glass of juice (budget longlife juice still counts as a portion, its not just the expensive pressed stuff). Porridge takes 2 minutes in the microwave or a little longer on the hob. Some of the instant varieties are very high in sugar so check the labels. Oats are a great source of the type of fibre that has been shown to help lower cholesterol.
If you are more of a full cooked breakfast type there are a few swaps can make a cooked breakfast much better. Ditch the fried bread and opt for toast, preferably a wholemeal, granary or high fibre bread. Go easy on the sausages, black pudding and bacon – don’t have all of them all, have one less sausage, rasher or slice. If you are buying the ingredients then compare the brands on offer and opt for those with less salt and fat. Cook some tomatoes and mushrooms – the tomatoes can be the canned variety. Have some baked beans – choose ones that are reduced salt and sugar if you can. Beans add fibre and a lot of nutrients. Think about the way the eggs are cooked – poached beats fried hands down and really are pretty easy to cook. Alternatively go with scrambled, just go easy on the butter and cream. If you are buying your breakfast at a cafe, don’t just get the standard Olympic breakfast with all the trimmings – ask for brown toast, one less sausage, more beans, tomatoes etc.
So step one – start the day well.