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The impact of poor breakfast quality
Poor breakfast nutrition can have a lasting impact on cardiovascular health. In a recent study, a Spanish research group showed that the way you eat breakfast is linked to important factors in cardiovascular health.
Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, as is commonly known. Spanish researchers at the Public University of Navarra (UPNA) recently showed that there is a lot of truth to this saying. According to the study, breakfast meals with high energy densities were associated with higher cholesterol levels, uric acid levels and greater insulin resistance, regardless of the health status of the participants. The results were recently presented in the journal "Nutrients".
Can a heavy breakfast damage our metabolism?
The team examined the eating habits of 203 schoolchildren aged eight to twelve. The study found that 13 percent of children had no breakfast at all, and those who consumed breakfast with lower nutrient quality and higher energy density had higher blood cholesterol and uric acid levels and greater resistance to insulin. In particular, a high energy density at breakfast had a negative impact on glucose metabolism. This was also evident in the children, who moved moderately to intensively for at least 60 minutes.
No breakfast is not a solution
As the researchers report, breakfast should not be left out. The children without breakfast experienced increased cravings during the day, which made them eat more at lunchtime than usual. The research group observed a connection between missing breakfast and increased overweight in children. Promoting a regular breakfast could already be the first strategy to prevent childhood obesity, the researchers suggest.
Promotional programs for healthy breakfast
"Nutritional education programs to improve children's cardiovascular and metabolic health should be introduced," study leader Idoia Labayen said in a Spanish press release on the study results. Especially in typical children's breakfasts, there are usually heavily processed ingredients with high energy density, warns the nutrition expert.
What foods are suitable for breakfast?
The German Society for Nutrition (DGE) recommends as breakfast or as a snack at school:
- Whole grain bread or rolls: Spread thinly with butter, margarine or cream cheese and, for example, topped with low-fat sausage, low-fat cheese or with vegetarian spreads.
- fruit and vegetables: Sliced peppers, carrots, radishes, cocktail tomatoes, kohlrabi, cucumbers, apple, pear, apricot, peach, grapes, berries, cherries, kiwi, mandarins, pineapples are healthy and delicious snacks. Nuts and dried fruit are good for on the go.
- Dairy products: Unsweetened muesli with fresh fruit and natural yogurt, drinking milk, unsweetened mixed drinks, yoghurt and curd are both suitable as breakfast and as a snack.
- Drink: Absorb a lot of liquid through low-energy drinks such as water and unsweetened teas. Avoid sugary drinks such as lemonades and nectars. These provide too many calories without being saturated.
- Avoid sweets: Chocolate bars, sweet spreads, pastries and fruit gums are not recommended, because in addition to the increased fat and sugar intake, this also leads to rapid fluctuations in the blood sugar level and thus to a drop in performance.