We have always been told that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. That phrase has gone very deep into -almost- everyone: we wake up and we are already thinking about what will be the first meal of the day. We eat breakfast, yes, but not always as we should: we eat a lot of carbohydrates, a lot of sugar and many ultra-processed foods.
Let’s face it: it’s not every day we wake up wanting to prepare a super breakfast with fruits, proteins and healthy fats. Or sometimes the routine and obligations do not allow us to “lose” time. And other times, the pocket does not allow us. Whatever the reason, we usually indulge in coffee with sugary milk and some bread, tortilla or cookie. Perfect: breakfast is done; the first meal has already been consumed and we have the “energy” to start the day. Or not…
“What I see in the office is that patients in Tucumán have habits and customs that have to do with the consumption of tortillas, bills and sweet filled cookies, more than anything, and cereals with sugar, but those ultimately place. In addition, they eat sandwiches and sweets, ”he explains to LA GACETA Mariela Cordobamedical nutritionist specialist in obesity. “
“Not only do we have a bad breakfast… We eat badly,” he sums up pamela peyrelnutritionist and instagrammer (@pamela.nutricion). “Anything that is refined sugar is harmful and we have to try to eliminate it from our diets. They are high in calories and low in benefits,” she warns.
Peyrel considers that the great problem of our poor diet is the lack of nutritional education. “It is very important that children learn about the human body, for example in biology, as they have a nutrition subject from an early age,” she says.
Yes. We have been taught that it is important to have four meals, but not how to do them. “Most people have a poor breakfast. At least that’s what I see with my patients. It’s a reality, and here in Tucumán, with the tortilla, worse… We all fall into that sometimes; either you are in a hurry or you stop by the bakery, and you have it ready. There are no healthy options that are offered, yes or yes you have to prepare it yourself. And there comes the problem”, says the nutritionist Martha Philomena. It also coincides with the lack of food education. “It’s essential,” she warns.
The economic question crosses everything. Also at breakfast. “An important factor is poverty. If you go to a public hospital, where you treat people with very low resources, you will see that they have no other option than to have breakfast with something cheap; cooked ham, avocado or egg are expensive, so they are limited to continuing to consume carbohydrates”, Peyrel narrates and names another reason: “there is still in the food pyramid the erroneous concept that carbohydrates have to be the basis of feeding; but macronutrient diets need to change: more protein and healthy fats need to be added.”
The main consequence of the consumption of carbohydrates and sugars is the lack of energy. “All of this makes you feel tired, it gives you short-term energy,” warns Córdoba.
Yes or no?
If most of the time we have breakfast “bad”, is it worth it? “Yes, because the brain needs to know early that it has already loaded fuel. When the brain feels that it ate, it stays calm; if he doesn’t eat, he becomes alert and looks for food because he feels lacking -indicates Córdoba-; one of the functions of the hypothalamus is to survive, so when you don’t give it nutrients, the body is desperate to find them”. The ideal, of course, he assures, would be to change eating habits for healthier ones. “Breakfast has to have foods from the three groups: carbohydrates, proteins and fats -he lists-; breakfast with toast and dulce de leche or jam can be eaten, but it does not have to be frequently”.
“It is underestimated that breakfast is the most important meal of the day… why should we insist that a person eat breakfast when they don’t feel like it? The important thing is that you eat all four meals -says Peyrel-; sugar (so consumed in our breakfasts) should be a treat; say ‘well, today I eat two bills or a piece of cake’. Eating three times a week is not going to kill you, but on a day-to-day basis it is not indicated. Look for foods with a low glycemic load and add more protein.” Peyrel believes that it is important to tailor the patient’s diet to his needs; If the person does not feel like eating breakfast, there is no need to force it, unless there is an underlying pathology, the person is pregnant or they are growing children.
Filomeno agrees with Córdoba that we have to have breakfast, although we don’t always do it in the most optimal conditions. “Breakfast depends on each person. If a patient tells me that he does not eat breakfast, I do not force him to eat; but there are many people who are hungry and it’s because they don’t have a good breakfast, they spend all their time thinking they’re hungry or they’re not focused on work… The same thing happens with children. That is why it is important, although it depends on each person. But I think so: you have to eat when you get up, to start and start with energy, although it is expected to be optimal energy, not just any energy”.
The nutritionist says that what is needed is planning. “If you get organized, maybe you can prepare a healthy breakfast,” she sums up.
what needs to be added
As we have already seen, in addition to the time available for breakfast, the economy plays a key role. In the best of cases, Mariela Córdoba recommends that breakfast have: “hydrates, preferably and as far as possible whole, that have wholemeal flour or seeds or bran. If there is no other than white flour, you have to take even more care of the portion; As for fats, better if they are good, those that are in nuts, avocado, in egg yolks, seeds and even in some whole grains; and breakfast proteins are found in dairy products, fundamentally in yogurt, but also in spreadable and soft cheeses”