The important role of breakfast for a healthy diet

Within the framework of National Breakfast Day, the Spanish Nutrition Foundation (FEN) has held an online event to promote healthy breakfast and give the keys to improve it. It is one of the most important meals of the day.

The important role of breakfast for a healthy diet

Toast with olive oil/EPA

Breakfast is part of a healthy diet. East provides about 20% of daily energy, so its daily intake is recommended.

The Spanish Nutrition Foundation has compiled a series of data on the ‘Infant-Youth Breakfast in Spain’ to review the “Role of breakfast and its quality in the health of children and adolescents”.

Composition of a good breakfast

Varied, balanced and satisfying are the keys to a healthy breakfast.

According to the latest review carried out by experts, “there is no ideal breakfast but there are many combinations that have to be adapted to personal, geographical and cultural needs and circumstances”.

To comply with this, specialists recommend avoid high-calorie, low-nutrient-dense foods, they only contribute calories, fat, sodium or sugar to the total intake of the day.

Breakfast should include at least three main food groups; a food from the cereal group (preferably whole/whole grain), milk or a milk product and a fruit (preferably whole).

exposes the study.

nutritional pyramid
Nutritional pyramid adapted for children. Photo: IMEO

To complement there is a fourth group such as olive oil, vegetables, nuts, protein foods (eggs, ham, salmon, legumes…).

Combining all this provides the body with complex carbohydrates, fiber, protein, water and an adequate quantity and quality of fat.

Experts also point out that completing our breakfast properly contributes to meeting the needs of vitamins and mineralswithout forgetting the presence of bioactive compounds of great interest for health.

“Consuming a healthy breakfast is associated with higher daily nutrient intake, better adherence to nutritional recommendations, and better overall diet quality.”

points out the FEN

Breakfast for children and adolescents

Several studies have shown how children and adolescents who eat breakfast regularly consume higher amounts of energy, dietary fiber, fruits and vegetables, whole grains and dairy products, and fewer sugary drinks, compared to those who skip this meal of the day.

In addition, those who do eat breakfast have a higher daily intake of some micronutrients such as calcium, iron, folate, potassium, magnesium, zinc and iodine, compared to those who do not eat breakfast.

eat with family

According to studies, more than half of adolescents ate breakfast as a family (with parents and siblings) and approximately 40% ate breakfast alone. In addition, it was observed that adolescents were one of the population groups that most skipped breakfast.according to the International Breakfast Research Initiative (IBRI).

Another noteworthy fact of the study reflects how children learn eating habits from their parents, grandparents or siblings, as well as from their caregivers and colleagues or friends.

“It has been seen that sharing breakfast with the family in 10-year-old children is associated with a higher frequency of breakfast consumption at 16 years of age.”

Pick up the report.

breakfast in spain

The data obtained from the review cites the ALADINO 2015 study indicating that “93 percent of the participants ate breakfast every day.”

“The most frequent breakfast (49.7%) was a dairy (milk, milkshake or yogurt) plus a food from the cereal group (biscuits, breakfast cereals or bread/toast). Only 2.8% had a quality breakfast (with milk, cereal and fruit)”.

It also mentions the ANIBES survey where “85% of Spaniards were regular breakfast consumers (that is, they had eaten breakfast on the three days evaluated)”.

“A higher proportion of children and older people ate breakfast regularly (93%), followed by adults (84%) and then adolescents (80%).” And only 25% of the Spanish population had a breakfast with sufficient energy and adequate variety or “complete” (20% or more of the total energy ingested and containing three or more food groups). While 38% ate an “incomplete” breakfast (less than 10% of total energy intake and containing one or two food groups).”

experts say.

In addition, the 37% had an “acceptable” breakfast (10-20% of total energy intake and three or more food groups or 20% or more of total energy intake and two food groups).

Infographic from the EFE Agency “Breakfast in Spain”

The study highlights that the food groups least consumed by children and adolescents are cheese and fresh fruit. Just as whole foods were scarce.

Both children and adolescents consumed added sugars (mainly from chocolates, bakery and pastries/cakes) and sugar.

A health risk

Various studies reflect how eating breakfast is related to a lower prevalence of overweight and obesity. Also with a healthier profile of cardiometabolic biomarkers (diabetes, insulin resistance, blood pressure and lipid profile).

Regarding cognitive function, although there is no uniformity in the results either, since the methodology to assess school performance is variable and complex, many studies observe that ‘eating breakfast is more beneficial than not having it’, especially in children with a worse situation nutritional and younger.

nutritionists say.

Therefore, healthy breakfast should be part of a daily diet as a main meal.

It is recommended that it be consumed daily, in good proportions and that it be as balanced as possible to allow you to cope with everyday life, as well as help reduce the development of cardiometabolic diseases.