You’ve probably heard from several experts how important breakfast is to endurance, alertness, and running all day.
A decent breakfast also helps with weight management, among other things because it reduces evening-focused mood eating.
Read more: A decent breakfast can help you burn calories - see three great options
But what kind of breakfast, then, would in practice be a smart choice from which to reap the benefits?
Licensed nutritionist Reijo Laatikainen gives a few examples in his recent book Blood Sugar - Getting Rid of Pre-Diabetes (Kirjapaja).
Are these 3 things okay?
Laatikainen lists the three most important features of breakfast:
- The main thing would be that immediately after breakfast there would be a sufficient amount of plant product (berry, fruit or vegetable), protein appropriately (about 12-25 g) and carbohydrates would be health-promoting fiber-rich carbohydrates.
The proportion of protein in the breakfast is easily too low.
This is worth correcting, as protein has a better saturation value than fat and carbohydrates, meaning it is best to keep hunger at bay.
Laatikainen says that because the satiety effect of protein-rich food comes with a delay, especially because it is necessary to invest in the adequacy of its intake at breakfast and lunch.
There are several options
The nutritionist also points out that there is no single right way to eat breakfast.
Breakfast can be based on porridge, bread, fruit, egg or yoghurt, and a smoothie to drink is also available.
Breakfast in the form of a drink often sinks better for those who have no appetite in the morning.
- For some people, breakfast is not just a taste;
it is often the case that the eating rhythm of the previous days is evening-focused.
Lightening the evening meal and shifting the meal rhythm earlier often makes breakfast taste good.
Read more: Does eating breakfast?
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This is how you prepare breakfast
In his book, Laatikainen gives different options for smart breakfasts.
We picked three options that contain important nutrients and about 300-400 kcal of energy.
1. Porridge breakfast
Porridge based on oat, rye, millet, quinoa, buckwheat or barley flakes or large porridge (2-3 dl of finished porridge)
Add protein in one of the following ways:
boil porridge in milk and add nuts / seeds 1-2 tbsp
add cottage cheese 2-3 tbsp
add the egg protein right at the end of the porridge soup
add 1 to 1.5 tablespoons whey, rice, soy, pea or hemp protein
add 1 dl of curd or Greek or other high-protein unflavoured yoghurt or curd-yogurt mixture
In addition, eat with porridge or separately:
berries at least a fair handful (1 dl), preferably more, or
fresh fruit in one serving (1 piece) or
unsweetened fruit puree 1–1.5 dl
If necessary, add 1 to 2 tbsp of fiber preparation containing beta-glucan or psyllium
2. Bread breakfast
Whole oat or rye bread or other bread with a fiber content of at least 6 g / 100 g, depending on the energy requirement (30 to 60 g) (usually about one or two slices depending on the size of the bread)
On top of bread, margarine, peanut butter, hummus, avocado, mayonnaise or other spread based on running vegetable oils 0.5-1 tbsp
Tomato, peppers about 50 grams, mandarin, apple or kiwi - so a large enough and healthy dose of vegetation
Cheese slice (10–15 g), processed or fresh cheese (approx. 10% fat) 20 g, cottage cheese 40 g or a glass of milk, soy drink or buttermilk
In addition, if necessary: 1 egg or 2 protein, 3 tbsp tuna in water, 30 g salmon or 20 g turkey or chicken cut.
Without an egg, fish or poultry cutlet, the protein content of bread breakfast is lower than other options.
3. Smoothie breakfast
Unflavoured yoghurt, curd, protein drink, oat drink or other vegetable drink 2 dl
When using a herbal drink, you are happy to add some protein if you have challenges in controlling your hunger - for example, pea, whey or hemp protein 2 tbsp.
Oatmeal (2-4 tbsp), oat bran or oat fiber preparation or psyllium 1-2 tbsp
Berries or fruit to your liking, however, at least one fair dose
Nuts or seeds 1-2 tbsp
Source: Take control of blood sugar - Get rid of pre-diabetes, Kirjapaja, 2020.
Read more: This is a good breakfast - also an example of a bad option