Friday, 1 October 2010


"Breakfast like a King, Lunch like a Prince and Dine like a Pauper" is a very famous proverb.  Most of us know that, but our current lifestyle defeats our intentions.
'World Heart Day' has many articles in the newspaper, magazines, and web sites on how to protect your heart with healthy lifestyle changes.  I found one common thing in all of them, the mention of oats as the heart healthy food.  This prompted me to write something on the breakfast, its importance and options available.

Benefits of eating breakfast everyday

1.After 8-10 hours of not eating anything at night, the body, especially brain needs to replenish the glucose/energy in the morning. According to a research, those who skip breakfast may feel tired, irritable or restless in the morning.

2.A Harvard study of more than 17,000 men found that those who frequently ate breakfast cereal consistently weighed less than those who rarely or never ate breakfast cereal.

3.Studies in children have shown that consumption of a nutritious breakfast results in sharper working memory, better problem solving skills, and improved concentration.

What should an ideal breakfast consist of?

25 percent of the day's calorie should come from breakfast. An ideal breakfast should have proteins and micro nutrients like vitamins, minerals and fibre. Let's review some of the options available:

1.Muesli/oats - Muesli are very popular breakfast item. Its energy content satisfies the nutrition requirement when taken with skimmed milk (protein source) and fresh fruits (micronutrients).

2.Idli and dosa - popular south Indian dish but lacks in sufficient fibre. It would be good to start the breakfast with fruits followed by idli/dosa with sambar/chutney

3.Upma - there are varieties of upma prepared, most of them with semolina which is energy rich.  However Upma prepared with broken wheat (protein source) and vegetables (micronutrients) is more filling than that prepared from fine grained semolina/rawa.

4.Sandwiches - prepared with vegetables/shredded chicken and brown/multigrain bread is a good option. Restrict on cheese if you are looking for weight loss.

5.Bread omelets - is a high protein breakfast food and very much recommended especially for children, athletes and those who are involved in heavy workouts. However people with high cholesterol or any heart problems should prepare the omelets only with egg white.

6.Stuffed parathas - if prepared with less oil, parathas are very nutritious and an ideal breakfast item.  The stuffing can be anything ranging from potatoes, radish, cauliflower, sprouted green gram (moong), and paneer (prepared from skimmed milk) and so on.

Breakfast means Break the Fast.  There is no better way to kick start your morning than to have a wholesome and nutritious breakfast.  With many options available, be creative, enjoy your first meal for good health forever!

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Wishing you all a HAPPY GANDHI JAYANTI in advance J

From the desk of your health manager - Rohini Prasad

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