JAM | Jun 27, 2023

Breakfast: the most important meal of the day

Candice Stewart

Candice Stewart / Our Today

Reading Time: 4 minutes
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Do you rush out for work or school in the mornings forgetting or choosing not to eat breakfast? Chances are that you may go through those days with low blood sugar, faintness, headaches, and difficulty concentrating, among other issues.

“Eating breakfast will help the body to perform at its best and missing such a crucial meal will contribute to a number of issues throughout the day,” said Kajha Brown Uffar, assistant nutritionist at the Clarendon Health Department, in an interview with Our Today.

She encourages the consumption of balanced meals which “provide nutrients to aid in bodily function and prevent diseases.”

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“Breakfast is considered to be the most important meal of the day. As the name suggests, the first meal of the day breaks the overnight fasting period and consuming breakfast proves to be beneficial,” she said.

Brown Uffar said that there are several benefits of having breakfast daily, especially within a specified time frame and stressed that timing of meals is important to maintain steady glucose levels. 

“Firstly, breakfast will provide energy to refuel the body for the daily tasks ahead. Utilising the multi-mix principle for creating balanced meals would be very helpful. The multi-mix principle combines the Caribbean food groups to ensure nutritional balance,” the assistant nutritionist said.

Regardless of the mix, staples group should always be used in each meal.

Kajha Brown Uffar, assistant nutritionist at the Clarendon Health Department

“The six food groups include: fruits, vegetables, staples, food from animal/ meat substitutes, legumes, fats and oils. By using four or more food groups, there would be more nutritive benefits. Regardless of the mix, staples group should always be used in each meal,” added Brown Uffar.

“Eating breakfast daily, helps to maintain a healthy weight, whereas skipping meals often lead to overeating which can contribute to weight gain. By eating main meals (breakfast, lunch, and dinner/supper) every day, in the right portions, you will maintain a healthy weight,” she shared.

Breakfast for kings, courtesy of Le Vendome. (Our Today photo, Gavin Riley)

The assistant nutritionist also highlighted another benefit wherein breakfast improves your brain power. She said that your memory and concentration will improve. She shared that studies have shown that when people eat breakfast, it will enhance their concentration, memory, alertness, and energy.

“Breakfast will enhance your mood. Omega 3 fatty acids such as tuna and salmon, fibre such as whole grain, beans, fruits, and vegetables, and anti-oxidant rich foods such as berries, green leafy vegetables, and turmeric are known to make people happier, healthier and emotionally well,” she said.

Brown Uffar added that the improvement of a person’s nutritional status is among the top reasons you should never skip out on breakfast are.

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Generally, people who eat breakfast are healthier and are more likely to meet the nutritional recommendations for their age groups, especially for vitamins A, C, riboflavin, calcium, zinc, iron and fibre.

Brown Uffar highlighted that non-communicable diseases (NCDs) such as diabetes can also be significantly improved by maintaining a healthy diet, and it starts with having a good breakfast.

Diabetes tends to be difficult to control if a person’s meals, especially breakfast, are skipped.

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Those who skip their breakfast tend to have higher cholesterol levels which increases their risk for heart disease. Those people also tend to snack more on high-fat, low-nutrition foods and are more likely to overeat throughout the day because of excessive hunger.

If you are known to skip your breakfast, consider making it part of your daily routine. Your body will thank you and reward you for it.

Always remember to consult your doctor before making changes to your diet, especially if you have a chronic condition.

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