Breakfast “The First Meal of the Day” being the important section of daily routine is always underestimated. Regular breakfast consumption has important implications for improving health as well as improving cognitive performance and reducing mental distress in young people. Despite these reported advantages, 10%–35% of young people in many westernised countries regularly skip breakfast, these numbers are higher in girls compared with boys and increase from childhood to adolescence.
Eating a substantial meal within the first few hours of waking up is healthier and is a necessity. Wherein what you eat also makes a huge difference. Regular breakfast consumption is associated with a change of nutritious and lifestyle-related health outcomes such as satiety, hunger & energy level in adults and here comes the role of Glycaemic Index (GI) and Glycaemic Load (GL) in the breakfast you eat every day. So, what is it?
Glycaemic Index represents the quality and quantity of carbohydrate/sugar contained in food. Values from 10 to 100 and can be classified as high (≥70), moderate (56–69) or low (≤55). Refined carbohydrates and sweetened foods have high glycaemic index (HGI) whereas foods containing complex carbohydrates, vegetables, and pulses have low glycaemic index (LGI) which prevents weight gain, nutrient deficiency and reduce risk factors for chronic disease. Breakfast with the Low amount of Glycaemic Index can be recommended as part of healthy diet as it reduces the hunger until next meal of the day.
Breakfast is considered an important meal because it breaks the overnight fasting period, reloads one’s supply of glucose and provides other essential nutrients to keep one’s energy levels higher throughout the day. Eating a healthy breakfast is a great opportunity to eat nutritious foods, which provide the body with essential vitamins and minerals. Vitamins and minerals are the essentials of the body for proper growth and maintenance, carbohydrate and protein metabolism, bone strength, and a healthy immune system. People who regularly consume a healthy breakfast are more likely to meet their daily nutrient requirements, eat less fat and have a lower cholesterol, which may reduce the risk of heart disease. Consumption of HGI breakfast compared with omission reduces feelings of hunger in adults which is not surprising, but LGI breakfasts have additional satisfying properties that may reduce subsequent food intake.
Eating low GI food will help you with concentration, higher energy level and make you feel fuller for longer – helping to curb those cravings to overeating. It provides a constant supply of blood glucose – fuel for one’s brain – gives long-lasting energy and improves concentration level. Some basic strategies for lowering dietary Glycaemic Load can be,
- Increasing the consumption of whole grains, nuts, legumes, fruit, and non-starchy vegetables.
- Decreasing the consumption of starchy, moderate- and high-GI foods like potatoes, white rice, and white bread.
- Decreasing the consumption of sugary foods like cookies, cakes, candy, and soft drinks.
It is more likely that skipping breakfast leads to greater high-fat snacking and energy intake later in the day to compensate for the energy deficit at breakfast, which predisposes obesity. Indeed, consuming more energy earlier compared with later in the day may assist in weight loss in adults. There is evidence that overweight and obese young people skip breakfast more frequently, consume a lower proportion of energy at breakfast, and consume a higher proportion of energy during dinner. As sedentary behaviour is more dominant later in the day, it is likely that the energy consumed in the late afternoon or evening will be stored as glycogen and fat. Hence if the healthy breakfast becomes the hard and fast rule of every individual, early hunger rates and obesity will cut down by 60% overall and result in higher energy level throughout the day
Today, consuming low GI breakfast is the break-through concept in healthy eating that allows people to take simple steps towards a better lifestyle! India sharing the majority of the young population is adapting the healthy routine of everyday LGI breakfast as per recent research. Low GI is the key buzzword in the healthy eating space. It gives the option to add “good carbohydrates” to your diet in a simple yet effective manner, which increase the health quotient of the diet in a substantial manner. It is essential to ensure that one meal of the day is a low GI one. While breakfasts can comprise of oats and muesli, lunch and dinner can include brown bread & low GI rice, or other cereals like wheat or millets and snacking options can be low GI fruits, nuts and protein-rich food like chana. Snack bars are some great snacking options in between meals. These are important to keep blood sugar levels steady in between meals. Along with that, nuts like walnuts, almonds, cashews and peanuts are also low in GI.
Frozen low-fat fruit desserts are safe bets for dessert for your diet. If you crave Indian desserts like rice kheer, opt for Low- GI rice when preparing the same with the minimal amount of sugar. Certain fruits & vegetables can be increased in your diet to gain more from Low GI, and these are namely fruits like apples, cherries, plums, pears, peaches, grapes, oranges, strawberries, prunes and kiwi fruit, and vegetables such as peas, carrots, cauliflower, cabbage, tomatoes, lettuce, chillies, onions and sweet potatoes.
Overall, eating more whole grains could also lower the risk of heart attacks by up to 29 percent, lower your risk of diabetes, curb inflammation, strengthen the immune system and mainly women who follow diet plan on low GI foods lose 80% more body fat. The well-known proverb Prevention is better than cure stands best in this context. Every better start gives the best result so does it applies for health and lifestyle.