Breakfast – The Good, The Bad and The Damn Right Ugly

Posted on May 7, 2013 · Posted in Clients, Personal


Breakfast Yes on The most important meal of the day

I think it has become common sense not to miss breakfast. Most of us are having breakfast as we are realising the importance of it, from controlling weight and body fat patterns, to hunger patterns to better energy. Unfortunately the breakfast choices are not always conducive to positive health, they might be advertising the fact that they are good for our health but sometimes this is far from the truth.

In allot of cases we as parents miss our breakfast but ensure our kids have it. We rely on breakfast cereals, the vast majority of which are highly processed offer poor nutrition due to high salt and sugar content. Sugar content not only promotes obesity and all its health related issue but also lowers the immune system and is directly linked to behavioural issues. Cereals stress the digestive organs, and in particular the pancreas, which does not always show in the early years but 10 – 15 years of eating such highly processed poor nutritional foodstuffs help lead us down a road towards ill health.

Remember the serving size on most cereal boxes to calculate nutritional value is just 30 grams, reducing the amount of sugar and salt people think they are eating. I don’t think anyone is capable of eating just 30 grams of a cereal more like 50 grams. So to be fair let’s look at 40 grams, not including milk.

40 grams of Kellogg’s Frosties 14.8 grams of sugar. 2 bowels a day.  If you eat nothing else with sugar you will have eaten approx 11kg of sugar by the end of the year.  Good old Tony the Tiger should probably be called Sweet Sugar Sam.

A yum Yum Frosted Cherry Pop Tart 17 grams of sugar

Nutri Grain Strawberry Cereal Bar 13 grams of sugar

40 grams of Special K 6 grams of sugar. Yeah that little red swim suit number, 2 bowels a day, if you eat nothing else with sugar you will have eaten 5kg of sugar by the end of the year.  That swim suit suddenly starts feeling a little tighter.


The choice of breakfast is usually dictated by your goal e.g. Fat loss, muscle gain, heart or cholesterol issue. Here are some healthy samples.

Studies suggest protein in the morning may keep us more insulin sensitive for the day, help lower cravings and a study done at Cambridge University found that stimulants that keep the brain alert prefer protein as a fuel.  This is not to say a carb breakfast is the enemy, remember it is the type and amount of carb that is the enemy.

1: Eggs – (not fried) Inexpensive, a million different ways to prepare and a nice amount of B12, B2, protein and Selenium. One more thing, stop with the cholesterol and egg white thing. The yolk is good for you; people vary widely in their response to dietary cholesterol. Eggs contain choline which is essential for the cardio vascular system and brain function, without this body fat and cholesterol accumulate in the liver.  This also helps lower homocysteine, a risk factor for heart disease.

2: Nuts and a Veggie Juice – preferably Almonds, Walnuts full of good fats, Mag, and Omega 3, may even improve your mood. Veggie juice, juice 1 apple with a handful of spinach, small beetroot and a bit of cucumber.  Lots of Vit K and C.

3: Blue Berries, Strawberries, cracked linseeds, pumpkin seeds and a small spoon of goat’s yogurt. Anti-inflammatory and Antioxidant compounds, fibre, magnesium, phosphorous, potassium and vit C.

4: Porridge with Almonds and Flakes of grated ginger, B6, soluble fibre, little bit of mag and protein. Try to soak overnight and don’t micro wave. I usually throw a small bit of psyllium husks in.

Notice no mention of coffee; I am talking water and green tea.

A study worth looking at. According to research at Canadas University of Guelph, there is a deadly duo as far as managing blood sugar is concerned. A coffee and carb combo (eating a carbohydrate (bread etc) and drinking coffee at the same time) had tripple the increase in blood sugar levels, while insulin sensitivity was almost halved. The reason why peaks and troughs in your blood sugar level are… to be avoided is that the peaks lead to more insulin release which effectively opens up the gates in the arteries to dump excess sugar in the liver where it is promptly turned to fat. The more this happens the more insulin resistent we become forcing the body to make more. The resulting higher levels of glucose and insulin are what expose us to certain disease. Troughs lead to low blood sugar which equates to Mr. Grumpy, Mr Sleepy and Mr. Low Concentration. This up and down effect raises cortisol which ends up as fat on the tummy, yikes.