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What's for Breakfast?

For years and years I've been telling folks cereal isn't the best breakfast food, but my voice is nothing compared to the relentless marketing for "whole grains"  and "low fat" supported by large corporations and federal funding.  But every now and then, a little research slips out.  This study, published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, discusses the positive impact of a high-protein breakfast on eating habits, hormonal balance, and hunger.

The levels researchers deemed "normal protein" and "high protein" were, in my opinion, both high--13g and 35g respectively.  13g would be two servings of standard cereal AND a a half-cup of milk.  35g would be, like, five eggs.  That sounds like a great deal of food, yes?  Alas, we've lost sight of the fact breakfast should be a large meal.  But when preliminary medical thought connected health problems with fats, breakfast was one of the first places we made fat and calorie cuts.  We abandoned proteins because they were linked with fats, and kept the carbohydrates, the starches, the sugars.  What followed was an explosion in weight issues, diabetes, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, mood disorders, cognitive decline, and more.

I suspect it'll be another ten to fifteen years before the overall thinking changes, primarily because school curriculum includes lessons and testing on the USDA-created eating plans.  Anyone educated between "the four food groups" phase and today will operate under the assumption that fats are bad, grains are good, and low calorie foods the ultimate goal.

In the meantime, we have a generation of children being raised on foods with nutritional labels that look like this:

That's a PopTart.  Just one PopTart.  Do you know many kids who eat just one PopTart out of a wrapped package containing two?  Neither do I.  All numbers on that label should be doubled.  Compare those doubled numbers to the label below, which is for the product's entire two-piece package.


Anyone want to guess what packaged food that label is from?

And as a final point of comparison, here's the label for a standard raisin and bran breakfast cereal:

Bottom line? Eat protein.  Have salmon for breakfast.  Or Greek yogurt.  Or eggs.  Or a protein shake. Or chicken, beef, or other meat.  If the fats in meats make you nervous, go for wild game and grass-fed proteins.  The fats are then Omega-3--healthy! 

Get your fiber and carb-energy from fruits and vegetables.  Save most of the grains and starches we're told to eat for when you just can't seem to take in enough calories to match your energy expenditures.


( 17 comments — Leave a comment )
Mar. 28th, 2013 03:39 pm (UTC)
I feel incredibly guilty eating an egg in the morning, because of all the hooha about their cholesterol, but they are easier on my stomach, and I feel peppier for longer through the morning. (my favorite breakfast is a slice of bread that I bake myself, with a scrambled egg, and a few shreds of cheese, which I know is also a hideous no no. But if I eat a bowl of super healthy cereal I get the shakes in about two hours.)
Mar. 28th, 2013 03:55 pm (UTC)
Don't feel guilty about that egg! Cholesterol is crucial to cell membrane structure, brain health, and the use of Vitamin D. It's necessary for the body to successfully regulate blood sugar, blood pressure, and hormonal balance.

In fact, the role of cholesterol correlates to the majority of today's chronic illnesses. And it's LOW cholesterol that causes the dysfunction.

So eat that egg with joy!!
Mar. 28th, 2013 03:59 pm (UTC)
Wow! Really? The spouse will not eat anything that has the faintest trace of cholesterol, after he had the shunt put in. It drives me wild trying to find foods to cook for him--a lot of the time, we just eat separate meals.
Mar. 28th, 2013 04:14 pm (UTC)
Of course, I'm not giving specific medical advice. :)

With the thinking on fats changing at the most respected and progressive medical facilities, it might be time to see if he will talk to a more recently-educated nutritionist, chiropractor, osteopath, or GP.

Sometimes, though, if someone has had a very traumatic medical event, the person will find something over which they feel as if they have control. For Spouse, that might be cholesterol intake. If so, he will likely hold fast to it in order to feel secure.
Mar. 28th, 2013 04:21 pm (UTC)
That's exactly what happened. For a while, there, he insisted on a NO FAT diet, as well as no cholesterol. He only ate greens and some of those weird fake foods that advertize no salt, no fat, no cholesterol, and he turned gray. I finally got him to eat some lean turkey and chicken and fish, but he won't eat anything he thinks has cholesterol.

The docs he consults all give conflicting advice, sigh.
Mar. 28th, 2013 06:48 pm (UTC)
Bummer on the conflicting advice. Alas, I think that will continue until we swing all the way back from the notion that engineered foods are somehow healthier than real food.

The poultry and fish are excellent options. Any time you can sneak in some olive oil will only do good. :)
Mar. 28th, 2013 06:55 pm (UTC)
I have been trying, but he won't touch it because it contains FAT. (However, I've slipped some into some of my cooked dishes.)
Mar. 28th, 2013 07:23 pm (UTC)
Even better if he'd take omega-3. That might be an easier sell because there is even a prescription form now.
Mar. 28th, 2013 07:56 pm (UTC)
Thanks! Yep, he does take those.
Mar. 28th, 2013 03:50 pm (UTC)
I find all those labels frightening.

As a diabetic, my body likes eggs in the morning. And cheese. Both have cholesterol, of course, but so far, my numbers are good. (And I don't eat them evey morning.)

May I ask you a question? I'm researching right now to find out if I'm going to have trouble taking my liquid B-12 on the plane, but find conflicting answers. Do you know if it's okay to carry-on?
Mar. 28th, 2013 04:10 pm (UTC)
Often, high cholesterol levels is the result of too many *carbohydrates* rather than too much dietary fat intake.

Our nation's deeply-instilled terror of fat is being called out by top medical research groups, and by top practitioners and institutions. The fear is, quite frankly, torturing and killing us by the millions.

On the B-12, I travel with mine all the time. I just put it in the same liquids-only plastic baggie I use for shampoo and such since it's under the 3oz. limit. TSA has never questioned it.
Mar. 28th, 2013 04:19 pm (UTC)
I didn't realize that.

I'm always really picky about how many carbs I put into my body and from what source. That probably helps with the cholesterol, huh?

Thanks! I don't want to leave home without my B-12. It's a miracle in a bottle! :)
Mar. 28th, 2013 06:46 pm (UTC)
I am SO glad the B12 has helped you. :)
Mar. 28th, 2013 04:19 pm (UTC)
Ooops. Sorry about the anonymous post.
Mar. 29th, 2013 01:34 am (UTC)
Protein supplements if nothing else.
Mar. 29th, 2013 01:36 am (UTC)
Yep. There are lots of good protein shakes now, though it takes some label-reading to find non-junky ones. Jay Robb is one of my favorites.
Mar. 29th, 2013 03:19 am (UTC)
I've found that the generic brand whey supplement at the supermarket works well.

(Note: add a little water to the glass, mix in the protein until it forms a paste, then add the rest of the water. You don't get large clumps of dry stuff that way.)
( 17 comments — Leave a comment )


Blair MacGregor

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