Diabetes is one of the most common lifestyle diseases globally. It is considered as a silent killer as it can cause several other health complications. Diabetes management remains a challenge since there are no distinctive symptoms and the condition is often discovered at a much later time when it’s too late for complete cure.
14th November is the World Diabetes Day, which aims to spread awareness about diabetes across the world. The theme of World Diabetes Day from 2014 to 2016 is healthy living and diabetes and this year, there’s a focus on starting each day right by having a healthy breakfast.
Breakfast remains the most important meal of the day and we often make a big mistake by overlooking this important meal. People usually make several excuses for avoiding breakfast:
- Lack of time in the morning to sit and eat peacefully
- No appetite early in the morning
- “Too much food in the morning makes me lethargic”
- “Having eaten a heavy meal the night before, I want to go light in breakfast”
All these reasons are indeed counter-productive to weight loss and preventing diabetes.
Several studies have shown that skipping breakfast increases food intake throughout the day. For individuals with diabetes, eating breakfast imparts specific benefits in lowering cardiovascular disease risk associated with high blood sugar. In the morning, insulin is more efficient and glucose peaks are smallest, so eating a normal balanced full meal reduces increase in blood glucose throughout the day.
Even in obese individuals, breakfast is beneficial since it kick-starts the metabolism early and starts the calorie burning process.
However, to ensure this heads in the right direction, the composition of breakfast matters.
Here are 3 Essentials of a nutrilicious breakfast
- Good quality complete proteins:
Proteins help in tissue wear and tear and are called building blocks of life. Foods rich in protein give satiety and hence help to reduce frequent hunger pangs. High biological value proteins are available from lean poultry, fish, eggs, milk and milk products. legumes , pulses and nuts are also good sources of protein. For non vegetarians, eggs are definitely a tasty and perfect start to the day.
Vegetarians need to work harder on getting good quality proteins in breakfast by incorporating nuts/ sprouts into poha, adding chenna to sandwiches, paneer / dal parathas, having idlis/dosa/uttapams , etc.
- Complex carbohydrates
Everybody talks about cutting carbohydrates but wisdom lies in choosing the right carbs rather than running away from them. All carbs are not bad. The complex (slowly diegsted, high fiber) carbohydrates come from whole grains (broken wheat dalia, oat grits, jowar flour, barley), pulses (moong, moth, rajmah, chole) and nuts (almonds, walnuts, etc).
- Fresh fruits
Fruits are the most neglected food in our diet and we often do not make conscious efforts to incorporate even one fruit throughout the day. So rather than regretting later about having forgotten to eat a fruit, it’s best to grab one while leaving for work. Munch on a fresh seasonal fruit on your way to work and you will surely reach fresh and active!
So never let go/ ignore the first meal of the day. As it is rightly called “break fast” , make sure that you gift your body with some great nutrients and freshness first thing in the morning to ensure a fruitful and healthy day ahead!
Apart from eating right, it is also important to get complete health checkups done regularly. This becomes especially important if you are above the age of 30. You can upload your reports on ekincare.com and monitor various health parameters on a continuous basis. It also helps you detect potential chronic health conditions including (but not limited to) diabetes..
Dr Pooja Chhawcharia is the Senior Nutritionist at eKincare with over 7 years of experience in Nutrition education, diet counseling and research. She is a Registered Dietician with the Indian Dietetic Association and Certified Diabetes Educator recognized by the International Diabetes federation . She is also interested in ancillary sciences such as Yoga and Naturopathy.