Op Ed: Jettison those junk-food breakfasts, and make your day

Anthony Shaw, Arapahoe Pinnacle Sports Columnist

Unless you live under a rock, someone’s probably told you at least once in your life that breakfast is the most important meal of the day.

It’s true.

That doesn’t mean whatever you put in your body that morning is essential to you. Our bodies need certain types of fuels to help launch you through your day, certain fuels that will go uncredited in your future. What if I told you that your fate lies in your fridge and pantry? You’d probably think I’m silly – when in fact, it is anything but inaccurate.

“You want to aim for a breakfast that combines good carbs and fiber with some protein,” says Erica Giovinazzo, MS, RD, a nutritionist at Clay Health Club and Spa, in New York.

Let’s start with your energy filler, the carbohydrates.

They are the most important source of energy for your body. Your digestive system changes carbohydrates into glucose (blood sugar). Your body uses this sugar for energy for your cells, tissues and organs, is according to Google’s description of the macronutrient. Just about anything that isn’t from an animal has carbs. They aren’t hard to find, though searching for the good ones is a bit more difficult.

The first place not to avoid looking is in any foods with added sugar or white grains (e.g., white bread). Those are bad carbs.

Look for foods that contain whole grains. Whole grains are safe carbs because they are high in fiber which makes for a healthier digestive system. They also help stabilize blood sugar, a big concern for diabetics. They are loaded with vitamins and minerals that help boost our nutrient density. Another pro is the fact that they are slow digesting, keeping us satisfied longer – helping prevent temptation to overeat later in the day. A couple of easily accessible suggestions for this part of your balanced breakfast would be two slices of buttered whole wheat toast or a serving of oatmeal.

The next type of fuel you should be adding to your morning routine is protein. With the help of carbohydrates, adding protein to your morning meal will help satisfy your appetite – and keep your mind free of thoughts of food and more focused on your ambitions.

A simple way to get this essential macronutrient is from any sort of meat, preferably white meats like turkey or chicken. Red meats are good for you, but too much red meat can cause a drastic increase in your cholesterol levels. To be specific, it raises your LDL cholesterol levels which lead to a higher risk for heart disease. That is why it is critical to know you are much better off consuming white meats on a regular basis versus red meats. A King Soopers deli is a great place to find pure white meats. Another good way to get your protein is in eggs. The egg whites are loaded with protein, and if you take out the yolk (heavily equipped with fats), then you’re strictly consuming only protein.

Fiber is underrated. It helps assist your digestion and prevent constipation. Basically, fiber allows the food you consumed to continuously move through your body. And the digestion system relies on aiding your consumed food to move through your body as swiftly and thoroughly as can be.

Two types of fiber are soluble and insoluble.

Soluble fiber lures water and transforms it to gel during digestion. This slows digestive activity, lowering cholesterol and in turn, helping prevent heart disease. Soluble fiber can be found in any kind of oat, nut or bean. The other type of fiber is insoluble. Insoluble fiber performs opposing duties by speeding up the digestion process. These fibers can be found in vegetables and fruit. For the sake of this column, adding insoluble fiber to your morning meal will be more beneficial considering you’re already applying soluble fiber through oats. A fresh orange should complete the job done.

If you want to incorporate all three nutrients into one packed source then Granola is your go-to. Putting some milk (or almond/cashew milk) on your serving of granola will give you carbs, protein and fibers. A serving of granola (1/2 cup) will give you 40 grams of carbohydrates, 6 grams of protein, and 4 grams of fiber; plenty of energy to help you make it to lunch time.

A nice simple, nutrient-dense breakfast will give you a jolt start to your day and won’t induce a crash by the time lunch rolls around. Placing carbs into your breakfast regimen along with protein will eliminate the distraction of being hungry because it satiates your appetite. Carbs also are the greatest way to energize your body.