- According to a Dar es Salaam based nutritionist, Neema Shosho, the wise named breakfast as the ‘most important meal of the day’ for many reasons. It kick-starts your metabolism, gives the energy you need to get things done and helps you to focus at work or school.
Breakfast is the first meal of the day, most often eaten early in the morning before undertaking the day’s work.
According to a Dar es Salaam based nutritionist, Neema Shosho, the wise named breakfast as the ‘most important meal of the day’ for many reasons. It kick-starts your metabolism, gives the energy you need to get things done and helps you to focus at work or school.
“It also helps you burn calories throughout the day. In addition, studies have linked eating breakfast to good health, including better memory and concentration, lower levels of ‘bad’ cholesterol, lower chances of getting diabetes or heart disease,” Ms Shosho adds.
The first meal also helps control being overweight and obese. It is therefore very important to start a day with a healthy breakfast, the nutritionist emphasises.
A big ‘no’
We often hear people say, ‘I’m not a breakfast person’, or ‘I will compensate with a heavy lunch’.
This, Ms Shosho says is a ‘No No’ and regards it as unhealthy habits. Skipping the morning meal can throw off your body’s rhythm of fasting and eating, she explains.
When you wake up, the blood sugar your body needs to make your muscles and brain work their best, is usually low. Breakfast helps replenish it.
The good and the bad
Neema said most Tanzanians fall under light Breakfast, heavy lunch and filling dinner category. This can be due to many reasons; we grew up eating heavy lunch and dinner while breakfast is always not a very big deal. We also all rush in the morning to work or we get carried away with many things in the morning, hence no time for proper breakfast.
Most of us end with a cup of tea/coffee with chapatti, kitumbua, bread or andazi and wait for heavy lunch. Most choices we make for breakfast are high sugar, high fat and high salt choices, which is not healthy.
How to make the right choice
Ms Shosho tells Your Health that a healthy breakfast should be well balanced-with a source of protein, vitamin and minerals and small portion of carbohydrate.
One should avoid high sugar, high salt and high fat breakfast. We normally recommend healthy foods like diary, grains and fruits as they are good source of vitamins and nutrients.
“As Tanzanians we should also make sure that we maximize our local foods for a healthy breakfast. Get a cup of milk, a piece of sweet potato, a bowl of seasonal fruits and an egg, preferably boiled. This is an example of a healthy breakfast which is affordable and locally available,” Ms Shosho advises.
We should all know that eating a light, unhealthy breakfast or skipping it may increase your risk of obesity or make it harder to lose weight because if you eat breakfast you are less likely to overeat throughout the rest of the day.
Skipping the morning meal
Ms Shosho informs that skipping breakfast may also trigger bad eating habits throughout the day, as cravings ensue and quick-fix fast foods are often sought out.
Furthermore, skipping breakfast increases your risk of hypoglycemia or low-blood sugar.
This condition can bring on physical discomfort such as shakiness, dizziness, weakness, headaches, tingling and a rapid heart rate. These are just very few effects of skipping breakfast.