Cranky Breakfast?

by in Beachbody, Food & Nutrition May 19, 2014

donutsWhat did you eat for breakfast this morning? A bowl of cereal? Waffles? A bagel? A donut?

Or was it a balanced breakfast with complex carbohydrates, good protein and healthy fats to start your day off right and power through your morning?

It’s mid-morning – are you feeling hungry? Tired? Energized? Focused?

Many questions for a Monday; but something to really think about. There are several reasons that we hear, “breakfast is the most important meal of the day.” 

All of the feelings you are currently experiencing very likely have to do with what you ate for breakfast this morning.

More importantly, would you be surprised if I told you that regardless of if you ate a bowl of cookies or 2 slices of whole wheat toast for breakfast, you may be experiencing the same mid-morning receptivity. 

Let me explain….

When you eat high carbohydrate foods, the effect on your blood sugar level is instant. All carbohydrates, whether they start as sugars or starches, are converted into glucose, which enters your bloodstream quickly – giving you a quick energy burst.  That energy cannot be sustained, however….unless you eat more. 

After consuming that morning donut,your pancreas releases a surge of insulin to clear out the glucose (moving it to your cells) and regulate your blood sugar level. This is how the process should work.   Although, most people overproduce insulin; causing  blood sugar to fall, your energy level crashes, you crave more carbs and the cycle starts all over again.

On the other hand, when you eat foods that are higher protein, healthy fats and some complex carbs, your body produces far less insulin and you avoid these blood sugar highs and lows. When you produce less insulin, your blood sugar level remains constant–and so does your energy level and mood!!! Hunger is more controlled and cravings often disappear.

The Glycemic Index is a good measure of how quickly blood sugar rises after eating a certain food. Foods only appear on the GI index if they contain carbohydrate.  Glucose has a GI of 100. The index estimates how much each gram of available carbohydrate (total carbohydrate minus fiber) in food raises a person’s blood glucose level following consumption of the food. This is important because eating a lot of foods that rank high on the glycemic index will produce spikes in blood sugar that can over time lead to loss of sensitivity to insulin. Insulin resistance is associated with obesity, high blood pressure, elevated blood fats, and an increased risk of type 2 diabetes.

Now here is the shocking truth about wheat bread – it is 71  on the GI. That may still mean nothing to you; until you compare it to other foods including:

  • a Snickers bar – 51
  • Vanilla Wafers (that bowl of cookies) – 74
  • Coca-Cola – 63
  • Oatmeal – 55
  • Cashews – 27
  • Grapefruit – 25
  • Chocolate Milk – 49

Higher than a coke and a snickers bar!!  Maybe reconsider that carb-stacked breakfast?! Include some good healthy protein and fats to get your day started right 🙂 This is another reason why I am an advocate for Shakeology in the morning; it ranks 24 on the GI.low GI

Here’s to healthy breakfast and feeling fabulous each and every day. Please share and post your favorite breakfast int he comments section!

  1. Shelly Morrow May 19, 2014 at 3:54 pm

    Love this piece! My favorite breakfast is an egg with spinach, avocado and a pinch of ghost pepper salt!! Sometimes I throw in a gluten free waffle from the freezer, sometimes not.

    • Thank you, Shelly. That breakfast is one of my favorites too – except I need to try the ghost pepper salt!! I usually have mine with a sliced tomato too 😉

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