In a society obsessed with health food – we can be led to buy some pretty ridiculous foodstuffs: fat free yogurt flavored as New York Cheesecake? Ninety-nine percent fat free cereal with more sugar than a candy bar? At the end of the day, I am not fussed whether the bowl of milk and processed grain is gluten free, fat free, sugar free and folate fortified; if it’s cereal, it is far from a “health food” option.
Cereal happens to be one of the most processed foods out there, and many are loaded with carbs, lacking in fiber and devoid of protein. It is true that traditional cereals, without the additional dried fruits and honey-encrusted nuts, can serve you well – but let’s be honest here – how many of you perfectly portion a 1/3 cup of oats every morning? Eating cereal for breakfast has been shown to increase insulin levels and leave you hankering for your skinny latte come 10 am. This is why it is so important to consume clean lean protein and healthy fat for breakfast
Where’s the evidence? A study from The University of Alabama appears to shed some interesting light. The study demonstrated that eating a high fat breakfast actually prevented symptoms of pre-diabetes. Such symptoms include high blood pressure, insulin resistance and abdominal obesity – all prevailing health problems in Australia. In the study, the researchers fed two groups of mice either a high fat or high carbohydrate breakfast. Interestingly, the mice that ate the fatty breakfast had normal metabolic rates throughout the day and were able to burn fat sufficiently. The high carbohydrate mice showed an increase in weight, belly fat and glucose intolerance.
As prevailing knowledge suggests, this study showed how important breakfast is for setting your metabolism for the rest of the day. But perhaps, it also demonstrated the importance of what’s IN the breakfast. In the same study, researchers concluded that the mice that consumed fat were primed to efficiently burn carbohydrates and fat throughout the day. Apparently, the mice that ate the fat rich breakfast were more “flexible” in burning the array of food we consume on a daily basis. And for those mice who ate a carbohydrate heavy breakfast? They were excellent at burning carbohydrates throughout the day, but terrible at burning fat. Not convinced yet? How about a recent study in the Journal of the American Medical Association that showed that cutting back on protein caused you to store fat? The study divided 25 average weight, healthy 18 – 35 year old men and women into three groups