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Start your day right with breakfast

It's often said breakfast is the most important meal of the day, and at least one dietitian agrees. Ali Gludt, a Profile by Sanford assistant manager and registered dietitian, said breakfast is very important for a lot of different reasons. Studi...

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Breakfast | iStock photo

It's often said breakfast is the most important meal of the day, and at least one dietitian agrees.

Ali Gludt, a Profile by Sanford assistant manager and registered dietitian, said breakfast is very important for a lot of different reasons. Studies show breakfast helps with weight loss and maintenance, as well as provides people with a more balanced diet.

Despite its many benefits, a recent study showed about 1 in 10 Americans skips breakfast - some in an effort to cut calories.

Gludt says that's never a good idea.

"That's what a lot of people think," she said. "In fact, oftentimes, they hear that. I have members come in and say they don't eat breakfast and they aren't hungry in the morning. Why would I eat when I'm not hungry if I can go until dinnertime? But in fact, breakfast can be beneficial in a lot of different ways."

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People who eat a meal in the morning also are likely to eat fewer calories throughout the day, Gludt said. Those who skip the first meal of the day are more likely to overeat at lunch or dinner.

Slowing it down

By eating breakfast, a person's metabolism sparks and begins working. When a person doesn't eat in the morning, the body goes into "conservation mode" and doesn't metabolize food the same way, Gludt said.

"When your body gets that first meal, it thinks it's going to be getting food throughout the rest of the day, so I'm going to start burning this up," she said.

For a well-rounded and healthy breakfast, Gludt recommends people try foods from three different food groups, mainly healthy carbohydrates, protein and fruit.

By staying within these food groups, a person could have a breakfast, such as toast on whole grain bread, eggs or peanut butter, and a banana.

A person doesn't have to stick to typical breakfast foods, however. For instance, the same food groups could be accomplished by eating a chicken breast, vegetables and a piece of bread.

"As long as you're getting those food groups in, it doesn't necessarily have to be breakfast foods," Gludt said.

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Foods high in saturated fats, such as fast food, also should be avoided, Gludt said.

Whether it's a protein shake or some eggs and toast, Gludt said everyone should have that all-important first meal of the day.

"Breakfast is important for a lot of different reasons," she said. "But you have to make sure it's smart."

Related Topics: SANFORD HEALTHHEALTHFOOD
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