Special to The Herald-Mail
Your mother always told you that breakfast was the most important meal of the day.
As usual, Mom was right.
There are many physical and mental benefits to eating breakfast every day. Many documented studies have shown that people who choose to eat breakfast on a regular basis have healthier weights, lower BMI (Body Mass Index) and also have shown improved concentration and performance, whether it be in the classroom or in the office.
Interestingly enough, dieters often choose to skip breakfast, hoping that it will cut down on total caloric intake and promote weight loss, when nothing could be further from the truth.
The term breakfast comes from an English term meaning "breaking the fast." But skipping breakfast and waiting until lunch time to eat can mean that the fast can easily be 15 hours or more.
If you choose to go this long without eating, hunger will get the best of you. People who skip breakfast tend to eat more at lunch and throughout the day than breakfast eaters, thus making up for the calorie deficit obtained by skipping breakfast.
People who eat breakfast also tend to make healthier food choices throughout the remainder of the day. In general, people that eat breakfast also consume higher amounts of dietary fiber, calcium, vitamin A, vitamin C, riboflavin, zinc and iron as well as lower fat, cholesterol and total caloric intake.
Breakfast, like other meals, should contain protein, carbohydrate in the form of whole grains, and a small amount of fat.
Adding a lean source of protein to your breakfast will help keep you feeling satisfied until lunchtime, thus eliminating mid-morning snacking.
Eggs are probably the most well-known breakfast food and provide the highest, biological-value protein. Try incorporating whole grains to boost the dietary fiber intake by choosing cereals that contain 5 grams of dietary fiber per serving or more.
Fresh fruit is a great way to boost intake of dietary fiber as well as vitamins, minerals and healthy antioxidants. Low-fat milk and yogurt provide a good source of protein as well.
You can even throw some vegetables into your breakfast by making vegetable-filled omelets. Be sure to check sugar content when choosing cold cereals and breakfast bars. If sugar, brown sugar, corn syrup or high-fructose corn syrup are in the top five ingredients, keep searching for a healthier option.
One of the biggest reasons for skipping breakfast is usually linked to not enough time. You might need to make it a priority and wake up 15 minutes earlier to have a sit-down breakfast. Make things easier on yourself by placing nonperishable items out on the table the night before.
Try some of the following options if you choose to eat on the run: