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Whole Grain Benefits

The Right Breakfasts For Early Birds And Night Owls



You’re reading First Thing, a weekly series on HuffPost UK that helps make your mornings happier and healthier.

We all know the best way to start the day is with a decent breakfast with the right nutrients – and good food first has been linked to higher energy levels and better cholesterol, to name a few.

But did you know that there are different foods you can eat in the morning depending on whether you are an early bird or a night owl? Yeah, neither do we.

Morning affects everything about our day, says senior nutritionist Alex Glover, who works with Holland & Barrett, and the foods we eat specifically affect how our bodies regulate energy. “In order to regulate our energy cycles in the best possible way, we have to listen to our personal daily rhythms and make sure that we coordinate our mornings with them,” he says.

Dr. Simon Steenson, nutritionist at the British Nutrition Foundation, says breakfast is generally the best opportunity to get the nutrients you need for good health.

In the UK, we don’t eat the recommended amount of fiber on average, so choices like whole grain breakfast cereals and fruits (bananas and berries) or whole wheat toast with nut butter are good sources of fiber.

Is there a specific time I should have breakfast?

Dr. Steenson says there has been a lot of interest in the role of not just food, but food as well, in recent years. Studies have shown that the timing of our meals could be a factor in weight gain and have pointed to circadian rhythms in our metabolism as a possible explanation, he says.

However, there’s no conclusive evidence to suggest the best time to eat – and people need to figure out what works best for them. If you want to get up early and get on with breakfast straight away, this will work! If you are a late riser and therefore have breakfast later in the morning, that works too.

“Focusing on balance and the variety of foods we eat is key,” says Dr. Steenson. “This usually includes lots of fruits and vegetables, whole grains and starchy foods with a higher fiber content, as well as some low-fat dairy products like milk and yogurt (or milk alternatives).”

I am a morning person! What should I eat?

According to Glover, early risers should start their mornings with a hearty breakfast filled with protein and fiber to keep them feeling full longer – with a break between breakfast and lunch of up to seven hours when they wake up around 6 a.m.

Foods like oats are perfect thanks to their high soluble fiber content, he says, and mixing in a quality flavored protein is a good addition.

“An early bird lifestyle can make them feel sluggish in the afternoon, which often results in them turning to caffeine for an afternoon boost,” he says. “However, this can be counter-intuitive as the caffeine hit can negatively affect our sleep cycle as it can remain in our system for up to eight hours.

“If you’re an early riser and often feel the 3pm slump instead of turning to caffeine, try a natural energy booster like a daily vitamin B12 that will help reduce tiredness and fatigue.”

Great berry overnight oats

Recipe suggestion: Super Berry Oats overnight

For the oats

  • 1/2 cup of Holland & Barrett organic gluten-free jumbo oats
  • 2/3 cup of oat milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tbsp Buckwud 100% pure organic maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon dried goji berries
  • 2 teaspoons of organic pumpkin seeds
  • 1 tbsp raspberry puree
  • 2 tsb Bioglan Superfoods Protein


Mix all the ingredients in a container. Once all the ingredients are combined, seal the container and refrigerate for at least 4 hours, but preferably overnight.

For the chia topping:

  • 1 tbsp chia seeds
  • 2 tbsp oat milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon Buckwud 100% purely organic
  • Maple syrup


Mix all the ingredients in a container. Once all the ingredients are combined, seal the container and refrigerate for at least two hours before using.

For the berry compote

  • 1 pound of mixed blueberries and strawberries
  • 2 tbsp maple syrup
  • Pinch of pink Himalayan salt


Put all ingredients in a saucepan and bring to a boil. After cooking, reduce the heat and simmer until the compote has condensed to about half of its original volume.

I am definitely a night owl. What should i eat for breakfast?

Mornings can feel rushed for night owls who are likely to wake up late. Therefore, food that you can take with you on the go is ideal, says Glover. “Something light and simple, but packed with slow-release carbohydrates to help keep energy levels up all day until lunch, like a grain-based muffin or a snack bar,” he says.

“Some night owls may have difficulty eating breakfast and may want to put it off for a moment, so as long as it doesn’t affect eating behavior or the quality of the food during the day, it’s fine.”

While skipping breakfast isn’t an unhealthy choice in itself, some research has shown that it can lead to poorer food choices later in the day. “If you crave something in sight at lunchtime, you may be more likely to opt for a less nutrient-dense option to help relieve those hunger pangs. So try to have a breakfast that is high in fiber, protein, fruits, and vegetables, and don’t forget to keep it hydrated, ”he says.

Coconut Almond Nut and Banana Breakfast Muffin

Coconut Almond Nut and Banana Breakfast Muffin

Recipe suggestion: Coconut, almond, butter, and banana breakfast muffin (makes 12)


  • 3 bananas
  • 200 ml coconut oil, melted
  • 160 g light brown sugar
  • 360g self-raising flour
  • 1/2 cup crushed almonds
  • 5 tbsp Pip & Nut coconut almond nut
  • 4 tbsp PE Nutrition Simply Whey Vanilla
  • 200 ml of water


Preheat the fan oven to 180 ° C

Lay out your muffin tin and peel and mash your bananas in a mixing bowl.

Once the bananas are smooth, add the coconut oil, water, vanilla essence, almond butter, and sugar and stir until well mixed.

Then add the sifted flour and the crushed almonds and stir again. Once everything is well mixed, divide the mixture into the 12 muffin bowls and bake for 20-25 minutes.

Drizzle some almond butter over the muffins and top with a few whole almonds.

First Thing is a weekly series on HuffPost UK Life that gives you tips and advice on how to enjoy your mornings. Whether you are an early riser or a night owl, if you start your day off right, the day will be happier and healthier. We’ll share exercise advice, nutritional advice, and ideas for building new habits. (And no, the answer to a productive morning isn’t just a 5 a.m. alarm!)

Whole Grain Benefits

Can a Low-Carb Diet Help Your Heart Health?



Instead, the researchers designed what they considered to be a practicable and relatively healthy diet for each group. All participants ate meals such as vegetable omelets, chicken burritos with black beans, spiced London broil, vegetarian chili, cauliflower soup, roasted lentil salads, and grilled salmon. But the high-carb group also ate foods like whole grain bread, brown rice, English multigrain muffins, strawberry jam, pasta, skimmed milk, and vanilla yogurt. The low-carb group avoided bread, rice and fruit spreads as well as sugary yoghurts. Instead, their meals contained more high-fat ingredients like whole milk, cream, butter, guacamole, olive oil, almonds, peanuts, pecans and macadamias, and soft cheese.

After five months, people on a low-carb diet did not experience any adverse changes in their cholesterol levels, even though they obtained 21 percent of their daily calories from saturated fat. That amount is more than double what the federal government’s nutritional guidelines recommend. For example, their LDL cholesterol, the so-called bad variety, stayed about the same as those on a high-carbohydrate diet that got just 7 percent of their daily calories from saturated fat. Tests also showed that the low-carb group had about a 15 percent reduction in lipoprotein levels (a), a fat particle in the blood that has been strongly linked to developing heart disease and stroke.

The low-carb group also saw improvements in metabolic measures related to the development of type 2 diabetes. Researchers rated their lipoprotein insulin resistance scores, or LPIR, a measure of insulin resistance that looks at the size and concentration of cholesterol-carrying molecules in the blood. Large studies have shown that people with high LPIR levels are more likely to develop diabetes. In the new study, people on a low-carb diet saw their LPIR levels decrease by about 5 percent – reducing their risk of diabetes – while those on a high-carb diet increased slightly. People on a moderate carbohydrate diet had no change in their LPIR values.

The low-carb group also had other improvements. They had a drop in their triglycerides, a type of fat in their blood that has been linked to heart attacks and strokes. And they had elevated levels of adiponectin, a hormone that helps lower inflammation and make cells more sensitive to insulin, which is a good thing. High levels of body-wide inflammation have been linked to a number of age-related diseases, including heart disease and diabetes.

The low-carb diet used in the study largely eliminated highly processed and sugary foods, but still left room for “high quality” carbohydrates from whole fruits and vegetables, beans, legumes and other plants, said Dr. David Ludwig, author of the study and an endocrinologist at Harvard Medical School. “It’s mainly focused on eliminating the processed carbohydrates that many people are now realizing to be among the least healthy aspects of our food supply,” said Dr. Ludwig, co-director of the New Balance Foundation Obesity Prevention Center at Boston Children’s Hospital.

Dr. Ludwig emphasized that the results do not apply to the very low carbohydrate levels typical of ketogenic diets, which have been shown to lead to large increases in LDL cholesterol in some people. But he said the study shows that people can get metabolic and cardiovascular benefits by replacing the processed carbohydrates in their diet with fat, including saturated fat, without worsening their cholesterol levels.

The new study cost $ 12 million and was largely funded by the Nutrition Science Initiative, a nonprofit research group. It was also supported by grants from the National Institutes of Health, the New Balance Foundation, and others.

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Whole Grain Benefits

5 Breakfast Myths That You Could Be Messing With Your Morning Meal



Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, at least that’s what our parents always told us. But how do we know which breakfast dish suits us best? Whether it’s too much sugar or too little nutrients, many breakfast options depend on nutritional myths. And these myths can do more harm than good when it comes to your morning meal.

We met with the molecular nutritionist Dr. Emma Beckett, who shattered some great breakfast myths that could keep you from maximizing your morning goodness.

Here’s what she shared with us about breakfast myths.

Myth # 1: Traditional breakfast food is bad for you

The truth: “Some high-carb foods like whole grain bread and breakfast cereals contain fiber that helps us feel fuller …”

For those who have busy mornings to complete endless chores, or even those who don’t bother making gourmet meals every morning, granola is the top choice. It’s simple, convenient, and tastes damn good.

The best thing about grain, according to Dr. Beckett that it’s a great way to make sure we’re getting tons of nutrients in the morning. Packed with iron, B vitamins and fiber, muesli is a better breakfast choice than you might think.

Dr. Beckett even gave us some great tips on how to spice up your morning cereal bowl too:

“Grains go well with other nutritious breakfast foods like Greek yogurt and nuts, which are sources of protein. Protein is essential in the diet as it is the most filling macronutrient that can help reduce grazing habits throughout the day, ”she said via email.

If you’re not sure which cereal brand is good to grab, Beckett suggested going for Kellogg’s All Bran or Sultana Bran because they are “high in fiber and have a 4.5 or even the maximum rating of 5 health stars . Grains like this have been a popular choice for nearly 100 years. “

Who would have thought cereal was so good?

Myth # 2: Processed = Bad?

The truth: “Most foods have to undergo processing in order to be edible and digestible – processing is a broad term that encompasses cooking, slicing and packaging.”

Many of us have been afraid to buy something marked as processed, but it is actually an important step for most foods. Processing sometimes has more to do with preserving the food and avoiding waste than with nutritional value.

Dr. Beckett explained, “Key nutrients like protein are not necessarily lost in processing; they can sometimes be retained or made more accessible through processing. Others like B vitamins and iron can be added back when they are lost in a process called fortification. “

In fact, the common breakfast suspects like cereal and bread are often fortified with added nutrients and processed because they are affordable, accessible, long-lasting, and popular. This just makes it easier for us to make sure we are adding the right substances to our bodies to start the day.

However, this does not mean that the all-clear will be given for all processed foods. Dr. Beckett notes that it is still important to consider how much a food has been processed, with products that have been ultra-processed being consumed in moderation.

Myth # 3: Eating healthy is expensive

The truth: “According to a recently published Australian model-based study, it is possible to improve the Australian diet while spending less money on groceries by choosing inexpensive, nutritious foods, improving nutritional quality and potentially reducing a family’s food bills by over 25 Percent. “

A common misconception about healthy eating is that our wallets are pinched and products need to be consumed quickly. Surprisingly, there are actually tons of healthy food options that are relatively cheap for what you get out of them and don’t spoil as quickly. Foods like whole grain bread and cereal are actually pretty budget-friendly and last a relatively long time.

One twist I wasn’t prepared for is that canned and frozen fruits and vegetables are just as healthy as they are fresh (as long as they’re not in syrup). If you’re worried about that bunch of bananas you bought and you won’t finish before they go, toss them in the freezer! They last longer and do not lose any health properties.

“When you do your research and shop, healthy eating really doesn’t have to be as expensive as it may seem!”

Myth # 4: Breakfast cereals are too sugary and have no nutritional value

The truth: “Australian data has shown that grains make up less than 3% of the added sugar in the average diet. Many cereals contain whole grains and fiber that many people cannot get enough of. “

According to Dr. Beckett, many breakfast cereals are “full of vital vitamins and minerals that are important for health and well-being and the most important source of iron in the Australian diet, especially for children.”

Obviously, muesli’s sugar content varies, with some sweeter ones available if that’s your cup of tea (or should I say your bowl of muesli), but most are moderately sweetened and many are sweetened by added fruits that contain natural sugars.

“For example, half of Kellogg’s 55 cereals contain 2 or less teaspoons of sugar per bowl. By updating the recipes, over 700 tons of sugar and 300 tons of salt were removed from the Australian diet – that’s the weight of about seven blue whales! “

Myth # 5: If it’s not whole grain, it doesn’t contain fiber

The truth: “While whole grain foods contain fiber, not all fiber-containing foods contain whole grains.”

How’s that for a mind-bender?

If you’re like me, fiber is confusing and I’m not sure what it is or where to find it. Fortunately, Dr. Beckett broken it down for us.

“Fibers are in the outer part of the grain, the bran. The bran can be removed from the grain and used in food, ”she explained.

This means that foods made with bran aren’t always whole grains, but they do contain a lot of fiber.

According to Dr. Beckett, I’m not the only one confused about fiber. Two in three Aussies fail to meet their daily fiber goals. What’s worse is that four in five Australians don’t eat enough fiber to protect themselves from chronic illness. Yikes

“For most of us, adequate fiber intake is between 25 and 30 grams per day. That might sound hard, but getting your daily dose is really easy when you’re eating high-fiber options like high-fiber breakfast cereals, whole grains, fruits, vegetables, and nuts, “she said.

Dr. Beckett then explained that not all whole grains were made equal (in the fiber department):

“Did you know that different whole grains have different amounts and types of fiber,” she said.

“For example, whole grain brown rice and corn both naturally have less fiber compared to other whole grain products like whole wheat and oats, which have higher amounts of fiber.”

The interesting thing, however, is that just one whole grain contains less fiber, doesn’t mean it’s not beneficial – it is!

Whole grains are exactly what they sound like – it’s whole whole grains. Fiber is only one component of whole grains, and all of the components work together to provide health benefits.

The more you know!

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Whole Grain Benefits

Dr. Bridget Gibson: Eight ways to get your metabolism moving | Free



Metabolism is the chemical reaction in the body’s cells that converts food into energy. Our bodies need this energy to do everything from moving to thinking to growing.

If a person’s metabolism is the rate at which their body burns calories for energy, then are there things they can do to increase that rate? And is metabolism the key to weight management and why do some people struggle and others never seem to gain weight?

There are conflicting theories about how your metabolism works and whether it can be boosted to help people lose weight faster. Let’s get the facts about what can be done while losing weight.

What is Metabolism?

Metabolism is how your body uses food for energy and then burns that energy to keep your body going.

How can I boost my metabolism?

1. Eat your meals on a schedule: Eating your meals at the same times throughout the day helps your body maintain a metabolic balance. In other words, if you overeat and then don’t eat for a long time, your body can overcompensate and burn calories more slowly or store more fat cells.

2. Don’t skimp on calories: Skipping meals or reducing your calorie count too much can slow your metabolism down so your body can conserve energy. Make healthy choices that will keep you within the recommended number of calories but still fill you up.

3. Drink green tea – While studies are inconclusive, some research suggests that green tea extract may play a role in promoting fat metabolism. Green tea can also be a great alternative to sugary juices and sodas, and can help ensure you get enough water during the day.

4. Do resistance training and high-intensity workouts: Lifting weights and doing exercises that use resistance weights or body weight will help build muscle. Muscle mass has a higher metabolic rate than fat, which means that muscle mass needs more energy to maintain and can boost your metabolism. To do this, add a routine that includes alternating periods of higher and lower intensity to burn more energy.

5. Drink plenty of water – Drinking is important for the body to function optimally. Water is necessary for an optimal metabolism and can help with weight loss.

6. Get plenty of sleep – When you don’t get enough sleep, your body releases the hormone ghrelin, which can make you hungry. It also releases less leptin, a hormone that helps you feel full. Getting enough sleep can help keep these hormones balanced and can prevent you from overeating.

7. Reduce stress: Stress affects hormone levels and can cause the body to produce too much cortisol, the hormone that regulates your appetite and can lead to unhealthy eating habits that, in turn, disrupt your metabolism. Stress is also closely related to the quality of sleep.

8. Get enough B vitamins: B vitamins in foods like bananas, baked potatoes, eggs, orange juice, peanut butter, peas, spinach, and whole grains are essential for a functioning metabolism. B vitamins help your body metabolize carbohydrates, proteins and fats and use the energy stored in food.

Do I burn energy when I am not active?

Yes, even when you are not moving, your body uses energy performing functions such as breathing and keeping your heart beating. This is known as the “resting (or baseline) metabolic rate”.

What determines a person’s resting metabolic rate?

– Genetics: The hereditary traits passed down from your parents and grandparents play a role, but luckily there are other metabolic factors that we can control, such as diet and exercise.

—Age: Most people’s metabolism naturally begins to slow down around the age of 30.

—Gender: On average, women have a slower metabolism than men. This is because men usually have more muscle and therefore burn more calories.

—Weight: People who weigh less need less energy (fewer calories) to keep their bodies energized. As you lose weight, your metabolism slows down too, so losing and maintaining weight can be more difficult over time.

Three tips for healthy weight loss

The bottom line when it comes to healthy weight loss is to be aware of your caloric intake (and the reduced caloric needs as you age) and focus on the factors that you can control.

1. Start with the goal of losing 5 to 10 percent of your weight through more physical activity and healthier diets. The benefits can be dramatic.

2. For example, a person weighing 250 pounds who lost 5 to 10 percent would lose 13 to 25 pounds, which could lower their risk of diabetes, heart disease, stroke, and some cancers. Other benefits that you may actually feel sooner include more energy, less pain, and feeling less breathless or out of breath – which makes it a lot easier to keep moving.

3. Celebrate your victories at every milestone. When you hit 5 percent, feel better, or notice an increase in energy, give yourself a gold star, do your merry dance, or reward yourself with a favorite activity. You deserve it and the benefits are just beginning.

Slowly and steadily the race wins! Extreme diets and fitness routines are not sustainable in the long run. The saying “it’s a marathon, not a sprint” is true. Healthy weight loss and control is about what you can do each day to get more exercise and eat more fruits and vegetables, lean proteins, and whole grains than carbohydrates, fried foods, and sugar.

Dr. Bridget Gibson is the general practitioner for Brookwood Baptist Health.

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