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Joining the breakfast club

Hungry guests, eat at a local Tucson brunch hot spot, Prep and Pastry.

Breakfast in bed may be more productive than you think.

According to a National Center for Biotechnology informational study, skipping breakfast can lead to an appetite for high-calorie foods such as pancakes, waffles, and eggs Benedict, rather than something healthy or low-calorie.

Everyone remembers sitting at the kitchen table as a child trying to stomach every last bite of oatmeal that their parents told them they had to eat. Their reason inevitably was “breakfast is the most important meal of the day.” According to Tucson nutritionists, this idea still holds true.

“That is because if we don’t eat it, typically our blood sugar is unstable and our adrenals will have to work a lot harder, and people can end up being exhausted,” said Lauren Kanzler, a certified clinical nutritionist who owns her own online private practice.

A breakfast of empty calories can lead to low energy throughout the day.

There is a pop-culture term for this: hangry. It means that you are angry because you are so hungry. The real reason behind this term, is that it is important to keep your blood sugar stable in order to prevent getting cranky. Eating breakfast in the morning will lead to a more productive and energetic day said Kanzler.

Katie Ann Lehn, a registered dietitian at Nourishing Results on North Swan Road, emphasizes that the time at which we eat all of our meals is extremely important in terms of nutrition, which is why it is important to eat shortly after you wake up.

“It serves a valuable purpose in maintaining energy levels, weight regulation, controlling cravings, and preventing mood swings,” said Lehn.

Ashley Linares-Gaffer is a local master of science and a registered dietitian, who believes that more then any other meal, breakfast matters because of the aspect of timing.

“It is important to break this fasting period with a balanced breakfast to provide an outside energy source; if this is not done, the body will search for energy and the primary source will come from stores in muscle tissue,” said Linares-Gaffer.

With all the benefits of breakfast, the question then becomes: what do I eat for breakfast? The nutritionists all agreed that an ideal breakfast should consist of a protein, fat, and fiber. Lehn suggests eating a sliced avocado, eggs and black beans for breakfast, or unsweetened coconut flakes with chia seeds, plain Greek yogurt, and fresh berries if you like something on the sweeter side.

A healthy breakfast includes of protein, fat, and fiber.

Kanzler has a different approach to breakfast, “ You don’t have to eat breakfast food, leftovers work. We are one of the few countries where we have specific foods deemed as “breakfast.” Kanzler suggests trying to heat up your leftovers such as a sweet potato, or steamed veggies.

In general, based on a 1,500 calorie diet, breakfast should be around 400 calories.

By 2017, it is predicted by National Products Insider, that breakfast will be a $15.7 billion dollar industry.

Rachael Vargas is a reporter for Arizona Sonora News, a service from the School of Journalism with the University of Arizona. Contact her at rachaelvargas@email.arizona.edu.

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