‘Eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince and dinner like a pauper’, we’ve been hearing all our lives. A saying based on the common sense of having energy first thing in the morning and going to bed less heavy. But this belief can be qualified.
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“The breakfast it’s another meal. It doesn’t have to be the most important. And, of course, it can be the worst of the day if it is based on pastries or sugary cereals”. Marcos Vzquezone of the most prestigious health popularizers and a collection of publications based on nutrition and sports studies, both in his books and on his blog and podcast Fitness Revolucionario.
“There is nothing magical about breakfastand if you don’t like it, you can even skip it”, continues this fitness authority, without blinking. Many will raise their hands to their heads with this headline, but not with others who continue to spread myths about the first daily intake, according to Vzquez, who goes back to the caves to reason that food has always been the reward for previous effort, not a kick of sugar that will make us feel low on energy in the middle of the morning.
THE STATISTICAL COMPLEXITY
There are studies that associate eating breakfast with better health, but most are observational and care must be taken with the correlations that are established, warns this expert. “When you have a lot of data on habits we can find two variables that are not consequences of each other.” For example, in summer there is a very strong correlation between consumption of ice cream and drowning. “Here’s a association but not causation between the two, but depend on a third: the increase in temperature. We eat more ice cream because of the heat and we bathe more, so the risk of drowning increases. In the same way, in health this type of associations is frequent and hence the alarmist headlines that we see so much in the press”, he justifies.
It also adds another handicap: healthy user bias. “People who care less about their health skip breakfast more often, smoke more, do less physical activity, drink more alcohol… the statistics say. So, worse health is due to skipping breakfast or everyone else.” bad habits together?” asks Vázquez.
Eating breakfast means breaking the fast, and absolutely everyone does that, he defends. “It just depends on the time: whether you do it earlier or later. In fact, the breakfast is quite modern“, he continues. Science has already shown some important benefits of fasting, although it is also demonized. “It is true that you compensate in the next meal those 400 calories that you have skipped, but you do not eat 700 in general, “he adds.
GIVE UP WORSE WITHOUT BREAKFAST?
Croissants, white bread toast with jam and butter, Maria biscuits, churros or batons, muffins with processed juices… These are some typical breakfasts, especially among the youngest and they are full of refined flours, sugars, vegetable oils, additives… “To take this, it is better not to have breakfast, and that does not mean that it will perform worse, as evidenced by studies of the effects of Ramadan made to Muslims. There is even one that indicates thatwomen improve your body composition [menos grasa] even though they eat about the same total calories and have the same physical activity as when they don’t do this fast.”
What is beneficial regarding breakfast first thing in the morning is that we will eat less at night, indicates Vzquez: “Circadian rhythms, which are being studied more and more, show that the digestive system is better adapted to digesting food during the day, while that in Spain we are very used to having a copious dinner very late“.
If we raise body temperature with digestion when it should tend to drop while sleeping, we also inhibit rest. “We lose the ability to oxidize fatty acids and we have clinical trials with groups of people where we can show that causality. And you see in a few weeks that people who eat more during the day lose more weight than those who eat more at night.”
- Breakfast is a meal. “Having said this, it is true that those who tend to eat a lot are better off eating breakfast instead of delaying their intake at night. As long as, as I say, they do not understand breakfast as a pastry,” warns Vzquez.
- Breakfast should be based on royal food. This means minimally processed, high-protein foods. “We have a lot of evidence that people take much less than they should and, furthermore, of low quality. However, it has many benefits in terms of satiety and sports performance, as it helps preserve muscle mass.”
- A high protein breakfast keeps glucose levels more stable and is thus less likely to attack the vending first thing in the morning “The fat is also interesting and the fiber, although it is not as interesting as the protein. A combination of protein and fiber would be ideal.”
- There are many possible breakfasts that are better than the ones we usually have, believing they are good. “We are increasingly aware of how oatmeal, one of my favorites, It provides good amounts of minerals and its consumption has less risk of coronary heart diseasesomething not observed with wheat, andrreduces the risk of diabetes thanks to its beta-glucan content”.
OVERNIGHTS: THE SATISFYING EFFECT
Basing on the oat powerthe Asturian Pelayo Prez discovered the fashion of overnights in the United States and wanted to introduce it in Spain. “He was tired of healthy being focused only on square guys or lite jocks and I wanted to normalize it among normal people, like me”. The idea is to mix your favorite liquid with oatmeal the night before, hence the name. It can be a vegetable almond drink, a natural juice, yogurt…
To do this, he has asked for help from his countryman Marcos Vzquez, who has the knowledge to develop a revolutionary product under his Spanish brand, La Newyorkina. “When the oatmeal gets cold increases its content of resistant starch and this implies a greater benefit in satiety to ultimately be able to lose weight”.
Oatmeal is a versatile product: there is the cut one that is cooked, the flakes and the instant one, without major nutritional differences, says the tandem. “It’s based on preferences and textures. Oatmeal like this is already a very good breakfast and it’s based on good food, but we want to enhance it with more protein, animal and pea whey for another vegan option. And we have also added polyphenols such as blueberries, which I dare say is one of the most beneficial fruits, in addition to cha seeds, which are better absorbed when left overnight,” says Vázquez.
What usually happens with oatmeal is that it has little sweetness. To compensate, Vzquez resorts to the nibs cocoa and the fashionable sweetener: erythritol. “It has virtually no calories and is a natural sweetener, unlike other artificial sweeteners that are hundreds of times sweeter than sugar.”
The product is prepared in a bowl and left in the fridge resting, to have breakfast ready in the morning. Even take it as a shake for those who don’t have time and want to take it to the office or after training. They claim to want to make things easier in a frenetic daily rhythm like the one we have. “It’s about turning the porridge traditional. We do not package the oats as such, anyone can do that, but we have promoted the best breakfast between two neighbors, one from Gijn and the other from Oviedo”.
They intend to communicate a healthy and complete breakfast: “Telling the truth and not putting anything in the packaging that is not true”, explains Pelayo Prez, who says that he cares more that this type of breakfast is known than to sell its brand. “If people start eating protein oatmeal instead of a muffin for listening to us, I’m happy.”