Sweet or savoury, Italian or English, breakfast is a healthy and essential meal in order not to suffer from lacks in energy and to have a strong and reactive body.
What is the best breakfast?
Which is better, the Italian or the continental one?
What are the best foods to start the day in the best way?
We all have our own breakfast habits.
There are those who prefer to start the day with a brioche and a cappuccino and those who are unable to give up salty foods.
The one thing that matches with both is coffee which goes perfectly with sweet and savoury foods.
In Italy, breakfast tends to be based on sweets while, in many foreign countries, is based on toast, cold cuts, eggs and bacon.
However, not all foods are suitable for keeping our body healthy.
In some cases, there is the risk of causing damage to the body due to the excessive intake of fat after fasting at night.
For a healthy breakfast, it is good to make the right mix of fibres, proteins, carbohydrates, and minerals to face the day greatly, without glycaemic peaks and digestive difficulties.
A good habit is to replace foods that are too fatty, such as croissants and foods with yeast, with healthier, low-fat foods.
But alongside a healthy and balanced diet, it is not absolutely necessary to avoid espresso.
In fact, coffee is rich in nutrients and antioxidants that accelerate metabolism, are energizing and promote brain functions.
And, above all, the espresso prepared with the Pontevecchio lever coffee machines, has an irreplaceable taste to which it is not possible to say no.
In this article we will see how to have a healthy breakfast without giving up coffee and which foods are most suitable for waking up.
Why is it important not to skip breakfast?
Many people consider breakfast to be the most important meal of the day. This is not a rule, but it is absolutely proven that a healthy breakfast puts the body in a better condition.
According to scientific research, skipping breakfast leads to consuming a greater amount of food in subsequent meals, causing a rise in insulin and significant digestive difficulties.
This can bring many negative consequences:
- concentration problems;
- attention deficit both in the morning and in the afternoon;
- discomfort in managing body weight.
When you choose to have a healthy and regular breakfast, your body can only thank you. A correct intake of calories, proteins, fibres, and minerals allows the body to work better, without overloading it or weakening it excessively at certain times of the day.
The morning meal helps to face everyday life with more vitality and keeps sugar levels stable.
In this way there are no annoying drops in sugar with consequent decreases in attention or concentration.
So, what are the benefits of a healthy breakfast?
A healthy breakfast:
- it is a source of energy;
- speeds up metabolism;
- does not alter insulin levels;
- helps to better control calorie intake;
- improves heart functions;
- is good for the brain;
- avoid the insulin rush in the afternoon;
- promotes digestion as it helps to have lighter and more regular meals.
Breakfast has the task of satisfying 15% of the daily calorie requirement.
But we know that this goal varies from person to person, based on their weight, gender, build and the activities they perform.
However, it is always good to keep this parameter in mind when organizing weekly meals.
How does our body act during breakfast?
Having breakfast is a gesture that is often taken for granted, without considering how many tasks it performs in our body, and which functions it stimulates.
The reality is much more complex, and the morning meal should never be underestimated.
When we consume food or drink liquids, we immediately activate the digestive system. Although it may seem indifferent, our body also reacts differently to the intake of solid foods or drinks.
The first thing to note is that both should be introduced during breakfast.
Liquids lead to an increase in gastric secretion necessary for digestive activities.
Solids, on the other hand, promote digestion and prevent the creation of stones. The mechanical activity they perform, in fact, allows emptying the gallbladder and prevents the accumulation of bile in the gallbladder.
Among the most important contents of bile are bicarbonates, substances that promote the absorption of food and digestion. They react with stomach acids and create the most favourable conditions for the digestive process to be successful.
Also, in terms of timing, the body’s reaction can vary.
There is no better time for breakfast, but this changes according to habits and lifestyle.
The ideal would be to have breakfast within two hours of waking up, so as to reap all the benefits of rest and reactivate the body in the best possible way.
Can be the breakfast that people usually eat considered healthy?
Bacon eggs, coffee and croissants, English tea and muffins, wurstel, yogurt or brioche: everyone has their own breakfast habits.
Having breakfast at the hotel, in every part of the world, it is possible to taste different dishes and to face new and different cultures.
Once in a while, the continental or English breakfast is really enjoyable.
But what is the best breakfast?
Better to opt for the English breakfast or stay on the Italian one?
Let’s do a little digression on the most common eating habits to start the day.
What is the typical Italian breakfast
When we talk about Italian breakfast, the greatest certainty is that Italians love to give themselves a good morning with coffee.
It is a deeply rooted habit but also a pleasure that is difficult to give up.
Alongside coffee, in general, Italians like to have milk, yogurt or rusks with jam.
In bars, the most common combination is the one between cappuccino and croissant, very greedy and appreciated.
Among the alternative drinks, tea and orange juice are also very popular.
Those who opt for a healthier and more balanced diet prefer toast with honey and add fresh fruit to yogurt.
Compared to other international breakfasts, when talking about nutrition, the Italian breakfast is the best one.
Composed of a mix of solid foods and drinks, it manages to activate gastric processes and helps the gallbladder get rid of bile, putting the body in the ideal conditions to face the rest of the day.
What is the typical breakfast in the USA
The American breakfast has little to do with the Italian one.
The first and substantial difference is coffee.
In Italy, espresso is mainly prepared with a professional coffee machine or with a traditional Moka.
In the United States, however, the most popular drink is the American-style coffee, very long and served in a large mug.
Milk can be consumed at different times and is not always associated with breakfast. While tea ca be offered as an alternative to long coffee.
Among the drinks on American tables, it is also easy to find packages of orange fruit juice, preferred to freshly orange juice.
Even in the US, liquids are associated with solid, salty, or sweet foods.
As for sweet foods, there is a strong consumption of toast with butter, sweets and cakes of various kinds.
While, among savoury foods the most popular options are ham sandwiches, cheeses and eggs.
What is the typical English breakfast
The English breakfast is one of the most popular breakfasts in the world. Its fame is due to the richness of the dishes and the basically salty setting.
Also called fry-up, English breakfast is not a snack, instead, it is a real meal that helps to face the day energetically.
It is generally consumed on Sundays or during holidays and this kind of meal has medieval origins.
The full English breakfast includes a variety of items. First of all, bacon and scrambled eggs, cooked in butter and seasoned with cream, salt and pepper.
Then we must not forget vegetables, that usually are grilled mushrooms and tomatoes.
Furthermore, in the traditional breakfast, we must include black pudding, beans with tomato and black tea.
If this is Sunday’s breakfast, what do British eat for breakfast during the week?
The typical English breakfast includes porridge, made with oat flakes and water, English muffins, and poached eggs.
What is the typical breakfast in Germany
The German breakfast looks like a good mix of sweet and savoury food.
Based on bread and cold cuts or with the typical white frankfurters, while coffee macchiato is frequently drunk.
However, there is a great variety of foods to start the day in Germany.
Among the sweet breakfast we can find pies, muesli, jams, croissants, cakes, plum cakes and muffins.
Typical desserts are apple strudel, kaiserschmarrn (a sort of crepes, accompanied by blueberry or currant jam), krapfen and pretzels.
Generally, on German tables, you can also find yogurt and low-fat cheese.
In addition to sweet foods, the German breakfast is rich in savoury foods such as cheese, eggs, cooked ham, and omelettes.
Moving on to drinks, the German breakfast includes coffee, cappuccino, orange or apple juice. While during the week, Germans like to have their breakfast with lager beer.
Why are these breakfasts not wholly healthy?
Among the breakfasts we have analyzed before, the best is the Italian one, which is less caloric and does not create peaks in insulin production.
Starting the day with such an intake of fat and calories, in fact, increases cholesterol and triglyceride levels with serious effects on health.
Cholesterol increases the risk of strokes, myocardial infarctions, and arteriosclerosis.
Intake of saturated fats in the morning is harmful, precisely because the body worked during the night to eliminate the waste produced the day before.
This caloric intake nullifies the work of the body within an hour since the gallbladder quickly recharges with bile.
The Italian breakfast is considered the lightest and most easily digestible one. In fact, it is suitable for preparing the body for lunch which, in general, for us is the main meal of the day.
The breakfasts on the other side of the Alps, on the other hand, are consumed as main meals, so that only a small snack is required at noon.
However, even in the Italian breakfast there are some fundamental errors.
First, the habit of having croissants for breakfast is gaining momentum. Unfortunately, this kind of industrial foods contain an excessive amount of saturated fat which can lead to overweight or cardiovascular disease.
Furthermore, in our country, many people have started to replace sweet breakfast with savoury one. This alternative, however, must be followed by a balanced lunch that considers the calories and fat previously eaten. Otherwise, you risk burdening the body.
A bad habit of our compatriots is to have breakfast only with coffee.
Although the aroma of the espresso is excellent and the drink has an energizing effect, a healthy breakfast must necessarily contain liquid and solid foods.
What are the basics of a healthy breakfast
Additives, sugars and carbohydrates in huge quantities give a feeling of temporary fulfilment. However, these foods do not provide the ideal supply of micronutrients, fibres, vitamins, minerals, proteins and healthy fats that the body needs.
To better manage your breakfast, it is always better to balance fibres, proteins and minerals.
Let’s see how.
At the base of a healthy breakfast, you must always introduce some foods:
- dairy products with a reduced fat content;
- whole grains;
- lean proteins;
- fruit and vegetables.
Lean dairy products are very healthy and low in calories. They have the ability to satiate for a long time and make breakfast satisfying.
Among the low-fat dairy products, you can opt for milk, yogurt with no added sugar, ricotta, fat-free and natural cheeses.
Whole grains are high in fibres and provide an optimal dose of calories.
There are many options on the market to choose from: toast, sandwiches, biscuits, whole grains to be consumed cold or hot and wholemeal rusks.
Lean proteins provide energy and a great sense of satiety. They allow you to reach the next meal without loss of attention or a feeling of weakness.
This family includes eggs, a very rich food from a nutritional point of view, nuts, lean meat and legumes.
Regarding fruits and vegetables, there are no limits. The ideal is always to prefer fresh foods, smoothies, and sugar-free extracts.
The best breakfast for weight loss starts with a balanced combination of these foods.
Making a mix of at least three of these food groups produces a feeling of satiety and the body receives the necessary supply of nutritional principles (carbohydrates, proteins, fibres and fats).
How to choose breakfast cereals
Cereals are one of the most consumed foods for breakfast.
These are two of the reasons of this choice:
- they are convenient;
- they are extremely practical.
However, you have to pay close attention to the various proposals available on the market. Cereals are a refined and very elaborated food, rich in added ingredients.
Although they are sold as healthy and quality food, they are high in sugars, which are harmful to health.
To get the benefits of eating cereals, you need to learn how to select the best breakfast products.
Here are some tips:
- Always read the label: it is very important to check the list of ingredients. The first are those of which the product is mainly made of. Also look at the table of nutritional values which gives you a clear picture of the quantity of healthy substances to provide to your body.
- Pay attention to portions: do not exceed the quantities indicated by the manufacturer. Not all grains are created equal, so some may provide more calories than others.
- Limit calories: the quantity of sugars is indicated on the information label. They can typically appear under different names, such as honey, brown sugar, dextrose, or fructose, so be very careful. Better to choose cereals with a few grams of sugar.
- Check if fibres are present: high-fibre cereals are healthier, so opt for those that contain a higher amount.
- Avoid cereals made for children: the latter, in fact, contain more sugars.
- Add Protein: Alongside grains and fibres, it’s always good to include an extra protein source, such as dried fruit or Greek yogurt.
An option to be consumed quickly is the cereal bars. Also, in this case the same precautions must be applied as for cereals, associating the bars with fruit, milk, or yogurt.
Breakfast with cereals chosen according to these criteria reduces the risk of being overweight.
And if you have little time to have a healthy breakfast, you can opt for these solutions
Skipping breakfast due to lack of time does not benefit the body.
Nor to fall back on a quick, sugar-only snack at the bar. Although the latter can be a greedy alternative, in the long run it can only damage the body.
Having a croissant and a sweet drink quickly raises the blood sugar level, therefore, the initial satisfaction is again replaced by the feeling of hunger.
So, it is better to organize yourself in time and have some extra care, both to speed up the preparation of meals and to take care of your personal menu.
A good habit is to set up breakfast the night before so that, the next morning, you don’t have to waste precious minutes.
First of all, everything that does not deteriorate can be prepared in advance: minced fruit, donuts or plum cakes with yogurt, soaked oat flakes, fruit smoothies.
The second thing you can do to shorten the time is to set the table and take out everything you need for breakfast from the night before: placemats, cups, coffee cups, milk, sweeteners, dry ingredients.
If you prefer eating away from home, you can fill a handbag with everything you need, so that you have the food you want, at the time that is most convenient for you.
Among the healthiest solutions for a quick breakfast we recommend:
- oat flakes soaked with dried fruit;
- wholemeal sandwich with low-fat cheese, or stuffed with turkey breast;
- fresh fruit smoothie or vegetable extract;
- yogurt and muesli;
- hard-boiled eggs;
- whole grains;
- cooked apple flavoured with spices;
By doing this you won’t need to give up with breakfast to save time, as you will only need a few minutes to eat.
To recap: what are the best foods to eat in the morning
Breakfast is one of the main meals of the day. It helps you cope better with your daily tasks and gives you the right sprint to stay satiated for a long time.
There are tempting breakfast options around the world, but not all of them are healthy and balanced.
Here is a list of the ideal foods for a nutritionally perfect and healthy breakfast:
- Eggs: excellent from a nutritional point of view, they increase the sense of satiety and provide a valid protein intake.
- Greek yogurt: healthy and suitable for a quick breakfast. It is rich in proteins and probiotics, which are great for intestinal health. Contains few calories.
- Oatmeal: rich in beta glucan, it is a source of B vitamins and minerals such as iron, manganese, zinc and selenium.
- Chia seeds: they are nutritious, rich in fibres and they reduce the feeling of hunger.
- Berries: they are antioxidants, rich in fibres and low in calories.
- Ricotta: provides an excellent protein intake and has a low-calorie intake.
- Wholemeal Toast: Contains fibres and complex carbohydrates.
- Nuts: they are a healthy and rich food from a nutritional point of view. Migliorano la salute del cervello e riducono il rischio di malattie cardiache.
- Green tea: it is rich in antioxidants and protects against chronic diseases.
- Protein shakes: they have many beneficial effects for the body and give a feeling of satiety.
- Fruit: is a natural source of fibres, antioxidants, and minerals.
Something that certainly cannot be missing from this list is coffee. The most consumed drink in the world, in fact, improves physical and mental performance, promotes a good mood, and makes you more active and alert.
But for an unrivalled breakfast, coffee must be expertly prepared.
If you want an excellent espresso with all the organoleptic features, try Pontevecchio lever coffee machines.