Breakfast

Introduction

Eating breakfast is more important than most of us realise. Eating breakfast will increases your energy levels, help you concentrate and regular breakfast eaters are known to snack less during the morning.  So try to make time for it every day. By skipping breakfast you may be tempted to go for a chocolate bar or a packet of crisps mid morning. So, it’s a myth that those who miss breakfast will lose weight. A simple breakfast of cereal or toast can provide lots of vitamins and minerals and other vital nutrients.

Handy Tips

If you have a bowl of cereal for breakfast, try adding chopped fruit like an apple, banana or berries – it will add to your daily fruit and vegetable intake.

A small glass of fruit juice in the morning will help you absorb more iron from your breakfast cereal.

Try to choose cereals that contain less than 10gms of sugar per 100gms of cereal. If you have a sweet tooth try to cut down gradually by mixing a high sugar cereal with a lower sugar variety and gradually adjust the amounts as you get used to it.

If you fancy a cooked breakfast sometimes stick to scrambled or poached eggs with grilled tomatoes and some baked beans or make gradual changes by grilling instead of frying.

Porridge is one of the best ways to start the day. It’s a slow release food, which means it gradually raises your blood sugar levels to give you plenty of energy through the morning. It’s a quick, easy and cheap breakfast that can easily be made in the microwave.

Breakfast ideas

http://www.takelifeon.co.uk/eat-healthier/simple-meal-ideas/breakfast/

Salt

Introduction

Are you having too much salt? You might not think so. But every day 26 million adults in the UK eat too much salt. You could be eating too much without realising because about 75% of the salt we eat is already in the food we buy such as bread, breakfast cereal, pasta sauce, soups, ready made meals and convenience foods.  Adults should eat no more than 6g of salt a day: that's around one full teaspoon. Children should eat less.  But remember we’re not just talking about the salt you add to your food but also the salt we eat that is already in everyday foods.

Check the labels on your foods when you are out shopping. Fortunately, nutrition labels on food packaging now make this a lot easier. Nutritional information labels are usually on the back of the packaging. Look at the figure for salt per 100g:

  • High is more than 1.5g salt per 100g (or 0.6g sodium). May display a red traffic light.
  • Low is 0.3g salt or less per 100g (or 0.1g sodium). May display a green traffic light.

Source: - Food Standards Agency

Tips and Tricks

  • If you regularly add salt to food when cooking, try adding less: you’ll rediscover the real tastes of your favourite foods. And when you sit down to eat, taste your food first to see if it needs salt
  • Cook food from scratch whenever possible – try starting with just once or twice  a week
  • Try cooking vegetables e.g. peppers, mushrooms, carrots in the oven brushed with a little oil rather than boiling them with salt.
  • Microwaving vegetables, such as courgettes, mange tout, peas and  baby sweetcorn is one way of cooking vegetables without adding salt – its also quicker than boiling and helps them keep their vitamins and minerals
  • Use fresh herbs like basil, oregano, mint or others with pasta dishes, vegetables and meat and reduce the amount of salt you use 
  • You can grow herbs in small pots and place them on your window sill or balcony ready to add to dishes you are cooking.
  • Using herbs in cooking
    • Try black pepper as seasoning instead of salt – it works well on scrambled egg and pasta.
    • Use tinned, frozen  or fresh tomatoes  in season to flavour sauces – add garlic and fresh herbs for extra taste.
    • Citrus fruit juices such as lemon and limes will add a great zesty flavour to fish, chicken and pork – use the grated rind for even more flavour and texture.
    • Oregano: pizza, tomato sauces, fish or lamb dishes, omelettes and vegetables
    • Sage: pork, game or tomato sauces
    • Thyme:  fish and chicken
    • Basil: tomatoes or tomato sauces and pasta dishes
    • Bay Leaves: casseroles, soups and pates

Last Reviewed: 01/06/2011