The fuss over a 'big' break-fast is only justified if it can be healthy as well

There is no dearth of scientific evidence on the importance of providing the right balance of nutrients to our starved bodies after a recuperative nightly rest.

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Published: Thu 3 Dec 2015, 11:30 PM

Last updated: Tue 28 Nov 2023, 7:40 AM

The article The Big Breakfast Theory (Nov 27), which dissects breakfast to its last morsel, reinforces the well-known fact that the next best thing to eating food is writing about it. Food is our basic need, and we all work hard to ensure our tummies are well fed. So why should we not be equally passionate about food?

The powerful quote "A man should breakfast like a king, lunch like a lord, and dine like a pauper" only directs attention to the best distribution of our daily calorie quota across the various meals of the day. It's not a license to binge on breakfast. However, people use the meal to suit their own needs. Mothers generally make use of this much-trumpeted quote to coax their children into having a big breakfast, and why not? But over the years, those who detest breakfast or consider it unnecessary have also derided this saying.

There is no dearth of scientific evidence on the importance of providing the right balance of nutrients to our starved bodies after a recuperative nightly rest. Indeed, breakfast breaks our nightly fast and injects the nutrients required to jumpstart our metabolism into high gear. It helps us start the day in full throttle. And today, we have a multitude of breakfast choices to choose from. There are quick, easy-to-make breakfasts as well as elaborate, traditional ones. Our current health condi-tions, nutritional requirements, and most importantly, availability of time, dictate our breakfast choices. So it is important that we all choose wisely. The fuss over a "big" break-fast is only justified if it can be healthy as well.

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Breaking the fast concepts

What we eat for breakfast mostly depends on where we live. Customisation and healthful eating are the latest trends followed by many these days. The article The Big Breakfast Theory (Nov 27) was interesting to read, as it reveals the many changes in traditional breakfasts over the years.

Breakfast is important for everyone, as it fuels us up for the day. It's also an entirely personal choice. Most of us dislike having the same breakfast everyday, making it difficult for the person who prepares it. As a homemaker, I end up making two different types of breakfast, one for my husband and the other for my kids.

I personally feel like our habits and lifestyle have brought a radical change to the wisdom of "Breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince, and dine like a pauper". Some of the significant factors attributed to this change are increased health awareness, lack of time, busy working women, etc.

Also, those living a sedentary lifestyle require fewer calories than their active counterparts. As health awareness grows, more people are interested in knowing what's in their food. Time is the other constraint that hinders people from relishing an elaborate breakfast. Anything that is portable with the best nutritional value becomes the go-to choice. Breakfast is also top priority and serious business for hotels and restaurants. Hotels offer various complimentary offerings, and breakfast buffets are often the most attractive and enticing meals.

Skipping breakfast can bring on health issues, which is why it should be a mandatory part of our lives.

Jisha Louis, Dubai

Vir Sanghvi's take on The Big Breakfast Theory (Nov 27) appealed to me in many ways. Not long ago, breakfast was a casual affair which was prepared without much thought in households around the world. It varied according to the country, region or each household's choices. In my part of the world, a typical day starts with the elixir of life - coffee - followed an hour later by idli, poha or other rice-based dishes.

All was well until anxious mums, weight watchers and sundry busy bees decided our traditional breakfasts contained too much carbo-hydrates, less protein and fibre, and hence were unworthy of making up the most important meal of the day. Theories of a heavy breakfast kick-starting the metabolism, having the whole day to burn off calories consumed first thing in the morning, and the growing market for healthy yet convenient options led to the entry of cereals, protein shakes, granola bars and the like.

Now some research questions the credibility of breakfast being the most important meal. The best healthy routine would be to get adequate sleep, drink enough water, limit calories at meal times, exercise, and eat breakfast to suit your taste. Or skip it altogether, if your body rebels against the morning meal.

Asma Anjum, Al Ain

Doing a double take

I was seeing double at make-up artist Neha Dadarkar's talent as seen on your pages (Now, Anyone Can Look Like a Star, Nov 27). Everyone knows make-up is an art and trends like contouring can completely alter a person's looks, but Neha's particular skill takes it to the next level. It's amazing and thrilling to see that one can transform into a completely different person just by the power of make-up!

Rosemary Anthony, by email