It is often said that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. After several hours of fasting during the night, the body and the brain need important nutrients to be able to function all day at their best. And in that matter, several opinions are at war.
From country to country, depending on the continent, breakfast traditions vary greatly. The legend says that some French only start with a coffee and a cigarette. On the contrary, Germans are believed to love some ham and cheese. In Asia, rice has to be present.
When you are out on holidays, you may be often facing the choice of a continental or English breakfast. What are they, and what is the difference between the two? Let us start with the continental breakfast, inspired from a Mediterranean tradition. If you choose that formula, you will be offered light items such as pastries, muffins, fruit juice, tea or coffee and cereal. On the other hand, and English breakfast is usually much more filling and heavy. It usually includes eggs, meat, fish, cereal, bread, jam, butter, baked beans, mushrooms, and tea or coffee.
As it seems, one option looks very sweet and light, while the other sound filling but oily. Well, at least that is how it sounds to me… As a good French girl, it is impossible for me to start my day without a sweet touch – may it be some cereal (with chocolate please) or some pain au chocolat (imagine a delicious croissant with two bars of chocolate inside…). But which option is the healthiest? To be honest, I am almost sure that my option does not win. But let us look at the facts.
The first watchword is EAT! Do not start your day empty stomached. If you skip breakfast, you are actually much more likely to overeat later in the day, so you are doing no good to your weight or your body. Foods containing slower-burning carbs are usually recommended as they will help maintain concentration throughout the day. Those are found in oatmeal, bran cereal or whole-wheat bagels. Industrial cereals, full of fast digesting sugar, fall at the top of the list. Add to that some lean proteins, contained in eggs for instance, that will make you fill fuller and will avoid this little 11a.m. hunger pushing you to an unhealthy snack. Top it off with some fresh fruit, and you have the healthiest combination you could get!