Is it the
Most Important Meal
of the Day?
By Dr. Mohan Shenoy
There are a number of diet specialists (dieticians) who have been taught and teach others
that breakfast is the one meal no one should miss.
Breakfast is the first food that we take after a long stretch of rest and sleep. Since most of
the people take rest and sleep for many hours during the night and get up in the morning the
first food intake in the morning is known as the breakfast. Nowadays the first food is a cup of
coffee or tea for most of the people, both in the urban and rural areas. Since coffee is
sweetened with sugar and whitened with milk it can not be ignored from being considered as
a breakfast in real sense.
But the next solid food intake consisting of snacks and a drink is supposed to be the real
breakfast in the practical sense.
In diabetics and the elderly the food intake has to be limited to the measured requirement. A
cup of coffee or tea could provide about 50 to 100 calories. Therefore the next meal of
snacks has to be regulated according to the total food intake (consumption) for the day. In
the elderly who do not go to work in the morning a heavy breakfast is counter-productive.
Their mornings are spent at home until their next meal which is lunch. Therefore the quantity
of snacks and drinks consumed in the name of breakfast should be just enough to carry out
the limited activity such as going out for shopping or for other errands. If the senior citizen
goes to work in a shop or office then he might need more food of higher caloric value. Such
working elderly person might need a larger serving of snacks during breakfast.
Suppose the elderly person does not go to work and sits at home watching TV or reading
newspapers then it is best to rely on the early morning cup of coffee to carry him over until
his lunch. By avoiding his snacks in the morning following his morning coffee he would
literally miss his breakfast but he would be helping himself to limit his caloric intake for the
day. It would be important for him to miss his breakfast.It is better to limit breakfast to just a
cup of coffee by inactive elderly people. I do.
|Adyar Gopal and Radha Bai
|Breakfast - Is it the Most Important Meal of the Day?
By Dr. Mohan Shenoy