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Sunday, July 29, 2001
Keeping fit

Begin the day with a hearty breakfast

IF you say, "I am not hungry in the morning", it means: " I overate last night". Hunger sets in only when the blood sugar drops to about 70 milligrams. Thousands of blood analyses have shown that a normal person who has not eaten for 12 hours has 80-120 milligrams of blood sugar. In order to have at top-gear efficiency, the best way is to have a good breakfast, lunch before two in the afternoon and dinner by eight.

Ideally dinner should be simple—either a soup or salad that is so delicious that everyone is tempted to have a second helping, a small portion of meat or meat substitute, perhaps a low-starch vegetable, buttermilk or yogurt and fruit. Appetites can be satisfied and the meal enjoyed without potatoes, gravy and dessert.

Such a meal is easy to prepare, creates less havoc in the kitchen and makes you eager for breakfast the next morning.

The objection generally to a small dinner is that working members of the family have no time to eat a large meal in the morning or at noon. Therefore dinner is the only time a hearty meal can be enjoyed. But why eat a large meal at any time? Have small meals but ensure that all meals should be simple, filling and enjoyable.

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You determine how you will feel throughout each day by the type of breakfast you eat. You can produce inefficiency in yourself by eating too little food or too much of the wrong kind of food. Your breakfast establishes how readily your body can produce energy that day, or more specifically, the amount of sugar in your blood. Your energy production, which corresponds to the quantity of sugar available, determines how you think, act, and feel.

Energy is produced in the body by the burning (oxidising) of sugar alone or sugar and fat together. Only when the blood plasma contains adequate amounts of sugar can each cell select the quantity it needs.

The amount of sugar in the blood is an index of the quantity available to each cell. The cells of the nerves and the brain can produce their energy only from sugar, never from fat by itself, or protein. When the amount of sugar available to the cells decreases even slightly, thinking becomes slowed and confused, and nerves become tense.

You have no desire to eat; sweets seem distasteful. A meal furnishing 55 grams of protein (an egg supplies 6 gms of protein, a quart of whole milk—32 gms) sustains a high level of energy and a high metabolism for six hours after the meal. The more protein eaten at any meal, the greater is the efficiency and the longer it is maintained.

Your selection of food at breakfast can prevent or produce fatigue throughout the day. Ideally, a man needs 2400 calories and a woman needs 1900 calories.

If you reduce this intake by about 500 calories, you will be able to lose about half a kilo every week. But this doesn’t mean that you starve yourself at breakfast and pig out on a pav bhaji for lunch. You may be shocked to know that 2 pav and 1 cup of bhaji is about 716 calories! That’s half your prescribed amount of calories consumed. Instead have a balanced meal. — INFS

Breakfast Options:

1 sliced bread, 1 boiled egg, 1 cup skimmed milk, 1 orange = 213 calories

2 idlis, 1 cup of sambar, I cup of milk = 301 calories

2 cauliflower paranthas, 2/3 cup of dahi, 1 cup of tea = 329 calories

2 slices of French toast (bread dipped in egg batter and fried), ľ cup pineapple, 1 cup coffee = 320 calories

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