Revealed: the best breakfast

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  • Combining foods gives longest energy boost

    The most sustaining breakfast is a full English, according to a test, but this is closely followed by less calorific porridge, or Weetabix and milk.

    The Mail tested seven popular breakfasts to see which staved off hunger pangs for longest.

    Blood sugar was tested at various points through the morning to track peaks and troughs, which closely correspond to feelings of hunger and fatigue (low) and energy (high).

    The best performer was a full English breakfast but at 1,200 calories, and with very high fat, this would not be an option daily for most people.

    Weetabix with milk  or porridge followed closely behind, however, and at less than 400 calories each, these are more practical choices.

    Toast and marmalade, fruit salad and yoghurt and croissants fared relatively badly, leaving the tester hungry well before lunch.

    The key, says Catherine Collins, principal dietician at St George’s Hospital, London, lies in the Glycemic Index (GI) score of the meal. This is a measure of how quickly it releases energy.

    However, this can be hard to calculate since different foods affect each other.

    For example, the fruit and yoghurt breakfast is relatively low in sugar, so should release energy slowly, but it is also low in fat, which slows energy release. It proved one of the least sustaining breakfasts.

    Weetabix and milk, on the other hand, forms a mushy goo that is harder for the stomach to break down and so releases energy more slowly. Using more milk – which adds sugar to the meal and thins the paste – makes this breakfast less sustaining.

    The key, experts say, is to eat a balance of carbohydrate, protein and fat.


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