By J.C. Carroll
(NC)—Requests for protein at every meal are not only in the interests of people who are trying to lose weight.
Complete proteins of the kind found in meat, fish, poultry, and eggs are an important building block for bones, muscles, cartilage, skin, and blood – and protein foods are vital for the health of every cell in the body.
That doesn't mean, however, that we simply eat protein all day long. It should be consumed in balance with carbohydrates which include vegetables, fruit, potatoes, and grains.
Don't skip breakfast
Nutritionists tell us a balanced meal contains 20 per cent protein, 20 per cent dairy, and 40 per cent carbohydrates – and such a balance is most important at breakfast. Without a ready supply of fuel early in the day, nothing functions at top performance. Indeed, studies show that children who skip breakfast generally get less calcium, iron, dietary fibre and vitamins, resulting in below average nutrition. Here are some no-fuss, but wholesome, breakfast ideas:
• Wholegrain cereal with low-fat milk and fresh fruit.
• Yoghurt and fruit with raisin toast, or whole grain toast with cheese or peanut butter.
• Hot breakfasts can be quick. If you prefer leaner beef to pork, take a look at the newest versions of corned beef hash, a food rich in both protein and carbohydrates. Found now in the refrigerated, breakfast-meat section (or freezer department) of select supermarkets in the Maritimes, the handy tube of fully cooked hash can be browned within five minutes. It's made with all-Canadian beef, finely diced potato, onions, and seasonings. Produced here in Canada by Westbury Farms, a 100-gram serving gives us 7 g of protein, and when compared to similar size servings of bacon and sausage, it is significantly lower in saturated fat and cholesterol. Serve it with eggs, a herbed tomato on the side, whole grain toast, and a glass of low fat milk.
• Rye or whole grain toast with cheese and tomato plus reduced fat milk, orange, or any 100 per cent juice.