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Healthy Living

Donít Forget Your Breakfast

Remember having a huge pancake breakfast the morning before taking the SATs? The common belief is that breakfast is the most important meal of the day and that carbs can help boost oneís memory. Recent research now shows that this is true, at least partly. A team of researchers from the University of Toronto led a study investigating the effects of caloric intake after a period of fasting and the effects on cognition. The study was published in the Nov. 2001 issue of the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

After fasting overnight, 22 men and women consumed drinks containing either pure protein (whey), carbohydrate (glucose), fat (safflower oil) or a non-energy placebo on four separate mornings. The researchers then measured glucose and insulin levels and the participants were given cognitive tests, such as memorizing words, connecting randomly placed encircled numbers and keeping track of certain chosen words in a video. The results showed that, compared with the placebo drink, the carbs, fat and protein all enhanced memory performance 15 minutes after ingestion. So what does this all mean? It certainly points out that, indeed, breakfast is the most important meal of the day. It doesnít, however, suggest that pastries and danish are the best breakfast option. Instead, choose nutritious carbs, proteins and fats such as fresh fruit, whole grains, yogurt and soy.

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