The Appalachian Online Student Newspaper
Dr. Radak interviewed for "Eating breakfast chomps down on disease, regulates metabolism "
Eating breakfast chomps down on disease, regulates metabolism
- Created on 03 February 2009
Some students may prefer to keep hitting that snooze button and run out the door last minute to class, putting nothing in their mouth but a toothbrush.
However, eating the first meal of the day has continually proven essential to balanced metabolism, long-term health and even weight loss.
“Breakfast is that essential fuel in the morning that will allow for your body processes to get revved up and perform to your daily demands,” Dietetic Internship Director Tim L. Radak said. “It operates at its best when it has fuel."
The common misconception among students about breakfast, Radak said, is the extra work involved. However, students can prepare a healthy meal in under five minutes.
Benefits include improved focus and possibly improved test scores, reduced irritability and even weight loss.
A registered dietician, Radak recommends students consume one to two servings of complex carbohydrates, a serving of protein, a serving of fat and a serving of fruit or vegetables.
The carbohydrates can come from items such as whole wheat bread, English muffins, dry cereal or oatmeal, while students can find their protein in items like nuts, seeds, an egg, yogurt or cottage cheese.
While this might sound like a lot, Radak said grabbing one little thing on the run is not optimal and will not fulfill what the body needs.
Many Americans fall short of their daily fiber needs. Oatmeal is an especially good source.
“What you want is to have slow, regulated digestion, and a balanced meal with adequate fiber is the best way to achieve that,” he said. It will take more time to regain hunger.
Many students would rather sleep in the morning when they do not have class till afternoon hours, and Radak said that’s OK because the body can conform to different patterns.
If individuals eat as soon as they wake up, the body will overcompensate calorie intake later in the day as a survival measure.
“If you skip breakfast, you will find yourself at some point in the day much more hungry, and you’ll be more quote [un] quote ‘ravenous,’ he explained. “It will be difficult and more challenging for you to manage that.”
In addition, students should consume the meal in an environment that is not rushed to prevent anxiety for the body.
The cafeteria’s main breakfast items such as waffles, French toast, eggs and sausage may vary from Radak’s general recommendations.
However, Radak said students have room for extra calorie consumption in moderation, if they do the math. On a basic 2,000-calorie diet, students could hypothetically devote 600 calories to each of the three meals with a 200-calorie snack.
This way, they can devote a few more calories to a syrupy stack of pancakes or steaming plate of eggs and bacon if they would like with calorie control.
Pre-made biscuits and scrambled eggs are some of the most popular student choices from his observation, Pendleton said. Hashbrowns, too, are very popular, as the cafeteria often goes through about six five-pound bags in a single day.
Pendleton said healthier, lighter options are certainly available, including yogurt, bagels, cereal, a variety of fresh fruits and soymilk.
Rivers Street Café cashier Betty R. Woodring said in terms of sales, these options are just as popular as anything else, maybe even more.
“It’s hard for us to realize in our 20s that we are going to be old and frail sometime and we will come down with diseases,” Radak said. “I guess if people really knew how important it is [to eat balanced meals including breakfast], that might be the extra motivation for them.”