AS the school year gets under way, new research is adding further weight to evidence that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, especially for children who are learning.
Research by three British institutions has shown a strong link between low GI, higher carbohydrate breakfasts and better academic performance.
The study, which involved 60 students, found that a low GI, higher carbohydrate breakfast helped students do maths tasks more quickly and accurately, and improved attentiveness.
Chief scientific officer at the Glycemic Index Foundation (Australia and New Zealand) Dr Alan Barclay says eating breakfast is essential for students’ daily nutrient intakes and energy needs.
“For children and teens, eating a low GI breakfast has been associated with learning and better school performance,” he said.
“It provides a more constant level of blood glucose compared with the fluctuating glycemic response to a high GI breakfast, resulting in a smaller decline in concentration.”
The Glycemic Index (GI) is a measure of how effective carbohydrates – sugars and starches – are on blood glucose levels.
Research has shown it is essential to have a constant supply of glucose to the brain from the blood. Low GI carbohydrates are slowly digested and absorbed by the body.
Low GI foods include wholegrain cereals, natural mueslis and fresh fruit and vegetables.