In Pictures: Breakfast Pastries

Mexican Pan Dulce

French Pain au Chocolat

Hong Kong Boh Loh Bao

Filipino Ensaymada

Tunisian Debla

South African Koeksister

Vietnamese Pâté Chaud


Researchers Say Eggs for Breakfast Benefits Those with Diabetes

Patty Wellborn wrote . . . . . . . . .

While some cereals may be the breakfast of champions, a UBC professor suggests people with Type 2 diabetes (T2D) should be reaching for something else.

Associate Professor Jonathan Little, who teaches in UBC Okanagan’s School of Health and Exercise Sciences, published a study this week demonstrating that a high-fat, low-carb breakfast can help those with T2D control blood sugar levels throughout the day.

“The large blood sugar spike that follows breakfast is due to the combination of pronounced insulin resistance in the morning in people with T2D and because typical Western breakfast foods—cereal, oatmeal, toast and fruit—are high in carbohydrates,” says Little.

Breakfast, he says, is consistently the ‘problem’ meal that leads to the largest blood sugar spikes for people with T2D. His research shows that eating a low-carb and high-fat meal first thing in the morning is a simple way to prevent this large spike, improve glycemic control throughout the day, and perhaps also reduce other diabetes complications.

Study participants with well-controlled T2D completed two experimental feeding days. On one day they ate an omelette for breakfast, and on another day, they ate oatmeal and some fruit. An identical lunch and dinner were provided on both days. A continuous glucose monitor—a small device that attaches to your abdomen and measures glucose every five minutes—was used to measure blood sugar spikes across the entire day. Participants also reported ratings of hunger, fullness and a desire to eat something sweet or savoury.

Little’s study determined that consuming a very low-carbohydrate high-fat breakfast completely prevented the blood sugar spike after breakfast and this had enough of an effect to lower overall glucose exposure and improve the stability of glucose readings for the next 24 hours.

“We expected that limiting carbohydrates to less than 10 per cent at breakfast would help prevent the spike after this meal,” he says. “But we were a bit surprised that this had enough of an effect and that the overall glucose control and stability were improved. We know that large swings in blood sugar are damaging to our blood vessels, eyes and kidneys. The inclusion of a very low-carb high-fat breakfast meal in T2D patients may be a practical and easy way to target the large morning glucose spike and reduce associated complications.”

He does note that there was no difference in blood sugar levels in both groups later in the day, suggesting that the effect for reducing overall post-meal glucose spikes can be attributed to the breakfast responses — with no evidence that a low-carb breakfast worsened glucose responses to lunch or dinner.

“The results of our study suggest potential benefits of altering macronutrient distribution throughout the day so that carbohydrates are restricted at breakfast with a balanced lunch and dinner rather than consuming an even distribution and moderate amount of carbohydrates throughout the day.”

As another interesting aspect of the research, participants noted that pre-meal hunger and their cravings for sweet foods later in the day tended to be lower if they ate the low-carb breakfast. Little suggests this change in diet might be a healthy step for anybody, even those who are not living with diabetes.

Little’s study was published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

Source: The University of British Columbia

Artificial Intelligence Will Now Take Your Breakfast Order at the Drive-Thru

Jennifer Marston wrote . . . . . . . . .

We’ve talked about AI coming to the drive-thru for some time now, and in Denver, CO, one company is finally making that happen. Valyant AI, a CO-based AI company, has set up shop at the Good Times Burger & Frozen Custard restaurant, and its AI platform is taking breakfast orders at the drive-thru.

Valyant AI’s “digital customer service representatives” aren’t all-purpose AI assistants — the company actually built the platform for the quick-service restaurant industry’s many drive-thrus. The patent-pending proprietary platform integrates directly into a restaurant’s drive-thru hardware as well as its POS system.

Better accuracy is something Valyant AI promotes heavily. According to a recent press release, the company, founded in 2017, built and taught the platform using real customer recordings from drive-thrus. And since the system was designed from the ground up for QSRs, it has a significantly smaller range of questions to contend with than a Google Assistant or Alexa. In theory, at least, that should make for more accuracy. The technology also uses the human-in-the-loop model, which is a type of AI that employs both machine and human intelligence to create learning models. So if the system can’t answer a question or fulfill a bizarre order, a human employee can intervene.

More and more, restaurant industry people are calling voice-order tech the next big thing, projecting an explosion of devices and platforms coming to market over the next year or so.

Valyant AI isn’t the first company to try serving up voice control for the drive-thru. Most notably, Clinc, who started out in the financial services sector, is expanding into the QSR realm. Since Clinc’s platform is built to treat everything it hears as data — rather than having to map back to a dictionary — it could potentially handle some of those complex drive-thru orders without the need for human intervention.

According to Valyant AI’s website, the company spent two years developing its technology. And while it’s still in beta, it seems to have launched just in time to seriously compete: 50 percent of revenue for QSR restaurants comes from the drive-thru, according to a recent study, and order accuracy is the number one concern for fast food restaurants in this area.

If Valyant AI’s Denver breakfast run is successful, we’ll probably be holding a lot more conversations with machines when it comes to the drive-thru, at breakfast and beyond.

Source: The Spoon

Opinion: There Is No Such Thing as Breakfast Food

Kat Thompson wrote . . . . . . . . .

Every food is breakfast food. This shouldn’t be a controversial statement and yet, somehow, it is. There are some mornings when I get a hankering for red curry at 9 am. Other days, I want stir-fried veggies, a fish steamed with lemongrass, rice — cravings that a traditional American breakfast, which subsists of things like bacon, sausage, eggs, pancakes, and toast, could never satisfy. Whatever it is that my stomach’s desiring, I’ve never really felt that there should be a specified time where certain foods are deemed acceptable while others are not. So what if I want spicy seafood spaghetti in the a.m.? Since when it did become inappropriate to devour a plate of fried chicken to start the day?

Breakfast has undergone a lot of changes in its time. In the Middle Ages, breakfast was often skipped and viewed as a sin of gluttony — to break fast was to disrespect God. During the industrial revolution, breakfast was hearty and filling, necessary for providing fuel to undertake a day’s work (which, in the pre-internet, pre-industrial revolution world often meant actual physical labor). “The Industrial Revolution of the 19th century — and the rise of factory work and office jobs that accompanied it — further normalized breakfast,” observed Megan Garber for The Atlantic. We’ve even seen our own fair share of changes from the ‘90s to now, with diet trends promoting low-carb options and low-fat meals to current trendy high-fat keto breakfasts and paleo interpretations.

Despite all the significant evolutions, breakfast is still considered the most important meal of the day. “Breakfast gives you the energy you need to start your day and any time you eat something you are stimulating your metabolism. When people skip breakfast you may end up hungrier come lunchtime and reach for something less healthy than if you were not as hungry,” shares Kassandra Neuendorff, a registered dietitian based out of San Diego. Breakfast is a staple. And though the glorious bacon, egg, and cheese sandwich forever has a spot in my rotation of breakfast delights, we don’t need to limit ourselves to the same 10 options. Even the avocado toast needs a rest sometimes.

“The standard american diet has popularized foods that only make us feel tired, bloated and lacking in essential nutrients. Typical ‘breakfast food,’ such as bagels and coffee, provide little to no nutritious value, thus why I don’t suggest it,” says Talia Vilaplana, a nutritional therapy practitioner practicing out of New York City. “Not to say breakfast shouldn’t be yummy, it completely can and should be, just not in the typical way so many have been socialized to believe — a.k.a full of sugar.”

In place of our traditional American breakfast fare, I am advocating that we allow — and accept — that there is no real thing as “breakfast food,” and that frankly, every food is intended to be breakfast food.

The rest of world appears to agree with me. Globally, the “fuel” needed to start the day looks different than it does in the West. In my native country of Thailand, breakfast looks like rice porridge with garlicky pork meatballs, tom luad moo (which translates to boiled pork blood — and is a protein-rich soup composed of exactly what it sounds like), and lightly sweetened soy milk filled with beans, jellies, and basil seeds. In Japan, breakfast can be grilled salmon, miso soup, fermented soybeans, or simply hot rice with a raw egg cracked over and drizzled with soy sauce. A traditional breakfast in Ecuador may include empanadas stuffed with onions and cheese, plantains, and a variety of tropical fruits. In Turkey, it’s common to have an array of hard cheeses and olive spread with bread, as well as homemade jams. And even though food across the world may look and taste different, we can find commonalities within our breakfasts in terms of what food groups we’re consuming.

“I think that a good breakfast includes carbohydrates — i.e. bread, oatmeal, cereal; lean protein; and some sort of source of fat,” advises Neuendorff. Vilaplana agrees, noting that a proper meal should consist of a balance of protein, healthy fats, and complex carbohydrates “no matter the time of day. I gear towards breakfast being higher in fat, simply to feel satiated until lunch and to avoid that mid-day slump.” I wouldn’t say that a stack of doughnuts exactly provides that.

Instead of getting your early dosage of carbs in the morning from waffles and bagels, why not opt for something you haven’t tried — perhaps a dosa or a bowl of warm pho? In place of bacon and sausage, other proteins may prove beneficial, like fish or tofu. And if you’re struggling to get your daily dose of vegetables, “breakfast can be a great time to slip in a serving or two of vegetables. For some it may be hard to get 2-3 cups of vegetables in each day but starting off with some at breakfast can help,” recommends Neuendorff. May we recommend a “breakfast” salad? Throw on some bacon and a fried egg if you must.

Eating non-traditional breakfast foods can also have great financial benefits. Instead of waking up and having to mix-up batter and flip pancakes or whip up an egg sandwich — why not just heat-up yesterday’s dinner? Yes, even the two last slices of pepperoni pizza. This way nothing goes to waste and you don’t have to waste time or precious dollars crafting a breakfast spread. Trust us, it’s much faster to microwave leftover lo-mein than it is to make toast, fry bacon, and scramble an egg.

Besides, we have gone on far too long limiting ourselves and our imaginations to maple syrup and tater tots. Do not take this as a call to banish these items, but as an opportunity to expand our horizons. We should be consuming foods that not only nourish our bodies and provide the nutrition necessary to start the day, but enjoying foods that may provide for our souls. And if that means having a non-traditionally-Western meal for breakfast, then so be it. “I think that as long as you have a good carbohydrate source, protein and some good fat you can eat anything you want at breakfast,” Neuendorff confirmed.

At the end of the day, dishes reserved for dinner or lunch or special occasions don’t have to be consumed in their invented time slots. If you can have “breakfast” for dinner, then why can’t you have dinner for breakfast? The answer is that you can, and you should.

Source: Thrillist

What’s for Breakfast?

Bacon, Egg and Thick Buttered Toast with Brown Sugar Milk Coffee at Ueshima Coffee House in Tokyo, Japan

The 4 centmetre thick toast

The price of the breakfast set is 650 yen plus tax.