A lot is said about the importance of breakfast. However, this may strictly seem like a move to convince those who usually skip the meal to spend a little more on their grocery bill. Eating in the morning can be tough, and if it’s naturally so difficult, how important can it really be? Shouldn’t you listen to your body?
Not always. There are numerous studies and reports showing why breakfast may just be the most important meal of the day. Piles of evidence show breakfast plays a key role in weight management, portion control, snacking management, and even in reducing the risk of type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease.
Now, as essential as it is to eat upon waking, it’s just as important to focus on what you’re eating. Piling down handfuls of bacon and sausage or having a couple of bowls of “Frosted Flakes” will do little to improve your health. In fact, it will likely do quite the opposite. Instead, research has shown that a balanced breakfast containing lean protein, whole grains, and fruit can set the tone for a healthy day.
People who consume breakfast every morning are less likely to become obese. They display greater control over eating throughout the day and are less likely to snack. This is because breakfast provides you with key nutrients and makes you feel full the entire morning.
PLUS: Eating breakfast to shed pounds
When you skip breakfast, you miss out on the nutrition and satiety that it provides; you snack more frequently; and you overeat at other meals. Furthermore, you have less energy when you skip breakfast, you will find yourself reaching for snacks that are typically higher in sugar and are unhealthier, leading to fat gain and blood sugar spikes.
A Harvard University study linked breakfast to the stabilization of blood sugar levels, which regulates appetite and energy. The study also found breakfast-eaters were a third less likely to become obese and half as likely to experience blood sugar problems. This is important because blood sugar problems are a precursor to type 2 diabetes and leads to high cholesterol, which increases the risk for heart disease.
Next time you plan on skipping breakfast, think again: it’s an extremely important meal.
Of course, many people simply aren’t hungry enough, or don’t have the time to eat a balanced breakfast every morning. Those are the typical reasons 18% of Americans regularly skip breakfast. If you fall into this category, here are some things to think about:
A healthy, balanced breakfast can be prepared very quickly. Instant oats, fruits, vegetables, and protein sources can be fixed in a jiffy. For example, I tend to start most days with a half cup of instant oats, a half cup of egg whites, one whole egg, two handfuls of blueberries (or a grapefruit), and a handful of almonds. I admit this is a big breakfast, but it only takes about five minutes or less to prepare and about 15 minutes to eat. And let it be known that I am a notoriously slow eater.
Another option for people who don’t have the stomach or time to eat breakfast is to prepare a shake. There are a number of plant-based shake options that provide most of the nutrition you need. Add a handful of your favorite fruit, some oats, and a spoonful of peanut butter to give it a little power. By electing to break the fast brought on during sleep within a half hour of waking, you can greatly improve your overall health.
Source(s) for Today’s Article:
“Institute of Food Technologists Kicks Off Campaign to Counter Misconceptions About Food Science,” Reuters web site, June 29, 2012; http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/06/29/idUS156055+29-Jun-2012+PRN20120629.
“Skipping breakfast can lead to unhealthy habits all day long,” ScienceDaily web site, June 29, 2012; http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/06/120629143045.htm#.UWQ8MP1HjjA.email, last accessed April 9, 2013.
“Breakfast is ‘most important meal,’” BBC News web site, March 7, 2003; http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/health/2824987.stm, last accessed April 9, 2013.
Brandt, M., “Little evidence of health benefits from organic foods, Stanford study finds,” Stanford School of Medicine web site, September 3, 2012; http://med.stanford.edu/ism/2012/september/organic.html.