Is breakfast important? | Live Science
Ah, breakfast. The best meal of the day – or so they say. But is breakfast really that important? For many of us, breakfast can be a quick slice of toast washed down with a large cup of coffee. Some may just grab a banana or an apple on their way out the door. Others may be in the habit of skipping breakfast altogether.
Our busy lives mean that breakfast may not always be our top priority. It’s a small meal, after all, and many people don’t feel hungry until lunchtime. But what are the health risks of skipping breakfast?
We spoke to the experts and did a little research on all things breakfast – why is breakfast so important and what happens if you miss it? Plus, we’re offering some delicious breakfast options, including the best protein powder to stir into your oatmeal bowl or the best protein shaker to whip up your breakfast.
What are the benefits of having breakfast?
You may not realize it, but eating breakfast has many benefits.
“If you eat the right breakfast, the benefits include stable blood sugar levels, steady energy, fewer cravings and a better mood,” says registered dietitian and gut health expert, Marilia Chamon.
“Research shows that eating regularly throughout the day, including breakfast, can have physical benefits such as reducing inflammation and improving physiological resilience,” adds. Jessica Crawleya registered dietitian.
So, what does the research say? On the one hand, eating breakfast regularly can benefit your mental health. A 2020 study published in Psychological medicine found that people who skipped or delayed eating breakfast were more likely to suffer from mood disorders.
Another study in Community health nutrition found a strong link between a healthy breakfast and improved mental health in adolescents, while one study in Psychiatric Research A study of 716 people in Japan found that skipping breakfast on a regular basis was associated with a much higher likelihood of developing depression.
And eating breakfast is not only beneficial for your mental health, but it can also improve your physical health.
A study in Journal of the American College of Cardiology concluded that those who did not eat breakfast had an 87% higher risk of dying from cardiovascular disease or stroke than those who ate breakfast.
Another study in 2021 in Proceedings of the Nutrition Association found that people who skipped breakfast were more likely to miss out on important nutrients in their daily routine – namely calcium from milk, vitamin C from fruit, vitamin D and iron from most foods. cereal type. In other words, breakfast foods tend to contain important nutrients that we don’t always get from typical lunch and dinner foods.
Is breakfast important to everyone?
Some people may actively choose to skip breakfast. For example, people following an intermittent fasting diet might wait until lunch to eat. But it seems the jury is still out on whether these types of diets are healthy.
“Breakfast is good for everyone,” says Crawley. “Regular eating and drinking signals the body’s internal safety signals.”
However, Chamon said that in some special cases, breakfast may not be necessary. “Some people don’t feel hungry until the end of the day and that’s okay,” she says. “The most important thing is to make sure you’re getting enough calories and fiber at all of your other meals.”
Is breakfast really that important?
It may seem like skipping breakfast if you’re looking to lose weight, but it’s not always that simple. A 2019 study in BMJ concluded that if adults aren’t currently eating breakfast and they’re looking to lose weight, adding breakfast to the routine doesn’t necessarily help. However, like Harvard University pointed out in 2019, skipping breakfast doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll lose weight, too.
Overall, given the lack of conclusive research on the benefits and risks of intermittent fasting, we can conclude that eating breakfast is an important part of any healthy habit.
According to Chamon, breakfast is important, but it’s even more important to have a healthy meal first of the day, whether it’s breakfast or lunch time.
“The first meal of the day determines how your blood sugar will function for the rest of the day,” she says. “If, after many hours of overnight fasting, you fast with a high glycemic index meal, your blood sugar will skyrocket. This will lead to a sudden drop in energy, followed by false hunger and a blood sugar roller coaster.”
Healthy breakfast ideas
So, where to start? It can be difficult to form healthy habits when you’re used to having just one cup of coffee for breakfast. Here are some tips from the experts.
Chamon’s tips for healthy breakfast:
- Choose a savory breakfast over a sweet one, if possible
- Make sure it has plenty of protein
- Supplement with slow-release carbohydrates and healthy fats
- Omelette with leftover vegetables
- Smoked Salmon, Avocado and Sour Toast
- Greek yogurt (no added sugar) with low-glycemic fruits like berries, and a handful of nuts and seeds
- Overnight oats with juice
- Nuts and granola with Greek yogurt
- Smash tomatoes and avocado into toast
- Crumpets with peanut butter or baked eggs
Overall, it seems that breakfast is a very important meal. While skipping breakfast may not be the end of the world in some specific cases, in most cases the best thing to do for both body and mind is to get into the habit of eating a healthy breakfast every day. day. This way, you’ll be more likely to make healthy choices for the rest of the day and set yourself up for healthy metabolic patterns throughout the day.
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