When it comes to the science of wellness, distinguishing the facts from myths can be difficult. Is breakfast the most important meal of the day? Fact or Myth?
We have all heard from the time we were children the urban legend that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. But is there any real science to back up this claim?
Several documented studies have shown breakfast eaters to be thinner and healthier than individuals that skip breakfast. While this is a fact, the studies have also found that breakfast eaters tend to have healthier lifestyle habits than the average breakfast skippers, so it is not distinguished if breakfast eaters are thinner because they eat first thing in the morning or because of the other healthy things they do throughout the day.Despite the lower body weights of breakfast eaters, there have been varied results regarding whether eating breakfast impacts how much is eaten over the course of the day. Some studies have even shown that breakfast eaters eat more total calories than non-breakfast eaters.
With that being said, there is some evidence that breakfast offers unique benefits over other meals. Because eating can affect metabolism, hormones, and hunger for several hours after food is consumed, what you eat in the morning can impact your body throughout the day. What you have for breakfast can influence how your body handles the calories from other meals (i.e. lunch and dinner). These effects can add up to meaningful changes in health and body weight over time.
In one recent study a group of healthy, normal-weight men who usually eat breakfast were tested for how a morning meal impacted hormones and metabolism throughout the day. They either ate a standardized breakfast or skipped breakfast, then took a glucose tolerance test before lunchtime. Insulin resistance at the next meal was higher when skipping breakfast compared to eating breakfast, and appetite-regulating hormones were more favorable in the breakfast condition. This suggests that skipping breakfast can contribute to insulin resistance and weight gain.
However, what you eat for breakfast may be even more important than the act itself. Growing evidence suggests that breakfasts rich in protein and fiber can have a significant impact on your appetite and how many calories you eat throughout the day. Carbohydrate intake has a significant effect on post-breakfast metabolism. Breakfast with a lower glycemic index and load boosted metabolism and burned more fat more than a breakfast of higher glycemic index and load.
Another advantage of eating breakfast is that it is a simple meal to prepare and control,. It is a great way to ensure that 30 percent of your daily meals are nutritious and contribute to a healthy lifestyle. Heating some oatmeal with nuts and fruit or scrambling some eggs takes only five minutes to prepare, and guarantees at least one healthy meal every day.
FACT – Eating breakfast is a habit that can help you build a healthy lifestyle and can improve your metabolism throughout the day. For best results, choose breakfasts that are higher in protein and fiber and low in flour, sugar and other refined carbohydrates.