Why Breakfast is Still the Day’s Most Essential Meal
Amid the popularity of intermittent fasting, discussions have shifted from the debate on whether or not to eat breakfast to talks about food quality.
Dietitians agree that what you eat within a few minutes after you wake up is more important than when you eat, although most of them promote breakfast-eating and discourage eating big meals close to bedtime.
Why Breakfast Matters
Most nutrition experts still advocate eating breakfast to keep your body from going on “conservation mode,” saving the energy sources it received from your last meal the night before. But before you start planning for a large dinner, consider that what and how much you ate for dinner also affects your health. This is especially true if you take a high-fat meal that digests slowly or a high-carb meal that just turns into sugar in your blood. The carbs you eat don’t get absorbed by your cells for energy because your body is at rest when you sleep.
Moreover, new research reveals that a light to medium breakfast allows your body to digest food for nutrient distribution better than a high-calorie dinner.
When you’re rushing to work in the morning or if you don’t feel like eating anything after waking up, it becomes easy to skip breakfast. However, a balanced breakfast can do wonders whether or not you’re slimming down. Here are some of them:
- Energy boost
Breaking your overnight fast with a healthy breakfast replenishes your supply of glycogen, which is glucose from food carbs when cells absorb them. Glycogen is released into the bloodstream during times of fasting to keep your blood sugar level stable. This is why eating breakfast primes your metabolism, giving you have more energy for the day.
- Satiety and weight control
You’re less likely to crave sweet and fatty food before lunch or overeat at noon if you had a healthy and satisfying breakfast. A balanced meal will discourage unhealthy snacking, leading to effective weight control
- Brain power
Breakfast is the best time to refuel your brain, which relies on glycogen for its mental activities. Taking a meal rich in protein, healthy carbs, fat, and micronutrients can help you focus, stay alert, and even feel happy.
- Illness risk reduction
Eating healthy food for your first morning meal raises the amount of glucose that your cells absorb for energy, reducing what goes to the bloodstream and leads to diabetes.
A study showed that non-breakfast eaters had an 87% risk of developing cardiovascular disease, possibly due to unhealthy food choices later in the day, which contribute to plaque buildup in the arteries. You can prevent this by stocking up on fiber-rich food that flushes out cholesterol from your system.
With proper planning, you can enjoy the benefits of a good breakfast. Make it healthy by including the following elements:
- Low-fat dairy from milk, low-fat cheese, low-sugar or plain yogurt.
- Whole grains for fiber and carbohydrates such as hot or cold whole-grain cereals and whole-grain bread. Avoid white bread, doughnuts, muffins, and sugary or instant flavored cereals.
- Lean protein from eggs, lean meat, beans, or nuts. Avoid bacon and sausage.
- Fruits and vegetables for vitamins, minerals, and fiber in the form of raw ingredients, smoothies, and 100% juice without added sugar.