Breakfast, is it really the most important meal of the day?
Alongside old classics like “an apple a day will keep the doctor away” and “Treat others like you want to be treated”, one of the most well-worn phrases in the arsenal of tired parents everywhere is that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Many of us grow up believing that skipping breakfast is a dietary distortion.
The clue for why breakfast is supposed to be important is in its name: we’re advised to eat it to break our overnight fast. The body uses a lot of the energy it stores for growth and repair through the night.
Should breakfast keep its top spot in the hierarchy of meals? With the rising popularity of fasting diets, there have been concerns around the sugar content of cereal and the food industry’s involvement in pro-breakfast research.
Breakfast kick-starts your metabolism, helping you burn calories throughout the day. It also gives you the energy you need to get things done and helps you focus at work or at school. Those are just a few reasons why it’s the most important meal of the day.
Many studies have linked eating breakfast to good health, including better memory and concentration, lower levels of “bad” LDL cholesterol, and lower chances of getting diabetes, heart disease, and being overweight.
It’s hard to know, though, if breakfast causes these healthy habits or if people who eat it have healthier lifestyles.
But this much is clear: Skipping the morning meal can throw off your body’s rhythm of fasting and eating. When you wake up, the blood sugar your body needs to make your muscles and brain work their best is usually low. Breakfast helps replenish it.
If your body doesn’t get that fuel from food, you may feel zapped of energy — and you’ll be more likely to overeat later in the day.