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Breakfast is the most important meal of the day: Scientific fact or myth?

"Breakfast is considered the most important meal of the day as it replenishes the supply of glucose in your body to boost your alertness and energy level while breaking the overnight fasting period" - John K.

Photo by Heather Ford on Unsplash

Eating breakfast often helps you pay more attention to your overall nutrient intake, adequately manage stress, and regularly participate in physical activities, which aid in improved health. Conversely, those who skip breakfast meals tend to have unhealthy lifestyle habits such as frequent drinking and smoking. They also consume diets higher in cholesterol, fats, and calories than habitual breakfast eaters.

While there is no conclusive proof on whether breakfast is the most important meal of the day, eating breakfast jumpstarts your metabolism and facilitates calorie burning throughout the day. It also reduces your hunger, cravings, and appetite throughout the day. Eating breakfast provides your brain and body with energy to perform the day’s activities.

Here are some solid facts and myths surrounding the breakfast meal and why it is often referred to as the most important meal of the day.

Reasons Why Breakfast Is So Important

Helps to manage your appetite

Starting your day with meals that consist of high-quality fiber and proteins such as milk, eggs, oatmeal, yogurt, cottage cheese, and fruits is often packed with vital nutrients that increase your satiety level. Breakfast prevents large fluctuations in your blood glucose level, which controls your appetite. When you eat breakfast, you lower your hunger pangs and sweet cravings during the day while facilitating healthier insulin and blood sugar levels. Eating a large breakfast maintains your physical activity levels and control your appetite all day, which in turn leads to a better lifestyle and aids in weight management.


Breakfast increases productivity

Eating breakfast not only boosts your memory but you also focus and perform your daily tasks better. Neglecting a nutritious meal before a long working day may have detrimental effects on your work performance. Consuming a nutritious, dense breakfast filled with proteins, vitamins, and minerals enhances your productivity, improves your mood, and balances your appetite and satiety levels.

Eating well in the morning gives you the energy and mental clarity you need to be fully engaged, focused, and productive all through the day. The intake of healthy and nutritious foods in the morning, such as protein pancakes, cereals and milk, oatmeal, fruits, eggs, and granola, plays an important role in maintaining your brain's health and functioning at an optimum level.

Choline found in eggs boost your brain power and improve how your brain works. Ultimately, protein-packed meals for breakfast stabilize your blood sugar, so you don’t have the fluctuating levels that may affect your productivity. It also boosts your concentration for longer and makes you feel full for a longer period of time.


Breakfast reduces the risk of heart disease

Breakfast intake can minimize the risks of heart disease, but it is crucial to consider what you consume at any time of the day. Consuming a wide variety of vegetables and fruits, choosing whole grains, taking healthy sources of fats and proteins, minimizing beverages and foods with added sugar, and limiting alcohol intake promotes cardiovascular health. Eating a well-balanced and healthy breakfast improves your cholesterol and blood pressure levels while reducing cardiovascular diseases.

Choosing whole grain meals for breakfast not only lowers the LDL cholesterol level but also lowers the blood pressure in obese adults. Consuming foods rich in HDL cholesterol for breakfast, such as olives, nuts, avocado, fatty salmon, tuna, and rainbow trout, reduces the LDL cholesterol in your body. A protein-rich breakfast enhances a feeling of fullness and sustains energy all through the day while facilitating physical activities that reduce heart disease.


Boost your nutrition intake

Eating breakfast provides a great opportunity to consume nutritious and healthy foods. Nutrients in dairy foods and milk, which are often breakfast favorites, are associated with improved bone health, reduced type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, and lower blood pressure. The intake of nutrient-rich foods helps you achieve lifetime health.

You should include fruits, veggies, whole grains, and proteins such as milk, cheese, and yogurt as part of your breakfast meal, as they have a wide variety of nutrients that reduce the risk of diseases such as inflammation, type 2 diabetes, and cardiovascular diseases. Skipping breakfast limits one from getting the daily recommended intake of essential nutrients such as vitamins, fiber, and minerals.


READ ALSO: Foods that boost your stamina and keep you going all day


Boost your energy levels and brain power

Glucose is the primary source of energy, which is absorbed from the carbohydrates that you consume. Your body stores most of your glucose as fat and some as glycogen in the muscles and liver. When the body needs energy, the glycogen is broken down to release glucose, which is used as energy to fuel the body. Breakfast restores glycogen levels, which your body used up while sleeping, and boosts your energy, giving you power through the rest of the day. When you feel groggy in the morning, it is because your brain hasn’t received the energy (glucose) it needs to get going.

Skipping breakfast may affect your mental performance, including your ability to concentrate, attention, and memory. A balanced breakfast includes slowly digested carbohydrates, which are the main sources of energy, and fiber that aids digestion. Proteins repair and build tissues in your body, store and transport nutrients, and provide energy to your body. Healthy fats enhance the supply of energy and facilitate the absorption of vitamins.


Breakfast Myths

Like any other meal, there are various myths and misconceptions surrounding breakfast intake. The problem with such myths is that they often cause confusion for most people, making them question the importance of having breakfast. Here are some myths and their respective facts.

Myth 1: Consuming breakfast aids weight loss

While some people believe that having breakfast can encourage weight loss, others believe that skipping breakfast can enhance weight loss. You can still shed pounds by consuming a good and healthy breakfast. The fact is that whether you consume breakfast or not isn’t the main factor that determines your weight loss. The only proven way to lose weight is to maintain a calorie deficit. A calorie deficit is achieved when you consume fewer calories than your body burns. For these reasons, you can still eat breakfast and consume more calories than your body burns, thus facilitating weight gain.


Myth 2: Skipping breakfast can make you hungrier throughout the day

There is a belief that skipping breakfast can make you feel hungrier throughout the day. As a result, such people are believed to frequently snack or overeat during lunch until they get a proper meal. The fact is that there is no evidence to associate skipping breakfast with people eating more throughout the day.

You can also have a heavy breakfast and still feel hungry before the next meal. These can happen when your breakfast meal does not include fiber or protein. These foods increase your satiety levels, making you feel fuller for longer. It is recommended to include high-fiber foods as part of your breakfast, such as sweet potatoes, chia seeds, avocado, blackberries, and oranges.

Photo by Flo Dahm on Pexels

Myth 3: Skipping breakfast aids weight loss

The belief that skipping breakfast promotes weight loss is rationale by the fact that skipping breakfast will reduce the overall calorie intake. A reduction in calorie intake promotes weight loss as the body burns more calories than it consumes. Skipping breakfast does not facilitate weight loss in any way. In fact, skipping breakfast is linked with higher risks of obesity and overweight. Therefore, skipping breakfast might do more harm than good to your waistline.

There are solid reasons why breakfast is categorized as the most important meal of the day. It improves your cognitive performance, boosts your energy levels, prevents various health conditions, boosts your nutrition intake, and promotes your productivity. Nonetheless, there are surrounding myths and misconceptions about breakfast, such as that consuming breakfast helps with weight loss, skipping breakfast for weight loss, and feeling hungrier when you skip breakfast.


You should note that there is no evidence supporting these myths; therefore, it is better to consult your professional for guidance on efficiently and safely losing weight.

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