Why Breakfast Is the Most Important Meal of the Day

Are you tired of hearing about how breakfast is the most important meal of the day? Well, this advice probably not going to stop until more of us start eating our morning meals.
About 18 percent of males and 13 percent of females between the ages of 35 and 54 are breakfast skippers, according to a 2011 study by the market research company NPD group.
But the evidence that suggests that breakfast is a meal not-to-be-skipped is overwhelming. In fact, I have never encountered a study that suggests the opposite.

Breakfast provides the body and brain with fuel after an overnight fast – that’s where its name originates, breaking the fast! Without breakfast you are effectively running on empty, like trying to start the car with no petrol!

Nutritionists advise:

• breakfast should be eaten within two hours of waking

• a healthy breakfast should provide calories in the range of 20-35% of your guideline daily allowance (GDA).

Apart from providing us with energy, breakfast foods are good sources of important nutrients such as calcium, iron and B vitamins as well as protein and fibre. The body needs these essential nutrients and research shows that if these are missed at breakfast, they are less likely to be compensated for later in the day. Fruit and vegetables are good sources of vitamins and minerals so try to include a portion of your daily five at breakfast, whether that be a banana or glass of fruit juice.

Breakfast can be good for waistline too, research shows those who eat breakfast are less likely to be overweight and more likely to be within their ideal weight range compared with breakfast skippers. If you skip breakfast, you’re more likely to reach for high sugar and fatty snacks mid-morning.

Here a look at some of the research showing the possible benefits of breakfast:

Diabetes: Skipping breakfast may increase a woman’s diabetes risk, according to a study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. Women who ate breakfast an average of zero to six times per week were at a higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes than women who ate breakfast every day.

Heart Disease: Eating breakfast was associated with a lower incidence of heart disease in men between ages 45 and 82, according to a July study in the journal Circulation. The study also found that skipping breakfast was associated with hypertension, insulin resistance and elevated blood sugar levels.

Memory: A 2005 Journal of the American Dietetic Association review of 47 breakfast-related studies found that eating breakfast is likely to improve cognitive function related to memory and test grades.

Weight Loss: In one recent study, people who ate breakfast as their largest meal lost an average of 17.8 pounds over three months. The other participants consumed the same number of total calories per day, but ate most of their calories at dinner, according to the study published in July in the journal Obesity. The large-dinner group only lost an average of 7.3 pounds each over the same time period.

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