03 Feb 3 Benefits of Eating Breakfast Part 1
Skipping breakfast is one of many cultural changes over the past few decades that have hurt our health.
We’re all leading these crazier lifestyles. We
- run out the door
- don’t eat breakfast
- eat fast food in the car
The next thing you know, you gained 20 pounds.
Is it skipping breakfast that caused that, or is it everything combined?
I think it’s everything combined.
Eating breakfast may not solve the problem, but it’s a good place to start.
Research also supports that there are good reasons to eat breakfast. Check out the 5 benefits:
#1 Fuel & Nutrition
The basic formula for breakfast is to pair carbs (yes carbs) with protein. Carbs gives your body energy to get started and your brain the fuel it needs to take on the day. Protein gives you staying power and helps you feel full until your next meal.
Simple combos of carbs, protein and fats:
- Whole-grain cereals – hot or cold, bread, potatoes for carbs
- Low-fat milk or yogurt with eggs or cottage cheese for protein
- Fresh fruit, Low-fat milk or yogurt again for the carbs
- Nuts, seeds, avocado, margarine made from olive or vegetable oil for heart healthy fats
- Legumes for carbs and even more protein
#2 Healthy Weight
Unfortunately, peanut butter on toast does not quite cut it as a balanced breakfast. This leads many people over 40 wondering why their muscle mass is in decreasing as their waistline increases.
Bottom line, when you haven’t had an adequate breakfast, you’re more likely to get “hangry,” which can lead you to overeat later in the day or choose unhealthy foods like those doughnuts or cookies someone left behind in the break room.
There are many studies to back up the direct link between skipping breakfast and being overweight.
A Trend of Today
Now, let’s talk about a “trend of today” and I hear this quite often. Many people skip breakfast and call in it “Intermittent Fasting”. This is when a person passes on meals (breakfast in this case) to take in fewer calories and lose weight. There’s a lot of hype about it, but there’s little evidence it works in the long run.
In the long term, the bulk of the science favors a healthy breakfast. It’s not just about your weight. It’s also about vitamins, minerals, and muscle mass. We must think of larger picture, of what food is really doing for your body versus ‘I want a quick fix for weight loss.’
#3 Control Blood Sugar
Eating breakfast helps keep your blood sugar steadier throughout the day, whether you have diabetes or not. For people with normal glucose test results, this might help you avoid insulin resistance, which can lead to diabetes. Drops and spikes in your blood sugar can also affect your mood, making you more nervous, grumpy, or angry.
If you have diabetes, “Don’t skip breakfast, they’re more likely to get low blood sugar, also called hypoglycemia.
For people with diabetes consider a breakfast that’s easy on the carbs with balanced amounts of protein and fats. Such as low-fat milk and oatmeal, or eggs and a piece of whole grain toast.
The American Diabetes Association recommends including lots of fiber in your breakfast, about 7-10 grams, and limiting yourself to 400-500 calories.
Side note: People with diabetes should check their blood sugar to see the effects of their breakfast choices. For example, while some people do fine with oatmeal, it may cause spikes for someone else.