Breakfast Is the Most Important Meal

April 30th, 2009

Research shows that having something to eat before heading off to school or work helps with weight control, concentration, work performance, problem-solving ability, energy level, memory, mood and overall health.

Breakfast is the first chance your body has to produce blood sugar after 8 – 12 hours fasting. That sugar is essential for brain function. It’s the main source of energy for muscles, too.

Breakfast also helps curb hunger and prevent bingeing later in the day. If you wait until lunch to eat something, your body might just decide food is scarce and outsmart you by slowing down your metabolism to conserve energy. That’s not good!

Fiber and Calories in Cereals- Many people trying to lose weight skip breakfast to cut calories, but research shows that eating breakfast actually helps reduce calories consumed throughout the day. People who skip breakfast tend to snack on junk food by midmorning or overeat at lunch.

Just because breakfast is good for you doesn’t mean you shouldn’t choose wisely the food you eat. Here are a few great breakfast combos:

  • Whole-grain cereal with low-fat yogurt or milk and fresh fruit
  • Whole-grain waffles with peanut putter, fruit or ricotta cheese
  • Whole-grain hot cereal with bananas and a dash of cinnamon or nutmeg
  • Whole-wheat pitas stuffed with sliced hard-boiled eggs
  • Fruit and low-fat yogurt smoothie
  • Vegetable omelet with a bran muffin and orange juice
  • Bagel with peanut butter, fresh fruit and fat-free milk

And here are some helpful answers to the most common excuses of non-breakfast eaters:

  • SHORT ON TIME? Cereal, peanut butter on toast, cottage cheese and fruit, a hard-boiled egg and an English muffin. They’re all pretty quick. Just getting up 5 minutes earlier would be enough. Or grab a whole-grain nutrition bar on the go.
  • NO APPETITE? Often people who graze late at night aren’t hungry in the morning. Stop eating at least 2-3 hours before you go to bed. Or pack breakfast to eat later once your appetite awakes.
  • CUTTING CALORIES? Studies show that people who skip breakfast eat more calories throughout the day. Go for a low-fat fruit smoothie to give you early-morning energy without messing up your diet.
  • AVERSION TO BREAKFAST FARE? Anything that’s got some protein and fiber will give you a good start. Try a tomato, mozzarella and basil sandwich on whole-grain bread. Think globally! In Japan, a typical breakfast includes rice, soup and steamed vegetables.