Vitality

Is Breakfast Really Important? Know The Surprising Truth Behind It

Parents always say that you should not skip breakfast because it is the most important meal of the day. But with changes in the environment, lifestyle and nutritional needs of people, is it still that important?

Dietician Sarah Elder explained that breakfast helps people regain the energy, protein and calcium the body uses during sleep. At night, the body utilizes stored energy for growth and repair. 

However, there has been a widespread disagreement within the scientific community over the health benefits of breakfast. Researchers have been releasing contradicting findings, with some saying eating early in the morning could actually harm the body, while others say it is important to start the day. 

The introduction of fasting also challenged the idea that skipping breakfast may lead to poor health. In addition, experts also raised concerns regarding breakfast products, with common cereals containing more sugar than before. 

A seven-year study of the health of 50,000 people in the U.S. showed that eating more in the morning helped people maintain a lower body mass index (BMI). Researchers said that breakfast helped increase satiety, reduce daily calorie intake, improve the quality of the participants’ diet.

However, critics questioned the findings saying breakfast may not directly affect or improve the health of people. A follow-up study confirmed that breakfast itself did not cause weight loss. 

A healthy daily routine was the main factor that helped the participants maintain their weight. Breakfast skippers potentially gained more weight in the past study as they had less knowledge about nutrition and health compared to people who regularly eat breakfast, according to Alexandra Johnstone, professor of appetite research at the University of Aberdeen. 

“There are a lot of studies on the relationship between breakfast eating and possible health outcomes,” she told the BBC. “But this may be because those who eat breakfast choose to habitually have health-enhancing behaviors such as not smoking and regular exercise.”

For some people, breakfast may offer health benefits similar to what people could get from a balanced lunch and dinner. The benefits of each meal depends on the food itself and not the timing. 

For breakfast, the benefits may come from cereal that contains vitamins combined with food high in fiber and micronutrients, such as folate, vitamin C, iron and calcium.

Fredrik Karpe, a professor of metabolic medicine at Oxford Center for Diabetes, Endocrinology and Metabolism, said that breakfast helps in the production of higher levels of cortisol in the morning. Eating in the morning also plays a key role in jump starting metabolism.

“In order for other tissues to respond well to food intake, you need an initial trigger involving carbs responding to insulin,” Karpe said. “Breakfast is critical for this to happen.”

Breakfast There has been a widespread disagreement within the scientific community over the health benefits of breakfast, with some saying eating early in the morning could actually harm the body, while others say it is important to start the day. Pixabay

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