Breakfast: Is It Really the Most Important Meal of the Day?
We’ve all heard the saying, but is it true?
Well, yes, breakfast is pretty important. There are many benefits to eating breakfast, and they’re backed by a bunch of research. Eating breakfast:
Jumpstarts metabolism, which maximizes use of calories throughout the day
Provides energy to start the day, leading to increased focus and functionality
Promotes blood sugar stability, i.e. prevents blood sugar from being too high or too low
Promotes stable mood
May prevent overeating later in the day
Is linked to lower levels of LDL, or “bad” cholesterol
Is linked to decreased chance of developing diabetes and heart disease
Is linked to decreased chance of being overweight
While the best breakfast is one that is balanced, the day’s first meal doesn’t have to be a big production. Generally speaking, a balanced breakfast includes a combination of carbohydrates, protein, and fat. Carbohydrates provide energy for the body and brain, and they’re found in whole grains, fruits, and vegetables. Carbohydrates from these sources also include fiber, which has many health benefits and prevents hunger from occurring again soon after eating. Protein also contributes to fullness, and fat contributes to satisfaction. Below are some examples of a balanced breakfast, some of which can be easily eaten over the road. Note that examples including toast or bread are recommended to use a whole grain bread.
Yogurt with granola and berries
Peanut butter and banana sandwich
Toast, eggs, and fruit of choice
Veggie omelet with toast and fruit of choice
Cereal with milk and berries or banana
Wondering how to maximize the positive effects of your favorite breakfast? Below are examples of some easy breakfast favorites with suggestions on how to improve them.
Donut (or any type of pastry) and coffee —> Donut, milk, and coffee
Breakfast sandwich —> Breakfast sandwich and a piece of fruit (apple, banana, etc.)
Granola bar —> Granola bar and mixed nuts/trail mix
Banana —> Banana with peanut butter and/or cup of milk
Not generally a breakfast-eater? Even if you’re not hungry for a big breakfast (or any breakfast), it’s advised that you eat something. There’s no denying that there are significant benefits–physically, mentally, and emotionally–to eating breakfast, and it’s often better to eat something rather than nothing. If you’re new to the breakfast game, try eating a cup of Greek yogurt, or some peanut butter crackers, or some mixed fruit and nuts.
Developing a new habit takes time, but your body and mind will thank you for eating a balanced breakfast. You may even begin to feel hungry for breakfast early in the morning! And, if you notice yourself feeling hungrier during mornings when you eat breakfast, don’t panic; this is likely related to that jumpstarted metabolism mentioned above. That said, if you have questions or concerns about your newfound breakfast habit, don’t hesitate to contact Kristen at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Here’s to eating and feeling like a champion!