Do We Really Need To Eat Breakfast?
We were all taught that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, but now researchers are asking if we might not be better off skipping breakfast altogether. Conventional wisdom has it that breakfast is the most important meal of the day and that one should eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince and dinner like a beggar. Do We Really Need To Eat Breakfast?
The brain runs on glucose
The rationale behind a big breakfast is that we spent the previous eight to 12 hours fasting and that the body needs to replenish its glucose levels in order to function properly.
In the past breakfast was also widely touted as the way to jumpstart your metabolism.
We’re not all the same
We’re not all the same and, predictably, not everyone agrees with this “one size fits all’ model.
In a 2014 article well-known American author, radio host and complementary medicine specialist, Dr. Ronald Hoffman says that some of his patients report that a good breakfast “anchors” them for the day and prevents them from eating indiscriminately during the course of the day. Others, however, insist that if they eat breakfast it “kindles” their appetites and stimulates food cravings. These people maintain that they’re fine until they start eating.
intermittent fasting is reported to combat weight gain, stabilize moods and reduce insulin resistance
‘No discernible effect’
A 2014 randomized controlled trial published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition tested how effective weight loss was in adults who either ate or skipped breakfast.
The somewhat unexpect conclusion of the study was that eating or skipping breakfast made no difference to the participants’ weight at all.
Do we need breakfast at all?
If breakfast is not as essential to our well-being as we thought, might it not be better for us to skip breakfast altogether?
The study was conduct at the New York Obesity Nutrition Research Center at St Luke’s Hospital. The summary of the study was that skipping breakfast for four weeks led to a reduction in body weight.
No clear evidence of weight gain
In his article, Whorisky also mentions research done by David Allison of the University of Alabama-Birmingham who recently compiled a list of randomized controlled trials (published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition), investigating links between breakfast and obesity.
Allison found five, of which none offered clear evidence that skipping breakfast leads to weight gain. It appeared that skipping breakfast made no difference. A sixth study, published in Obesity, also could not demonstrate any differences in weight loss between subjects who ate breakfast and those who didn’t.
Things aren’t always what they seem, and like in the case of the French paradox where the French have less heart disease than the British or Americans despite their high-fat diet a breakfast consisting of a dry croissant and a cup of coffee might actually be better for you.
Most people tend to either overeat or eat unhealthy food and overdo their alcohol intake when they eat out. Eating out is always viewe as a “treat”, so it is natural that people will indulge themselves by eating rich, fatty foods in large quantities. Such indulgence leads to weight gain, exacerbates gout and high blood pressure, and raises blood fat levels.
Try to be aware of how often you skip breakfast, eat snacks and eat out. Make a concerted effort to eat breakfast even if it means getting up earlier. Don’t just grab a cup of black coffee and gobble fatty snacks for the rest of the day. Make sure that children and teenagers eat breakfast.
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