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Is breakfast really the most important meal of the day?

Some research shows Mom was right We’re all familiar with mom-isms – the rules and advice our mothers reminded us about when we did or sa…

Some research shows Mom was right

We’re all familiar with mom-isms – the rules and advice our mothers reminded us about when we did or said something that didn’t set well with her. Some of them are:

  • If you’re too full to finish your dinner, you’re too full for dessert.
  • When you have your own house, then you can make the rules!
  • Go play outside! It’s a beautiful day!
  • Eat your breakfast – it’s the most important meal of the day!

Those are all good observations and advice that Mom probably heard from her mother and her from her mother … and so on.

But how valid is the breakfast statement? Is breakfast the most important meal of the day? The answer is sort of.

According to researchers at Rush University, the most beneficial aspect of breakfast is it boosts our metabolism, which helps burn more calories throughout the day,

WebMD explains that if you skip breakfast and your body doesn’t get that fuel from morning food, you may feel zapped of energy and more likely to overeat later in the day.

Breakfast also gives you a chance to get in some vitamins and nutrients from healthy foods like dairy, grains and fruits. If you don’t eat it, you aren’t likely to get all of the nutrients your body needs.

And that’s just the start. Reader’s Digest presents a whole laundry list of things that could happen when you skip breakfast:

  • Heart health: A Harvard University study showed that men who skipped breakfast had a 27% greater risk of heart attack or heart disease than those who had the morning nosh.
  • Diabetes risk: Another Harvard study found that women who regularly missed breakfast had a 20% increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
  • Weight gain: You would think missing a meal would help you lose weight, but that may not be the case. Research is mixed on whether eating breakfast has a direct effect on weight loss, but the link between skipping breakfast and weight gain has been shown.
  • Slowed thinking: Because your brain runs on glucose, missing breakfast can cause a drop in blood sugar that can mess with cognitive function.
  • Moody: If you are in too much of a rush and skip breakfast, you might get grumpy. A study from the United Kingdom showed that men who had eaten breakfast had a more positive mood at the start of the test session, and felt calmer afterward, than those who hadn’t eaten breakfast.
  • Bad food decisions: When we are hungry we tend to make bad food choices. Eating a balanced breakfast with protein will prevent hunger pangs, which could lead to us raiding the candy jar at the front desk sooner in the day.

OK, so we probably should eat breakfast, even it only consists of a banana and some yogurt. But what is a balanced breakfast and what is a morning meal that will cause problems, be it weight gain or heart issues? Here’s what Healthlinerecommends:

  • Eggs: Eating eggs for breakfast increases feelings of fullness, reduces calorie intake later in the day, and helps maintain good blood sugar and insulin levels. They also contain important antioxidants; and although they are high in cholesterol, they don’t raise cholesterol levels in most people.
  • Greek yogurt: If you want tasty, good protein, this is for you. Not only will it help reduce hunger and boost your metabolic rate, Greek yogurt is a good source for probiotics.
  • Coffee: Yes, caffeine can be good for you. It has been shown to improve mood, alertness and mental performance, and it can increase your metabolism. It also contains beneficial antioxidants.
  • Oatmeal: If you want morning grains, studies show this is the most beneficial of them all. It will keep you feeling full longer and a unique fiber only found in oatmeal has many benefits, including reduced cholesterol.
  • Berries: Any common berry is high in fiber and low in sugar and calories. Berries also pack antioxidants, so adding them to your oatmeal or Greek yogurt give you a double dose of healthy food.
  • Fruit in general: All types of fruit contain vitamins, potassium, fiber and are relatively low in calories, plus they give you that feeling of fullness. Eat fruit by itself or add it to cereal, oatmeal or Greek yogurt. Be weary of eating too much fruit, especially if you are prone to diabetes, as they are higher in sugar by nature.

So this is one mom-ism that you should listen to. 

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