4 Reasons You Should Be Eating Breakfast
By: Katherine Brooking, MS, RD
Are you one of the nearly 31 million Americans who skips breakfast? Or is your idea of a balanced breakfast whatever you can gobble up while on the go? If so, you may be harming your health before your work day even begins.
You’ve probably heard that breakfast is the most important meal of the day – research suggests that it’s true. Here’s why you should make breakfast an essential part of your AM routine:
Breakfast may help you lose weight. According to recent research, eating a high-protein breakfast may actually help you shed pounds. Studies indicate that dieters who eat high-quality protein as part of their first meal are more able to ward off hunger pangs, reduce cravings and lose fat while maintaining lean muscle mass. One study published in the International Journal of Obesity, for example, found that overweight women who ate eggs for breakfast as part of a reduced-calorie diet lost 65 percent more weight and 34 percent more belly fat than women who started their days with a calorie-matched bagel breakfast.
Breakfast may lower your risk of heart disease and diabetes. Skipping out on your first meal may up the odds that you develop heart disease and diabetes. A study published in the journal Circulation followed more than 25,000 men for 16 years, and found that those who did not eat breakfast had nearly a 30% greater risk of developing coronary heart disease.
Other studies show that eating breakfast can help protect against type 2 diabetes.
Breakfast helps you meet your nutrient needs. A balanced morning meal that has several food groups represented including lean proteins, whole grains and a fruit or vegetable packs in nutrients your body needs to be your best. In fact, studies indicate that breakfast eaters are more likely to meet their overall nutritional needs, including higher intakes of fiber, B-vitamins, Vitamins A and C, calcium and much more.
Breakfast can enhance kids’ performance at school. If you want your child to do her best in school, start her day with a balanced breakfast. Without a morning meal, it can be tough to concentrate and kids (and adults!) are more likely to be irritable and tired. What’s more, studies demonstrate the cognitive benefits of eating breakfast, including better test scores, memory time, and even school attendance.