How Important Is Breakfast Really?
| LAST UPDATE 07/13/2022
For years we've been hearing that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. But is that really true, or perhaps was that just something parents told us kids to make sure we ate our meals before school? Well, as it turns out, nutritionists and dieticians around the world have said time and time again that breakfast is, in fact, something we should all be eating. Here's why.
For years the research on the topic has been a bit confusing. "The research pendulum continues to swing back and forth in respect to whether or not it is 'better' to eat breakfast versus skip it. For every study that supports eating breakfast, there is an equal and opposite study showing the alternative as being superior," noted registered dietician Rachel Swanson. Yet, after all, it's definitely not healthy to skip the first meal of the day.
"I'm a big proponent of eating a balanced breakfast," revealed certified holistic nutritionist Caroline Johnson. "Generally speaking, within two hours of waking up is ideal to support a healthy metabolism. After fasting overnight while we sleep, our bodies need fuel to start the day. Eating a balanced breakfast that prioritizes protein and fiber-rich whole food sources to maintain a balanced blood sugar will help you feel fueled, focused, and energized." But not all foods are ideal. Don't just grab a cereal bar while walking out the door! Instead, choose quality whole foods that are bound to keep you satiated till lunchtime. If you choose processed, sugary, and refined food, nutritionists believe it might even be better to just not eat breakfast!
"It's more important to consider what you are eating," said French biochemist Jessie Inchauspé, also the founder of Glucose Goddess. "We have to think about several factors, the most important one being: how are you going to break your fast? What are you going to eat first during your day, whether at breakfast time or lunchtime?" Ultimately eating breakfast is probably the best for our body. "This recommendation is about optimizing around biological processes linked to our innate circadian rhythm—our internal clock, or sleep-wake cycles. We know that digestion, metabolism, and hormone secretion… are most efficient in the morning," explained Swanson. Yet, despite what experts say, at the end of the day, it's your body - and if you feel best waiting till lunch to eat, then you do you!