Breakfast is known as the most important meal of the day. Although, many people, including our fellow students, skip breakfast and miss out on the many health benefits it has to offer.
With busy schedules and early mornings, it sometimes is hard to find time for breakfast. According to MayoClinic.com, only 44 percent of the population eats breakfast every day. That means the rest of the population are skipping the most important meal of the day.
The cliche of “the most important meal of the day” may sound cheesy but is actually a proven fact that has stood through time and time again.
Eating breakfast can have a lot of benefits but especially for children and teens who are in school. According to the American Dietetic Association (ADA), people who eat a healthy breakfast are more likely to concentrate better, have better problem-solving skills and hand-eye coordination, miss fewer days of school, and are more alert and creative.
Dr. Gregory Coppola, D.O., an osteopathic board certified sports medicine physician, explains, “Most of the energy you need from food is used during the course of the day. If you’re constantly refueling yourself throughout the day, you won’t feel so much depleted.”
Starting off the day with a good meal can increase your energy level throughout the day. Breakfast is, in a way, “breaking the fast.” Breakfast is the first meal you eat after dinner the day before so the body needs fuel to function after sleeping.
The foods you eat provide glucose, vitamins, minerals, dietary fibers and protein to help the body restore the much needed energy. Dr. Harvey Simon, the editor of Harvard Men’s Health Watch, said, “A healthy breakfast can not only help keep diabetes, heart disease, and stroke at bay, it can also help you achieve and maintain a healthy weight.”
A popular reason people skip breakfast is to lose weight, but this can cause more weight gain than loss. Studies show that obese people are less likely to eat breakfast than their thinner counterparts.
According to Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, eating breakfast actually helps control weight and fight hunger throughout the day. Breakfast skippers are usually the ones who eat more in their next meal or snack on high calorie food during the day.
Experts say eating breakfast helps your metabolism run faster as skipping meals can cause the body to go into “starvation” mode. “Starvation” mode causes your body to store more food since the brain doesn’t know when it’ll get its next meal.
When choosing a cereal, look for cereals with 5 grams or more fiber per serving and 5 grams or less sugar per serving. Natural sugars such as dried fruit are okay but avoid cereals that list sugar, high fructose corn syrup, honey, brown sugar and dextrose near the top of the ingredient list.
What forms the core of a healthy breakfast includes: whole grains like whole-grain rolls, bagels, cereal, muffins, low-fat protein like peanut butter, lean meat or eggs, low-fat dairy like low-fat yogurt, cheese or skim milk, and fruits and vegetables, like apples and bananas.
These groups of food provide complex carbohydrates, fiber, protein, and a small amount of fat, leaving the body full for hours.