Why is Breakfast so Important? Or is it?

We all know that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Is it really? Why? This week we take a look at the ins and outs of the most important meal of the day.

As a coffee lover, I know that breakfast is important because it goes so well with coffee. And oodles of studies show that breakfast-eaters are healthier than breakfast-skippers. Breakfast breaks your fast of the night, revs up your metabolism, and starts the day with vim and vigor. Is breakfast good for us because of the time it’s eaten or because of the types of food that are typically eaten?

What of English Breakfast? You know, the one with bacon, fried, eggs, fried tomatoes, fried mushrooms, fried bread, bangers, black pudding, baked beans, bubble and squeak… What of pancakes and bacon and sausage? What of hash browns? Should we consider these to be healthy breakfasts?

They say that eating breakfast can help you control your weight. But these feasts make me skeptical. WebMD says, “Many studies have linked eating breakfast to good health, including better memory and concentration, lower levels of “bad” LDL cholesterol, and lower chances of getting diabetes, heart disease, and being overweight.” (https://www.webmd.com/food-recipes/breakfast-lose-weight#1)

But a new article from the BBC tells us that’s breakfast’s supremacy among meals is in question. And posits that breakfast’s import may have been introduced and propagated by the breakfast food industry. So what’s the reality? Is breakfast a necessary start to the day… or a marketing ploy by cereal companies?

“There’s widespread disagreement over whether breakfast should keep its top spot in the hierarchy of meals. As well as the rising popularity of fasting diets, there have been concerns around the sugar content of cereal and the food industry’s involvement in pro-breakfast research – and even one claim from an academic that breakfast is “dangerous”…The most researched aspect of breakfast (and breakfast-skipping) has been its links to obesity…But as with any study of this kind, it was unclear if that was the cause – or if breakfast-skippers were just more likely to be overweight to begin with.” (http://www.bbc.com/future/story/20181126-is-breakfast-good-for-your-health)

Breakfast’s link to obesity has been widely researched without many substantive conclusions. Though it is clear that breakfast:

  • impacts metabolism
  • steadies blood sugar
  • is associated with improved brain function
  • can improve memory

“High-protein breakfasts have been found particularly effective in reducing food cravings and consumption later in the day…”

The BBC article concludes that “While there’s no conclusive evidence on exactly what we should be eating and when, the consensus is that we should listen to our own bodies and eat when we’re hungry…Breakfast is most important for people who are hungry when they wake up.”


Photo by Flipboard on Unsplash