For years you’ve likely heard it’s healthier to eat breakfast than to skip it. Doctors and nutritionists have often touted “breakfast is the healthiest meal of the day.”
Yet, recent studies have shown the benefits of eating breakfast may not actually outweigh choosing to skip that first meal of the day.
Advantages of Eating Breakfast
Many people look forward to the jumpstart breakfast food provides. It’s a wakeup call to their metabolism and fuel to start the day. It’s a key ingredient to healthy aging.
Studies have even documented the benefits of those who regularly eat breakfast:
- Having a lower Body Mass Index (BMI)
- Consuming less fat through the day
- Meeting recommendations for fruit and vegetable consumption
- Having higher daily calcium intake
- Having higher daily fiber intake
- Having better performance
New Studies Say It’s OK to Skip Breakfast
There are also those people who just aren’t ready to eat food first thing in the morning. They simply may not be hungry until 11 a.m. or would rather just wait until lunch.
They too now have research backing them. A study of 12,000 adults in Canada concluded eating breakfast was not consistently associated with differences in body mass index or overweight prevalence.
Another study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that when it comes to weight loss, breakfast eaters do no better -- or worse -- than people who skip the morning meal. The study concluded that people burn more calories on days they skip breakfast, however, the habit can increase inflammation in the body.
To Eat or Not to Eat?
Chances are there is a study proving and disproving nearly every reason to eat or not eat breakfast. What it really boils down to is this: what you choose to eat is more important than when you eat it.
Therefore, no matter if you eat breakfast at 7 a.m., 11 a.m. or 2 p.m., good nutrition still remains the key ingredient to a healthy lifestyle.
10 Simple, Healthy Breakfast Choices
- Eggs -- hard boiled, scrambled, sunny-side up or any other way -- are high in protein and disease-fighting nutrients.
- A whole-grain toaster waffle, topped with 2 tablespoons of nut butter and sliced strawberries, provides an energy boost.
- High-fiber cereal with fresh fruit and low-fat milk or soy milk.
- A protein shake made with yogurt and fresh or frozen fruit.
- High-fiber toast or bagel with tablespoon of peanut butter.
- Protein or fiber bars. Make sure to read the labels and look for about 6-10 grams of protein, 3 or more grams of fiber and less than 20 grams of sugar.
- Peanut butter toast with 1/2 a sliced banana and a sprinkle of chia, which is packed with vitamins, minerals and six times more calcium than milk.
- A whole-wheat English muffin with mustard, a pinch of dill and sliced avocado. Add egg for extra protein.
- Greek yogurt and a handful of almonds or mixed nuts.
- A breakfast cookie made with banana, peanut butter and oats.
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