The Benefits of Breakfast

October 09, 2013

The benefits of breakfast are becoming hard to dispute, study after study show that breakfast really might be the most important meal of the day – yes thank you mom!

The benefits of breakfast range from kids doing better in school and having less behavioral issues, to maintaining a more normal weight, more energy, better mood, and even improved memory. A recent study, published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, found that men who skipped breakfast more often had a 20 percent higher risk of type two diabetes than those who consumed breakfast. The increased risk remained even after the researchers accounted for body mass index and the quality of the subjects’ breakfasts.

Ultimately, researchers found that men who ate only twice a day also had a higher risk of Type 2 diabetes. Other studies have demonstrated similar results – some researchers believe that having a morning meal helps stabilize blood sugar through the day.

Another recent study found that "Skipping breakfast may lead to one or more risk factors, including obesity, high blood pressure, high cholesterol and diabetes, which may in turn lead to a heart attack over time," said Dr Leah Cahill, (via Food Navigator) lead author of the Harvard School of Public Health study. The study also found that the men who ate late at night (after going to bed) had a 55 percent higher CHD risk than those who did not. The study was published in the American Heart Association journal Circulation

So what can you do to keep healthy? Start with breaking the fast right! Contrary to what many of us think, Americans generally don't eat enough protein for breakfast. The average breakfast is usually rich in carbohydrates and includes a bagel, muffin or cereal, which on average weighs in at about 10 grams of protein. Protein is critical for maintaining muscle mass, among other things, as proteins are part of every cell, tissue, and organ in our bodies. They are constantly being broken down, and thus we must replace them through the foods we eat. Protein also helps keep us feeling satisfied longer and our blood sugar more stable – so that we’re not hungry soon after breakfast with no ability to concentrate.

Keeping blood sugar stable is key to optimal wellness. Starting off the day with a solid breakfast is key. Some great choices include yogurt with granola or cereal, a veggie omelet with whole grain toast, a yogurt based fresh or frozen fruit smoothie along side eggs. Melting cheese atop a whole grain bagel, English muffin or toast is also a protein rich option. Seed and nut butters like almond, peanut, and sunflower are not only protein rich, but rich in essential minerals as well; slice banana or strawberries on top. Nut and seed butters are extremely versatile and can even be mixed in with oatmeal to increase the nutrition content of this already nutritious breakfast choice.

SupermarketGuru suggests you start the day right with a nutritious breakfast!