Is breakfast really the best meal of the day?
We’ve heard for years, “breakfast is the best meal of the day,” but why? According to Merriam-Webster, breakfast used to be defined as, "breaking the fast," but now according to Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics is defined as, “breakfast is the first meal of the day that breaks the fast after the longest period of sleep and is consumed within two to three hours of waking; it is comprised of food or beverage from at least one food group and may be consumed at any location.” This definition was created to set better standards for the overall meal with differences in lifestyles. Of a 64 sampled group of RD’s, 82% said breakfast needs to have some solid food involved; whereas, 8% believed breakfast could be solely defined as a beverage and 28% believed a breakfast should have a minimum amount of calories ranging between 200 and 500 to be considered breakfast.
Personally, I fall in all three categories. I believe you can have a liquid beverage or a solid meal as long as you are consuming enough balanced macronutrients! If you have a smoothie with a banana and milk, no that is not considered breakfast, but if you add some spinach, yogurt, peanut butter, flax seed and avocado, yes that would be considered a nutrient dense breakfast!
Why is it so important to have breakfast within the first couple of hours of waking up?
Skipping breakfast has been seen in 15% of Americans with about 32% being young adult men. According to the American Heart Association, studies show strong evidence relating skipping breakfast to a greater risk of overweight, obesity, diabetes, CVD and hypertension. It is also associated with impaired glucose metabolism with a higher fasting glucose; thus, increasing hemoglobin A1C (the three month average of the glucose or sugar in our blood). Those who skip breakfast have been less likely to consume fewer nutrients throughout the day, which can end up in nutrient deficiencies.
From past experience, I would assume if you skip breakfast you would be likely to snack more often later in the day or have larger meals at lunch, and dinner, but according to several studies, breakfast skippers tend to not overcompensate with calories at later meals. From my dietetic knowledge, going about 16 (give or take) hours without eating, from after dinner, throughout the night and then skipping breakfast until lunch, I would say your body can go into starvation mode. This means that the body will use its lean muscle mass for energy because it is not getting glucose from food, which means it's storing more fat for later use. You also have to take into account if you begin over consuming at lunch and dinner as well as unhealthy snacks due to having more hunger cues, the body now has the extra stored fat, as well as the extra stored glucose from the overconsumption of macros; thus potentially leading to weight gain. BE CAREFUL!!
Tips to a healthy, nutrient dense breakfast
Be Full. Be Fit. Be Your Own Beautifull Profit.