Why We Skip Breakfast and Why We Shouldn’t
Ahhhh, breakfast! A couple fresh eggs, crispy bacon, maybe some sweet melon and cantaloupe, all washed down with delicious, hot coffee. Is there any meal that hits the spot better than a good breakfast?
So why does over 10% of the population (it’s almost one-third in males 18 to 34 years old) choose to avoid breakfast every day.
- Bad Rap. Breakfast foods suffer a poor reputation for their lack nutrition and health benefits. Eggs are considered high in cholesterol, bacon considered high in saturated fat and we worry that coffee causes high blood pressure and tension.
- Trying to Lose Weight. It seems to make sense, if you’re trying to lose weight, eating fewer meals should help.
- No Time. Mornings are very stressful. You need to go from being fast asleep in your warm comfy bed to being at work and at full speed; usually in less than 2 hours. Squeezing in a half an hour to prepare and eat a breakfast doesn’t seem possible.
Why You Shouldn’t Skip Breakfast
First, before we address each of the reasons we skip breakfast, let’s just think about the idea of skipping breakfast. The name comes from the contraction of two words, ‘breaking’ and ‘fast’, which literally means: ending a period of time in which you have avoided food.
If you’re going to skip any meal, does it make sense to skip the one that comes after you’ve spent the longest time away from food? At a time when your body needs extra energy to help you get going in the morning?
With that in mind, let’s look at other reasons why you shouldn’t avoid breakfast.
- Breakfast Foods Aren’t as Bad for You as You Think. The concern about cholesterol in eggs is largely unfounded. Our bodies produce way more cholesterol than what’s found in eggs and studies show that consuming cholesterol in food does not significantly increase our blood cholesterol.There might be healthier choices, but bacon is not a bad way to start your day. Its high protein levels give you the energy you need to get through the day. And you can trim the fat to make it healthier.
Yes, coffee contains caffeine, which is an addictive stimulant linked to an increase blood pressure. But coffee is also linked to a number of health benefits, including being a source of anti-oxidants, reducing the risk of many cancers and diabetes, and it has been shown to help stave off brain disorders like Alzheimer’s disease and dementia.
- Skipping Breakfast Leads to Weight Gain. Studies show that breakfast skippers tend to gain weight because they are more likely to compensate by eating high-fat, high-energy foods later in the day, when there is less time left in the day to burn off the extra calories.According to the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, breakfast skippers consume about 100 more calories per day than breakfast eaters. That’s an oatmeal cookie!
- Breakfast Can be Fast. If you’re really that pressed for time each morning, think about alternatives. Boil eggs ahead of time and grab them on your way out the door. Try low-fat yogurt that doesn’t need to be prepared. Or just eat an apple.While none of these suggestions are a complete breakfast, they are better than no breakfast and will hopefully help you develop better breakfast routine.
Moderation and Balance. There is no perfect food and you’ll hear good and bad things about almost all the food you eat. The most important thing with any meal planning is to maintain a balanced diet and eat your meals and snacks in moderation. Your local nutrition specialist can help you balance your diet, make sure you get proper nutrition to maintain your energy and give you the support you need throughout your weight management efforts.