The importance of a healthy breakfast
Article by Levi Mckie
As many people will have undoubtedly been told, breakfast is the most important meal of the day, but despite this it seems that a concerning number of people still either skip breakfast entirely or eat something that is unhealthy. It seems to be that modern day society has left us in such a hurry all the time that we simply do not have time for breakfast, a worrying fact when you consider that not eating this first meal of the day will essentially starve your body until lunchtime. Another excuse for skipping breakfast that is commonly used is that people are watching their weight. The ironic fact of the matter is that skipping breakfast isn’t likely to help you lose weight; in fact in some cases it may be detrimental to your weight loss.
So, why is the morning different from any other time of day? Well, if you consider the fact that your body and brain have been without food for around 10-12 hours it is easy to see why. Just like a car, your body need fuel to run and the better you look after your body the better and longer it will run. Your body must be refuelled several times a day if you are to function efficiently; therefore in the morning after many hours without food it is essential that you consume enough nutrients and energy-providing foods to get you through the day.
If you deprive your body of food in the morning you might find that you feel tired, dizzy, and irritable, and your concentration is likely to suffer. It might take you longer to carry out tasks or you may not feel up to anything too mentally or physically demanding. Furthermore, your stress levels generally tend to be higher when you haven’t had breakfast. People that skip breakfast completely are also more likely to find themselves craving something sweet around mid-morning – this is your body crying out for a quick energy fix. It is normally just before lunch that people find themselves with these cravings and the hunger can sometimes be so much that it leads to people eating twice as many unhealthy snacks before lunch. Yes, this is how skipping breakfast can cause you to actually become overweight. Opting for a healthy breakfast will undoubtedly reduce the amount of unhealthy snacks that you would have if you skipped breakfast all together.
People that do have breakfast but do not necessarily have an adequate one can also run into problems. Choosing a cereal loaded with sugar and having a strong cup of coffee may provide an initial burst of energy, but this will not last you up untill lunch. Caffeine combined with blood sugar causes energy levels to shoot up briefly, but as the pancreas responds to this surge of glucose it produces more insulin so as to bring the glucose levels down to a reasonable level. This means a few hours after an unhealthy breakfast, you are left feeling tired and hungry again.