How often do you feel short of time, hit the snooze button and run out the door without breakfast? If you’re like me, you’re always hitting the snooze button for some extra z’s. Hopefully after reading this you’ll change your mind about skipping breakfast!
Breakfast is a really important meal because it breaks our overnight fasting period, replenishes energy and contributes to good health and nutrition. Here a just a few reasons why you should ensure you have a nutritious breakfast everyday:
Prevent over-eating and poor food choices
Skipping breakfast can lead to overeating throughout the day because our bodies try to compensate for a lack of energy and drop in our blood sugar levels. On a regular basis this can contribute to weight gain especially as we tend to choose foods high in fat, sugar and salt when we are hungrier and our blood sugar levels are low. If you do skip breakfast, try to ensure you choose a healthy morning tea such as yogurt and fresh fruit; nuts; a low-fat muffin; or a wholegrain sandwich.
Stabilise blood sugar levels
By not eating breakfast our blood sugar levels drop known as hypoglycaemia which causes dizziness, nausea and shaking. After our overnight fast our glycogen stores are low as they are used up during the night whilst we sleep to maintain our blood sugar levels. By eating regular meals including breakfast we can ensure our blood sugar levels are replenished and remain stable throughout the day. Uncontrolled blood sugar levels can increase our risk of type II diabetes.
Improved concentration levels
Linked to low blood sugar levels, the brain requires glucose to function and therefore ensuring you have a nutritious breakfast that replenishes glycogen stores can improve your concentration levels, alertness and give you a great start to the day.
Opportunity for more nutrients
At breakfast we often consume cereals and bread products which contain fibre, folate, iron and B vitamins. These can only be gained from the foods we eat and by skipping breakfast we miss out on this opportunity to obtain these nutrients. Most Australians are not consuming enough fibre. Fibre is important for keeping us full and for a healthy gut.
For a good start to the day, choose a breakfast that is high in fibre, low in fat and that contains vitamins and minerals. Most people skip breakfast because they don’t have enough time, are too tired, and would prefer to snooze or have no available breakfast foods. If you are short on time try and prepare your breakfast the night before or take something healthy to work to eat and always keep breakfast cereals and toast on hand for a quick breakfast on the go.
Some healthy ideas:
Wholegrain cereal with low-fat milk and fruit
Smoothie from reduced fat milk or yoghurt with fruit (keep the skin on for added fibre)
Baked beans or an egg on wholegrain toast
Porridge w/milk and fruit
Yogurt w/fruit and nuts
- Dietitians Association of Australia. (2014). Breakfast. Retrieved from http://daa.asn.au/for-the-public/smart-eating-for-you/nutrition-a-z/breakfast/
- Nutrition Australia. (2014). Breakfast. Retrieved from http://www.nutritionaustralia.org/national/resource/breakfast
- McCrory, M., (2014). Meal skipping and variables related to energy balance in adults: A brief review, with emphasis on the breakfast meal. Physiology and Behavior, 134 (1), 51–54. Retrieved from http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0031938414002601
- Sajjad, A., Anwer, M., Anwer, S., Zaidi, S., & Hasan, A. (2014). Missing Breakfast, Sleep and Exercise: are you skipping out years of life. Journal of Nutrition and Health Sciences. Retrieved from http://www.annexpublishers.com/full-text/JNH/308/Missing-Breakfast-Sleep-and-Exercise-Are-You-Skipping-Out-Years-of-Life.php#
- Uemura, M., Yatsuya, H., Hilawe, E., Li, Y., Wang, C., Chiang, C., Otsuka, R., Toyoshima, H., Tamakoshi, K., Aoyama, A. (2015). Breakfast Skipping is Positively Associated With Incidence of Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus: Evidence From the Aichi Workers’ Cohort Study. Journal of Epidemiology, 25 (5), 351-358. https://www.jstage.jst.go.jp/article/jea/25/5/25_JE20140109/_article