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Is Breakfast Really The Most Important Meal Of The Day?

Breakfast - Good or Bad?

You've no doubt heard the saying, “breakfast is the most important meal of the day.”

Whilst there's conflicting research on whether breakfast is the most important meal of the day or not, I think there is something to be said about making your first meal of the day a good one. There's nothing better to start off your day than a well balanced and satisfying meal to avoid the “hangry pangs” of 11 am.

Some would disagree with me though and say there is no need to eat breakfast and this is true if you are fasting. For everyone else breakfast is a good idea and will set you up nutritionally for the rest of the day.

I want to highlight the fact that some research shows that people who eat breakfast are less likely to be overweight compared to those who skip breakfast. It can also have long-term health benefits such as reducing risk of obesity later in life, high blood pressure, heart disease, and diabetes. According to a studying reported on by CBSnews people who eat breakfast are less likely to gain weight over time. I guess this comes down to the lack of snacking?

Eating a good breakfast can not only give your body the energy it needs for the day, but it can also help you to include your daily recommended nutrient goals. Without starting the day with breakfast, you may not eat the right type of food later in the day or enough of the right type of food to reach your daily nutrient goals.

If you are someone who experiences mood swings or food cravings during the day you may want to ask yourself a question or five.

  • Am I starting the day off on the right foot (diet wise obviously)

  • Am I eating the right foods first thin in the morning?

  • Am I breaking my fast at the right time?

  • Am I comfort eating?

  • Am I addicted to that food type?

If you are eating a breakfast full of starchy carbs you might as well get prepared for the carb pangs at 10 am. High-carb meals lead to cab pangs it's that simple. Make sure your breakfast is balanced. Veggies and fruit, carbs and protein.

I would advise all of my clients to stay away from breakfast cereal a sits full of processed sugar. We are often misled by the marketing for cereal products and led to believe they are healthy but this isn't true in most cases.

If you like oats then why not make your own overnight oats with nuts and seeds and fruit. That way you are consuming a balanced meal full of the right nutrients. The fruit will provide fibre as will the oats. Oats offer around 11% fibre. Nuts provide protein and good fats so all in all this meal will provide you with everything you need to start your day.

If you are anything like me I hate breakfast and choose to eat mid-morning after exercise. So I will choose something like grilled tomatoes, mushrooms, spinach, asparagus and a slice of toast. I'll then have a handful of nuts, normally almonds.

Try to avoid any form of processed foods as their high sugar content will give you a quick burst of energy but then you may find that you will crash shortly afterwards. I know it tastes nice at the time but the long-term rewards are not very nice.

There are a lot of great natural plant-based options you can muster up when it comes to breakfast. So why not get creative and find out what works best for you and what doesn't.

Dr Esselstyn is one of the world's leading specialists on healthy plant-based diets. Check out the video below for some great ideas.

As long as you try to focus on having a protein, carbohydrate, healthy fat and fibre meal from plants you will be good to go and energised throughout the morning until lunchtime. If you do get hungry mid morning choose a single piece of fruit or a small handful of nuts.

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