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If you are one of those who tend to pay little attention to breakfast, it is very likely that after reading this your perception of it will change. The truth is that we have been listening to exhaustion for years: “Breakfast is the most important meal of the day” or at least one of them. This is suggested by a recent study, which shows that those adults who usually miss the morning feast: they lose the consumption of important nutrients throughout the day.
Although when we talk about breakfast, it is normal to find divided opinions: there are people who love it and those who hate it. Finally, we are not all the same, that is, in some cases there are people who cannot start the day without eating something, while others usually only drink a cup of coffee. The truth is that it is a more complex issue than simple preferences and tastes, the quality of nutrients that we ingest from the morning influences everything: in our state of health in numerous aspects, mood, performance and energy levels.
The study was led by specialists from Ohio State University, who were tasked with analyzing data from 30,000 American adults and their morning eating habits. They found that skipping breakfast leads to skipping a significant intake of calcium, vitamin C, fiber, and other vitamins and minerals, found in typical breakfast products such as milk, fruit, and fortified cereals (respectively). Among the most salient findings, experts noted that in most cases: if these essential nutrients are not consumed through breakfast staples in the morning, the tendency not to consume them increases throughout the day. Also according to the statements of the study’s lead author Christopher Taylor, professor of medical dietetics in the Ohio State University College of Health Sciences and Rehabilitation: “Skipping the common nutrients from breakfast turns into a nutritional gap . “
The results of the study were recently published in the Proceedings of the Nutrition Society. And they were based on the use of data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, it was considered a fairly large sample since samples of 30,889 adults over 19 years of age, who participated in the survey between 2005 and 2016. Subsequently, Tylor and his team analyzed the data from the 24-hour diet reminders that each participant completed.
To determine whether or not someone was eating breakfast, according to Stephanie Fanelli, a graduate student at the Ohio State School of Medicine and one of the study’s lead authors. Participants self-designated their eating occasions either main meals or snacks, with the aim of recording the times. Thanks to this, almost 5,000 adults, that is, the 15.2% of the participants declared skipping breakfast. The researchers translated the measurements into nutrient estimates and MyPlate equivalents. They then compared the estimates with the nutrient intakes recommended by the Food and Nutrition Board of the National Academies. And based on that, they found that those who skipped breakfast were more likely to miss their daily nutrient requirements.
For more context: The results showed that those who used to skip breakfast consumed fewer vitamins than those who usually eat breakfast. The most significant differences were for folate, calcium, iron and vitamins A, B1, B2, B3, C and D. It is well known that the quality of nutrients on which we base our diet is directly associated with our general state of health, in such a way that possible deficiencies are the direct key to various chronic diseases such as cardiovascular diseases that deteriorate health and depress the system immunological.
Complementary to this there is other relevant scientific references, in which it has been proven that skipping breakfast is associated with significant alterations to health. Among which the following points stand out:
– Alterations in the functioning of the metabolism and weight loss. There is a February 2020 study published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism, which found that participants who ate a healthy breakfast (rather than a large dinner) they burned almost twice the calories during the day. Those who ate breakfast also reported lower blood sugar and insulin levels.
– Heart health may be affected. Perhaps at first we do not perceive the effects of skipping breakfast, however we have bad news: it is a habit that in the long term, usually damages the health of the heart. According to a study published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, which included the participation of 6,550 adults in the United States. It found that those who skipped breakfast had an 87% higher risk of cardiovascular disease-related death compared to those who ate breakfast. The main reason is that it can lead to higher cholesterol levels and elevated blood pressure.
– Lower energy levels. To obtain optimal physical and mental performance, it is necessary to provide the nutrients that the brain and body need to function. Therefore do not eat breakfast increases the state of drowsiness and fatigue, and promotes concentration, learning and memory problems. Remember it is important to bet on a breakfast rich in nutrients and balanced.
– Possible increase in glucose levels. The nutrients obtained from breakfast foods are decisive in controlling glucose levels. In such a way that not consuming them on time, or rather replacing it with unhealthy alternatives, causes the insulin concentration to drop and the body is more prone to accumulate more sugar.
– Greater appetite. Those who believe that skipping breakfast will help them meet their body weight goals are wrong. It is a habit that affects the feeling of fullness, increases appetite and cravings, thus leading to excessive calorie consumption or worse, unhealthy foods.
– Weak immune system. The nutritional contribution obtained from breakfast positively interferes with the strengthening of the immune system. Missing this important food can cause weaken the functions of defenses and makes the body more susceptible to infection.
Last but not least, the secret to really getting all the nutrients that the body and brain require to start the day right, is to make sure you eat a nutrient-balanced breakfast. Bet on consuming fruits with peel, unsweetened Greek yogurt, eggs, cereals and whole wheat bread, healthy fats such as avocado and olive oil. It is also recommended to integrate the consumption of anti-inflammatory infusions, such as ginger and turmeric root. Remember to avoid the intake of cold cuts, processed meats, refined cereals, white bread and industrial pastries, sugary cereals and commercial juices.
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Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.