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Many of us have the habit of having the exact same breakfast every morning. Whether it’s for taste or convenience, it turns out that most of us tend to select the same food options for breakfast multiple times a week. And this has a reason for being, a recent study that was published in the journal Appetite, led by experts from Boston University discovered the possible reasons for this peculiar morning habit. According to their findings, 68% of the people surveyed eat the same foods for breakfast at least twice a week. The study was carried out with information on the habits of people of French and American origin.
Dr. Romain Cadario of the Erasmus University of Rotterdam and Dr. Carey Morewedge of the Questrom School of Business, Boston University, They spent reading the weekly food diaries of 1,275 people living in the United States and 2,624 people living in France. And they gave themselves to the task of breaking down all the information and discovered that the 68% of respondents ate the same foods for breakfast at least twice in the same week, although they only repeated the same food for dinner 9% of the time. According to the researchers, the French were slightly more likely to have refills for breakfast, while the Americans were slightly more likely to repeat their dinner choices.
Why do we usually choose the same foods?
According to an article he wrote for Time, Morewedge was one of the study’s lead authors; He noted that one is likely due to a combination of biological and psychological factors. To this he added that normally human beings are “more energized in the morning”, and that is why we can choose less exciting meals in the morning hours so as not to feel totally overstimulated. Another very relevant fact is that we are usually running in the mornings: whether it is because we are late for work, taking our children to school or both, it is easier for us to resort to consuming the same “easy” and “efficient” foods .
From a psychological point of view, Morewedge wrote that we can have hedonic or utilitarian goals for our meals. Hedonic goals are what make us look for foods that are more enjoyable, while utilitarian goals make us look for foods that are healthy or convenient, even if they are not the most exciting or satisfying options. All those food diaries that were analyzed in the study revealed that we tend to “pursue utilitarian goals” at breakfast, while we are more likely to have more enjoyable meals at lunch or dinner. It is also striking that the exceptions to that rule were on weekends, which makes a lot of sense. On weekends we usually relax, we have already completed the week’s tasks and many of us have more time to prepare and enjoy our breakfasts.
The study authors, Cadario and Morewedge, they also noticed that breakfast foods tend to be marketed with rather boring words. They examined the product lists of 3,000 items that were available on Amazon and found that foods that would normally be eaten for lunch or dinner were much more likely to be described with “Words related to pleasure”, such as tasty, luscious, or delicious. Which is not so much the case with the most popular breakfast items.
As part of the most relevant conclusions of the study authors, they pointed out that if we are willing to repeat the same foods for breakfast every day, it could be of particular benefit to us if we set ourselves the task of making meals as healthy as possible. According to Morewedge’s statements: “If we find a breakfast that is gratifying and we repeat it a few times, eating that combination of foods becomes a habit that allows us to eat efficiently.” Especially considering that it is common for us to give little importance to breakfast due to daily factors such as routine and rush.
Finally, it is no myth that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. And the main reason is because the quality of food with which we start in the morning governs our habits throughout the day. Besides being a good measure of health. A good breakfast, balanced and rich in nutrients such as vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, proteins and fiber, will fill us with energy to carry out our activities. And it is also key to benefit the immune, heart, brain, digestive and intestinal systems.
On the most recommended foods and which is a wise choice to repeat throughout the week, are whole grains, proteins of high biological value such as eggs and salmon, 100% natural Greek yogurt, citrus fruits, apples, pears and berries , green leafy vegetables, tomatoes and light cheeses. In addition, it is very important to avoid the consumption of breakfasts rich in saturated fat, sodium, and sugars, or everything that is based on processed products.
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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.