Life

5 Myths About Eating Breakfast

Is breakfast the most important meal of the day? It’s a question that pops up frequently in discussions about diet and nutrition.

Lucette Talamas, a registered dietitian with Community Health at Baptist Health South Florida, shares facts that debunk five common myths about breakfast.

MYTH No. 1: It’s OK to skip breakfast.

On the contrary, breakfast is the first important meal of the day. Sleep is a time of fasting, when your body operates on reserve energy. Eating when you wake up jump-starts your metabolic processes.

Then, well-portioned, balanced meals that follow throughout the day are equally as important to maintain the energy needed for optimal physical and mental functioning.

MYTH No. 2: Skipping breakfast will help me lose weight.

This is also false. Research from the American Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics reveals that omitting breakfast is associated with higher body mass index (BMI) and increased risk of obesity. Other studies show that people who eat a healthy breakfast are less likely to overeat at later meals or to snack impulsively.

In addition, men and women who don’t eat breakfast regularly have a higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes, according to research studies published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

If you’re trying to lose weight, consider starting your day with breakfast.

MYTH No. 3: It doesn’t matter what I eat for breakfast as long as I eat something.

What you eat for breakfast is important. Breakfast meals that are higher in calories can be associated with higher body mass index (BMI). Focus on healthy choices from food groups that include whole grains for a fiber-rich breakfast, paired with a source of protein such as an egg, egg white or spoonful of peanut butter. Combining fiber-rich foods with a source of protein and healthy fats will help keep you satisfied throughout the morning.

Be careful of higher-calorie foods that may include certain granola cereals, butter or excess oil used in meal preparation, processed meats like bacon and sausage, and large glasses of juice.

MYTH No. 4: Kids who say they aren’t hungry in the morning don’t need breakfast.

For children and adolescents, studies have shown that eating a nutritious breakfast has intellectual and emotional benefits by leading to improved thinking, learning and moods. Research published by the American Academy of Pediatrics says eating an adequate breakfast is also associated with increased attention spans, decreased irritability, healthier body weights and overall improved nutrition in children.

MYTH No. 5: A healthy breakfast means more cooking and preparation.

It’s not as difficult as you may think to “think outside the cereal box.” Here are a few tips:

  • Start preparing breakfast the night before. Oatmeal refrigerated overnight can be eaten cold or warmed quickly in the morning. Top it off with portioned amounts of fruit and nuts for a balanced breakfast.
  • Focus on grab-and-go items. Healthy choices include plain or vanilla Greek yogurt combined with fresh fruit. You can also nix fresh fruit with a spoonful of your favorite nut butter.
  • Load a whole grain option – like toast, mini bagel or English muffin – with a source of protein or healthy fat, such as a spoonful of peanut butter or low-fat cheese. Or have it with boiled or scrambled eggs or egg whites.
  • If you do opt for cereal, make sure the first ingredient is a whole grain. This ensures it will be fiber-rich. Then choose a cereal with the least amount of sugar. Pair it with low-fat milk and consider adding almonds or walnuts.

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