Everyone has heard their mother say “breakfast is the most important meal of the day.” In fact, this saying began with nutritional experts because they were worried by the amount of people skipping this meal. According to studies, only 49% of Americans eat breakfast every day. But, is skipping breakfast really a big deal, and should you be worried if you sometimes don’t eat it? Read on to find out.
Why is it important to eat breakfast
The first reason it is important to eat breakfast is because it breaks the night-time fasting period and increases your supply of glucose to provide energy for the big day ahead. After 12 hours without food the glucose levels have dropped considerably. Your body will compensate by releasing stored glucose (glycogen) from muscle tissue and the liver. Once your body has used up the stored glucose it will then break down fatty acids to make energy. These processes can cause a reduction in your energy levels. Eating breakfast restores the glucose supply and provides you with the energy you will need to start the day. Breakfast also provides many essential vitamins, minerals and other nutrients that your body needs. Many breakfast foods, such as cereal, are fortified with essential nutrients.
Problems with skipping breakfast
Research suggests that there are a number of risk factors for people who skip breakfast. The following are some of the conclusions from this research:
- Children who skip breakfast are more likely to be significantly heavier that those who eat a complete breakfast. There is evidence that suggests this also applies to adults.
- Skipping breakfast is known to diminish mental performance and concentration.
- People who regularly skip breakfast are much more likely to choose the wrong sorts of foods throughout the day. They are also more likely to require snacks throughout the day, which are often high in salt and sugar.