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Breaking news: breakfast is NOT the most important meal of the day . There is actually no scientific evidence to prove that breakfast or any other meal, is more important than the rest. For years it has been said that breakfast was the best way to start the day, to start the metabolism, and it turns out that the meal itself doesn’t start or delay metabolism, but rather the ingredients of your food, regardless of when they are consumed. Today scientists show that if you skip breakfast it does not imply changes to your eating habits during the day, as the myth has stated for decades.
Unfortunately, it has been proven that the main propagators of the “breakfast myth” are medical institutions, allied with the food industry, that promoted the idea that breakfast is a vital meal of the day in order to promote foods that are established as breakfast “classics”: cereals and dairy products. With this propaganda coupled with the myth that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, people bought more and more processed products to start their days. A common idiom in Europe, is that you should have breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince and dinner like a beggar. Implying that breakfast is the source of our energy for most of the day and as our day winds down and we need less energy we should eat less. Perhaps this is why, it is so common for adults and children to eat cookies, bread, pastries, pasteurized juice and sugary yogurt to begin their day. With that meal line-up, it would be better not to have breakfast at all.
In this article from The Telegraph , Dr. James Betts, Professor of Nutrition at the University of Bath, comments that the idea that breakfast is so good for us is an idea induced by all the marketing that surrounds many breakfast products, when the benefits of breakfast has not even been studied correctly. Frankly, I don’t blame any parent for providing these foods to their children – or themselves – when their favorite TV or sports characters sponsor most of them. However, it is important that we begin to raise awareness that goes beyond who is sponsoring what products and who sells them because our health is what is at stake.
This discovery is perfectly consistent with a healthy lifestyle, because our ancestors obviously did not live with a strict routine in which they got up every morning to eat cereal with milk, because they ate what they found at their disposal as they found them each day and moment. The important thing to understand is that, the belief of eating more food for breakfast is a modern concept, constructed to sell us more food. For example, I’ve stopped having breakfast for a few days now, and I train each day with an empty stomach, and around noon, I return home to eat with my children. And how do I feel? Great, there was no negative change from my skipping breakfast, except maybe I felt lighter while training which had an inspiring effect on my workout.
With or without breakfast? : What does this mean for our daily routine?
To put it simply: if you like to have breakfast, do have it; but not because you believe that it is the best and most important meal of the day. Of course, if you do take breakfast, make sure they are quality foods and all natural, like the ones you should include in any other meal of the day.
On the flipside, if you don’t feel like getting out of bed and going straight to eat an egg dish, that’s no problem, nothing happens and you can simply wait to eat when your body feels hungry.
What should we take into account if we like to have breakfast?
- Eat real foods: eggs, vegetables, natural fats and fruits.
- Avoid fruit juices because it is pure sugar. It doesn’t matter if we have squeezed it at home, fruit without its fiber is sugar. Opt for the whole piece of fruit because just chewing sends signals to the brain that you are satisfying yourself. This is very important!
- Eat fat because it is our source of energy. Avocado, butter or Ghee, coconut oil, nuts. Fat provides the energy needed for the day and also keeps us satiated.
I really confess that it is a guilty pleasure of mine to expose food myths, like this breakfast myth. And with that in mind, I challenge you to ask yourself, how many packaged foods are in your cupboard today that you think is healthy, natural and nutritious? Leave me the answer in a comment below.