Can digging your teeth into a muffin or munching on a packet of chips be called breakfast?Ideally breakfast should be high in protein and fiber and low in fat and carbohydrates.
A wholesome breakfast should be limited to 400 or 500 calories and should include eggs, sprouts, fruits, whole wheat cereals or bread instead of sausages, refined bread, waffles, fries, junk food and pancakes. There are several negative consequences of not eating a healthy breakfast. Fatigue
The University of Ghana Medical School, Korle Bu-Accra, conducted a study that involved 317 medical students. It was observed that skipping breakfast was significantly related to fatigue and poor attention during clinical sessions.Concentration
The research by Caroline R. Mahoney and colleagues, evaluated the effects of two common U.S. breakfast foods versus no breakfast on children’s learning and memory.
The results indicated that breakfast consumption and the type of breakfast affected cognitive performance, including spatial memory, short-term memory, visual attention, auditory attention and verbal memory.
The two breakfasts that were compared - instant oatmeal and ready-to-eat cereals. Students who had breakfast showed enhanced memory and fared better in all parameters and in addition those who had an oatmeal breakfast had more advantage.
Another study by Gajre NS, showed that regular habit of eating breakfast, had positive influence on attention-concentration, memory and school achievement. Cognitive Performance
Research by Wesnes KA and colleagues on 29 children showed that breakfast eating groups had improved attention, episodic memory and better scores on mood, alertness and contentment.
Breakfast groups had cereals while the other two groups had a glucose drink and no breakfast. Another study in Ethiopia published in Journal of Food and Nutrition Sciences assessed the association of breakfast eating habits with cognitive performance.
Another study in Ethiopia published in Journal of Food and Nutrition Sciences assessed the association of breakfast eating habits with cognitive performance. Regular breakfast eating was linked to higher scores in pattern reasoning, sequential and simultaneous scale. Several studies prove that regular breakfast eating has positive effects on cognitive performance and problem solving ability. Brain Activity
Research under the aegis of Jonathan Fulford and colleagues, measured the effect of breakfast versus no breakfast on brain activity in adolescents. It was assessed by functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI)
during the performance of cognitive tasks. Twenty children aged 12-14 years were involved. Higher activation was recorded in the frontal, premotor and primary visual cortex areas during the breakfast trial as against the fasting condition. One of the importances of breakfast is increased brain activity. Heart
A study from Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH) shows that eating breakfast is important for good health. The study involved 27,000 men over a period of 16 years.
The study highlighted that men who regularly skipped breakfast had a 27% higher risk of heart attack or death from coronary heart disease than those who ate the morning meal.
According to Leah Cahill skipping breakfast is linked to coronary heart disease because prolonged fasting leads to increase in diastolic and systolic blood pressure, high blood concentrations of insulin, free fatty acids, triglycerides, and raised LDL levels.
The blood concentrations of HDL get reduced. Skipping breakfast makes one binge on high fat or high sugar food items, thereby further disturbing the lipid profiles
. Glucose Control
A study involving 18 adults with type 2 diabetes
was conducted to study the effect on glucose levels at different times of the day; of two different diets, providing the same amounts of energy.
As per general observation, a meal eaten in the evening raises blood glucose higher and keeps it high for longer time than when the same meal is consumed in the morning.
In the study, as against the high-energy dinners group; the high-energy breakfast group had lower glucose and higher insulin after lunch and their glucose levels raised less and stayed high for a shorter time period after the meals
. Thus a king size breakfast can help lower A1C levels (glycated hemoglobin) and control glucose the whole day. Meals after sunset or dinners should be small. Eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince, and supper like a pauper. - Adelle Davis
Type 2 Diabetes Risk
Those who eat breakfast regularly especially high-fiber breakfasts, have lower risk of getting diabetes and heart disease. Skipping breakfast raises the chances of developing metabolic syndrome and leads to raised levels of insulin resistance and high blood glucose. According to a study, children who ate high-fiber cereals in breakfast had lower insulin resistance than those who ate other types of breakfast foods or did not eat breakfast at all. Academic Performance
According to a research by Katie Adolphus and colleagues, regular breakfast in terms of frequency and quality had a positive effect on child’s academic performance including school grades and achievement test scores. Breakfast majorly contributes to daily micronutrient intake and Vitamin D. Children who skipped breakfast had lower cardio respiratory fitness levels. Those who never ate breakfast had lower school grades. Hair Loss
Breakfast provides necessary micronutrients and reduces stress on the body. Skipping breakfast makes the follicles move to telogen (resting) stage, and the incidence of hair loss
increases. A breakfast rich in protein, after the night fasting, gives the hair its due nutrition and assists in healthy hair growth. Migraines
Skipping breakfast can cause hypoglycaemic headaches and migraines. It can also reduce blood pressure and blood sugar
. In a study How does fasting trigger migraine?
by Dalkara T and team published in Curr Pain Headache Rep. in 2013 proved that fasting may trigger a migraine headache and skipping breakfast prolongs the 12 hour night fast. Hypoglycemia means low levels of blood sugar. Insufficient supply of glycogen-derived glucose to the brain can cause imbalance between the excitatory and inhibitory terminals of the cerebral cortex, leading to collective depolarization of neurons and astrocytes in a network.
5 Tips to Help You Stop Skipping Breakfast
- Keep the ingredients ready the night before, so that you have things in front of you to assemble a healthy fiber and protein rich breakfast. Sprouts, whole wheat bread, eggs, idlis, semolina, beaten rice, chopped vegetables and so on can be stored the night before.
- Refuse to buy and store chips, muffins, fries or junk food from take-aways.
- Take a friend or partner along, while shopping for food items and also while preparing a healthy breakfast.
- Ready-to-use healthy breakfast mixes can be used, if there is a time crunch.
- Do not subdue the morning hunger pangs with caffeine or sugary food items. Opt for fruits, salad, sprouts and nuts.
The Japan Collaborative Cohort (JACC) study was conducted, to explore the association between unhealthy lifestyle and non communicable diseases (cardiac diseases and cancer). In this study, skipping breakfast was considered an unhealthy lifestyle habit and related to an increased risk of mortality from circulatory diseases. Unhealthy lifestyle habits increase the risk of infertility, cancer, poor eyesight, malnutrition, obesity, and other health issues. All happiness depends on a leisurely breakfast.