Does Eating Breakfast Actually Affect My Health?

breakfast and healthDoes eating breakfast matter?

We’ve all heard the adage that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. With conflicting theories, and a desire for many to get healthy and lose weight, skipping breakfast may seem like a good idea. Research conducted on breakfast in the last decade, however, has shown how it can affect nutrition, cravings, and obesity. Breakfast can also influence how we make our food choices during the day.

Studies have shown that people who consume a quarter of their daily calories at breakfast were more likely to skip fatty foods later in the day. They also had a boost in their levels of vitamins and minerals compared to people who skip breakfast. Additionally, eating foods rich in fiber and protein are very beneficial. Fiber helps to reduce the risk of heart attack, and protein can help you feel full, thus making it easier to make better food choices throughout the day.

In a study from Israel, researchers found that having dessert after a breakfast, well balanced in protein and carbohydrates, actually helped dieters to lose weight, and keep it off. The study, published in the medical journal Steroids, followed obese participants for 32 weeks and found that those that added dessert after breakfast (like a cookie, cake, or chocolate) lost an average of 40 pounds, compared to those who did not include dessert.

The lead researcher made a note about avoiding sweets completely, stating that doing so can actually make the psychological cravings for such foods stronger. These types of exclusionary diets work initially, but as time goes on, many dieters tire of the deprivation and go right back to their old habits of eating sweets throughout the day. The group in the study that had a full breakfast (~600 calories), including dessert, experienced fewer (if any) cravings for sweets later in the day.

When it comes to a healthy diet, breakfast is a vital dietary piece. Eating breakfast (or not eating it) can greatly affect your food choices, so choosing foods that are nutritionally rich in fiber, protein, and whole grains can help you to stay fuller longer, and make healthier choices when it comes to snacks and meals. Make smart choices in the morning to start your day right. As your family chiropractic, we look at your overall health and help you to determine ways to become (and stay) healthier and happier.

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