You may have heard the common phrase, “breakfast is the most important meal of the day,” and wonder how true it is. Breakfast literally means to break the fast. It’s the first meal you eat after sleeping and not eating for a long period. Breakfast is thought to jumpstart the metabolism.
Plenty of adults skip breakfast regularly. After all, many people lead busy lives, and the mornings are typically the most active part of the day. It can be easy to neglect breakfast as a meal – but should you?
The Case for Eating Breakfast
Most studies done on the benefits of eating breakfast have been observational. This means the studies cannot conclude that breakfast alone was the reason for the results. The participants had varied and unique personal health histories, which could have influenced the results.
However, systematic reviews such as this one provide interesting data about the effects of regularly eating breakfast. The review found that those who eat breakfast each day are less likely to develop conditions such as:
- Heart disease
- Cardiovascular-related fatalities
- High blood pressure
- Elevated LDL cholesterol
Again, this was an observational survey, so it’s not definite whether those who ate breakfast had a lesser chance of developing these diseases because of their breakfast-eating habits alone. However, this study points to the idea that breakfast is good for overall health.
An analysis of data from over 30,000 Americans did find that those who skip breakfast regularly are more likely to lack essential vitamins and nutrients. Another study that looked at those with type 2 diabetes and those without type 2 diabetes found that skipping breakfast caused circadian rhythm disruptions in both groups.
Though skipping breakfast might not be dangerous per se, it can have adverse effects. Studies have found those who skip breakfast are more likely to have nutritional deficiencies and circadian rhythm disruptions.
Moreover, observational research suggests those who regularly skip breakfast might be at a higher risk for serious conditions like diabetes and heart disease. Skipping breakfast may not put you in immediate danger, but the research suggests you should eat a nutritious breakfast whenever you can!