It’s hard to be able to wake up in the morning and still have time to cook, get dressed, perhaps drive the kids to school and also trying to eat your breakfast. Perhaps you even skip breakfast entirely or bring it to go until you get to the office. It’s a common routine that is unfortunately seen in many working professionals.
You have probably heard the phrase “breakfast is the most important meal of the day” since you were a child. But is it true?
Crowning one meal as the most important of the day is a huge statement, and according to health and nutritional experts, breakfast doesn’t really deserve that reputation.
In addition, a lot of the research done in previous years pertaining to breakfasts were funded by major cereal companies, such as Kellogg’s. Seems like too much of a coincidence.
Myth 1: Breakfast Helps With Weight Loss
There is a common myth that eating breakfast helps curb cravings and assists with weight loss.
A study done by The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition reveals that from a weight loss perspective, there is no significant cause and effect among individuals who ate breakfast and individuals who didn’t. The study looked at a sample group of 300 individuals, with an even split of half who had to eat breakfast, while the other half did not eat breakfast. The results showed that both groups lost weight, regardless of whether they ate breakfast or not.
Myth 2: Breakfast Jumpstarts Your Metabolism
The myth that breakfast jumpstarts your metabolism is also proven wrong by a study conducted by the University of Bath. The study surveyed participants who ate and skipped breakfast for 6 weeks and analyzed the results in changes to their metabolic or cardiovascular health, which showed little to no difference.
Myth 3: Breakfast Makes You More Attentive
This one is partially true. If you absolutely cannot get past your day without eating something and it is affecting your concentration and work productivity, then eating something will definitely help. However, this isn’t a proven cause and effect relationship.
Myth 4: Breakfast Reduces Risk of Heart Disease
The final major myth regarding breakfast is that it actually reduces the risk of heart diseases- which is partially true. According to an article from the Harvard Medical School, studies show that there is a correlation between eating breakfast and a lower risk of heart attack or death compared to people who skipped breakfast. However, correlations are not always causational and eating breakfast was only one factor taken into consideration during the study. Heart disease could be hereditary or could be caused numerous ways (aside from eating habits). Thus, the truth to this myth should also be taken with a grain of salt.
Overall Verdict – Breakfast is Optional
So what is the consensus on the importance of breakfast? It’s not really that essential, and definitely not the most important meal of the day. All meals are important, and what you eat is more important than when you eat it.
That being said, if you will absolutely be ravenous after a long (or short) night of sleep, do make time to eat breakfast so you’ll be able to power through the day.