Breakfast is often hailed as the most important meal of the day and yet it's the one people are most likely to skip. We either sleep in too late and have to rush out the door or we just can't be bothered to prepare a healthy breakfast so early in the morning. While the importance of breakfast has been engraved into our minds, there are some researchers who believe that missing the morning feast can actually have its benefits. Let's break it down and really see if breakfast is indeed the most important meal of the day.

Eating Breakfast: The Upsides

eggs and toast on a white plate with white coffee mug on a wooden table

The decision to eat a morning breakfast is directly proportional to our body's energy levels.. Breakfast is important because of what our bodies do while we sleep. As we sleep, our body continues to work hard to maintain its metabolic functions. By the time morning rolls around, the body's glycogen and blood glucose levels are significantly lower as a result of its work. A healthy breakfast helps restore these sugar levels and get the body back up to speed.

Eating breakfast also decreases our body's cortisol levels. Cortisol is a stress hormone that affects the time it takes to break down protein. Cortisol levels tend to peak in the morning and remain high until the body receives nutrients from food.

Skipping Breakfast: It All Depends.

person spreading butter onto toast with breakfast plate in the background
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The consensus among nutrition experts is that skipping breakfast is ultimately harmful. High cortisol levels are connected to an increased risk of diabetes and weight gain due to the unbalanced nature of the diet. A daily breakfast that is low in oils and unhealthy fats can have a positive effect on weight loss.

However, it can be beneficial to skip breakfast once in a while. One benefit of saying no to breakfast has to do with autophagy, the cleansing of waste left behind by dead and damaged cells. Skipping breakfast on rare occasions can force your body to kick into autophagy, ridding itself of unnecessary waste.

While it's recommended to consume a complete breakfast every day, it's important to note what foods you are eating -- breakfast items that are overly high in carbs and unhealthy fats will result in an increased risk in diabetes and heart disease. Be sure to make a diverse breakfast that caters to your dietary needs and provides you with a wide range of nutritional benefits.

Things To Consider

overhead shot of a bowl of cheerios on white background

Skipping breakfast isn't too damaging long-term, but it should not become a habit. Finding the time to eat a healthy meal when you wake up provides you with the energy you need to get through the day while also providing long-term health benefits. However, it's worth noting that how you approach your choice of breakfast depends on factors such as age, sex and dietary needs. You'll want to get a healthy dose of carbs so you have the energy to start off your day. If you're not sure how to approach your morning meal, consult a dietician to shape the breakfast that fits your body's needs.

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