A bowl of cereal surrounded by other healthy food

Is breakfast the most important meal of the day?

Getting off to a good start each day is the key to having happy and productive days, and breakfast is the catalyst that gives you the energy you need to be the best you that you can be.

But is breakfast actually as important as people claim? The short answer is yes! Unfortunately, there are many people who still underestimate the importance of eating a healthy breakfast each morning. Perhaps this is why so many people skip breakfast and rely on their morning coffee to get them through until lunch.

Failing to eat in the morning negatively impacts your energy level, and your mental and physical abilities. Not eating breakfast before you go to work or school is like trying to drive your car a long distance without first filling up the gas tank. You will run out of gas much sooner than you anticipate.

Let’s take a look at some of the recent studies that have examined the impact of eating breakfast.

The impact of breakfast on your overall performance

A number of studies have examined the impact of eating breakfast regularly. Here is a summary of what they found:

  • A study of 6,000 students from the Toronto Foundation for Student Success found that students who ate breakfast had better grades and were more likely to graduate.
  • A study from the Sussex Innovation Centre in Brighton, UK, found that eating breakfast improves mental performance. Researchers found that:
    • 61% of test subjects showed improvements in math and English, and overall test performance after eating breakfast
    • Hand-eye coordination was improved
    • Anxiety levels when faced with stressful situations were reduced

It’s clear that breakfast is helps people be more productive and perform better at work, school and in a variety of situations.

What about the impact of eating breakfast on your overall health?

Skipping breakfast negatively impacts your health

Many studies link skipping breakfast to a number of health-related issues:

  • A 16-year study of nearly 27,000 participants found that men who skip breakfast have a 27% higher risk of heart attack or death from coronary heart disease
  • A study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that women who skip breakfast have a 20% higher risk of being diagnosed with type 2 diabetes than those who eat breakfast daily.
  • A study from the University of Minnesota found that people who eat breakfast regularly have a significantly lower risk of obesity, high blood pressure and diabetes.
  • A study by the Dairy Research Institute found that people who skip breakfast weigh more and have more unhealthy habits than those who eat breakfast. Those who skip breakfast consume 40% more sweets, 55% more soft drinks, 45% fewer vegetables and 30% less fruit than people who eat breakfast.

Why breakfast is the most important meal

Here are some of the benefits associated with eating breakfast each day:

  • Increased energy throughout the day
  • Improved mental performance and concentration
  • Improved mood and reduced mood swings
  • Fewer cravings and increased likelihood of making healthier food choices
  • Reduced risk of various health conditions and diseases

How to make breakfast part of your daily routine

It’s no secret that many people struggle with eating in the morning. With getting ready for work, getting the kids ready for school and dealing with a daily commute, it can be easy to skip breakfast and grab a coffee on the way to work.

Here are some tips to ensure you eat a healthy meal to kick-start your day:

  • Always have breakfast foods on hand
  • Have some quick breakfast foods handy, in case you are running late
  • Plan ahead by preparing breakfast the night before
  • Change things up and eat different foods in the morning so you don’t get bored

Do you eat breakfast each morning? What do you eat? What tips can you offer to other people who struggle to eat breakfast?

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Source: Breakfast research and statistics