It's often said that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Find out why it's so important to get off to a good start.
When you're hitting the snooze button for the third time, breakfast is probably one of the last things on your mind. After all, you still have to shower and then race to work in time to make that presentation. But according to experts, letting a hectic schedule force you to skip breakfast could compromise your health.
The next time you're considering skipping the most important meal of the day, think about the following reasons to get back on track.
- Food that fuels. A healthy breakfast provides you with enough nutrients to energize your body for hours.
- Healthier eating habits. Studies have shown that people who eat breakfast consume more vitamins, minerals, and fiber, and less fat and cholesterol.
- Calorie cutting. People who don't eat breakfast are likely to eat more calories throughout the day than people who skip lunch.
- Reduced diabetes risk. People who eat breakfast are significantly less likely to be diabetic than those who usually don't, according to the American Heart Association.
- Weight control. A study by the National Weight Control Registry shows that eating breakfast actually helps keep people's weight down.
- Increased focus. According to the American Dietetic Association, people who eat breakfast are better able to concentrate and be more productive throughout the morning.
- Enhanced memory. According to experts, eating breakfast improves memory and learning. In one study, college students who ate a morning meal scored 22 percent higher in a word-recall test than those who skipped breakfast.
- Better fitness. Researchers believe that people who eat breakfast have higher energy levels and may engage in more physical activity than people who don't.
- Improved mood. Skipping breakfast can make you feel tired, irritable, or sad. Even grabbing some fresh fruit or a bowl of cereal can help boost your mood.
- Stress reduction. The time you spend eating breakfast can be relaxing and help you to mentally prepare for the day. Eating breakfast also forces you to slow down, helping you to prioritize.
Keep in mind, however, that all breakfasts are not created equal--a healthy morning meal should be balanced and not too heavy. So, skip the eggs, bacon, sausage, and biscuits, and go for whole-grain cereals with fruit or juice instead. Or opt for an egg-white omelet filled with vegetables.