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Is Breakfast the Most Important Meal of the Day?

I get a lot of questions about breakfast. Most commonly, I get questions related to appropriate breakfast foods, intermittent fasting, and what’s best. If you want to know the truth, the saying, “Breakfast is the most important meal of the day,” has been around since 1917. It was invented by James Caleb Jackson and John Harvey Kellogg to sell breakfast cereal.  So, when it comes to breakfast, it all depends on the person.

For those who are hungry in the mornings, data suggests you should eat breakfast. However, it is recommended that you eat mostly is protein and avoid meals high in sugar or carbohydrates.  Studies have shown that eating a rapid absorbing glucose or high glycemic meal for breakfast led to an increase in food intake throughout the day and approximately 53% more calories in the next five hours.  Additionally, the same meals led to higher insulin levels, which causes lower blood sugar later in the morning and higher triglycerides and plasma epinephrine – all of which we try to avoid.  As far as skipping breakfast, The British Medical Journal published data that showed it actually decreases total caloric intake by around 260 calories per day. When it comes to kids, however, it is still recommended that some nutrition is consumed in the morning regardless of hunger.

So, what should you be eaten in the morning?  My recommendations are no more than 10 g of carbohydrates for morning breakfast. This can include something quick like a meal replacement shake, which will not only give you vitamins and protein but also help increase fluids, so your daily intake of water is increased. However, I do not advocate having daily meal replacements every day the week – I believe that you should have food with more substance, as well. So, what are some options?  Eggs, high-quality organic vegetables, and dark fruits (such as blackberries or blueberries) are my best recommendations.  Additionally, since cheese is low in carbohydrates, an omelet made with vegetables and cheese could be completely appropriate.

We have discovered diets that control carbohydrate intake have a major advantage besides weight control and that’s decreased inflammation. Weight control can help with pain and inflammation since mechanical stress on joints decreases but a lower carbohydrate diet can also increase phytonutrients that have natural anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects.  Dark fruits such as blackberries and blueberries are high in phytonutrients. National Institute of Health published those findings in both 2015 and 2016. The Lyon Diet Heart Study published back in 1999 demonstrated that eating a less processed, and lower sugar diet decreased inflammatory markers in the subjects’ bodies including CRP, IL–6, and white blood cells.  They used omega-3 and bioflavonoids.  And, if you have been considering a more organic diet, organic blackberries have five times more bioflavonoids available than eating nonorganic blackberries.

Breakfast is always a hot topic with my patients. If you are wondering what is best for you and your body, I can help. With over two decades of experience, together we will come up with the right nutrition plan for you. Whether your goal is to lose weight, increase energy, or just be healthier, we can reach it. Feel free to contact me at (913) 701-7811 to schedule your consultation or get started today by taking our free assessment. Just click here!

Dr. Alan Kessler

Author: Dr. Alan Kessler, D.O.
Obesity Medicine


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