In today’s society, people are always on the move and are busy. For that reason, many people skip breakfast or substitute food with coffee. Studies are continuously showing reasons why you should not skip breakfast, with your heart health being at the top of the list.
Reasons Why You Should Not Skip Breakfast
Higher Risk of Heart Disease
Skipping breakfast may seem like a somewhat insignificant decision, but doing so can increase your risk of heart disease.
When you skip the first meal of the day, your body goes into a state of prolonged fasting and your blood pressure can begin to rise. A study conducted by Harvard University stated that “Prolonged fasting…leads to increases in diastolic and systolic blood pressure, blood concentrations of insulin, triglycerides, free fatty acids, and LDL-cholesterol, and decreases in blood concentrations of HDL-cholesterol… These are all the textbook risk factors for major heart trouble.”
For the study, the researchers examined medical records of 27,000 men, ages 45-82. All of the men were healthcare professionals and the study looked at 16 years worth of information to find their answers.
“Men who skipped breakfast were 27% more likely to experience heart attack or to die as the result of coronary heart disease. The men who skipped breakfast were more likely to be single, smokers, employed full-time, to drink more alcohol, were younger, and were less likely to be physically active than people who ate breakfast. Controlling for a slew of these and other risk factor for heart disease – like alcohol consumption, smoking history, body mass index, regular doctor visits, quality of diet, TV watching, activity level, and sleep habits – did reduce the link between skipping breakfast and heart disease, but didn’t obliterate it. The number of times per day the men ate wasn’t linked to heart risk.”
The researchers at Harvard found that eating breakfast can decrease the risk of heart disease and it will most likely help you be overall more healthy and active.
You may be thinking, “If I skip a meal, wouldn’t that help me lose weight?” You may be skipping out on calories initially, but you may end up eating more calories throughout the day than you would if you ate breakfast.
When you skip breakfast, you’ll be hungrier by lunch and most likely eat a larger meal than you need in order to overcompensate for your hunger.
If you are trying to lose weight, this is one of the reasons why you should not skip breakfast. Prolonged fasting can slow down your metabolism since your body goes into a survival mode and stores food into fat.
Eating breakfast literally breaks the fast and kickstarts your metabolism for the day. Boost your metabolism with oatmeal, a smoothie, eggs, or whole grains.
If you regularly skip breakfast, you may become resistant to insulin and develop type 2 diabetes. Skipping breakfast can cause irregular spikes and drops in your blood sugar levels, leading to craving unhealthy foods.
Harvard conducted a study regarding women’s risks of developing type 2 diabetes from skipping breakfast. They found that women who occasionally skipped breakfast were 20% more likely to be diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. Women who worked full-time that didn’t eat breakfast were at a 54% higher risk that women who regularly ate breakfast.
Your insulin levels drop when you don’t eat breakfast, so the timing of when you eat plays an important role in your health.
Energy Level, Mood, and Brain Function
You don’t try to start your car without any gas, so why would you start your day without any food?
Our bodies can function well enough without proper nutrition or caloric energy, but why function at a minimum? Eating breakfast before work, school, errands, or whatever tasks you have will give your brain and body energy.
Another one of the reasons why you should not skip breakfast is your mood. There’s a new word commonly used today to describe what people get like after not eating for too long–”hangry.”
Your mood alters when you haven’t eaten in awhile. Breakfast is the first meal you eat after sleeping and will refresh your mood and help you feel peppier. It will also make you more likable in the mornings.