The origins of the breakfast myth

The origins of the breakfast myth

Much of the research suggesting that breakfast is essential for health is funded by cereal makers.

Companies like Kellogg, Quaker Oats and others whose businesses depend on people believing that breakfast = easy to eat cereal, sponsored studies that demonstrate the benefits of eating breakfast on health and weight loss.

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Breakfast and weight loss/gain

There’s no clear evidence that breakfast consumption promotes weight loss or that skipping breakfast leads to weight gain. 

It might actually be a bad strategy for weight loss because eating breakfasts means taking in a higher number of calories/day.

Recommended breakfast foods

If you’re going to eat breakfast, seek out foods that give you the vitamins and nutrients you need to stay healthy, like fruits, vegetables, fiber-rich cereals, and eggs. Avoid desserts masquerading as breakfast, like high-sugar granola or yogurt.

The health halo of breakfast not backed up by research.

It is possible for breakfast to have health benefits, especially for some groups (growing children and athletes), but there’s not a lot of good evidence behind those benefits.

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The benefits of having breakfast are not that obvious

Studies have shown that having breakfast can boost concentration and memory, and it also plays an important part in blood glucose regulation.

But despite the media hype, there’s no clear-cut link, for example, between breakfast and body weight, blood pressure, or cholesterol.

Why we eat breakfast

In North America and Europe, breakfast often consists of bacon, eggs, and toast. However, anything nutritious can be eaten in the morning. So why do Westerners then associate these foods with breakfast?

The word 'breakfast' means different things depending on the language. For example, breakfast as the day's first meal was tied to fasting before taking the Eucharist, but this same meal can mean 'small lunch' in French or even 'light supper' in Italian.

1. Eggs

Eggs are undeniably healthy and delicious.

Studies have shown that eating eggs at breakfast increases feelings of fullness, reduces calorie intake at the next meal and helps maintain steady blood sugar and insulin levels.

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