1. YOU’LL KICK-START YOUR METABOLISM
By breakfast time, you will have not eaten for about 12 hours and your blood sugar levels will be low, says a dietitian at Mount Elizabeth Hospital. When you don’t eat in the morning, your metabolism slows down and switches to “survival” mode to conserve energy, causing you to feel lethargic. Breakfast has been found to supply about 25 per cent of our daily energy.
2. YOU’LL BE SMARTER
When you eat breakfast, you boost your blood sugar, which is needed to help you process new information and remember things. “Your brain requires fuel, especially in the form of carbohydrates, to function effectively. People have been shown to display better memory and concentration after eating breakfast,” says the founder of a healthy eating consultancy.
3. YOU’LL HAVE LOWER CHOLESTEROL LEVELS
People who skip breakfast tend to overeat at lunch, the dietitian explains, because they feel the need to compensate. And often, the foods they choose are high in fat, risking an increase in cholesterol levels.
4. YOU’LL BE SLIMMER
Breakfast is eaten by 80 per cent of successful dieters in the National Weight Control Registry, an ongoing US study of people aged 18 and above who have lost at least 14kg and kept the weight off for at least a year. “People who eat breakfast are less likely to overeat, tend to eat healthier for the rest of the day and make smarter choices with their snacks,” says a senior dietitian at wellness centre Live Wise.
5. YOUR CHANCES OF GETTING HEART DISEASES WILL BE LOWER
This is especially if you eat wholegrain cereal every day. According to a 2007 Harvard University study, you’re 20 per cent less likely to become a victim compared to people who get only one serving of wholegrain cereal a week. Check the ingredients list on products and make sure wholegrain or bran is the first item. Also, there should be at least 2g of dietary fibre per serving.
6. YOU’LL REDUCE YOUR RISK OF TYPE 2 DIABETES
Researchers at the American Society for Nutrition have found that those who regularly skip breakfast have a 21 per cent higher risk of developing Type 2 diabetes. The link between the two has not been established, but some scientists suspect that eating in the morning helps stabilise blood sugar levels throughout the day, preventing insulin resistance.
7. YOU’LL FALL SICK LESS
A 2011 study in the Netherlands found that skipping breakfast causes a 17 per cent drop in gamma-interferon, a natural antiviral that activates immune cells in your body. The senior dietitian at Live Wise adds that you could also be missing out on virus-fighting nutrients, like vitamin C or zinc.
EMPTY TUMMY ENEMIES
Avoid these on an empty stomach – you risk the runs or nausea.
- Fried bacon, sausage and egg
High in saturated fat, they’re heavy on your digestive system. They also set the body up for unhealthy eating during the day because they lack fibre and nutrients, says the founder of a healthy eating consultancy.
- Caffeinated drinks
They boost the production of gastric juices. Some people even feel nauseous if they drink too much. Have a bite of something before taking a sip.
We’re not sure why you would need to drink that early, but alcohol is a no-no since your body would absorb it very quickly. Having food in your tummy slows it down.
- Carbonated drinks
The gas in them might cause you to feel bloated and increase flatulence.
A quickie glass of milk isn’t enough. Blend it with some fruit, yogurt and a handful of oats to make a healthy breakfast.
This story was originally published in the September 2012 issue of Her World.