Do you eat breakfast? A survey by the National Health and Examination Survey reported that one in five of us skip breakfast. This September 26th is Better Breakfast Day, and it was created to remind us why it’s so important to start your day off with a nutritious breakfast!
Studies have shown that eating breakfast is associated with higher quality diets and higher intake of nutrients and desirable food groups. Eating a well-balanced nutritious breakfast gives you that boost of energy, so you have stamina throughout the day to get things done. That morning meal jump starts your metabolism too, because while you are sleeping it slows down. Plus, it gives your brain energy for mental acuity so you can think clearly and concentrate.
Most of us are rushing around in the morning, so it can be much easier to grab a donut, pastry, or bagel to eat on-the-go. However, filling up on empty calories loaded with sugar just sets you up to crash a few hours later, and provides little in the way of fiber, protein and nutrients. When you eat a meal loaded with sugar, your blood glucose spikes, insulin levels go up, and blood sugar drops cause you to feel sluggish a few hours later. Breakfast is an opportunity to load up on nutrients and fiber, which keeps you full longer. Some healthy choices include oatmeal, yogurt with berries, and whole grain cereal. For other healthy options, check out The Calorie Control Council’s breakfast and brunch recipes.
If you skip breakfast because you think you are cutting back on calories to curb your waistline, overeating tends to happen at lunch or dinner because you are starving. A better way to reduce calories and manage your weight is to swap out sweetening your coffee, oatmeal, or yogurt with sugar and instead use a low calorie sweetener.
Keri Peterson, MD is a medical contributor and columnist for Women’s Health and a frequent guest on NBC’s Today, ABC’s Good Morning America, Fox News and CNN. Based in New York City, Dr. Peterson has been in private practice since 1999 and holds appointments at Lenox Hill Hospital and Mount Sinai Medical Center. With a BA from Cornell University and a Medical Degree from Mount Sinai School of Medicine, she completed post-graduate training in Internal Medicine at New York’s Mount Sinai Medical Center and is board certified in Internal Medicine. Dr. Peterson is a member of the American College of Physicians and the American Medical Association, and serves as a medical advisor for the Calorie Control Council.