We all know "Breakfast is the MOST important meal of the day". It boosts energy, maintains metabolism, Curbs mid-day cravings, etc. Yet, we find many people skipping breakfast due to a variety of reasons and include "add-on" meals as a substitute during the latter parts of the day. Does this help in any way?
Body Stress: After an average of eight hours of sleep, our bodies are literally on a fast and therefore, stress hormones are on a high. Fasting puts the body on stress and hence, long periods of depriving the body of food or energy can disrupt the metabolism and cause more harm than any good. A disruptive metabolism can lead to excessive weight loss or weight gain and can also be life-threatening. A morning meal packed with high nutrition can keep your energy levels high, thus increasing your productivity at work, school and at home.
Increased risk of heart diseases: According to a survey conducted by Harvard, men who skipped breakfast had a 27% higher chance of suffering from Cardio Vascular Diseases. The reason for this is - prolonged fasting increases the stress in the body that leads to
* Higher blood pressure
* Increased concentrate of insulin in the blood
* Increase in tri-glycerides and LDL cholesterol (bad cholesterol)
* Significant reduction in HDL Cholesterol (good cholesterol)
Increased risk of diabetes: Studies at Harvard have indicated that missing even one breakfast a week can increase your risk of getting Type 2 Diabetes by 20%. For working women who missed their morning meal sometimes, the risk was even higher - at a whopping 54%. What could be the reason? The same study indicates that while going to bed, the insulin levels are flat - neither high nor low.
When we wake up in the morning after a long fast and don't eat, the insulin level plummets. After lunch, it spikes again and plummets later. Such erratic spiking and plummeting makes the body insulin resistant, which over a period of time gets diagnosed as Type 2 Diabetes. You can prevent this by creating a breakfast routine and sticking to it every single day.
Skipping breakfast is not the same as fasting: Fasting or voluntary resistance of food is not the same as skipping breakfast. During a fast, it is advised to have a healthy breakfast and stick to simple foods during the day like fresh fruit juices, fresh fruits and vegetables, smoothies, mineral rich-broth, or salads. One of the main purposes of fasting is to give the digestive system a "vacation" and help the body's enzyme system focus in detoxifying and breaking toxins into small parts so as to flush them out of the system. Skipping breakfast does not address this and therefore, it is not advised to do so.
Weight loss: Weight watchers - here's good news for you. Establishing a healthy breakfast routine is likely to help you shed those flabs and extra kilos. What's more - you will reach your desired weight faster when you have breakfast instead of skipping it. Studies have shown that people who tend to have a healthy breakfast consume lesser calories during the day when compared to those who skipped their morning meal. Breakfast prevents food cravings, stabilizes insulin levels, stops you from reaching out for the chocolate doughnuts and avoids the body from storing extra energy as fat.
So, what's the best time to eat your breakfast? Nutritionists agree that the best time to eat breakfast is within one - two hours from the time you wake up. Just a cup of coffee or tea on-the-go will not do. Ensure that your breakfast has ample fiber, addresses the calcium, vitamins and mineral requirements for the body and also of course, provides you enough carbohydrates to keep you going.
The writer is freelance contributor at www.awesomecuisine.com
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