What is the most important meal?

Despite the popular adage, “eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince and dinner like a pauper,” more than half of Americans prefer guzzling down a Latte Macchiato on their way to work and name this as “breakfast.” A few others are too busy or don’t feel like eating or drinking in the morning, so they skip breakfast altogether. Research, however, suggests that a healthy breakfast gives you a robust shot of your day’s energy up front and is important to combating high blood sugars and managing weight. The timing and frequency of meals play a big role in managing your blood sugars and weight.

Skipping breakfast increases the risk of diabetes

Don’t you wish you could tell your family an easy way to stave off type 2 diabetes? Skipping morning meals most days of the week significantly increases the chances of developing diabetes. 

Studies show that omitting breakfast for just one day a week increases the risk of developing type 2 diabetes by 6 percent and skipping it 4-5 times a week further raises this risk by 55 percent. Breakfast means “to break the long, overnight fast,” but when you don’t break this fast until noon instead of the morning, the post-meal insulin release is impaired. Moreover, several hours of fasting depletes your body’s fuel, so it begins to dump stored sugar from the liver into your blood stream. All these factors consequently spike the blood sugar levels.

Skipping breakfast causes more weight gain

Another downside of not taking your morning meal is the propensity to put on weight. Breakfast skippers have a tendency towards obesity at a rate five times higher than the breakfast eaters. Why? Research suggests several that factors may be at play. Studies have shown that those who skip breakfast tend to eat a later dinner, and choose more unhealthy snacks and soft drinks. Irregular eating patterns, such as skipping breakfast or late night snacking, can result in blood sugar spikes, abnormal energy metabolism, and a decrease in muscle volume, all which may contribute to a higher BMI.

Skipping breakfast also triggers other unhealthy habits

Not only does skipping breakfast deprive the body of healthy nutrients in the morning, it can also set you up for a series of other unhealthy habits. Breakfast skippers are more likely to reach for snacks, drink more alcohol and soda, and eat less quality sources of protein, fruits, vegetables and whole grains throughout the day. Furthermore, breakfast skippers may have lower energy levels, and are more likely to skip exercise.

Skipping other meals is also not healthy 

While breakfast constitutes the most important meal, this doesn’t mean that skipping other meals is fine. Most people think that the less they eat, the less likely they are to gain pounds. While in theory, this makes sense, many studies have revealed that the opposite is true. 

Not only that but skipping meals can do more harm than good, especially with regards to your blood sugars and weight. When you skip meals, the levels of the appetite-curbing hormone called leptin falls, making you more hungry and provoking unhealthy food cravings at the wrong time of the day. These eating habits destabilize your blood sugars and body weight. 

So, instead of skipping meals, try to maintain a constant intake of small, nutritional meals spread throughout the day. This will also help prevent any drop in blood sugar levels when you’re on anti-diabetic pills or insulin. 

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