Health Department

A Healthy Start to the Day

A Healthy Start to the Day

Health Article by Larry D. Jones, MPH, Health Director

February 4, 2013

We have all heard that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, but how many of us actually eat breakfast daily? Many of us have misconceptions about breakfast, and these misconceptions are affecting our health.

With the New Year upon us, resolutions are heightened and it seems that we all know somebody that is trying to lose weight. As a result, some are skipping breakfast as a way to decrease the number of calories consumed in a day. Unfortunately, skipping breakfast can actually make you gain weight.

Many studies have linked skipping breakfast to the development of obesity. When people eat fewer meals, their bodies turn more of the calories into fat as a means to protect against the risk of starvation. Another downfall of skipping breakfast is how your body reacts to being deprived from food. Once your body is deprived, you are more likely to feel ravenous later and be tempted to reach for a quick fix — such as candy, chips or a soda. Breakfast is an opportunity to kick-start your metabolism and also kick-start a day of healthy choices.

The ideal breakfast should be low in carbohydrates and fat. To prevent mid-morning snacking, chose a high-protein, low-sodium, low-saturated-fat breakfast such as egg whites with plenty of fruits or vegetables. Also, to prevent overeating, the entire meal should total 400-600 calories for the average person.

After reading the above mentioned breakfast, you may think no one has time for a “balanced” breakfast. To accommodate a busy morning, plan and prepare a meal the night before. The next morning, simply microwave the meal before leaving the house or brown bag your breakfast to enjoy at work or school.

It is also important for children to eat a healthy breakfast. Multiple studies have indicated that children who did not eat breakfast performed worse on tests and had more school absences than those that consumed breakfast on a regular basis. A nutritious breakfast feeds the body and the mind, allowing students to think more clearly and operate more efficiently for the rest of the day.

With a little bit of planning, you can have a delicious breakfast, which can help you lose weight, think clearly, and accomplish great things—all before lunch.

Information provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the United States Department of Agriculture, and the Independence Health Department.