We’ve all grown up with the idea that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. But is it really, or is that all just marketing hype? How important is breakfast, really?
When we decided to create our breakfast bars, we wanted to figure out what’s really going on with breakfast. Along the way, we found out some pretty helpful info, so we can help you finally answer the question of breakfast’s importance once and for all. We think you’ll be just as convinced as us.
One of the top benefits of a healthy breakfast in the morning is about your metabolism. You’re probably sitting there right now like, okay, but what is metabolism? Great word, but what does that mean for me and my body?
Essentially, metabolism refers to a set of chemical reactions that occur in the body that help sustain life. Metabolism actually has three different goals—converting the food we eat into energy the body can use to run cellular processes, converting food into fuel that can be used to create proteins, lipids, some carbs, and nucleic acids, and helping to get rid of leftover metabolic waste. That’s a whole lot of science for someone who hasn’t even had breakfast this morning!
Think of it this way: metabolism is just the way that your body turns the food and drink you choose into energy.
Metabolism can be “slow” or “fast,” depending on factors like when and how you choose to eat, certain health issues, and the medications that you take. Age can also be a major factor in slowing down our metabolism.
Eating breakfast is one way that anyone can help give their metabolism a quick jump start. These benefits increase the more frequently you continue this eating habit, so start hitting the breakfast buffet regularly.
On the flip side, for breakfast-skippers, your body jumps into starvation mode, and it needs to save as much energy as possible. And that's not even considering the immediate effects that you might feel, like that pounding headache you get from low blood sugar. That’s part of why not eating breakfast can contribute to obesity and one of the reasons why breakfast eaters may have an easier time with weight loss.
Decreases Appetite And Keeps You Full
In addition to letting the body know that—spoiler alert—you’re not starving, eating a good breakfast also helps to decrease your appetite and reduces your snacking cravings for the rest of the day. Considering how many people tend to skip breakfast in an attempt to reduce their overall daily calories, this is a little ironic. And we don’t mean ironic in the way that wearing that tacky tee you found at the thrift shop is ironic.
This benefit really only works when you focus on eating a nutritious breakfast. If you tend to just grab whatever is around or hit a drive-through on your way to work, it can actually lead to weight gain and overall sluggishness, so say goodbye to your morning frappuccino.
When you fill your body with protein, fiber, and healthy fats, you’ll likely feel satiated for a much longer period of time. Not only does this lead to eating fewer calories, but it can also add to making healthier diet choices in general.
Protein is likely the most important nutrient of the group, according to dietitians and nutritionists, as it is an essential component not only of building muscle but keeping it strong and healthy once it's present. Where can you get a lot of protein? Oh, wait, maybe our peanut butter breakfast bars with ten whole grams of protein?
When you’re hungry, you tend to reach for anything that’s around. Candy, chips, fast food— nothing is off-limits. It’s almost like there is a monster inside of you, ravenously eating anything it can get its hands on. Eating breakfast, even a small breakfast, can help tame the beast and get you back in control.
Improved Memory And Concentration
Carbohydrates are absolutely essential for a healthy, functional brain. When you make healthy choices in the morning, your brain has all of the support and energy it needs to be able to work at its best. This naturally leads to things like improved memory and concentration, and research shows this. Gives a whole other meaning to the phrase “brain food,” right?
If you’re concerned about your memory and want to boost it even further, there are a few brain healthy and memory supporting foods that you can incorporate into your breakfast routine to get those essential nutrients. Blueberries, nuts, dark chocolate, and eggs are all great choices for breakfast foods.
Eating breakfast to increase memory and concentration is even more important in developing children's minds that need the extra boost to help them pay attention in school. If you want to help your child do well in school, make sure that they eat breakfast on the reg. You’ll be doing them a favor, and they won’t even know that you have an ulterior motive. You both win—no more grumpy mornings waiting for the schoolbus.
Can Protect Against Certain Health Conditions
Many health conditions are also said to either be prevented by or at least have the risk of developing them reduced simply by eating breakfast on a more regular basis.
One of those health conditions is diabetes, which affects around 34 million people in the United States. And the vast majority of those people have type 2 diabetes.
When you eat breakfast, the genes that are involved in the process of insulin resistance were far less active. In addition, the amount of sugar that the cells were able to take in increased. When these things combine, the body takes in more of the sugar so that less of it is floating around in the bloodstream. The sugar that was present in the bloodstream was also much more readily able to be converted into energy. Both of those processes can help significantly reduce the risk of developing diabetes and glucose sensitivities.
People who regularly skip breakfast have shown an increase in their risk and rates of heart disease and stroke, up to 87% in some cases. While those studies may not tell the entire story, what is clear is that people who make an effort to eat breakfast on a more regular basis are also more likely to make choices that are better for wellness overall. If all that can be triggered by just eating breakfast, why wouldn’t you give it a shot?
And finally, breakfast can be related to lower risks of “bad” cholesterol like LDL. While this isn’t directly related to actually eating breakfast, the choice to eat breakfast leads to other healthy habits that can make you healthier overall. Whole grain oats (like the ones in our bars) can also help naturally reduce your cholesterol, so including them as part of your breakfast routine can work towards your well-being in multiple ways.
Great Breakfast Options For Busy People
Now that you’re convinced that you should make more of an effort to eat breakfast, the next logical step is figuring out how to do that.
That’s why we created our breakfast bars. We wanted to give people a healthy, nutritious option for breakfast that doesn’t require any effort whatsoever and that doesn’t taste like absolute trash. All you need to do is grab one on your way out the door. Our breakfast bars were made only with ingredients that you can pronounce and real foods like organic oats, peanut butter, and honey, making for delicious, nutritious bars that feel like a joy to eat. You’ll feel full and be able to fight that mid-morning slump.
When planning your morning meal, keep a few important things in mind. Look for things that are high in fiber and protein while being low in sugar and carbs, like Greek yogurt. Lean away from overly processed foods like sugary breakfast cereals as well, and those with crazy chemicals on the ingredient list. If you can’t read it, don’t eat it.
Supplement your breakfast or your morning snack with fresh fruits and veggies, and have a cup of coffee if you need a caffeine boost (try to use as little creamer as possible, though, to reduce your sugar intake).
If you’re looking for other options for a quick, healthy breakfast, consider going dairy-free, too. While dairy can be a part of a balanced diet, it doesn’t have to be. If you fill your diet with a variety of different whole, real foods, you’ll be able to achieve the same nutritional goals without relying on milk or cheese. For those suffering from lactose intolerance, that’s a huge game-changer.
No matter what you choose, it’s the act of eating breakfast that makes all the difference. Focus on developing a quality morning routine that you can fit into your everyday life. Making too many changes without considering how they will or won’t work in your life leads to frustration and failure and makes it more difficult to consider trying again. Don’t go down that path. Start small, and customize your routine for your life specifically.
Breakfast is one of the best things you can do for yourself, both physically and mentally. When you focus on getting a healthy breakfast every morning, you can open yourself up to a range of health benefits, improve your memory and concentration, potentially reduce your risk of a variety of health conditions like diabetes and heart disease, and help you reach and maintain a healthy weight. Start your day with a breakfast bar from Over Easy, enjoy something yummy, and get ready to have a kick-ass day.