Nutrition Myth-Busters: Is breakfast the most important meal of the day?

We have all heard the saying before. Growing up, anytime an attempt was made to skip breakfast it was quickly followed up by the phrase: “Breakfast is the most important meal of the day.” But is that even true? Let’s break it down.  

One of the most popular recent diets has been intermittent fasting – a diet which establishes voluntary fasting and non-fasting periods in your day for a variety of reported health benefits. If you are participating in the 16/8 method, you fast for 16 hours and only consume within an 8-hour window. A window which often starts at noon. This would mean skipping breakfast - which intermittent fasting would say is good. So, what’s the truth?  

Breakfast used to be touted as the most important meal of the day because in breaking your fast with food you are fueling yourself. You are replenishing your supply of glucose which provides you with energy. Breakfast also sets you up for the rest of your day, just like anything you do in the morning does. The logic seems sound. So, does that mean you should eat in the morning even if you aren’t hungry? That’s where it gets complicated.  

If you aren’t hungry in the morning, there is no need to make yourself eat. With conflicting clinical studies on whether eating food in the morning is better for energy and weight loss - the best thing you can do is listen to your body. What is more important is that when you do eventually break your fast you are fueling yourself with nutritious food.  

However, this sentiment changes when it comes to children. Studies have found that children have a harder time focusing and become more tired if they don’t eat breakfast.  

So, is breakfast the most important meal of the day? Yes and no. Whatever you eat first after you wake up is important. But if you don’t feel hungry in the morning – no stress! Eat when you get hungry and if it’s nutritious that’s even better.  

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