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IS Your breakfast the most important meal of the day.

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Author: phillip skinner

Is Breakfast the Most Important Meal of the Day?It’s often said that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. And it’s not just old wives sticking up for this adage: a recent study carried out by US scientists goes a long way in backing it up. Breakfast’s importance has never really been in doubt: but what about the big questions, like ‘what on earth is “deskfast”?’ and ‘is there really whisky in Cumbrian porridge?’ We thought we’d find out…

Experts agree that the secret of eternal health is, breakfast (among other things, of course). In fact, skipping the first meal of the day, after not eating for eight hours, may increase your chances of developing diabetes, becoming obese, or even having a heart attack. At the very least, you won’t feel as sharp or energetic.

There’s a much rosier picture for regular morning munchers. Stats indicate that regular breakfast eaters are half as likely to have blood-sugar problems, which increase the risk of developing diabetes. They are also thought to have half the levels of high cholesterol than their non-breakfast eating counterparts. What’s more, a healthy morning nosh-up helps stabilise blood sugar levels, which regulate your appetite.

What’s best for dieting?
While skipping breakfast is a common strategy for shedding a few pounds, it’s probably not a smart one. The body needs to be refuelled a few times a day, starting with a good breakfast. Ironically, people who eat breakfast are actually less prone to overeating over the course of the day! However, eating a cholesterol-ridden fry-up is obviously going to be worse for you than missing out brekkie altogether.
The rise of ‘deskfast’
The reality of today’s hectic lifestyles means that many of us end up missing breakfast, whether we’re dieting or not. In fact, over a quarter of the UK population now eat ‘deskfast’ in front of the workplace PC, as opposed to sitting at the kitchen table.

A far cry from the British tradition of the cooked breakfast, on-the-hoof breakfast snacks such as cereal bars and fortified yoghurt drinks have risen in popularity over the last decade. Testimony, perhaps, to our increasingly fast-moving culture.

However, for every shortcut there’s a price to pay, and this might be our health. Startlingly, research published by the UK’s Food Commission reveals that certain cereal bars on the market contain an even greater proportion of calories from sugar than milk chocolate.

So that’s ‘bad’ breakfasts covered, but what about the more wholesome ones? According to nutritionists, a healthy breakfast should contain a good amount of protein and fibre. While eggs, beans and soy are rich in the former, fibre can be found in whole grain cereals, fruits and vegetables.

So for a good balance of fibre and protein, you might like to enjoy a boiled egg with toast soldiers (spread with lightly salted Lurpak, of course!), a bowl of whole grain cereal (with low-fat milk to be extra good) and pure orange juice. Although such an impressive ensemble may well seem more akin to breakfast on the Orient Express than your average household’s 8am rush, it’s certainly something to look forward to at the weekend.

But what about those of us who simply can’t stomach anything first thing? Well, if you can’t face up to cereal, try something like a smoothie that’s simple to prepare: milk, yoghurt and any fruits you like blended in. Whereas for many of us this light start to the day is far more preferable to a full English, in the Lake District a Cumbrian Porridge made with oats, honey and whisky wouldn’t go amiss!

Are we in making a meal of it?

There can be no doubting that breakfast is an important meal. But as for being – as the saying goes – the most important meal, that seems rather over-the-top. Scientific reports about the cons of missing breakfasts and the pros of eating it are potentially misleading in that they do not explore the effects of missing other meals. What about the consequences of missing lunch or dinner? You might well consider dinner to be the most important meal of the day.

Whatever the case may be, the beauty of breakfast is in the eye of the beholder. If it’s your favourite food of the day – make a meal of it!

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