Having breakfast with the family is a good habit, we all know. But why is it so important to have breakfast? It is because it gives the energy to kick-start the day. The word breakfast means breaking-the-fast, the fast that we keep the entire night. Having breakfast is like putting petrol in the car before starting it therefore skipping breakfast is like trying to start the car without the fuel. It has been proven that if breakfast is skipped, the amount of nutrients needed for the body cannot be compensated with any other meals. A wholesome breakfast should provide with nutrients such as calcium, iron and vitamins as well as protein and fiber, therefore fruits and vegetables should be included in breakfast such as a banana or fruits.
Breakfast restores glucose levels too, which is an essential carbohydrate required for the body. Studies have also shown how eating breakfast can improve concentration and retain memories. It can also make us happier as it can improve mood and lower the stress levels. In studies amongst children, breakfast can improve behavior and has been linked to improved grades. Calorie requirement for females, males and children are different. Children need more calorie and nutrients in their growing years, male adults need around 2500 kcal and female adults need about 2000 kcal per day. Many people are of the idea that skipping meals will result in reduction of body, however this is a myth because skipping meals lowers the metabolic rate of the body and thus the fat in the body takes longer to break down which on the contrary increases body weight. Moreover consumption of nutrients and fibers keeps the appetite in check and studies have shown that people who have a sumptuous breakfast have a greater appetite. Cutting on calories will help in reducing weight, not skipping meals.
11 Serious Consequences of Skipping Daily Breakfast
Below mentioned are the possible serious long term complications of skipping daily breakfast:
Greater Risk of Heart Disease
A huge population is found to be breakfast skippers, as studies have shown. There are varied excuses that people give as reasons for skipping breakfast. Some say that they don’t feel hungry, some are trying to cut down on calories and many are facing the morning rush. In spite all this it has been proven that people who have regular meals in the morning have better health than people who have skipped meals. Researches of the Harvard University show that 27% people who skip breakfast have heart diseases.
The scientific reason behind it is that, long hours of fasting makes the organs to work harder thus causing in the metabolic system. Furthermore, these lead to problems in which the blood sugar regulating hormones do not work as efficiently, which leads to obesity and finally a heart disease or cardiac arrest.
Prone to Diabetes
Studies have shown that people and especially women who skip breakfast are most likely to contract type diabetes. Skipping meals in the morning results in impaired glucose tolerance and further increases the risk of prediabetes and diabetes. The theory behind this is irregular blood sugar spikes, that is, delivery of sugar (food) in the stomach. Generally not eating for a long time and then eating a lot of food together. This confuses the enzymes in the body and results in insulin resistance.
Gaining weight has nothing to do with skipping breakfast. It is an illusion that if we eat less, that is, skips breakfast, we are consuming fewer calories and hence we’ll lose weight. This is completely a wrong notion. Eating breakfast can directly be linked to weight loss, this cannot be claimed. However, there is a link between weight gain and skipping breakfast. Research shows that people who consume breakfast also eat properly during the entire day and practice proper course of lifestyle associated with ideal weight and also, weight loss. Another theory related this is that people who skip breakfast tend to overeat during lunch or any other subsequent meals. Therefore the calorie intake is more during the inactive hours of the day. One thing that people fail to realize is that the calorie intake in one unhealthy meal is much more than that of three well-planned meals. There is a rubber band effect on the people if they are overlooking the importance of consuming breakfast, that is, they tend to gorge on more food during lunch.
Metabolism Slows Down
Our metabolic system works slowly during the night and if breakfast is skipped it continues to work slowly so as to conserve energy. Calorie restriction needs to be compensated therefore the basal metabolic rate slows down. With long hours of fasting the body loses the willingness to work further on the adipose tissues to reduce the calories. Eating breakfast and exercising helps in reducing weight in the most effective way.
Eating food also helps the brain to work properly. With intake of breakfast a person takes in nutrients of various sorts, carbohydrates and sugars which are required for the correct functioning of the brain. Research has shown that children who have breakfast before appearing for an exam have scored better than the ones who did not have breakfast. Dietary carbohydrate breaks down into glucose which is essential for optimizing the cognitive focus and memory. Right amount carbohydrates improves the working conditions of the brain and increases problem solving capacity of the mind, for this one should not go for sweet treats and rather should go for more complex carbohydrates likes grains and fibers.
Mood Swings and Low Energy Level
Serotonin and dopamine, also called neurotransmitters which are chemicals produced in the brain to regulate feelings and mood. There is a connection between the food intake and the neurotransmitters released by the brains. Skipping meals puts stress o the body which is not good for the production of serotonin therefore worsening the mood. Disruption of mood caused by the skipping of breakfast is more when someone is actually hungry but has skipped the meal because of the morning rush rather than the general feeling of not being hungry. Research has shown that people who had breakfast had a better mood during the day rather than the ones who did not. This is basically caused by the irritability caused by the drop in the blood sugar level due to fatigue and headache. Everybody needs energy to strive throughout the day and mostly for working out. Therefore, if the body needs to work out and that too without any meal, the energy of the body drains out. The breakfast gives a person 25% of the daily requirement of energy that one needs.
Causes Hair Loss
Side effects of skipping breakfast also results in hair loss. Meals containing very low levels of protein in meals affect the levels of keratin which prevents hair growth and triggers hair loss. Breakfast is a very important part of the day and also helps in the formation of hair follicles. So, for strong hair with zero hair falls one needs to take in a protein-rich breakfast.
Increases Risk of Cancer
With skipping meals the urge for having more food increases during the sedentary hours of the day. This results in weight gain and a further problem of obesity. The risk of contracting cancer increases with increase in obesity.
With skipping meals we are calling in the problem of low sugar levels. Hypoglycemia or low blood sugar triggers the release of hormones that compensate for the low glucose levels which in turn creates pressure on the blood vessels, this triggers migraines and headaches. Headaches may increase after long hours of fasting (nearly 12 hours) which is why breakfast is very important to keep in control the severe pain of migraine.
August 2010 survey study published the journal “Appetite” talks about female college students who faced menstrual irregularities due to skipping breakfast consistently. This is very common in college students who wake up late and always are in a rush for reaching college on time. It can cause immense menstrual cramps and irregular menstrual periods. Skipping breakfast has not impact PMS but does cause constipation. Post-adolescent maturation is very negative impacted if meals, especially breakfast is skipped.
Sometimes overdoing that last peg is fine by one can overcome it treating oneself to a nourishing and refreshing meal. A lot of nutrients are lost after throwing up a couple of times but it can be compensated by having an iron-filled and folate-filled breakfast. Skipping breakfast in such a situation can worsen the hangover by lowering the sugar level, giving a feeling of nausea and headaches. Accordingly, one should have a sumptuous and nutrition-filled breakfast for overcoming hangover.