If you’re dieting, you probably know that skipping breakfast can cause you to consume more calories throughout the day. You probably think that it’s not that unhealthy for you to skip breakfast, but did you know not eating breakfast could be damaging to your health?
Breakfast does lots of positive things for you: you’ll experience more energy, feel less like eating junk in the middle of the day. It also helps you to maintain a healthy weight, so if you’re skipping breakfast, you know you’re giving up significant health benefits. But, did you know that missing just one breakfast a week can increase the chances that you will develop type 2 diabetes by as much as 20 percent?
The study was published in American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, and researchers at the Harvard School of Public Health took a look at eating habits and the overall health of over 46,000 women over six years. When the study came to an end, researchers discovered that the women that skipped breakfast now and then were 20 percent more likely to be diagnosed with type 2 diabetes than their counterparts that ate breakfast daily.
For those that work full time and miss morning meal, the risk goes up to 54 percent. Scientists adjusted their results to consider the effects of factors such as carbohydrate consumption, age, smokers, physical activity levels, intake of alcohol, and working status; and they still found that eating breakfast daily was essential.
In a separate study of over 3,000 male and female participants that was studied in Diabetes Care, eating daily breakfast can also help to reduce the chances of becoming obese and having high blood pressure. This study was done at University of Minnesota, and it showed that only 35 percent of the study participants actually sat down to eat every single morning.
So, what makes breakfast so beneficial for the health? According to Rania Medary, PhD, and research associate at Harvard University School of Public Health, the insulin levels in the body are flat when we go to bed. They are not too high, and not too low. In the morning, when the fast isn’t broken, the insulin levels can drop, which causes your lunch to make the insulin levels to spike, and then crash.
With time, the constant change in levels of insulin often causes the body to develop a resistance to insulin, and that has the potential to cause type 2 diabetes. If you stick to a schedule of daily breakfast, though, you can reduce your chances. A reasonable guideline is to eat within a couple of hours of waking up at most. Aim for meals that are low in sugar, and high in protein and fiber.