One of the first questions I ask in a consultation, is “what do you eat for breakfast?” It may seem trivial, but our eating habits can give many clues. The reality is that skipping breakfast has become a national pastime, especially with the intermittent fasting lifestyle on the rise. When asked, approximately 45% of Americans routinely forgo breakfast. The majority being male teenagers.
While the research is not definite one way or the other, there is a correlation between skipping breakfast and a higher risk of type 2 diabetes and weight gain. Higher caloric intake and poor food choices have been noted in those who skip breakfast. Chronically skipping breakfast, or any meal, causes a rise in cortisol. Cortisol then activates the stress response system, signaling an increase in blood pressure and fat storage. If not controlled, cortisol can sabotage our overall health.
The key to the “breakfast is the most important meal of the day” is to look at what is eaten. Consuming high glycemic carbohydrates (donuts, bagels, muffins), causes a spike in glucose followed by a quick crash a few hours later. On the other hand, a high protein-low carbohydrate breakfast will keep blood sugar stable and keep you fuller longer. This idea was studied amongst overweight teenagers by the University of Missouri. They found that the key is to consume 35 grams of protein at breakfast.
I know that some just aren’t hungry in the morning, or our schedules don’t always leave time to make a healthy breakfast. However, one of the easiest ways to accomplish this is with a simple protein shake or meal replacement shake. Keystone carries several brands; either whey, rice, soy, or pea protein.
Keystone Perfect Plant Protein
Designs for Heath PeaProtein
Metagenics Perfect Protein
Jay Robb Whey and Egg White Protein
The take home message is that making good food choices at breakfast will lead to making good food choices throughout the day. Your body and brain will thank you.