‘It’s the most important meal of the day.’ ‘I fast and don’t eat until noon.’ ‘I’m never hungry when I wake up.’ ‘I train in the morning and feel nauseous when I eat before.’ ‘I’m so rushed in the morning I don’t have time to eat.’
Maybe you’ve heard, or used one of these before? Because when it comes to breakfast there are more options and opinions compared to lunch and dinner.
Breakfast is kind of in a category by itself. But may it deserves a little more attention and priority.
We’ve written previously here how nutrients are used differently in the morning compared to the rest of the day. We are also more likely to overeat at dinner compared to breakfast. And those that lose weight, and keep it off, are more likely to eat breakfast.
And now a new study suggests skipping breakfast may leave us lacking in certain nutrients.
The study looked at the diets of 30,000 Americans and found them to be missing the calcium in milk, the vitamin C from fruit, the vitamins, minerals and nutrients in fortified cereals, and were never made up during the day.
So when you don’t eat breakfast, you miss out on certain nutrients, which you don’t get later in the day and this creates gaps in the nutritional profile.
Low levels of calcium, fiber, potassium and vitamin D, as well as iron for expectant mothers, can lead to health problems including weak teeth and bones, digestive issues, cramps and anemia. For children, nutrient deficiencies can impact cognitive function, concentration and lead to behavioral issues.
In this study a little over 15% of participants admitted to skipping breakfast. Missing this meal meant lower levels of folate, calcium, iron and vitamins A, B, B2, B3, C and D. And breakfast skippers tend to eat lower quality nutrition for the rest of the day. This was because those not eating breakfast would eat more carbs, sugar and fat from the extra snacking during the day. Those eating breakfast were less likely to snack and indulge in these extra calories and lower quality foods.
If you’re already in the habit of eating breakfast, that’s great. Keep it up. If you’re not, hopefully you’ll give it another shot. Your health, performance and weight loss will benefit as a result.
Not sure what to eat for breakfast? Reach out to one of our coaches here and we can help you get started.
Fanelli, S., Walls, C., & Taylor, C. (2021). Skipping breakfast is associated with nutrient gaps and poorer diet quality among adults in the United States. Proceedings of the Nutrition Society, 80(OCE1).