So, you have heard many times that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. And, it's true. In fact, it's right there in the name. Breakfast is the first meal of our day, and it “breaks the fast” we've undergone through the long hours of the night. The problem with breakfast is that so many people are in a hurry, and breakfast is the first thing they throw out the door when they are running low on time. Here are some of the dangers of skipping breakfast that will make you think again when you choose to omit this meal.
1. Skipping Breakfast Causes Weight Gain
When you skip breakfast, you are setting yourself up for a bad day. That's because you are now running on empty. When your body lacks the nutrients you need, you often crave sugary, fatty foods as an effect of skipping breakfast. While you might be able to ignore your hunger with the hustle and bustle of your morning routine, it will kick in eventually. When it does, your hunger pains are going to be pretty intense. Without proper nutrition in the morning, your body goes into survival mode, causing your metabolism to slow. This could also make you extremely hungry, leading you to eat anything and everything (regardless of whether it’s healthy or not). The higher your hunger levels, the more food you will consume, which means skipping breakfast can lead to weight gain.
When you skip meals, one of the first effects on your body is a drop in blood sugar. Glucose is vital in the bloodstream because your brain uses it to operate efficiently. If your glucose levels are sufficient, it can affect the way your entire body functions. When you have low blood sugar, you get tired, confused, and irritable. That “hangry” feeling happens because your body sees the drop in blood-glucose as a sign of danger. In an attempt to raise glucose levels, you’ll begin producing epinephrine and cortisol – both of which are stress hormones.
2. Mood and Energy Levels
Because we turn food into energy, studies show that skipping breakfast can affect our energy levels throughout the day. It can also affect our mood. Those who skip breakfast often experience a high level of fatigue early in the day. Skipping breakfast is also linked to poor memory skills.
Remember that hangry feeling we talked about? When you skip the first meal of the day, it could affect your overall demeanor throughout the next 24 hours. The decrease in blood sugar also causes you to feel fatigued, almost as if you’re in a fog. This is the perfect mix for low energy levels and that overwhelming desire to crawl back into bed.
3. Heart Health
Those who skip breakfast are putting themselves at a higher risk of heart disease. However, when you follow a healthy breakfast regimen, you can curb your risk of suffering a heart attack. Without proper nutrition, you are more likely to develop hypertension, clogged arteries, and chronic cardiovascular disease. You could even have a higher risk of stroke!
The easiest way to explain why skipping breakfast is bad for your heart is to understand that you’re more likely to overeat later in the day if you haven’t had a healthy meal in the morning. This overeating eventually leads to obesity, and obesity contributes to insulin sensitivity. Failing to eat breakfast could also affect other hormonal processes in the body, possibly leading to higher blood pressure or cholesterol. It’s important to note, however, that you must eat a nutritious breakfast for heart health. If you are filling up on cereal and pastries that are high in sugar, you won’t be doing your heart any favors.
4. Diabetes Risk
There is a strong correlation between eating habits and your health. Specifically, those who avoid eating breakfast are at a high risk of developing type-2 diabetes. Breakfast helps to regulate your blood sugar in a healthy way, so it’s important to consume the nutrients you need in the morning for your overall health.
As we mentioned earlier, one of the negative effects of skipping breakfast is that it can impair your body’s insulin sensitivity and lead to increased insulin resistance. This means that your body will need more insulin to regulate your blood sugar and keep it in a healthy range. If your body experiences this frequently, you have a higher chance of developing type-2 diabetes.
5. Cancer Risk
When you skip breakfast and overindulge in unhealthy foods later in the day, weight gain is likely. However, unwanted pounds aren’t the only concern – according to research, overweight and obese people have an increased risk of developing cancer.
There are a few possible reasons for this:
- Obesity often causes low-level inflammation, which can cause DNA damage that leads to cancer over time.
- Fat tissue produces excess amounts of estrogen, which have been linked with increased risk of breast cancer, ovarian cancer, and more.
- Many obese people have increased insulin levels, which may lead to colon, kidney, prostate, and other cancers.
6. Cognitive Functioning
Starting your day with a healthy breakfast can help improve your cognitive function. Studies show that those who eat breakfast have better visual accuracy. The reason for this is that your body’s glycogen levels become depleted due to digestion overnight as you sleep. Because your brain uses glucose as a fuel to function effectively, you need a stable blood glucose level to achieve the highest level of cognitive function.
A low glucose level not only causes you to feel sleepy, but it also has a negative effect on your brain function, which could affect your work performance during the day. When you have a healthy breakfast in the morning, however, it helps to replace the glucose in your bloodstream and prepare your brain for the day ahead.
Hypoglycemia is a term that refers to low levels of blood sugar. Since you are generally fasting throughout the night while you sleep, skipping breakfast will cause a massive dip in your sugar levels. This triggers the release of hormones that can compensate for the low glucose. Since your blood pressure is often raised at this point, this could trigger migraines and headaches.
8. Hair Loss
Food nutrition is a significant factor in the way your body is affected when you skip breakfast. By robbing yourself of the protein you need, even your hair can suffer the consequences! Breakfast plays a major role in promoting the growth of hair follicles, and regularly skipping can lead to hair loss.
Missing out on the proper amount of protein to start your day can affect your keratin levels, which are essential to hair growth. When you skip breakfast, the resulting depletion in keratin can halt hair growth and even cause you to show patterns of balding as your body naturally sheds its hair.
Breakfast gives your metabolism a jump start. It's the first meal of the day! According to studies, people who eat breakfast regularly have a higher level of resting metabolism. Your metabolism is the process your body uses to digest food and turn it into energy. When your metabolism is functioning effectively, you can burn more calories, which helps you lose weight and avoid unwanted pounds. This bodily function also feeds your brain, muscles, and organs so that they’re at their best.
As you sleep, your metabolism slows down, and you stop burning calories. When you skip breakfast, you’re missing the opportunity to get that process started again, and you will likely begin your day at a slower pace. Because everything in your body is running behind schedule by the time you eat later on, you could make unhealthy choices for your afternoon and evening meals.
Additionally, your body might not have time to effectively digest food and absorb its nutrients before you go to bed and start the process all over again. Eating a healthy breakfast in the morning ensures you get off to a good start by revving up your metabolism and helping you burn calories all day long.
Start the Day the Right Way with Help from Proti Foods
Are you having a hard time fitting breakfast into your daily routine? Now that you know the side effects of skipping breakfast, you might want to analyze your schedule and work harder to have a healthy breakfast every morning. If you’re unsure about what constitutes a healthy breakfast, aim to eat a meal that includes fiber, fats, carbohydrates, and protein. If you prefer a smaller meal in the morning, shakes, smoothies, yogurt, fruit, and oatmeal are good choices. Or, if you like a heartier breakfast but want to keep it healthy, try pairing an omelet with whole-grain toast and peanut butter, cottage cheese, or an avocado.
While you should avoid sugary breakfast foods as much as possible, you can treat yourself occasionally with buckwheat pancakes or waffles. Just be sure to opt for a moderate portion of real maple syrup or berries to add some sweetness.
If you’re looking for healthy, diet-friendly foods to start your day with, Proti Foods has everything you need. Contact us today to learn more!