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These days everything is high speed, and on-the-go. Many people lead fast-paced lives of high-speed internet, cell phones, and rush, rush, rush. As a result, for some people, breakfast has become a forgotten meal. However, experts say this is the most important meal of the day for good health. KSMU’s Theresa Bettmann spoke with a nutrition expert to find out what makes breakfast so special.
If you’re like me, you may have every excuse in the book for not eating breakfast. Perhaps you’re not hungry when you first get up, or just don’t think you have the time. Whatever your reason, nutritionists say there are no good excuses. Christeena Haynes is a nutrition and health education specialist for the University of Missouri Extension. She says even eating something small like yogurt or a banana is better than nothing at all.
“After you have been sleeping for the entire night, and have gone several hours without eating, you brain is basically running off of nothing. Your brain needs glucose to function, and after a night of sleep you have no reserves left of that glucose or blood sugar. You just really need that breakfast to fuel your brain and get your body able to function throughout the day,” Haynes said.
Haynes says research shows that people who eat breakfast have better memory, can concentrate better, tend to eat less fat throughout the day, and overall are healthier. People who don’t eat breakfast wait until they are so hungry they eat the first available thing, which isn’t necessarily good for them. Haynes says these people tend to experience high cholesterol, dramatic spikes in blood sugar, and an overall lack of energy. She adds breakfast eaters are also more successful at managing their weight.
“A lot of people skip breakfast because they don’t want to add in the extra calories. They think they’re going to gain weight. When actually it’s been shown that those who eat breakfast are less likely to be overweight. Eating breakfast jump starts your metabolism; therefore you’ll burn more calories throughout the rest of the day,” said Haynes.
Haynes suggests that people get their breakfast items ready the night before, to save time on busy mornings. She also adds that healthy, pre-packaged foods like granola bars and yogurt are good when in a hurry. Peanut butter sandwiches or egg sandwiches can provide a good jump-start to the day for people on the go. Haynes says to stay away from sugary, empty-calorie foods and stick to fruit, whole grains, and protein sources. She also reminds us that children learn from their parents, and setting a good example benefits the whole family. For KSMU News, I’m Theresa Bettmann.