The Crown (Wilmette, Illinois)
Recently I discovered how important it is to have a complete breakfast in the morning before school. The first semester of this year, I felt tired and cranky for no apparent reason until I reached for my lunch box during period B lunch. Finally, I figured out the cause of my problem. I was skipping breakfast and waiting to eat food until lunch.
Feeling irritable and low on energy after skipping breakfast is a result of a spike in glucose levels. A study was conducted in the United Kingdom at the University of Bath that showed this dilemma. The researchers had one group of people eat a hearty breakfast before 11 am. They then had another group not eat until lunchtime, around 12 pm, for 6 weeks.
The study showed that those who ate breakfast “expended more energy throughout the day.” Those who did not eat breakfast had spikes of glucose levels throughout the day, resulting in low energy.
Whether it’s a bowl of cereal or a stack of pancakes, it’s important to have something in your stomach to start the day off right. If you don’t eat breakfast, your glucose levels may rise which will leave you cranky and hungrier.
However, Columbia University in New York published an opposing study. This study conducted last summer discovered that breakfast might not be the most important meal of the day.
The researchers separated groups of overweight people (18 men and 18 women) into three different groups and had them eat a particular breakfast or nothing at all for breakfast over a period of 4 weeks. The first group ate oatmeal everyday, the second group ate frosted flakes, and the third group did not eat breakfast at all for the 4 week period.
Believe it or not, the third group was the only group that lost weight. The 2 other groups failed to lose any body mass. Even though the third group lost weight, they had a rise in cholesterol. However, the groups that ate breakfast every day stayed fuller for longer and did not have hunger until later in the day.
This may prompt you to ask, “Why should I eat breakfast if the group that did not eat breakfast lost weight?” The answer is that the benefits of eating breakfast are much better than those of not eating. As long as you eat a nutritious breakfast, exercise daily, and drink close to 8 glasses of water, your weight should stay consistent. You will also have more energy to tackle school, work, or sports.
If you plan on skipping breakfast, you will be hungry throughout the day and will be more likely to snack or over eat at lunch or dinner time. If you have a nutritious breakfast, you are sure to have long lasting energy.
Eating breakfast will also help you with your school work and concentration abilities.
A study conducted by Dr. William Sears in August of 2013 proved that children who ate breakfast tended to participate more in class and answer more questions compared to the children who did not eat breakfast.
The key to breakfast is ensuring that it is nutritious. Breakfast should be a varied meal full of fruits and protein. Try to avoid high sugar items because you are more likely to crash later in the day. If you need to eat cereal, make sure it has a lot of fiber and as little sugar as possible. An example of a breakfast to give you a good start would include eggs (any way you prefer them), some type of protein, like sausage or bacon, and some type of fruit to provide you with the natural sugars you need.
Breakfast is the best way to start your day and is guaranteed to give you long lasting energy for the day ahead.
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