I don’t say this nearly enough but, “God bless my mother!” I can’t remember a day that went by as a kid that she didn’t haul her tired self out of bed to make sure I had breakfast before I went off to school. And I’m not talking a bowl of Tricks, we weren’t allowed to eat the sugary stuff. No, I had oatmeal, Cheerios, or eggs and toast with my coffee (I’m Italian, the espresso started early). She always told me breakfast was the most important way to start the day. And, um, forty years later, the American Heart Association is backing her up on this.
Researchers reported today at the American Heart Association’s 43rd Annual Conference on Cardiovascular Disease Epidemiology and Prevention that people who eat breakfast are significantly less likely to be obese and diabetic than those who usually don’t.
They found that obesity and insulin resistance syndrome rates were 35 percent to 50 percent lower among people who ate breakfast every day compared to those who usually skipped it.
“Just the habit of filling your belly in the morning might help people control their hunger throughout the day so they might be less likely to overeat in the morning or at lunch,” says Mark A. Pereira, PhD, a research associate at Children’s Hospital in Boston and assistant professor at Harvard Medical School.
Breakfast also helps get your metabolism going. Think about it, your body has been asleep for (hopefully) eight hours. It needs a little kick to get the machine going. Let’s break the word down, shall we—Break the fast!
I can hear some you making excuses already, “I’m busy” or “I’m always late for work as it is.”
Hogwash! While my mother, God bless her, made it a habit for me to have breakfast every morning, I don’t always have time to scramble up corn-fed organic brown eggs or flip whole-wheat gluten free pancakes. But at the very least, I have three minutes to eat a low-sugar yogurt or pop some Van’s Organic Flax Waffles in the toaster (they taste great). You can even grab a piece of fruit and take it with you.
And it seems mom was right about another thing, it’s also about what you eat. “We have started looking at what people are eating when they eat breakfast, which led to our finding that eating whole-grain cereal each day was associated with a 15 percent reduction in risk for the insulin resistance syndrome,” said Pereira.
But even on cereals labeled whole-grain, watch the sugar content. Some have more than a candy bar.
So for heaven’s sake, eat something in the morning!
Oh, and, thanks Mom!