I’m pretty sure everybody, at some point, has been told that breakfast is the most important meal of the day.
You may have even believed it. But is there any merit to this old slab of advice?
It really depends on who you ask and what your eating habits are.
An estimated 15 percent of people in the United States regularly skip breakfast. That doesn’t necessarily mean they feel worse or are any unhealthier than the people that do eat breakfast.
For most people, or maybe even everyone, eating regular meals and snacks, including breakfast, offers more opportunities to get the energy and nutrients they need to function optimally every day.
This consistent supply of energy and nutrition helps ensure you’re prepared to face the day and feel your best while facing it.
Breakfast isn’t necessarily more important than any other meal. It’s not like eating oats and eggs at 8:30 AM is any healthier than eating them at 3 PM. The nutrients or calories in food don’t change based on when they are consumed. They, like your body, don’t know if they are being labeled as breakfast, lunch, snacks, or dinner.
But there is data to suggest that people who eat breakfast are less likely to have deficiencies in a host of nutrients. This is because they probably aren’t giving themselves enough opportunities to eat during the day.
Of course, if a person is eating a muffin or donut for breakfast, they aren’t going to be getting any nutrition, either.
The benefits of breakfast only exist so long as you’re eating healthful nutrient-dense foods that help sustain energy and body function.
So, should you eat breakfast? It really depends. If you can’t stomach food in the morning and feel fine until later in the day yet still consume enough high-quality calories and nutrients to give your body what it needs, you don’t have to start eating breakfast.
But if you don’t eat enough good stuff during the day, find yourself craving sweets mid-morning and throughout the day, using breakfast to help regulate appetite and get some nutrients is probably a great idea.