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Is breakfast still the most important meal of the day?

women eating a healthy breakfast of oatmeal and berries

We’ve all heard the saying, “Breakfast is the most important meal of the day”, and many of us probably start our meal planning trying to figure out what we are going to have for breakfast. But, is breakfast still the most important meal of the day?

A 2017 Dalhousie University study showed that single Canadians are twice as likely to skip breakfast, and women and/or those earning less than $40,000 are also more likely to skip breakfast. With many demographics more likely to skip breakfast, should we still put such a focus on ensuring we get our morning meal? Or should we focus our time and energy on getting our nutrients at other meals?

What do the experts say?

Most dietitians and nutritionists do recommend getting your nutrient boost first thing in the morning, ideally within a couple of hours of waking up. A healthy breakfast can set you up for the day with energy and the fuel needed to keep yourself active, focused and energized for the day. Eating breakfast can also get your metabolism started, balance your sugar levels to prevent those sugar crashes, and can help keep your weight stable.  

healthy breakfast spread featuring fruits, grains, berries, eggs and nuts.
This breakfast spread features proteins, healthy fats and lots of whole grains and fruits for a balanced meal!

Health Risks

Skipping breakfast has been linked to many health risks including risks of heart disease, high cholesterol, diabetes and obesity. Some people who don’t get enough nutrients at the start of their day are likely to be more hungry throughout the day. This can lead to over-snacking and unhealthy eating choices throughout the day (hello three o’clock junk food binges)

#TrainWithGrainsTip: Skipping breakfast may seem easy, but in the long run, your body deserves sustenance in the morning. Try making your breakfast the night before (like a smoothie or oatmeal) for those mornings when you know you won’t have time to prepare a meal!

Breakfast Ideas

That being said, it is not just about eating something, but what you are eating for breakfast that will help ensure those health benefits. Try creating a breakfast that contains protein, healthy fats and whole grains for a balanced meal that is sure to get you ready to start your day.