We’ve long been told that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. We’ve all heard the rhetoric that a good breakfast sets you up for the day. However, is skipping breakfast actually detrimental to health. If you want to know whether breakfast is the most important meal of the day then read on for more information.
Indeed, the Europeans of the Middle Ages largely gave breakfast a miss. Eating too soon in the day was considered a one-way street to committing the deadly sin of gluttony. Fasting was seen as evidence of ones ability to resist the desires of the flesh and therefore highly regarded.
The historian Ian Mortimer believes that breakfast started to become a part of people’s lives in the 16th century. This was in response to the rise in employment when people had to work for others as opposed to themselves. Individuals therefore had less control over their daily lives and therefore needed a hearty meal to set them up for the day. The industrial revolution further normalised the consumption of breakfast and to this day a lot of people still believe that breakfast is the most important meal of the day.
Furthermore, a study of 50,000 people over a 7 year period found that those who ate a large breakfast were much more likely to have a lower body mass index than those who priotised other meals. And that’s not all, there are a number of studies that suggest eating breakfast can help with concentration too.
In recent years intermittent fasting has been gaining momentum. Intermittent fasting basically means only eating in a short window of time. This means that breakfast often gets sidelined as this meal essentially breaks your overnight fast. Intermittent fasting has been touted by many as being the best tool to control insulin sensitivity and the control of weight. However, research is still in its infancy, and more is needed to see how beneficial intermittent fasting is.
It seems that the evidence still largely supports the belief that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. However, everyone is different and we believe that you should stick to an eating plan that works for you. The most important thing is to listen to your personal hunger cues. In other words don’t just eat out of habit. What’s more, whilst breakfast is often an important meal, your overall diet is the most important factor in terms of overall health.