The traditional mainstay meal of the day, breakfast, appears to be not so mainstay anymore. To eat this hearty meal, or not to eat it, is still making the rounds as a popular item for discussion. There are studies now available saying it does not matter if you have a morning meal or not. However, there are still two camps on either side of this issue, one in favor of breakfast as a morning meal, and the other touting that it does not matter if someone eats this particular meal or not. A study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found very little difference in weight loss or gain in those who ate a morning meal compared to those who went without.
The only measurable distinction was the fact that people in the study who abstained from the morning meal consumed fewer calories during the day. This opposes a long-held belief that people who skipped it ate more during the day than those who ate a morning meal. By the same token however, it was shown the non-breakfast people did not burn as many calories during the day.
Those who ate a meal in the morning, on the other hand, were more active over the course of their day, burning most of the calories they had for their morning meal. Breaking the morning fast as an eat-or-not-eat proposition churns the morning mixers of many pro-breakfast mandates. Metabolically speaking, those who eat something first thing in the morning arrived at the end of the study with blood sugar slightly more stable than those who skipped the early morning meal. The University of Bath, in Bath, United Kingdom conducted the study with 33 men and women of normal weight who could either skip breakfast or have a morning meal.
This particular study was a short-term effort with a small sampling of people, so the results may not apply to a situation over a longer period of time. Apparently, the solution for people who are undecided about the issue may be for them to do what has proven to be most successful for them in the past. Eating breakfast or not eating it does not appear to be either good or bad at this point.
If one is predisposed to eating a first meal in the morning, there are many choices in favor of a healthy intake of food. For example, mixed grain bread with slices of banana and milk might be a good choice for something quick and easy, or having a cereal high in fiber with nuts and dehydrated fruit with soy milk either in a glass or poured over the cereal may sustain a person until lunch. Scrambled eggs with fruit salad, and/or mixed grain bread and a glass of fat-free milk is a popular choice for a weekend starter-upper.
Not enough information for either side has actually been gathered, analyzed and measured for a positive answer over a long enough period of time. The two camps remain divided, and until more research has been conducted, the discussion will continue. To eat or not to eat a breakfast meal may take more time to sort out, as more research is needed.
By Andy Towle