Whether you’re too busy, trying to lose weight or are just not genuinely hungry, there’s really no good reason to skip breakfast. In fact, new research has found that not eating breakfast may actually increase a woman’s risk of getting (1) diabetes.
When women skipped the morning meal, they experienced insulin resistance, a condition in which a person requires more insulin to bring their blood sugar into a normal range, explained lead researcher Dr. Elizabeth Thomas, an instructor of medicine at the University of Colorado.
This insulin resistance was short-term in the study, but when the condition is chronic, it is a risk factor for diabetes. “Eating a healthy breakfast is probably beneficial,” Thomas said. “It may not only help you control your weight but avoid diabetes.”
The new study included only nine women. Their average age was 29, and all were overweight or obese. Thomas measured their levels of insulin and blood sugar on two different days after the women ate lunch. On one day, they had eaten breakfast; on the other day, they had skipped it. The women’s insulin and glucose levels after lunch were much higher on the day they skipped breakfast than on the day they ate it. On the day they did not eat breakfast, Thomas explained, “they required a higher level of insulin to handle the same meal.”
There wasn’t any good news for men who skipped breakfast either.
Men who reported that they regularly skipped breakfast had a higher risk of a (2) heart attack or (3) fatal coronary heart disease in a study reported in the American Heart Association journal Circulation.
Researchers analyzed food frequency questionnaire data and tracked health outcomes for 16 years (1992-2008) on 26,902 male health professionals ages 45-82. They found that men who reported they skipped breakfast had a nearly 30 percent higher risk of heart attack or death from coronary heart disease than those who reported they didn’t.
So does this mean that you should stuff your face with pasta or donuts at 7 am? No, no, no! In fact, the diet consumed by the morning big-eaters, while effective for weight loss, leaves something to be desired. Certainly, it’s better balanced than the pastries-with-coffee option, which offers essentially no nutrients, no protein, and plenty of health-destroying bad fats and sugar. But the diet that led to weight loss contained no fruit or vegetables in the morning (although afternoon and evening meals had these elements), and also contained lots of dairy.
There are better ways to get a well-balanced morning slam without loading up on mucous-producing, allergy-inducing, immune-destroying, hormone-laden milk, cheese, nitrate-spiked breakfast meats, and buttered toast…