Thursday, December 16, 2010

Reasons to break the fast

I am definitely a morning person but I really don’t like eating breakfast. But I do know that if I eat the right kind of breakfast, come lunch, I really do eat like a sane person.

A 2002 study by the National Weight Control Registry, a group of more than 3,000 people who have lost at least 30 pounds and kept it off for at least a year, found that breakfast eaters were more successful at maintaining their weight loss. OK, I get this, but putting it into action is not easy. First, since I am allergic to wheat and lactose intolerant, cereal and milk has never been my thing. I know there are non-wheat cereals, and I know I can use almond or coconut milk, but the cereal thing is just not for me.

Oatmeal? I like it fine. Most people are perfectly sated on a bowl, and need nothing more till lunch. Oatmeal has the opposite effect on me, similar to Chinese food: two hours later I am famished.

Which leads me to eggs. I am so not a fan, but I find that if I scramble one for breakfast – and adds lots of veggies and spices to dull the egg flavor – I am fine until lunch. It’s just setting aside the time to make this breakfast happen that is often problematic. But I must, especially after reading a post on SparksPeople about the importance of breakfast.

It seems that scientists have proven that eating at regular intervals helps your brain send a signal to your body, telling it not to store the calories as fat—that you literally aren’t starving. When you skip meals, your body can switch into "starvation mode," hanging onto every calorie because it doesn’t know when, or if, the next meal is coming.

Every morning, 10 to 12 hours have passed since your last meal and your body is in fasting mode. Eating soon after rising will literally break this fast and fire up your metabolism for the day. If you aren’t hungry as soon as you get up, have something nutritious to eat anyway, even if it's small. After two to three weeks of eating even a small breakfast (like yogurt or fruit), your body will reset your appetite and you'll begin to naturally feel hungry in the morning.

OK – I can buy all that, but it’s the next info I find even more convincing:
• Breakfast boosts memory. Eating breakfast improves memory and learning ability. One study of college students found that those who ate breakfast scored 22 percent higher in word-recall tests than students who skipped breakfast. Breakfast raises your blood sugar, which is needed to make the memory-boosting neurotransmitter acetylcholine.
• Breakfast boosts mood and performance. A Harvard study showed that children who ate breakfast had 40 percent higher math grades and missed fewer days of school than non-breakfast eaters. Kids who skipped breakfast were twice as likely to be depressed, four times more prone to anxiety, and 30 percent more likely to be hyperactive. When children who "rarely" ate breakfast began eating breakfast "often," their math grades increased one full letter grade, and their levels of depression, anxiety and hyperactivity all decreased. While this study looked at children, it is natural to assume that adults would see similar results related to work performance and mood.

• Breakfast boosts nutrition. Breakfast eaters consume more nutrients each day than breakfast skippers. Eating an a.m. meal particularly increases one's intake of important nutrients like calcium, iron, zinc, B vitamins and fiber.
• Breakfast boosts heart health. Blood tends to become "sticky" overnight, making it more prone to clots in the morning. According to researchers at Canada’s Memorial University in Newfoundland, eating breakfast "unsticks" your blood. Skipping breakfast triples the blood’s clot-forming potential—and the risk of morning heart attacks and strokes. Recent studies have also found that cold cereals fortified with 400 micrograms of folic acid help curb homocysteine, a blood factor that boosts the risk of heart disease and strokes.

Time to go scramble an egg….

No comments:

Post a Comment