Eat Breakfast, Prevent Diabetes
May 31, 2012
I bet you’ve heard about the importance of eating breakfast.
You know that breakfast eaters tend to have an easier time focusing and concentrating (that’s why we feed our kids before school). Breakfast eaters also tend to have more energy and more stable moods throughout the day. Many people who don’t eat breakfast also tend to overeat later in the day and may have a harder time managing their weight. And breakfast eaters tend to have better memory too.
But for many of us, those reasons are still not enough to get us motivated to eat breakfast in the morning. We don’t wake up hungry because of late night eating, we are too rushed in the morning to eat anything or we skip breakfast in a misguided attempt to eat fewer calories for the day.
However, a recent study published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition gives us yet another powerful reason to eat breakfast.
- Those who consistently eat breakfast may have a reduced risk of Type 2 diabetes.
In the study, researchers followed 29,000 men for 16 years, tracking their diets, exercise, disease rates and other markers of health. About 2,000 of the men developed Type 2 diabetes over the course of the study.
- Key Point: Those who regularly skipped breakfast had a 21 percent higher risk of developing diabetes than those who ate breakfast. This significantly increased risk was still present after the researchers took into account the men’s height, weight and the quality of their breakfast.
There are other studies that have found the same link between skipping breakfast and higher risk of Type 2 diabetes. We don’t know exactly why this link exists but the thought is that a morning meal (literally a breaking of your overnight fast) helps to stabilize blood sugar levels throughout the day.
If you are not a breakfast eater, I recommend that you try a breakfast experiment for a week – eat breakfast for seven consecutive days and see how you feel. If you don’t wake up hungry, try to stop eating earlier the night before. If you are rushed in the morning, try some of my favorite breakfast ideas which take no time at all to grab. They contain a mix of high fiber carbohydrates, protein and healthy fats to give your blood sugars and your health in general a smooth start to the day.
- A Zing Bar and a piece of fruit
- A banana and a couple of handfuls of raw or dry roasted nuts
- A hardboiled egg (boil up a week’s worth on Sunday) and some high fiber crackers
- A string cheese and an orange
- An apple with a portable packet of nut butter
Please share your favorite “in a rush” breakfast ideas so I can add to my repertoire too.
Mekary RA et al. Eating patterns and type 2 diabetes risk in men: breakfast omission, eating frequency, and snacking. Am J Clin Nutr. 2012. May; 95(5):1182-9. Epub Mar 28. http://www.ajcn.org/content/95/5/1182.abstract