“Eat like a king for breakfast, eat like a prince for lunch, and eat like a pauper for dinner,” is a saying I was brought up on.
It's something that has always stuck with me.
To this day, I get up early and start my day with a cooked breakfast, consisting of some form of protein.
Eating this way has always served me well and, as a doctor, it’s one of the things I teach my patients.
Whatever we eat at the start of our day regulates our blood sugars for the day.
So, if you start your day with sugar, your whole day will a sugar ping pong, and you’ll feel like you’re going up and down before crashing into a big case of “three-thirty-itis”.
We need to think of the digestive system as a big furnace which needs to be heated up to get the fire going.
If you put in fuel which is cold, or too sweet, it just bogs the system down; your metabolism just won’t want to work or kick in.
Why Not Eating Breakfast Might Be Killing You
According to new research, not only is eating breakfast beneficial for our health and metabolism, it’s also helping us to live longer.
The research has also shown that eating breakfast every day might help prevent stroke, particularly cerebral haemorrhage.
The study, published in Stroke on January 5, was conducted by a team led by Yasuhiko Kubota, MD, from Osaka University Graduate School of Medicine in Japan.
The researchers noted that several previous reports, from Western and Asian countries, have shown a link between missing breakfast and a higher prevalence of obesity, hypertension, dyslipidemia, and glucose intolerance, which are well-known risk factors for cardiovascular disease.
In the study, 82,772 Japanese men and women, aged from 45 to 74 years old without a history of cardiovascular disease or cancer, were observed from 1995 to 2010. Participants were asked about their breakfast eating habits and were classified as having breakfast either between 0-2 times per week, 3-4 times, 5-6 times, or 7 times per week.
During the 15-year follow-up, there was a total of 3,772 strokes (1,051 cerebral haemorrhages, 417 subarachnoid haemorrhages, and 2,286 cerebral infarctions) and 870 cases of coronary heart disease.
Multivariable analysis showed that participants who never ate breakfast had higher risks for total cardiovascular disease and total stroke, as well as a particularly higher risk for cerebral haemorrhage, compared with those who consumed breakfast every day.
The researchers note that a previous study showed a significant association between the frequency of breakfast and the risk for coronary heart disease in US men.
To those people who regularly skip breakfast: you might want to rethink that choice – for your overall health, and to prolong your life.
If you don’t feel like eating breakfast in the morning there is a reason for it: it’s partly habit, and partly that you need to work on your digestion and metabolism.
To those who are time poor (aren’t we all these days?): maybe it’s time to reprioritise your health, be more loving towards yourself, and get up that little bit earlier to cook yourself some breakfast. It doesn't take long to pop on two eggs. No more kids' leftover toast crusts or cereal!
Start your day with some form of protein, and make sure it’s cooked; it’s so important for your overall health and metabolism. But now we know it could save your life too.
What do you eat for breakfast each day?
Recommended Reading: Don't know what a healthy breakfast looks like? Read Doctor Orr's 13 suggestions for a delicious and healthy breakfast.