Health Benefits Behind Breakfast

We have been told that breakfast is the most important meal of the day so many times that we have started to take it for granted. The truth is that there is a solid scientific backing behind this statement and we could all use a refresher course in benefits of the breakfast.

By eating breakfast, we are sending an important message to our body, telling that it can expect a full complement of calories and there is no need to conserve energy. According to Christy C. Tangney, Ph.D., a clinical dietitian at Rush University Medical Center, this can benefit our body mass index.


“Studies have found that although people who skip breakfast eat slightly fewer calories during the day, they tend to have higher body mass index or BMI,” dr. Tangney says.

“We use BMI, the ratio of a person’s weight compared to height, as an easy measure of whether someone is in the range of his or her healthy weight or not,” she says. “A BMI of 25 or higher, for example, indicates that someone is overweight and needs to take action to come back to their ideal weight.”

According to, regular breakfast can also help to make our natural defense system stronger and fight successfully against many common health issues. Several studies have also found that people who eat breakfast consume fewer calories, have higher fiber and calcium intake, meet the dietary recommendation for fruit and vegetable intake. School children who have breakfast before school have better performance and grades.


Missing breakfast can lead to being overweight and consuming unhealthy snacks.

In order to feel the full benefits of regular breakfast, we need to pay attention to what we eat in the morning. Having just a muffin and a cup of coffee won’t be enough. You should try having cereals with high fiber content, combined with fresh fruit and low-fat milk. Another good choice is a low-fat protein shake or toast with peanut butter. Later in the day, you can have some fresh fruit for your mid-morning snack.

“Especially with protein bars and some yogurts; some of them can have a lot of added sugar,” says Tangney. “It’s a good idea to try to keep sugars under 20 grams and look for bars with about 6-10 grams of protein, and 3 or more grams of fiber.”


Consulting with a dietitian is a good idea if you have some specific issue that prevents you from eating certain foods.

“Breakfast is like exercising,” Tangney says. “If you make room for it in the morning, you’ll look and feel great throughout the day.”