By The Australian Institute of Fitness

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Breakfast has been called the most important meal of the day – it is supposed to set you up and kick-start your metabolism.

Recent findings in weight management research however, have questioned the necessity of breakfast. And with our fast paced lives some of us don’t have an early appetite. So is it a problem? Do we really need to eat breakfast? 

Research has traditionally shown that consuming breakfast has an association with lower levels of obesity and weight management issues but whether eating breakfast makes us healthier is yet to be concluded.

Recent studies also have found that people who skipped breakfast consumed fewer calories by the end of the day, but they also expended slightly less energy.

Despite inconclusive evidence about weight loss, there are a few other reasons eating brekkie is a good idea.

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1. Daily nutrient intake

It can be hard to meet the recommended intakes of nutrients per day and even harder when only relying on two main meals. Breakfast can be an ideal opportunity to consume foods that are great sources of B vitamins, folate, iron and fibre.

Research has found that those who consume breakfast are more likely to meet their recommended dietary intakes for vitamins and minerals compared to when breakfast was not eaten.

2. Heart health

Breakfast may protect us from heart disease. A 2013 study from Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH) found that men who regularly skipped breakfast had a 27% higher risk of heart attack or death from coronary heart disease than those who did eat a morning meal.

Non-breakfast-eaters were generally hungrier later in the day and ate more food at night, perhaps leading to metabolic changes and heart disease. Even after accounting for diet, physical activity, smoking, and other lifestyle factors, the association between skipping breakfast and heart disease persisted.

3. Mental health

Skipping breakfast results in low blood glucose levels and the release of the hormones, adrenalin and cortisol, which can cause agitation and irritability. This can result in poor concentration, attention, behavioural problems, and as recent study found, lower IQ scores.

There is clearly an association with mental health and a good quality breakfast. Research has found that eating a breakfast with a variety of food groups that increase the intake of vitamins and minerals at the start of the day can lead to better mental health in adolescents.

The bottom line…

A healthy breakfast can help to provide essential nutrients, prevent heart disease and may help to manage your weight.

If you’re after a workout you can do after brekky, check out our Top 5 Partner Workouts

The Australian Institute of Fitness xx

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