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Is Breakfast Getting Dethroned as the Most Important Meal of the Day?

Dietary advice on what foods are best to eat varies widely, but one piece of advice is regarded almost universally as a cardinal rule of healthy eating: breakfast is the most important meal of the day. But, the results of a new study done out of the University of Bath say that breakfast may not deserve this mighty title, after all. The study, published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, followed over thirty people for the course of six weeks and documented the effects that either eating or skipping breakfast had on various health markers.

The Findings. The subjects in the study who did not eat anything until after 11 a.m. did not have significantly different cholesterol levels or resting metabolic rates. The only key differences found was that those who skipped breakfast consumed far fewer calories for the day, but those who ate breakfast burned more calories each day.

The Limitations. Critics of the research site the small sample number used in the study. Another criticism was the short six-week duration of the study. Critics wonder if skipping breakfast may have greater effects in the long term than in the few weeks’ time that the study covered.

The Application. While this study points to breakfast not holding significant importance over other meals, other studies have linked the first meal of the day with being the most important meal of the day. If you are a regular breakfast eater, the results of this study should not compel you to begin skipping breakfast. If however the thought of breakfast is hard for you to stomach, the results of this study say you are okay to continue waiting till later in the day to begin eating. Regardless of when you start eating during the day, fill your plate with plenty of fresh produce and minimal amounts of processed foods for optimal health benefits.

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