Do you validate your big, heavy junky breakfasts because of all the studies out there that tout the benefits of starting the day with breakfast? I’m a certified personal trainer, and nutrition expertise comes along with that.
However…plenty of research shows that a nutritious morning meal is the most important meal of the day (or maybe the second-most important, if you rank the post-workout meal in the top spot for later-day workouts). Research also shows that skipping breakfast can produce some problems such as lapses in concentration at work or school; compromised energy levels; increased hunger later on; and slowed-down metabolism, among others.
So with all these problems generated from skipping breakfast, would it be better to routinely eat junk food breakfasts? Well, as much as the body wants and needs fuel shortly after it awakens from an overnight fast, if you put junk in your body, it will still be junk. Junk food is junk food.
And what do I mean by junk food? Foods with unhealthy or “bad” fats, like trans fats and saturated fats. Foods with added sugar like white sugar and high fructose corn syrup. Foods with preservatives and high amounts of sodium.
My father thinks eating breakfast is very important, and he always has a morning meal. His typical morning meal consists of pancakes, waffles or French toast (lots of white flour and synthetic additives), with plenty of margarine (artificial flavor, high sodium) and syrup (artificial flavor, artificial sweetener – bad stuff!).
In addition to that he’ll have either toast with margarine, jam (corn syrup city) or apple butter (corn syrup city), or a pastry (trans fats, sugars, additives). Sometimes with the pancakes/waffles/French toast he’ll have eggs. Or he might have eggs, toast (more white flour) and a pastry, or precede the eggs and toast with a bowl of cereal … the kind of cereal that’s very processed, full of refined carbohydrates. He’ll sometimes have a little fruit with his big, heavy, high glycemic, high fat, highly processed breakfasts.
Oh, I almost forgot; he typically includes “turkey sausage patties” which have corn syrup and preservatives. Ugh. “Good source of protein,” he says. I got him some pure ground turkey from Whole Foods that he formed into patties. He said they tasted bland. That’s because he’s so used to the corn-syrup-loaded Jimmy Dean turkey sausage!
These breakfasts have done absolutely nothing to prevent his cardiac calcium score from hitting 1,195! And he’s taken high blood pressure drugs and high cholesterol drugs for years! His BMI is in the overweight range.
After all these years, he would have been far better off skipping these kinds of breakfasts. That would have been years of all that crap not going into his body. I am convinced that had he skipped these breakfasts my father’s calcium score would be significantly lower, and he wouldn’t need high blood pressure drugs.
And he would have had more energy on a daily basis. All those high glycemic (simple, quick-acting carbs that cause insulin spikes) items at breakfast, I am certain, have caused my father to experience the infamous mid-day or late morning “crash” or slump, in which he’s overcome with so much drowsiness that he succumbs to a 2-3 hour nap.
Plummets in blood sugar, resulting from a breakfast laden with refined carbohydrates including white sugar, can cause sleepiness, fatigue and lethargy.
If you awaken hungry, then eat. But make it a health-giving breakfast. It doesn’t even have to be cooked. A fruit platter is actually much better for you than the same amount of food in the form of saturated and trans fats, refined carbohydrates (like white flour), corn syrup and artificial ingredients.