It’s 7:30 a.m. and you’re rushing to leave the house to get to work on time.

You pour freshly brewed coffee into your mug and head out the door without even thinking about breakfast. Skipping one meal won’t hurt, right?

Only if it’s once in a while. If you’re skipping breakfast on a daily basis, you are hurting your overall health and making your morning more challenging because you’ll be less focused and hungry.

breakfast, fruit

Photo by Andres Virviescas

Breakfast truly is the most important meal of the day, but why?

The word breakfast means “breaking the fast“— of the night. It is the first meal after a long sleep.

Think about how long you are going without eating if you skip breakfast. Let’s say you ate dinner at 7 p.m. the night before, wake up, skip breakfast and don’t eat lunch until noon the next day. That’s about 17 hours without eating anything! It’s even worse if you just drink coffee on an empty stomach in the morning.

Skipping breakfast not only affects your mood, focus, energy-level and memory, but also can have long-term consequences.

3 ways skipping breakfast affects your health:

1. Increases risk of diabetes

A recent study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that women who skip breakfast just once a week had a 20 percent higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes than those who ate breakfast on a daily basis.

Why? As the article explains, when you wake up in the morning, your insulin level is low and will continue to drop if you skip breakfast. If you do skip breakfast, your insulin level is more likely to spike once you eat and quickly drop again later in the day. This constant change in insulin levels can lead to type 2 diabetes. Additionally, your body can develop insulin resistance, which means it will require more insulin to bring blood sugar to a normal level.

2. Contributes to weight gain

Ever skip breakfast and start craving salty or sugary snacks in the afternoon or evening? This happens because when you skip breakfast,  you are more hungry throughout the day, making high-calorie foods more appealing. Also, skipping any meal can slow down your metabolism and, once you do eat, your body will store as much calories as possible to make it until the next meal.

3. Greater risk of developing heart disease

Skipping breakfast can also raise cholesterol levels and blood pressure, which in turn, can increase your chance of developing heart disease. In all, eating breakfast can not only provide heart-healthy benefits and nutrition, but it can also reduce your risk of having heart problems in the future.

If you begin your day on an empty stomach frequently, start eating breakfast already! If you want to become a healthier person, now is the time to start eating at least a small, nutritious breakfast every day. Even a slice of toast with fruit or a protein smoothie is a sufficient choice to give you energy and supply your body with the nutrients it needs to be healthy.

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