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Most of us know that breakfast is the most important meal of the day.

You might think that the recommendation not to skip breakfast is just good advice. After all, you need enough fuel to get through the morning, right?

But some researchers have found even more reasons to prioritize the "most important meal of the day".

Probably the most attractive benefit is that breakfast boosts your metabolism and therefore helps you burn more calories throughout the day.

When you eat breakfast, you are telling your body that there are too many calories to be consumed during the day. When you skip breakfast, the message your body receives is that it needs to conserve rather than burn the calories it receives.

"Studies have found that while people who skip breakfast eat slightly fewer calories during the day, they tend to have a higher body mass index or BMI," says Christy C. Tangney, Ph.D., a clinical nutritionist at Rush University Medical Center who is an expert on the effects of diet and nutrition on heart health.

"We use BMI, the ratio of a person's weight to height, as an easy measure of whether someone is in their healthy weight range or not," she says. "A BMI of 25 or more, for example, indicates that someone is overweight and needs to take steps to get back to their ideal weight."

"Much of the research just makes good sense," says Tangney. "If you start with a healthy and satisfying meal in the morning, you are less likely to eat less nutritious things during the day, which we usually do with hunger - you take the first or the easiest thing in front of you."

Disadvantages of missing a morning meal

Several studies have found a number of disadvantages to skipping breakfast:

• Most likely to be overweight

• Less likely to meet recommendations for fruit and vegetable consumption

• More likely to consume unhealthy snacks

• Studies in children and adolescents have shown that those who skip breakfast tend to be overweight.

"Most worrying is that an association has been found between skipping breakfast and other risky behaviours, such as smoking and experimenting with drugs and alcohol," says Tangney.

Another study explored whether breakfast types and quality can influence energy levels (blood glucose levels) and propose ideal breakfast models.

The types and quality of breakfast would be essential, as regular consumption of breakfast alone did not have adequate health benefits. It was found that foods with a lower glycemic index (GI) and higher protein intake for breakfast are associated with higher energy levels. Therefore, it is recommended that breakfast foods are low in GI and high in protein. These changes can lead to better health and disease prevention, especially metabolic and liver disorders, in the long run.

Making good choices for breakfast

Opt for a breakfast rich in fibre and protein that will leave you more satiated. In our sugar-free cookbook, which will soon be available in English, we offer a variety of breakfast options to support people who want a lifestyle with less sugar consumption.

Always read the labels on all processed breakfast selections to see if they are healthy choices.

Especially with protein bars and some yogurt; some of them can add a lot of sugar.

The bottom line, breakfast is a must if you want to adopt a healthy lifestyle!

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