Foodie Confessions: Breakfasting

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Breakfast - the all-important meal that everyone says you shouldn’t skip… Is that really true? Do you eat breakfast every single day? Or maybe you skip it sometimes? Or never eat it? No matter whom you ask starting from our grandmothers, doctors to health-conscious friends, they all seem to agree. Common knowledge is that making time for the “loneliest meal of the day” will keep your blood sugar in check, stoke your metabolism, help you concentrate and will simply start your day on the right foot. Some even claim it is the secret for staying slim.

To be honest, I am confused…Here is why:

Balazs and I eat breakfast 3 out of 7 mornings a week. Not because we “have to”, simply because we are hungry. A while ago Balazs read a study by Mark Mattson proving that skipping a meal can actually be healthy and beneficial for our overall body functions. Also, Marian Nestle who is a nutrition professor and a breakfast sceptic says that people shouldn’t feel compelled to eat in the morning, calling it an overrated myth and states that it's rather individual..  “Some people are really hungry in the morning and some are not.” In her book What to Eat she writes: 

 "I am well aware that everyone says breakfast is the most important meal of the day, but I am not convinced. What you eat and how much matters more to your health than when you eat.'

According to her study, they haven't found convincing enough evidence to prove that breakfast is necessary. Of course, it’s a whole different story when it comes to kids who should have at least something small in their stomach before school, since hunger decreases concentration. New York Magazine also agrees with this theory. Amanda Fortini who wrote a great piece on the subject says that from a researcher's point of view the real issue is that breakfast consumption is a habit that tends to occur along with a constellation of other healthy behaviours, like exercising, not smoking, and maintaining a healthy diet. On the opposite end, unhealthy behaviours also tend to stick together: fewer than 5 percent of smokers eat breakfast daily.

To confuse us ever more, another study says that if your aim is to optimize attention span and memory, then you should totally start eating breakfast each morning, but be well aware what you’re eating. For example, to improve your attention span you should go with ham and hard cheese on whole-grain bread. If you want to prevent heart disease (and who doesn’t?), try whole-grain cereal; one bowl per day is associated with a 28 percent lower risk of heart failure. If you’re a woman hoping to conceive a boy, then according to a recent study from the University of Exeter, you should increase your breakfast consumption by approximately 400 calories daily. Women with the highest caloric intake had boys 56 percent of the time, compared with 45 percent with the lowest caloric intake.

So what do you think: breakfast or no breakfast? What are your thoughts?

I think it’s a personal preference and since we all have different dietary needs, different metabolisms and different daily routines, we should listen to our bodies more and eat if we’re hungry.

P.S: More on food.
P.P.S: Plus, bedtime breakfast.

(All the information regarding the studies are from: Science NewsNew York Mag and Health. Photos by Trish, Isabella Bertolini, Máni Katz, Sheron via BKFST)


Anonymous said...

What an interesting subject Diana. My husband is more of a night owl so he usually sleeps in, skips breakfast and goes straight for lunch. I on the other spectrum have breakfast of granola with banana and a cup of coffee at about 6 am each morning. I feel the need to eat something right away after I wake up and that might be coming from my upbringings since we used to have family breakfast all the time. And now thinking about, it might be a habit, not really an issue of hunger. How interesting.

Chic 'n Cheap Living said...

These studies can be completely confusing! But I agree that it can be part of a good habit. Perhaps it is a habit that stuck with us from our youth. Either way, eat if you're hungry, but stick with something healthy (i.e. just be practical!)

Chic 'n Cheap Living

Areeba said...

I'll surely go for yes to breakfast. Skipping it is just a foolish thing.
PS: The photography is just ah-mazing!

E. Charlotte said...

Interesting! I've always wondered about the "most important meal of the day" idea, and granted, I am more motivated if I'm well fed, however most mornings I'm not hungry!

LyddieGal said...

I usually eat breakfast later in the morning - it's one of my favorite meals, just not until 9 am.

Jana @ 333 Days of Hand Lettering said...

Coffee with cream and breakfast at noon!

fructopia said...

Definately pro breakfast!
I love to take my time in the morning, when my boyfriend is still asleep, and eat something I, my mind and my body "agree" with. Something that makes me ready to start the day. Usually the way I begin the day thats how it continues. If I take my time, dont get into a hurry and eat healthy, I feel good throughout the day.
By the way, check out this amazing blog by Marta from Berlin
Love her pictures and creativity!

Steph said...

Wow, that is confusing! And very interesting. I'm all about the breakfast. I very rarely leave the house without eating at least a piece of toast or bowl of cereal. I hate the rumbling hungry tummy if I do!

Diana Mieczan said...

Your comment is so interesting, Anonymous!

Diana Mieczan said...

Totally agree, Chic 'n Cheap Living!!!

Diana Mieczan said...

E. Charlotte, how funny, me too! When my tummy is full I work so much better...Otherwise I can't stop thinking about food...giggle.

Diana Mieczan said...


Diana Mieczan said...

I like that a lot, Jana:)

Diana Mieczan said...

fructopia, I love what you said! I totally agree that our body reacts to the way we start our day. So clever! Btw: yes, I love Marta's blog. It's so good and thank you for the link.

Diana Mieczan said...

Totally, Steph:)

JeLo said...

I'm a no breakfast person (unless coffee counts as a mean, which it should!), but I always make sure my kids eat breakfast. I just don't feel hungry until 11am. I completely agree that it's a personal preference and everyone should listen to their body.
I just stumbled across your blog last week and I'm obsessed! I've spent that last week going back and devouring your words and visuals. You're awesome!

Diana Mieczan said... just made my day, JeLo!!! That is so sweet of you to say and I am thrilled that you enjoy reading exPress-o:) (I'm totally *blushing* right now) :) xo

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