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Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Wake up and Eat a Healthy Breakfast

Why do the nutrition and health experts insist on eating a healthy breakfast? Lots of reasons, including:
  • Weight control. Study after study indicates that people who eat a nutritious breakfast tend to have a healthier weight than people who don't. This is especially true for children and teens, but there's ample evidence for adults, as well. It's not crystal-clear what's at work here, but experts think that people who eat a solid breakfast, especially one that contains lean protein (think eggs), feel more satisfied and tend to eat less throughout the rest of the day. Others say it has to do with kick-starting the metabolism first thing in the morning.
  • Better overall nutrition. Studies show that people who eat breakfast tend to have an overall healthier diet than those who don't. This could be because there are so many healthy foods readily available for breakfast: fruit; eggs; low-sugar, high-fiber cereals; whole-grain breads; low-fat yogurt are just a few examples. Obviously, less-healthy choices are abundant as well, but choosing a healthy foods in the morning doesn't take a lot of effort.
  • Improved health. Various studies reveal that eating a healthy breakfast is linked with better health outcomes. For example, in 2007 the ongoing Physicians Health Study found that regularly eating whole-grain, high-fiber cereal was linked with a lower risk of heart failure.
Children especially need a good breakfast. According to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (formerly the American Dietetic Association), children who eat breakfast are more able to focus and concentrate at school, and tend to do better in math and reading and on standardized tests.

The evidence is strong, and that's why experts encourage people like you to wake up -- both figuratively and literally -- and enjoy a healthy breakfast.

Resource: Ohio State University Extension