Toast on top

Breakfast proves to be the most important meal of the day.

Similar to many Americans, sophomore Jade Despanie skips breakfast and considers dinner to be her most important meal of the day.

“I don’t eat breakfast because I don’t really have enough time, and sometimes I’m not even that hungry,” Despanie said.

Breakfast can have a direct correlation to improved classroom performance. Students who eat breakfast advance their short-term memory, reading, arithmetic and problem-solving skills, according to a Tufts University study.

“In the ideal world, I would recommend breakfast or lunch being the main and biggest meal of the day,” Rochelle Lacey, Registered Dietitian & Wellness Specialist at the Olympic Club, said.

Insulin action in the body and the pancreatic hormone which digests sugar and stores glucose, is most active in the morning, allowing those who eat breakfast to maintain the same BMI and prevent long-term weight gain, according to an American Society for Nutrition study.

“When people incorporate breakfast, a specific breakfast with higher protein content, greens and fruit and remove the processed grain like cereal, they start to feel a lot more energetic and tend to snack less later on in the day,” Lacey said.

Skipping breakfast can increase health risks such as cardiovascular diseases, according to a recent study by the American Heart Association.

“Skipping meals is a slippery slope to get into,” Lacey said. “At least — having a little protein or some nuts and a piece of fruit — even if it’s a small grab and go meal, is beneficial and essential for keeping your metabolism going.”

Lacey advises smoothies with greens, fruits and protein powder as a fast and healthy breakfast option in the morning.

“[Breakfast] gives me the energy that I need for my morning classes and helps me focus especially when I eat something healthy,” freshman Gabi Guido said. “I love breakfast because you can have French toast and pancakes when you want to be unhealthy, but when you want to be healthy you can have eggs and fruit.”

Twenty to 30 percent of Americans skip breakfast, which makes them further susceptible to obesity, diabetes and damaged glucose metabolism, according to the American Heart Association. Individuals who eat breakfast every day are less likely to be diagnosed with these medical complications while maintaining low cholesterol and blood pressure in addition to the necessary stamina required for morning classes.

Lacey also advises substituting caffeinated and high sugar content beverages such as coffee, juice, and tea with water. It is essential to consume water during breakfast to combat dehydration that takes place during sleep.  

“[Hydration] with water is super important,” Lacey said. “I always recommend to start the day with a glass of water and to have two cups of water for every one cup of caffeinated beverage. Sodas can also be dehydrating, so instead if you want the carbonation, consider a bubbly water like Pellegrino which will hydrate you too.”

“It sounds so cliche but it has been scientifically shown that breakfast is the most important [meal of the day] and I truly believe that it is,” Lacey said.

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