Big Breakfast for Better Health

big breakfast for good healthWith sayings encouraging us to breakfast like kings and health experts swearing it’s the most important meal of the day, breakfast has long been hailed as the meal you need to eat if you want to loose weight and be healthy. Now latest research has confirmed that it’s not just what you eat everyday that’s important, but when you eat too.

A recent study conducted by a Tel Aviv University researcher has found that the time of the day that we eat our meals has a big impact on the way our bodies process our food. The research showed that those who ate their largest meal of the day at breakfast where more likely to loose weight and waist line circumference than those who ate a larger dinner. The benefits are more than just weight loss; those who ate a larger breakfast had lower levels of glucose, insulin and triglycerides throughout the day which meant a reduced risk of diabetes, cardiovascular disease, high cholesterol and hypertension.

The results of the study, that was carried out by Dr. Julio Wainstein of TAU and the Wolfsen Medical Centre and Dr. Maayan Barnea and Professor Oren Froy at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, have been published in the journal, Obesity, and  show that regulation of meal times can make a big difference towards dealing with promoting a healthier lifestyle and reducing the risk of obesity.

The research was carried out on 93 obese women, who were randomly divided into 2 groups. Each group consumed a moderate fat diet of 1,400 calories daily for a period of 12 weeks. The first group consumed 700 (half) of their daily calories at breakfast, while the second had a 200 calorie breakfast. Both of the group’s diets contained the same foods, the only difference was when they ate them. By the end of the study the first group who had been eating the big breakfast had lost an average of 17.8 pounds each and 3 inches from their waistline. The second group lost only 7.3 pounds and 1.4 inches.

The big breakfast group had lower levels of the hunger relating hormone ghrelin in their bodies, which was an indication that there was less of a desire to snack later in the day compared to the other group. The big breakfast group also showed lower levels of insulin, triglyceride and glucose and did not experience the high blood glucose levels that typically occur after a meal and are considered even more dangerous to health than sustained high blood glucose levels as they lead to blood pressure problems and put a greater strain on the heart.

So it seems it really does matter when we eat and late night snacking is damaging to more than just your waistline. The research found that those in the group who ate most of their calorie intake at dinner time increased their levels of triglycerides, a fat found in the body, despite their weight loss.  Professor Jakubowicz recommends an end to late night snacking and believes it is a huge factor in the increase of obesity. Planning a good, healthy breakfast to set you up for the day is better for your weight and better for your health.

Fiona McBennett