Lately, we have read or heard frequently about the importance of a good breakfast as a way to start daily tasks, particularly in the case of children and students. Is that a good supply of energy after the night fasting conditions, the achievement of a greater capacity of attention and intellectual performance, in addition to the performance in physical tasks, in the case of athletes or workers who carry out tasks of this nature?
In February 2005, an article was published in the prestigious American Journal of Clinical Nutrition that reinforces the common idea of not omitting breakfast. This publication refers to the importance of this first morning meal on the sensitivity of the body to the action of insulin (made by your own pancreas or administered as a medicine) and on the level of blood fat.
The results of this work, carried out on thin and nondiabetic women, may have even greater implications in people with obesity (carriers of a certain degree of insulin resistance) and / or diabetics. Therefore, it is interesting to analyse the findings of the group of researchers from Nottingham (United Kingdom) who studied whether the realization of breakfast influenced the income and energy expenditure, and the levels of lipids (fats), glucose and insulin circulating in healthy women.
Of the research, 10 non-overweight women took part in a test consisting of, during 14 days, consuming a daily breakfast, and after another 2 weeks, to spend 14 days omitting this first daily meal.
In the period that included breakfast, participants consumed breakfast cereals with whole milk before 8 AM and chocolate coated cookies between 10.30 and 11 AM. In the period without breakfast, the women involved consumed the cookies between 10.30 and 11 AM and the cereal with the milk between 12 and 13.30 AM.
During the rest of the day, in both periods of study, another 4 meals were consumed at regular intervals, recording the complete intakes during 3 of the days of each period. At the end of each 14 day period, glycaemia, lipids and insulin tests were performed, fasting and after the test meal.
The result of this research showed that the energy intake was significantly lower during the period in which breakfast was carried out, while the energy expenditure was similar. In this way, a more beneficial caloric balance was registered in the case of women who ate breakfast.
Both the concentrations of total cholesterol, “bad” cholesterol (c-LDL) and insulin were higher during the period in which breakfast was omitted. It should be remembered that the highest concentrations of insulin were due to a relative lack of sensitivity (effect) of insulin during the aforementioned period.
Analysed as a whole, these findings if they can be applied to people with overweight, obesity or type 2 diabetes, could indicate that the suppression of breakfast (practice quite common in our society) can lead to an increase in weight and a change in levels of cholesterol and blood glucose.
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For this reason, if the importance of breakfast on the physical and intellectual performance we add the advantages regarding metabolic functioning, clearly shows the importance of maintaining the healthy habit of breakfast daily, although this means resigning a few more minutes of sleep.
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