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Why Is Breakfast Important? 3 Questions, Answered

Question 1: Why is breakfast called “the most important meal of the day”?
Answer: Breakfast provides fuel for the body after it’s slept all night. In the morning we rise fairly empty, and just like a car, the body can’t run on fumes. We need energy from food to perform in school and work. Furthermore, breakfast helps jumpstart metabolism and could promote weight management.

Unfortunately, people tend to skip breakfast due to the morning rush or a misguided hope to save calories. Eating at least three meals a day is crucial for health.

strawberriesQuestion 2: Why am I hungrier in the morning when I eat breakfast than when I don’t?
I haven’t been able to find scientific studies on this, but experience tells me that skipping breakfast regularly has confused your natural sense of hunger. (Also, on the days you’re not so hungry, ask yourself if you’ve eaten late or too much the night before.) Be patient and allow your body to relearn appropriate hunger. It may take several weeks. Meanwhile, eat a nutritious breakfast with some protein and fiber.

Question 3: Are eggs bad for you?
Nope. They’re filling and a great source of protein, vitamins and minerals. Plus, lutein in the yolk likely helps protect you from the eye disease macular degeneration. In an otherwise low-cholesterol diet, the American Heart Association allows for up to one egg per day. (One egg contains about 213 milligrams of cholesterol, according to the AHA, which recommends eating no more than 300 milligrams a day.)


D. Milton Stokes, M.P.H., R.D., C.D.N., registered dietitian, One Source Nutrition, Norwalk, Conn.; spokesperson, American Dietetic Association.

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D., C.D.E., registered dietitian, National Clinical Research-Norfolk, in Virginia; consultant to the food industry, Jill Weisenberger Health Communications LLC.

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Last updated and/or approved: July 2010.
Original questions and answers appeared in various issues of the former print magazine. Bios current as of those issues. This health-care information is not meant as individual advice. Please see our disclaimer.
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