Do I have to have breakfast?
“Breakfast is the most important meal of the day” – says every mother ever.
We get it! For many of you, breakfast isn’t what you think about first thing in the morning. Many of us are running around the house trying to find our sock, or attempting to get the kids ready for school on time. And then there are the others who just aren’t hungry or in the hopes to lose weight.
Unfortunately, after looking at the science and data for it, we are afraid to say that your mum is right. (I mean, she usually is!) Breakfast IS the most important meal of the day!
From past research, it is known that when blood sugar spikes up too quickly and too high after a meal (also known as postprandial hyperglycemia), HbA1c (which is a fancy term that shows the average blood sugar control over 3 months) values go up . When you HbA1c is high, the risk of getting type 2 diabetes and further developing diabetes complication increases also.
So we looked at 2 recent randomized clinical trial studies for you, which examines whether our postprandial hyperglycemia increases significantly when we don’t eat breakfast:
1. High-energy breakfast with low-energy dinner decreases overall daily hyperglycaemia in type 2 diabetic patients: a randomised clinical trial.
They wanted to find out whether meal schedule reduces postprandial hyperglycemia (PPHG) in the participants with Type 2 diabetes. 18 individuals age 30-70 were either given a high energy breakfast and low energy dinner, or a low energy breakfast and a high energy dinner. Blood samples were taken after meals to measure the glycemic (blood sugar) response. (Jakubowicz et al., 2015)
2. Fasting until noon triggers increased postprandial hyperglycemia and impaired insulin response after lunch and dinner in individuals with type 2 diabetes: a randomized clinical trial.
They wanted to see whether skipping breakfast affects the glycemic (blood sugar) response to meals for the rest of the day. The participants were 22 men and women with type 2 diabetes.They were fed breakfast, lunch and dinner on Day 1 and only received the same lunch and dinner but no breakfast on Day 2. Blood samples were then taken to measure the glycemic response for 3 hours after each meal. (Jakubowicz et al., 2015)
The results and what it means
- Low energy intake at breakfast is associated with a significant higher PPHG in diabetic patients over the entire day, which is a risk factor for increasing cardiovascular disease and complication of type 2 diabetes. (Jakubowicz et al., 2015)
- Skipping breakfast increases PPHG after lunch and dinner, showing that “breakfast has a long-term influence on glucose that persists throughout the day”. (Jakubowicz et al., 2015)
From both studies, it shows that eating a high energy, nutrient dense breakfast can potentially be a “successful strategy for reduction of PPHG in type 2 diabetes”, which can prevent and decrease risk of diabetes complications. (Jakubowicz et al., 2015)
So what do i do…
Maybe it is a good idea to start agreeing with your mother, and admit that she is right. Eating breakfast, as science has proven, can control your blood glucose. It can lower your risk of getting type 2 diabetes, and/or decrease risk of further diabetes complication if you are already diagnosed.
Stay tune for our next blog post on how to break the fast, where our Registered Dietitian will give you tips/ideas on what a healthy, balanced breakfast is.
Jakubowicz, D., Wainstein, J., Ahrén, B., Bar-Dayan, Y., Landau, Z., Rabinovitz, H., & Froy, O. (2015). High-energy breakfast with low-energy dinner decreases overall daily hyperglycaemia in type 2 diabetic patients: a randomised clinical trial. Diabetologia, 58(5), 912-919. http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00125-015-3524-9
Jakubowicz, D., Wainstein, J., Ahren, B., Landau, Z., Bar-Dayan, Y., & Froy, O. (2015). Fasting Until Noon Triggers Increased Postprandial Hyperglycemia and Impaired Insulin Response After Lunch and Dinner in Individuals With Type 2 Diabetes: A Randomized Clinical Trial. Diabetes Care, 38(10), 1820-1826. http://dx.doi.org/10.2337/dc15-0761