The Breakfast club

Break. Fast.  Should you or shouldn't you?  After many hours of slumber, should we nourish ourselves with our biggest meal of the day?  Should we down some java instead and fly out the door?  Or something in between?  Most of us have been told it is the most important meal of the day but does that hold true for all of us?

Global Wake-Ups

Here is what the rest of the world typically consumes to break that fast:
  • Italy:  Not much usually.  Espresso and bakery items they like and maybe some cheese and yogurt.
  • England:  The Brits eat breakfast similarly to us Yanks: eggs and toast but some vegetables, too, like fried tomatoes and mushrooms.  They also eat baked beans, lots of jam and jelly for the toast, and crumpets are popular, too.
  • India:  Fruit, banana leaf, rice pancakes, coconut chutney are common.  They can get spicy here and include saffron and turmeric in their recipes.
  • Asia:  Lots of rice porridge with minced pork and shrimp is served. Fermented soybeans, miso soup and even grilled fish can be on the table.
  • Scotland:  Apparently lots of meat eaters are here:  haggis (mixture of sheep's liver, heart and lungs) and black pudding (actually a sausage), but they like oatmeal and porridge, too.
  • France:  Baguettes with sliced ham and cheese, croissants, yogurt and fromage frais (yogurt-like cheese) are on the list.
  • Russia:  Breakfast is usually not a big meal.  Porridge (Kasha) is traditional and tea is common. Occasionally, an omelette or cheese can also be included.
  • Brazil:  The coffee is black and served with a roll, white cheese and fresh juices.
  • Germany, Sweden, Denmark:  Bigs spreads are common here of cereal, eggs, breads, cold meats and cheeses, yogurt, fruit, coffee and tea.

Breakfast Studies

If you are considering dropping breakfast and saving the calories or the time to prepare it and consume it, or if you wonder if you should worry about your teenager refusing to eat it, here are some studies on the topic:
  • This recent study says eating your calories later in the day makes them harder to burn off, resulting in weight gain,  Thus, eating most of your calories earlier, like breakfast time maybe, is better if weight is an issue with you.
  • The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics says eating breakfast is crucial for adolescents and teen development.  Here are some tips on how to entice them to do just that.
  • Alternate day fasting (which would include skipping breakfast) said in this study it could extend our lifespans and decrease our waistlines.

For myself, I feel my best when lunch is my biggest meal, but I have friends that could not even think of skipping breakfast.  And others, dinner is king. Tomorrow is another day, another morning.  So, tell me, are you a member of the breakfast club?

photo credit: <a href="">Rumena Zlatkova</a> via <a href="">photopin</a> <a href="">cc</a>