Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. And while doctors and nutritionists advise that a nutritious morning meal is essential to a healthy lifestyle, a majority of Americans choose to skip it altogether.
A survey from The NPD Group, a market research company, shows that one in ten Americans skips morning meals. And while those who do it burn more calories during the day, experts caution that the habit could lead to a higher risk of type 2 diabetes.
Data from the American Society for Nutrition supports the claim, stating that skipping breakfast only once a week raises the risk for type 2 diabetes by 6 percent. And those who skip eating in the morning four to five times a week raise their risk to 55 percent.
Along with proper diabetes management, ensuring that people make room for the most important meal of the day is the best line of defense from developing the condition.
Insulin Controls Blood Sugar Levels
The number of people with diabetes in the U.S. has reached 30 million, a report from The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says. Of those with the condition, 90 to 95 percent have type 2 diabetes.
Type 2 diabetes is a chronic condition where the body fails to properly use and store glucose. While the pancreas produces extra insulin, it fails to keep a person’s glucose within normal levels over time.
Without insulin, the blood sugar levels in a person’s body can shoot up. This can contribute to other serious health problems like heart disease, vision loss, and kidney disease.
Eating Breakfast is Linked to Insulin Resistance
The American Heart Association (AHA) shares that meal timing and frequency are linked to insulin resistance and blood sugar levels.
In a statement, the AHA cites studies that reveal that people who eat breakfast daily were less prone to high cholesterol and blood pressure. And those who skipped breakfast were more likely to suffer from obesity, inadequate nutrition, and impaired glucose metabolism.
Moreover, extending one’s overnight fast led to higher levels of glucose concentrations and inflammation. In turn, these chronic inflammations could heighten the risk of obesity and type 2 diabetes.
A Possible Sign of Other Unhealthy Lifestyle Behaviors
Meal skipping in the morning could also relate to other unhealthy lifestyle behaviors. For instance, breakfast skippers may feel more inclined to smoke or drink alcohol.
Jan Rystrom, RD, a diabetes instructor at the Swedish Medical Center in Seattle, cites several studies showing that those who skip breakfast end up eating more calories throughout the day. And a high-calorie diet contributes to weight gain and the development of type 2 diabetes.
Experts suggest that those with the condition eat three to five times daily, at three-to-five hour intervals. Eating regularly helps the body maintain its blood sugar levels.
Patients with or without diabetes can start their morning right by striving for a well-balanced meal. A healthy breakfast consists of whole grains, eggs, nuts, dairy, vegetables, and fruits. By maintaining a healthy diet, people can steer clear of developing serious health conditions in the long run.