A study by scientists at the University of Aberdeen has discovered a big breakfast could be the key to controlling appetite. Researchers found eating a lot first thing could aid weight loss because it leaves people feeling less hungry during the rest of the day.
While that conclusion may come from the international school of the utterly obvious, it’s also very welcome news for those of us who love the first meal of the day.
Never trust someone who says they don’t eat breakfast.
They sit alongside the people who don’t wash their hair and those blokes with beards who ride recumbent bikes in the panoply of unfathomable weirdos.
Let’s play a game. Average life expectancy in Scotland is now 79 years. Subtract your age at the moment then multiply by 365 and that is the number of potential breakfasts you have left. It’s not many, is it? So why would you miss the chance of a meal?
The Aberdeen research may not be ground-breaking but there is plenty of other evidence to support the view that breakfast is the most important meal of the day.
In one of the biggest studies on the subject, the eating habits of over 50,000 people in the United States were analysed over seven years and the data showed those who made breakfast the largest meal of the day were most likely to have a lower body mass index.
You don’t have to be a scientist to work out that the body needs calories to kickstart the metabolism after rest and a filling, healthy breakfast will lead to less snacking in subsequent hours.
If you really want to skip a meal during the day, lunch is the obvious option. Stuck in the no man’s land between breakfast and dinner, it is joyless and pointless. At best it will be a scaled-down version of an evening meal, at worst it is a supermarket sandwich and a bag of crisps washed down by a fizzy drink with enough sugar to bake a cake.
In contrast, breakfast offers a myriad of possibilities. Luckily, here in Scotland we have it nailed. Loaded with vitamins, minerals and fibre, a traditional bowl of porridge is the best possible way to start the day. Add some fresh or dried fruit and the health results are even better.
Alternatively, eggs are a great source of amino acids and good quality sausages can provide you with vitamin B and muscle-building protein.
Beyond that are all the delicious options that may not be for daily consumption but make for an occasional treat, like eggs Benedict, pancakes with maple syrup, and muffins, croissants and Danish pastries. And that’s before you get into great breakfast dishes from around the world like Shakshuka and huevos rancheros.
One of the many sad side-effects of the pandemic was the disappearance of the breakfast buffet but now it is back and that is something to celebrate. Along with the fact that we have woken to another day filled with eating possibilities, so starting with an excellent breakfast is surely the least we can do.