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According to an ABC News poll, nearly one quarter of Americans regularly skip breakfast. Of those who eat breakfast, 31% eat cold boxed breakfast cereal. Yet the rumors are true – breakfast actually is the most important meal of the day. Studies show that people who regularly skip breakfast are 4.5 times more likely to become obese in their lifetime than people who do regularly eat breakfast.
Breakfast choices also count too. The food marketed as breakfast foods are some of the most nutritionally devoid foods available. Breakfast pastries for example have an average of 200 calories, 15 grams of sugar, and few vitamins and minerals. Eating foods high in sugar leads to a significant rise in insulin followed by a “sugar crash” and decreased satiety, signaling the body to eat more food than it requires. Eating more carbs than you can burn leads to increased belly fat storage and long term metabolic issues down the road.
To lose fat and get fit, you need to eat a breakfast that is free of simple carbs. Unfortunately, most breakfast foods are packed with sugar and carbs. The solution: eat dinner for breakfast. It’s actually not as strange as it sounds.
Who made up the rules for what counts as breakfast food anyway?
The world’s first breakfast cereal was introduced in 1863 by Dr. James Caleb Jackson. It was called Granula, and it was served to Dr. Jackson’s patients at his sanitarium in New York. One of his patients who later went on to found a church took a special liking to the cereal. One of the members of her church was John Kellogg, the father of the two Kellogg brothers who woud go on to found the now ubiquitous Kellogg’s brand. Kellogg’s has brought Americans high carb, high sugar foods like Eggo waffles and Pop-Tarts to the American breakfast table.
Eggs and bacon
Although there is no historical definitive reason for eggs and bacon being a traditional breakfast, there are two main theories:
- The practice of eating eggs and bacon has roots in America’s traditional ties with British culture.
- Back when most people were harvesting eggs from their own chickens, they would gather eggs in the morning, when they were the most fresh.
Doughnuts are possibly the worst breakfast choice off all because of their low nutrient and high sugar and fat content. Yet why are doughnuts one of the most popular American breakfast foods? Northern European settlers brought doughnuts to New York (then known as New Amsterdam). In the mid-nineteenth century, they became a staple in American cookbooks. Dunkin Donuts, one of America’s most beloved fast food chains, brought “donuts” to the masses starting in 1950.
Coffee and Beans – The Pioneer Breakfast
As America expanded from sea to shining sea in the nineteenth century, pioneers headed west with provisions to keep them going. They brought items that stored well long term like coffee, cornmeal, beans, lard, and potatoes. Hearty pre-dawn meals of coffee, beans, and corned beef hash were the norm. Thus the pioneer breakfast was born.
What we now view as “normal” breakfast foods are nothing more than cultural holdovers from America’s culinary history. Traditional breakfasts are no healthier than any other meal in the standard American diet, even though these foods are marketed to us as an integral part of the most wholesome meal of the day.
Start your day off with a real nutritional powerhouse meal by eating dinner for breakfast:
- Eat a steak burrito bowl with spinach, black beans, tomatoes, and salsa.
- Bring leftovers from the night before to work for a an economical and nutritious breakfast.
- Grill extra chicken at night and make a large grilled chicken salad to munch on in the morning.
- Make an omelette with shrimp and leftover asparagus for a savory and low fat breakfast.
The possibilities are as endless as your creativity. So ditch the cereal boxes and get energized in the morning with dinner for breakfast.
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