An old and beloved adage says “breakfast is the most important meal of the day,” but new research suggests that it might need to retire.
According to a new study recently published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, skipping breakfast might be just fine. It challenges the long-standing belief that starting your day with the right combination of healthy foods is the best strategy for all day energy, improved focus and concentration and overall well-being for a busy day.
This is actually not the first study to provide evidence that breakfast-eaters fare no better than non-breakfast-eaters (the evidence says, basically, breakfast is a wash, you could take it or leave it). While some previous studies have suggested that skipping breakfast could lead to heart disease down the line, this new study provides evidence that, at least in the short term, opting for big meal later in the day fares you no better or worse than bulking up on nutrition first thing in the morning.
One study tracked 300 people who skipped breakfast and proved they had no reduction in health over time.
Another study from the University of Bath tracked more specific statistics. They looked at blood sugar levels, cholesterol levels, and resting metabolic rates of over six weeks and noticed that even though each subject changed their diet by skipping breakfast every day, their overall health did not change at all.
Last year Cornell researchers published a study that suggested people who skip breakfast also seem to eat less at the end of the day. That information could help some people looking to change certain eating habits, but does not necessarily say anything about overall health.
One thing that the study does prove, perhaps, is that a balanced diet will do you good no matter how you choose to eat. As long as you have proper nutrition, the schedule of your meals does not matter.