12

votes

How responsible for our problems is breakfast?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created June 20, 2011 at 1:46 AM

Ive recently come to think that a great deal of the west's dietary woes are due in large part to breakfast. Not whether to eat it or not ala IF, but merely that breakfast has come to equal sugar. Breakfast looks more like dessert.

I know the US has a lot of fat sick people but I kind of think that if the fakefood masquerading as breakfast had never come to be that even the crappy lunches and dinners wouldn't have such an adverse effect on the population.

Do you agree that perhaps breakfast, and it's nearly complete association with sugary sweet things, is the major factor in our failing health?

03bb06ced2ae02a265909342d4cf3e75

(793)

on March 06, 2012
at 09:20 PM

Totally agree! A friend of mine and her husband routinely eat cereal for dinner because they are too tired to cook (in addition to eating it for breakfast every day), and they are both very overweight and sick :(

A45955e4c4cbe88ed6645828ba13f75a

(132)

on June 21, 2011
at 09:02 AM

Adding fats to carbs makes them lower GI. So they are absorbed more slowly. The butter in the croissants is the key.

7d0c3ea9bf8be00b93e6433d8f125ac3

(7540)

on June 20, 2011
at 06:43 PM

yeah. just when i read the question I thought it was going to be another pro-IF thing about how eating breakfast at all is unnecessary.

1b3609d952a6ee601610d1cde53b0ec4

(30)

on June 20, 2011
at 05:00 PM

The croissants in France are small (not Costco size) and FULL of butter. Perhaps that's the key...more butter, less flour, smaller portion!?

667f6c030b0245d71d8ef50c72b097dc

(15976)

on June 20, 2011
at 02:01 PM

awesome. i did BJJ religiously for one year. I don't do it now but i do play with idea of starting again. I really enjoyed it and I kinda feel like i might be kinda naturally good at it. It came pretty quickly. Fun stuff.

D5a4ff096a452a84a772efa0e6bc626e

(2486)

on June 20, 2011
at 12:50 PM

Yup, three years now...it's the passion of my life. Never done anything so stressful and exhausting and exhilirating and engrossing simultaneously-

667f6c030b0245d71d8ef50c72b097dc

(15976)

on June 20, 2011
at 12:25 PM

@Diane, well like you say thats only because you are insulin-resistant. I spent only two weeks in france but i ate that stuff every day and never had problems. Don't get me wrong, i don't think thats a great way to start the day but at least its calorically-limited; while in the US many kids and adults pack down prolly 1k in cals at breakie composed in large part of sucrose.

667f6c030b0245d71d8ef50c72b097dc

(15976)

on June 20, 2011
at 12:23 PM

your last sentence is the point of my question entirely. I don't care about whether we should eat upon waking or not, i'm getting at only the penchant many in the US have for eating essentially dessert called "breakfast" and how that sole mistake might actually be responsible for a lot of our woes.

667f6c030b0245d71d8ef50c72b097dc

(15976)

on June 20, 2011
at 12:21 PM

very nice. A lot of weight-losers say similar: that a big or at least well-prepped breakfast helps in weight-loss. For me, i've never been into breakfast, and still am not, but i've never had weight issues, either. And I've pretty much always eaten right before bed so i think i'm still working on that food when I wake.

B0454de6d4f4cdd9ca2e59021dc105bf

(606)

on June 20, 2011
at 12:20 PM

That's a great point about our love of convenience driving the demand for handy-dandy processed foods, especially in the morning when both Mum and Dad are in a hurry to feed the kids and get off to work.

667f6c030b0245d71d8ef50c72b097dc

(15976)

on June 20, 2011
at 12:20 PM

i agree. But i have to add that granola and or a bagel is not as insulting to the body as the seriously sugar-laden breakfast cereals and our penchant for spooning more sugar directly on top. I mean, growing up we were hella active and fit and we ate bagels, muffins, granola etc but we worked it off. I don't think they're good but i think there is something different about the egregiously insulting cereals and sugar-coated pop tarts, etc.

667f6c030b0245d71d8ef50c72b097dc

(15976)

on June 20, 2011
at 12:18 PM

nice name. you do BJJ?

667f6c030b0245d71d8ef50c72b097dc

(15976)

on June 20, 2011
at 12:17 PM

yeah, i should edit the question; i did very much write it with the US in mind. I've spent the bulk of my time here and I think most would agree that we're ahead of the pack in this class too:) Please learn from our mistakes.

667f6c030b0245d71d8ef50c72b097dc

(15976)

on June 20, 2011
at 12:15 PM

good summation. The convenience factor, which is tied of course to our society's economy, etc, is important here. I think there is a big big tie-in with industrial revolution, changing economic patterns, and of course education (or the lack there of) versus traditional upbringing which included more tradition and learning from elders.

Medium avatar

(297)

on June 20, 2011
at 03:14 AM

Not my breakfast. Eggs and meat all the way, baby. With some avocados on top. But I agree... I saw my nephews loading up on Reese's cereal and chocolate milk one morning and I felt sick just looking at them.

5cbd326041fead0c1ec71fbd106ef083

on June 20, 2011
at 02:28 AM

But when I'm in France, and I have an espresso and croissant (heaven), I do indeed experience low blood sugar shakes. Grrr. I believe it's me - as an insulin-resistant person, I just can't handle that kind of breakfast. Darn.

667f6c030b0245d71d8ef50c72b097dc

(15976)

on June 20, 2011
at 02:28 AM

I think that breakfast represents the largest single mistake in eating that most undertake. It's a windfall of sugar. At least a burger and fries for lunch can be fine. It's meat and potatoes with some wheat. That's far far less detrimental than multiple tablespoons of straight sugar and heavily processed grains and pasteurized unfermented milk.

667f6c030b0245d71d8ef50c72b097dc

(15976)

on June 20, 2011
at 02:26 AM

But both of those examples are small quick bite size meals. In the US we have pancake feats, giant muffins, big bowls of cereal literally coated in sugar. I think the degree is completely different.

9e2180e7bfd688eb52d4f0c536172024

(2004)

on June 20, 2011
at 02:17 AM

Italians traditionally eat this way too. Breakfast is a coffee drink plus pastry.

5cbd326041fead0c1ec71fbd106ef083

on June 20, 2011
at 02:15 AM

Ha! Good point.

072fd69647b0e765bb4b11532569f16d

(3717)

on June 20, 2011
at 02:08 AM

The smoking calms down the shakes...

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18 Answers

5
Ffc7e0ecad8e8831b528c5d4921377cc

(942)

on June 20, 2011
at 03:26 AM

A big part of the problem is people who think they are eating a healthy breakfast - juice, non-fat yogurt, granola, whole grain muffin or bagel, etc.

667f6c030b0245d71d8ef50c72b097dc

(15976)

on June 20, 2011
at 12:20 PM

i agree. But i have to add that granola and or a bagel is not as insulting to the body as the seriously sugar-laden breakfast cereals and our penchant for spooning more sugar directly on top. I mean, growing up we were hella active and fit and we ate bagels, muffins, granola etc but we worked it off. I don't think they're good but i think there is something different about the egregiously insulting cereals and sugar-coated pop tarts, etc.

3
22212e9ba2a041e6da6c963d4d41615a

(5773)

on June 20, 2011
at 10:55 AM

Convience food killed our diet in my opinion and that certainly started with breakfast! Everyone got to busy to cook eggs and bacon in the morning so of course they needed to find something that's takes less than 3 minutes to prepare or that they could eat in the car. As you mention, when you start off with junk in the morning then you want more junk in the afternoon and of course don't forget convience! The funny thing is i could breakfast for my entire family every morning and it takes me leas than 20 minutes and if we are rushed for some reason, hard boiled egss are made the night before with some fruit or bacon strips!

I have found that the biggest issue with any diet is a search for quick and easy. The solution to that is simple: always be prepared!

667f6c030b0245d71d8ef50c72b097dc

(15976)

on June 20, 2011
at 12:15 PM

good summation. The convenience factor, which is tied of course to our society's economy, etc, is important here. I think there is a big big tie-in with industrial revolution, changing economic patterns, and of course education (or the lack there of) versus traditional upbringing which included more tradition and learning from elders.

B0454de6d4f4cdd9ca2e59021dc105bf

(606)

on June 20, 2011
at 12:20 PM

That's a great point about our love of convenience driving the demand for handy-dandy processed foods, especially in the morning when both Mum and Dad are in a hurry to feed the kids and get off to work.

3
C3edabc6267abec9b5f8178e5d73552c

(725)

on June 20, 2011
at 02:55 AM

I actually don't think the problem is breakfast per se. It is just that when people are in a rush, they eat foods that are easily made and fast... which leads to pop tarts or cereal or other quickly made foods. But quickly made foods are garbage regardless of what meal they are for; its just that people are in more of a rush in the morning.

When spending the time to eat breakfast, or eating breakfast out, I actually think breakfast is typically the healthiest meal. When people are on vacation and eat breakfast out, or if people take the time on the weekends to make a legit breakfast, it is often eggs, bacon, sausage, fruit.. Sure there are pancakes and waffles, but many of the traditional common breakfast foods are actually quite paleo.

3
0dbd7154d909b97fe774d1655754f195

(16131)

on June 20, 2011
at 01:53 AM

Totally agree. I get weird looks when I tell people I often eat leftovers when and if I have breakfast, (which is usually some kind of meat). Food is food no matter what time of day we serve it up and eat it.

2
D5a4ff096a452a84a772efa0e6bc626e

(2486)

on June 20, 2011
at 03:32 AM

I think the sugary breakfasts are a problem, but I think they go hand-in-hand with late night crapfests, which lead to no true hunger in the morning, which lead to those 'healthy' breakfasts which are really dessert in disguise. Really, what's the difference between a bowl of instant cinnamon oatmeal and an oatmeal cookie or three?

Finishing breakfast in a rush only to go sit completely still for 8 hours, all the while eating like we're farming in the fields doesn't help, either...

If people can choke down cereal or a pastry they can choke down a single egg, right? Just think how much better their insulin numbers would look.

D5a4ff096a452a84a772efa0e6bc626e

(2486)

on June 20, 2011
at 12:50 PM

Yup, three years now...it's the passion of my life. Never done anything so stressful and exhausting and exhilirating and engrossing simultaneously-

667f6c030b0245d71d8ef50c72b097dc

(15976)

on June 20, 2011
at 02:01 PM

awesome. i did BJJ religiously for one year. I don't do it now but i do play with idea of starting again. I really enjoyed it and I kinda feel like i might be kinda naturally good at it. It came pretty quickly. Fun stuff.

667f6c030b0245d71d8ef50c72b097dc

(15976)

on June 20, 2011
at 12:18 PM

nice name. you do BJJ?

2
E7be2ce38158357f5dacae07b43d1b29

on June 20, 2011
at 02:38 AM

Well, I haven't eaten any of that rubbish in many, many years, (not paleo that whole time, but not SAD, either) but I still had health problems rear their ugly heads over the last year or so, right as I was turning 40.

I swear I get sick just looking at people's carts in the grocery store when they're full of nothing but sugary cereals, sugary snack bars (often labeled suggesting they're nutritious), snack cakes, pop (soda) full of HFCS and big amounts of artificial colors, ice cream, Hamburger Helper and a bunch of other processed crap. It really makes me cringe in horror and at the same time, feel bad for the person doing it, and also somewhat disdainful when I figure they are probably wondering why all of their children have behavioral issues, are getting bad grades, etc., and why they themselves are tired, foggy, cranky, sad, etc.

My sister is one of those people. She's over weight, but refuses to see that it's the sugary rubbish she eats all day, starting with breakfast and supplemented with candy and ice cream bars through out the day. She refuses to take responsibility for the way she feels, and instead just thinks she is unlucky...

2
7d0c3ea9bf8be00b93e6433d8f125ac3

(7540)

on June 20, 2011
at 02:32 AM

I was all set to disagree and say "what's wrong with breakfast" but you're absolutely right. I get so many strange looks when people see what I eat for breakfast- typically sweet potato and maybe some leftover meat, tuna, or eggs, plus black coffee. Even before paleo I didn't eat sweets, though. Most people I know say they can only face eating fruit, pastries, or sweet yogurt or cereal in the morning...I'm almost inclined to say that if you're ONLY hungry for sugar perhaps you're not genuinely hungry. And if you are hungry I don't see why breakfast should be treated so differently than other meals. As for your question, I would add that breakfast seems to be the meal when people like to have their ridiculous 800-calorie sugary starbucks "coffee" (more like milkshakes really) and I think that's definitely another part of it.

7d0c3ea9bf8be00b93e6433d8f125ac3

(7540)

on June 20, 2011
at 06:43 PM

yeah. just when i read the question I thought it was going to be another pro-IF thing about how eating breakfast at all is unnecessary.

667f6c030b0245d71d8ef50c72b097dc

(15976)

on June 20, 2011
at 12:23 PM

your last sentence is the point of my question entirely. I don't care about whether we should eat upon waking or not, i'm getting at only the penchant many in the US have for eating essentially dessert called "breakfast" and how that sole mistake might actually be responsible for a lot of our woes.

1
61b801de5dc345b557cd4623d4a4f26b

(2682)

on June 20, 2011
at 01:55 PM

I don't think breakfast is the problem, but what most people consider "breakfast foods" is a problem.

The reason I say it's not the fault of breakfast is b/c I know people who eat pop-tarts for lunch or who enjoy making breakfast for dinner.

A friend of mine will have a bowl of cereal for a snack, and even my mom carries around some kind of cereal in her purse (frosted mini wheats I think) because she thinks the whole grains or fiber or something is good for her.

1
E35e3d76547b18096a59c90029e7e107

(15613)

on June 20, 2011
at 10:27 AM

Pretty much agree, although I think lunch carries a lot of the blame too. Most people I know (in the UK) eat pretty 'healthy' only slightly sugared whole grains for breakfast and again 'healthy' wholegrain sandwiches with a light filling for lunch. The standard British dinner is a little meat and vegetables with a huge serving of potatoes, although increasingly with rice or pasta or some such filling the role of starch, which makes up most of their calories. That describes the diet of plenty of obese/diabetic people I know, who virtually never have junk food.

1
446d2dddaeeccb2cc31a09cf20e40d46

on June 20, 2011
at 06:55 AM

Hmm... I suppose such a sweet 'cereal'-breakfast is more a English/USA thing.

Here in the Netherlands (same in at least Germany, France, Belgium, Norway and Italy) we just eat bread/croissant with cheese, jam or meat and a glass of milk. Nothing overly sweet...

667f6c030b0245d71d8ef50c72b097dc

(15976)

on June 20, 2011
at 12:17 PM

yeah, i should edit the question; i did very much write it with the US in mind. I've spent the bulk of my time here and I think most would agree that we're ahead of the pack in this class too:) Please learn from our mistakes.

1
4e184df9c1ed38f61febc5d6cf031921

(5005)

on June 20, 2011
at 06:49 AM

You are absolutely right. I've never eaten it, but SO OFTEN when staying with friends or relatives, all I'mm offered for breakfast is "cereals" (popped rice with sugar, cornflakes with sugar etc) drenched in skimmed milk, then toast, "spread" and jam or marmalade.

I always ask if there is an egg in the house, or I go without.

But I had never even considered what a dreadful start to the day this is for so many people.

And when I am asked by people who know I don't eat grains what I eat for breakfast, the response to "liver, broccoli and fried potato" or "omelette, spinach and mushrooms" etc is usually - "but that's an EVENING meal"!!!!

1
5cbd326041fead0c1ec71fbd106ef083

on June 20, 2011
at 02:04 AM

I've never been much of a breakfast eater, but since I've started eating eggs and meat for breakfast, with an occasional peach or plum, I've not had one episode of "the shakes" that I used to get (low blood sugar).

However, I have to wonder....what about the French, who, through my own observations, have a quick espresso and a croissant on their way to work? Whenever I'm in France, I always marvel and wonder at their breakfast. Do they get the shakes from a caffeine/carb breakfast? One of these days, I hope to speak enough French to find out... :-)

072fd69647b0e765bb4b11532569f16d

(3717)

on June 20, 2011
at 02:08 AM

The smoking calms down the shakes...

1b3609d952a6ee601610d1cde53b0ec4

(30)

on June 20, 2011
at 05:00 PM

The croissants in France are small (not Costco size) and FULL of butter. Perhaps that's the key...more butter, less flour, smaller portion!?

667f6c030b0245d71d8ef50c72b097dc

(15976)

on June 20, 2011
at 12:25 PM

@Diane, well like you say thats only because you are insulin-resistant. I spent only two weeks in france but i ate that stuff every day and never had problems. Don't get me wrong, i don't think thats a great way to start the day but at least its calorically-limited; while in the US many kids and adults pack down prolly 1k in cals at breakie composed in large part of sucrose.

9e2180e7bfd688eb52d4f0c536172024

(2004)

on June 20, 2011
at 02:17 AM

Italians traditionally eat this way too. Breakfast is a coffee drink plus pastry.

5cbd326041fead0c1ec71fbd106ef083

on June 20, 2011
at 02:15 AM

Ha! Good point.

667f6c030b0245d71d8ef50c72b097dc

(15976)

on June 20, 2011
at 02:26 AM

But both of those examples are small quick bite size meals. In the US we have pancake feats, giant muffins, big bowls of cereal literally coated in sugar. I think the degree is completely different.

5cbd326041fead0c1ec71fbd106ef083

on June 20, 2011
at 02:28 AM

But when I'm in France, and I have an espresso and croissant (heaven), I do indeed experience low blood sugar shakes. Grrr. I believe it's me - as an insulin-resistant person, I just can't handle that kind of breakfast. Darn.

A45955e4c4cbe88ed6645828ba13f75a

(132)

on June 21, 2011
at 09:02 AM

Adding fats to carbs makes them lower GI. So they are absorbed more slowly. The butter in the croissants is the key.

1
64433a05384cd9717c1aa6bf7e98b661

(15236)

on June 20, 2011
at 01:59 AM

I agree somewhat, however eggs-bacon-potatoes-fruit is probably the closest thing many people come to 'paleo' eating all day!

667f6c030b0245d71d8ef50c72b097dc

(15976)

on June 20, 2011
at 02:28 AM

I think that breakfast represents the largest single mistake in eating that most undertake. It's a windfall of sugar. At least a burger and fries for lunch can be fine. It's meat and potatoes with some wheat. That's far far less detrimental than multiple tablespoons of straight sugar and heavily processed grains and pasteurized unfermented milk.

0
306905a32e76b5c0764a663ea7e88426

(1072)

on June 20, 2011
at 06:00 AM

My main issue with the typical fare of sugar filled nastiness is the manufacturer's insistence on shouting, "with added vitamins and minerals / calcium!" &tc on the brightly coloured boxes.

It's a win/win or lose/lose for mothers with children who love the characters, know no better but see something's that's purporting to be healthy.

Some countries need to approve such "fortified foods", which recently saw the banning of Marmite [a fermented yeast spread, and frankly a staple in my paleo cupboard]: http://goo.gl/bbora

BTW: for those who do love Marmite, it goes just great with bacon... :)

0
66974b2cb291799dcd661b7dec99a9e2

(11121)

on June 20, 2011
at 05:11 AM

It is all a vicious circle, we lead stress filled lives, never enough time to get everything done, we are chronically sleep deprived, we sleep until the last possible minute then get out of bed, rush to get ready, no time for a healthy breakfast so we grab frankien-foods and dash out the door to face another stress filled day. The mantra is 'I don't have time'. People make time for what they think is important and people need to realize how important our health is, without it we have nothing. We can eat a healthy breakfast, even in a rush, it just takes a little planning and forethought. There is no excuse for poor health it is 100% under our own control (except certain medical conditions), every second of the day we choose what we say, how we act and what we put in our mouths.

0
A0cc1bfd57d2a52a7468f8a06e930bbc

on June 20, 2011
at 03:22 AM

Over the last year and a half I have lost 133 pounds. Eating a good breakfast is a big part of my weight loss success. I've educated myself and found that breakfast is indeed the most important meal of the day. What we eat is equally important. I eat 3 eggs and 3 strips of turkey bacon. When I have time I make an omelet with mushrooms, onions, garlic, and spinach cooked in coconut oil. If in a hurry I hard boil the eggs, and have a big spoon full of solid coconut oil. I wouldn't consider eating the sweet poison that passes for food today. I've seen where that leads.

667f6c030b0245d71d8ef50c72b097dc

(15976)

on June 20, 2011
at 12:21 PM

very nice. A lot of weight-losers say similar: that a big or at least well-prepped breakfast helps in weight-loss. For me, i've never been into breakfast, and still am not, but i've never had weight issues, either. And I've pretty much always eaten right before bed so i think i'm still working on that food when I wake.

0
1a98a40ba8ffdc5aa28d1324d01c6c9f

(20378)

on June 20, 2011
at 01:54 AM

The typical SAD breakfast is awful... Except the eggs and bacon part. However even that is cooked in vegetable oils...

-1
7cf45aaa9478fcef7dd16914088ce480

on June 20, 2011
at 03:10 AM

No. -Ryan Wilder

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