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Why is it important to eat breakfast?

Eating breakfast is important to help you feel good, improve your mental performance, and increase your intake of important nutrients. Eating breakfast regularly can also help you maintain a healthy weight.

After 8-12 hours without food your body needs energy or calories from food to get you going and help you carry out your physical and mental tasks. If you skip breakfast, you may feel hungry and may not perform to the best of your abilities.



Eating breakfast can help you improve your intake of important nutrients and fibre. A breakfast consisting of wheat bran cereal with sliced fruit and milk, and a glass of juice provides B-vitamins, iron, vitamin C, calcium, protein and fibre. If you skip breakfast it is difficult to make up for the nutrients you missed at breakfast later in the day.

Eating breakfast can help you control your food intake and maintain a healthy weight. Studies show that children given high fibre foods for breakfast, such as bran cereals, muesli or oatmeal, causes them to eat less at lunch. Similarly, women who consistently consumed more fibre-rich grains such as oatmeal and whole-grain breakfast cereals gained less weight than women who had less fibre in their diets.

Skipping breakfast may tempt you into having a high fat mid-morning snack, such as a doughnut, croissant or a higher fat commercial muffin, to satisfy your hunger. Avoiding breakfast may also cause you to eat more food than you need later in the day. Studies have shown that people who eat breakfast regularly are less likely to be overweight.

A balanced breakfast should include something from at least three out of the four food groups in Canada's Food Guide. If you simply can't manage breakfast when you first get up, aim to have a healthy balanced mini meal sometime later in the morning. Try to include a serving of cereal or whole grain bread, a serving of milk or yogurt, and a serving of fruit or juice.

The information provided in this FAQ is not meant to replace medical advice or treatment. Individuals seeking individual nutrition advice should contact a Registered Dietitian. To find a dietitian in your community click on nutrition advice.