1. What is a healthy breakfast?
2. What is a healthy lunch?
3. What is a healthy dinner?
4. How much should I weigh?
5. How many calories should I be eating?
6. What is the best way to lose weight?
7. How can I keep my weight loss goal in mind and stay motivated?
8. What is a healthy weekly weight loss?
9. How to set weight loss goals and make them happen
10. How to keep a food diary, and why it is essential to successful weight loss
11. Are all fats bad for you?
12. Are saturated fats bad for you?
13. Are unsaturated fats good for you?
14. Are carbohydrates bad for you?
15. Is fiber good for you?
16. How to read nutrition/food labels
17. How to plan your weekly menus
18. Why should I eat less salt?
19. What do the sodium (salt) numbers mean on food labels?
20. What is The Mediterranean Diet?
21. Why eating vegetables is good for you
22. Why eating fruit and nuts is good for you
23. Why are cereals and whole grains good for you?
24. What are legumes, and why are they good for you?
25. Why is eating fish good for you?
26. Which fats and oils are good for you?
27. Are dairy products good for you?
28. Which meats should I not eat?
29. Is drinking alcohol good for you?
30. Is it important to measure your ingredients?
31. Are snacks good for you?
32. How to choose the right portion size
33. Can you lose weight with a smaller plate?
34. Eat healthier by cleaning out your pantry
35. Which oils and fats should I keep in my pantry?
35. Which oils and fats are good for you - and when should I use them?
36. Which carbohydrates are good for you?
37. What is the best chicken or turkey for you?
38. Are dairy products good for you?
39. Which nuts and seeds should I eat?
40. Is red meat like beef or pork bad or good for you?
41. Is eating dessert good or bad for you?
42. Is drinking soda bad for you?
43. Is drinking coffee bad for you?
44. How can healthy food taste good? Part 1
45. How can healthy food taste good? Part 2
46. How to eat healthy while eating out
47. Are vitamins and supplements necessary to eat healthy?
48. How to eat healthy while traveling


The Dr. Gourmet Diet Plan

What is a healthy breakfast?

A bowl of oatmeal

It looks like your mother was right (she knew it all along). Breakfast may just be the most important meal of the day.

There are a number of reasons why you should make a healthy breakfast part of your life. When you consider that you had dinner at 6:00 or 7:00 the night before and you might get up for breakfast at 6:00 A.M. you have already gone about 12 hours without eating. By not having breakfast and waiting until your "coffee break" or lunch adds even more time. By the time you get around to eating it could be that your body has been starving for as long as 18 hours.

It's well established that such long periods of starvation will lower your metabolism. The body essentially slows itself to hold onto stored calories and this can have an effect how easy it is for you to lose weight. At the same time, the research shows those who are overweight consume a larger portion of their daily calories before noon instead later in the day have an easier time losing weight.

The type of breakfast makes a difference in how easy it is to lose weight. In one research study participants who ate cereals, quickbreads (like banana bread or zucchini bread) or muffins had a lower Body Mass Index (BMI) when compared to those having meat and eggs. (The meat and egg eaters tended to eat more calories, which makes sense.) Having whole grain and cooked cereals fared better for folks than ready to eat cereals or muffins. (JACN 2003, 22: 296-302)

Studies have also shown that those who skip breakfast have a higher BMI. Likewise, there's good research showing that breakfast eaters with a lower Body Mass Index are more likely to eat their meals more regularly throughout the day. (AJCN l992;55:645-5l) Similarly those eating early in the day are less likely to snack during the day. When those who do have breakfast have snacks they tend to snack more sensibly.

Eating breakfast regularly even helps with improving cholesterol profiles. In one study women who didn't eat breakfast have higher total cholesterol and LDL (bad) cholesterol. Those women also had developed problems in how their insulin responds to eating. Such changes in insulin response are now clearly linked to heart disease and diabetes. (AJCN 2005;81:388-96)

Researchers looking at data from the large long-term Physician's Health Study found that those eating breakfast cereal had lower rates of heart failure. Those who had two servings of high-fiber cereal per week had a reduced risk of heart failure of almost 20%. (Arch Int Med 2007;167:2080-2085)

Studies go on and on to reinforce the importance of breakfast as being the most important meal of the day. Start with a high fiber cereal, whole grain toast, muffins or quickbreads and you'll be satisfied and less likely to eat more during the day.

So your mom was right (and probably about more than just breakfast). Eat breakfast and get your day started right!

What's a healthy breakfast? Here are some guidelines.