Is Breakfast Still “The Most Important Meal of the Day”?

by Marissa Sheldon, MPH

Many of us grew up hearing – and may still hear today – that we should never skip breakfast because “breakfast is the most important meal of the day.” It supposedly kickstarts our metabolism, gives us energy, and helps us focus throughout the day. On the other hand, intermittent fasting, a practice popularized over the past decade in which people eat only during specific hours of the day (e.g. 16 hours of fasting overnight and into the morning, followed by eight hours of healthy eating), has copious research backing its health benefits, which include weight loss and cardiometabolic health. The purported benefits of following a schedule of, for example, fasting from 8pm until 12pm the next day, would suggest that breakfast is not the most important meal of the day. 

Please note: Intermittent fasting is not recommended for individuals with Type 1 diabetes, those who are pregnant or breastfeeding, those susceptible to eating disorders, or those who are underweight. It is important to speak to a medical professional before exploring new dietary patterns. 

Breakfast: Is it Important?

Breakfast is Recommended for Children and Adolescents

Intermittent Fasting: The Basics

Intermittent Fasting: Health Benefits

Intermittent Fasting: Potential Health Risks

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