Breakfast of champions

As soon as my eyelids pop open in the morning, I am thinking about food – namely, what I will eat for breakfast. Something sweet usually appears on the menu such as toast with homemade jam, pancakes or waffles, or if I can find a good one, a cheese Danish. Of course, according to most of the pundits and researchers I am doing it all wrong. It reminds me of one physician’s diet advice delivered to a friend: “If it tastes good, spit it out.”

The linked article reports on recent research that looked at when breakfast is eaten and what is consumed and found correlations between eating early and/or having a lot of sweet items and less than ideal health outcomes. It seems that our guts’ circadian rhythms prefer a long rest between our last evening meal and the first one of the next day, with 14 hours seeming to be the sweet spot. Since so many of us eat our dinners late, this can screw up our natural rhythm and lead to weight gain. Conversely, making sure to allow at least 14 hours between meals can result in slight weight loss even without changing anything else about our diet.

The other result showed that chowing down sweet stuff first thing in the morning can spike one’s blood sugar level, leading to a crash later in the day. I grudgingly admit that if I overdo with a sweet breakfast I am a little sluggish come 2:00 or 3:00 p.m. (But I make really good jam and it would be a shame not to enjoy it.)

As with most articles that offer the ‘latest and greatest’ medical research results, I will take this one with a grain of salt (or maybe a sprinkle of my neighbors’ homemade maple syrup). Eating items like plain yogurt, oatmeal, or boiled eggs might be the healthiest way to start the day, but I am still going to indulge in a short stack of cornmeal pancakes with a side of bacon on occasion. What’s your favorite breakfast meal?

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  • hillsboroks  on  June 26, 2022

    Like you Darcie, I too used to love to start my day with something sweet for breakfast but then all too often I would find myself hungry at 10 am at work. A couple of years ago I discovered a breakfast solution that keeps me going until lunch and I hope is pretty healthy. I pour about 1/2 cup of Bob’s Red Mill Tropical Muesli in a bowl, top it with a small container of less sweet Greek yogurt, stir it up and enjoy. The whole grains, dried fruits and nuts plus the yogurt really “sticks to your ribs” as they used to say. I credit this breakfast for keeping me from gaining weight during the pandemic in spite of all the extra baking I’ve done.

  • tmjellicoe  on  June 26, 2022

    I like an egg for breakfast. It runs the gambit from a simple poached egg on toast, egg sandwich with various toppings, poached on a hash with lots of veg, shaksuka (usually Tex-mex in flavour), back to simple with a poached egg on top of salsa and salsa verde served with tortilla chips.

  • averythingcooks  on  June 27, 2022

    My winter choice re: breakfast (and I live do in a very cold “winter locale”) is steel cut oats….now prepped for the week in the Instant Pot with a little maple syrup (thank you Melissa Clark). Even a small bowl, warmed with a little skim milk, some dried cranberries and flaked almonds is completely satisfying and delicious!

    In the summer it’s typically Thug Kitchen’s granola with homemade plain yogurt (also often made in the Instant Pot from Melissa Clark’s book). I guess I’m partial to grains and dairy 🙂

  • annmartina  on  June 29, 2022

    Unless I’m on vacation, I save my favorites, like pancakes and sausage, for dinner. I LOVE cereal, but try to keep it halfway healthy. Right now I’m on a bran flakes kick. I also love steel-cut oats or I make my own recipe of chocolate Malt-o-Meal or Cream of Wheat. I also make eggs quite often.

  • LeilaD  on  June 29, 2022

    I don’t tend to eat breakfast during the week, grabbing lunch at 11:00 as my first meal of the day- which is usually dinner leftovers. On the weekend, though, since breakfast is my husband’s favorite meal, we go out to the diner on Saturday morning, so steak and eggs at about 9:00.

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