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Breakfast: Boost Your Second Meal Effect

Mom’s longstanding advice to eat breakfast just got a little more punch. It seems a healthy breakfast optimizes metabolism and health in even more ways than we knew.

We’ve always recognized that breakfast enhances concentration and energy levels.

And, we already know eggs in the morning can help you lose weight by reducing the hunger hormone, ghrelin.

Breakfast-skippers overeat

Now, there’s even more breakfast news. Brain scans of people who skip breakfast—compared with those who eat it—show that breakfast-skippers are more likely to succumb to high-calorie foods. It all happens in the orbitofrontal cortex, a part of the brain that processes the reward value of food.

The upshot: Skipping breakfast triggers the brain to make you overeat. One more reason to eat breakfast.

The second meal effect

Eating a well formulated breakfast is also a great way to enhance something called the second meal effect. It works like this: When you skip breakfast, your glycemic response to lunch increases. “Glycemic response” means how much your blood sugar levels rise in response to the food you eat.

Conversely, when you eat a breakfast, your glycemic response on the next meal is better controlled. That’s the second meal effect. You can make the most of this by choosing breakfast foods with a low glycemic index, such as eggs.

For anyone with diabetes or the very common condition called metabolic syndrome, keeping glycemic response in check is a good thing. In fact, researchers are saying strong glycemic control reduces risks for disease in general.

So, your first meal—breakfast—is the way to optimize your own second meal effect and fine-tune your metabolism all day long.

Start your day with eggs

For someone with diabetes, British researchers say that starting the day with high-protein food cuts glycemic response for the next meal by 40 percent. And Shape magazine says, “Yes, you should eat breakfast.” They also suggest choosing “protein-rich foods like eggs, egg whites, Greek yogurt, or a protein shake” to optimize the effect of breakfast on your metabolism.

Now, how do you make a healthy high-protein breakfast convenient? Three ideas from Safest Choice™:

What’s your favorite healthy breakfast?

Sunny Face egg breakfast