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Skipping breakfast may leave you short on important nutrients, new research shows

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Skipping breakfast may leave you short on important nutrients, new research shows

Skipping your morning meal could have a ripple effect that leaves you short on nutrients, a recent study in Proceedings of the Nutrition Society suggests.Researchers looked at about 31,000 U.S. adults who were part of the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. Participants reported on dietary consumption during different times of the day, and researchers calculated their daily overall micronutrient intake. They found that breakfast skippers — who represented about 15% of participants — consumed significantly more calories, carbohydrates, saturated fat, and added sugars during lunch, dinner, and snacks compared to those who regularly ate breakfast. Also, they were less likely to meet daily recommendations for essential vitamins and minerals, including folate, calcium, iron, vitamins A, B-complex, C, and D. Even though the breakfast skippers had more calories overall, they didn’t tend to make up those nutrients. That’s likely because breakfast foods are particularly nutrient-dense, said dietitian Kristin Gillespie, M.S., R.D.“While it’s possible to make up these nutrients over the course of the day, many of these foods like eggs, oats, and some breakfast cereals that are fortified can maximize your nutrition,” she said. That said, of course, not all breakfast choices are healthy options, Gillespie added. Despite the claims about vitamins and minerals on those sugar-bomb cereals, eating that much added sugar in the morning — or anytime during the day—can negate many of its alleged health benefits.“Focus on healthier cereals, such as those made from whole grains with minimal added sugars,” she said. “Basically, pick the ‘boring’ ones.”If you’re simply not a breakfast enthusiast, you can adjust by including some of those breakfast foods later in the day, Gillespie suggested. For example, choosing eggs, milk, and oats in snacks or meals can help boost your nutrient density, she said.

Skipping your morning meal could have a ripple effect that leaves you short on nutrients, a recent study in Proceedings of the Nutrition Society suggests.

Researchers looked at about 31,000 U.S. adults who were part of the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. Participants reported on dietary consumption during different times of the day, and researchers calculated their daily overall micronutrient intake.

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They found that breakfast skippers — who represented about 15% of participants — consumed significantly more calories, carbohydrates, saturated fat, and added sugars during lunch, dinner, and snacks compared to those who regularly ate breakfast. Also, they were less likely to meet daily recommendations for essential vitamins and minerals, including folate, calcium, iron, vitamins A, B-complex, C, and D.

Even though the breakfast skippers had more calories overall, they didn’t tend to make up those nutrients. That’s likely because breakfast foods are particularly nutrient-dense, said dietitian Kristin Gillespie, M.S., R.D.

“While it’s possible to make up these nutrients over the course of the day, many of these foods like eggs, oats, and some breakfast cereals that are fortified can maximize your nutrition,” she said.

That said, of course, not all breakfast choices are healthy options, Gillespie added. Despite the claims about vitamins and minerals on those sugar-bomb cereals, eating that much added sugar in the morning — or anytime during the day—can negate many of its alleged health benefits.

“Focus on healthier cereals, such as those made from whole grains with minimal added sugars,” she said. “Basically, pick the ‘boring’ ones.”

If you’re simply not a breakfast enthusiast, you can adjust by including some of those breakfast foods later in the day, Gillespie suggested. For example, choosing eggs, milk, and oats in snacks or meals can help boost your nutrient density, she said.

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