How many people give up eating a slice of bread for breakfast for fear of gaining weight and increasing their waistline? Well, from today we know that this does not happen, in fact, a cup of coffee, cereals and bread even help reduce abdominal fat! This is what emerges from two recent scientific studies, the first published in the journal Nutrients by a Japanese team (Koyama et al, Nutrients, 2020) and the second in the journal Food and Nutrition Research by an American and Chinese team (Han et al. , Food Nutr Res, 2019).
Bread and coffee reduce visceral fat, the study
A healthy diet can help prevent various diseases, such as cardiovascular disease, obesity, metabolic syndrome but also inflammation and cellular degeneration. Breakfast is one of the most debated meals. In fact, some prefer to skip it, for lack of time but above all for the idea that it can make you gain weight, but is this really the case? To answer this question, the scientists drew on data collected in a large previous study, the Japan Multi-Institutional Collaborative Cohort Study, running between 2013 and 2017. In this way, the data about diet and health of 3,539 people were analyzed. What emerged was that coffee is associated with a reduction in abdominal fat. In particular, those who drank at least one cup of coffee a day had a 25.4% reduction in waist size and a 29.4% reduction in the risk of developing metabolic syndrome. The action of coffee is increased if, for breakfast, in addition to drinking a cup of coffee, you also eat bread. In this case, the reduction of visceral fat is around 45% and the reduction of the risk of metabolic syndrome by 41%. It is believed that the anti-obesity action of coffee is due to its caffeine content, while the synergy that brings coffee and bread together to reduce the waistline more than coffee taken individually has not yet been understood. Instead, green tea showed only a small reduction in visceral fat. The explanation is that the epigallium catechin gallate, the active ingredient in green tea, is more powerful for fighting inflammation and free radical damage than acting on the metabolism.
Cereals for the heart
Even breakfast cereals have something to say when it comes to health. In fact, the second study we're talking about today noted that cereals protect the heart by helping to reduce circulating cholesterol. In fact, cereals act in two ways, on the one hand by increasing the amount of cholesterol expelled and on the other by reducing its accumulation and absorption by the intestine. Among the different types of cereals, oats showed the highest action in reducing cholesterol compared to wheat bran.
Eating breakfast against overweight
In short, for those with overweight and pot belly or for those who want to stay in a healthy weight, skipping breakfast does not seem to give the desired results. In fact, having breakfast with coffee, bread and cereals even helps reduce visceral fat. Finally, it is always better to choose unrefined products, such as whole grain breads and grains, as reducing white bread, but not whole grain bread, has been observed to lead to less weight gain and lower abdominal fat.