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To counteract obesity and muscle loss? Just have breakfast!

To counteract obesity and muscle loss? Just have breakfast!

Sometimes there is a belief that to stay healthy, fit and not overweight, it is necessary to skip meals, especially breakfast. Nothing more wrong. In fact, to the delight of all of us, here comes a very interesting, and satisfying for the stomach and mood, piece of news from Japan. Eating breakfast is even considered healthy because skipping it can increase the risk of developing obesity, metabolic syndrome and sarcopenia, which is the progressive loss of muscle mass and strength. The study is available in the British Journal of Nutrition (Kiriyama et al, BJN, March 2022).

Never skip breakfast if you don't want to gain weight and lose muscle

What happens to our body when we skip breakfast? To answer this question, scientists have developed a study performed on animals. Specifically, a mouse population was divided into two groups. The first group had access to a standard diet, without excesses in sugar and fat, from noon until midnight. The second group had access to a diet without excess fat and sugar from 4 in the afternoon to midnight, thus skipping the first meal of the day which corresponds to breakfast for humans. What emerged was that after two weeks of this diet, the mice that skipped breakfast had an increase in body weight compared to the mice that ate breakfast. Not only that, skipping breakfast was also associated with a reduction in muscle mass. Also noteworthy is the fact that scientists have observed an alteration in the circadian rhythm, which is our internal biological clock responsible for releasing hormones and for the proper functioning and health of organs. In particular, the release of insulin and corticosterone, involved in glucose metabolism, was delayed. Therefore, skipping breakfast caused an alteration in the release of these hormones that regulate blood sugar.

Conclusions

As emerges from the study in question, it is a good idea to have breakfast. In fact, breakfast can help to reduce the risk of gaining body weight, developing metabolic syndrome and sarcopenia. Important, however, even if the article does not go into it, is that the breakfast should be healthy and varied, including whole grains, proteins but also fruit, in order to fill up with energy, vitamins, antioxidants, mineral salts and to avoid hunger attacks.
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